Lindsey Graham: Rand Paul has 'bad info' on tax reform plan

Lester Mason
October 19, 2017

Republicans are using the $4.1 trillion budget resolution as a vehicle to implement tax reform.

While it's still unclear if the bill has enough votes to pass, the backing is crucial as the Republican-controlled Senate needs the proposal to pass to keep alive its hopes of enacting sharp reductions in tax rates later this year.

The House approved the budget resolution earlier this month.

As the Senate opened debate on a fiscal year 2018 budget, Senator Rand Paul objected to spending levels that he said would exceed agreed caps by $43 billion, and called for spending reforms for so-called entitlement programs such as the Medicare and Medicaid health insurance programs.

Republicans can afford to lose only two votes if the budget resolution is to pass, given that the upper chamber's 46 Democrats and two independent members likely will oppose the measure. A final vote is likely Friday.

'I have told the White House and GOP leaders that if they simply stick to their own caps, the rest of the Budget is fine and I'll vote yes, ' Paul wrote. But he's now willing to fall in line, soothed sufficiently that there will be a future boost in defense spending. But another potential GOP defector, Rand Paul, wants less defense spending in the budget resolution than it now has.

The successful vote does not mean Republicans are in the clear, however. "Don't screw up #TaxReform now". Even though the GOP only cares about taxes, the budget resolution will set the terms of the debate on controversial federal spending issues, and also create a very real limit on the extent to which tax cuts will be allowed to swell the budget deficit.

If the measure's politically hard cuts were implemented, the budget deficit would drop to $424 billion after 10 years and average about $540 billion a year over the life of the plan, the Congressional Budget Office estimates.

"The Budget Committee expects that enactment of pro-growth policies could generate sufficient economic growth to offset" the $1.5 trillion tax cut, according to the panel's budget report. Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Joe Manchin of West Virginia dined Monday night at the home of daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, both top presidential advisers.

It was the latest salvo between the two senators as Republicans move ahead on plans for a massive tax overhaul.

'We have a couple of others that maybe could disappoint us, but maybe they won't, ' Trump also said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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