WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate did not vote on its tax bill Thursday evening, as Senate Republicans consider significant changes to the bill in order to assure it can pass.
The move comes after the Senate parliamentarian ruled against allowing a proposal that would have triggered tax increases in the event of slow economic growth. Republicans are considering increasing some taxes because of this ruling.
The U.S. Joint Committee on Taxation released its analysis on the bill Thursday afternoon, stating the legislation would increase the deficit by $1 trillion between 2018 and 2027 after considering additional revenue would be more than $407 billion as a result of the measure.
The committee also reported the United States’ gross domestic product would increase by 0.8 percent and employment would grow by 0.6 percent over the 10-year period.
The Senate rejected four attempts to send the bill back to the Senate Finance Committee, with U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., voting against each motion. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., voted in favor of three of the four motions, before voting “nay” on the fourth attempt.
Capito said during a Thursday morning press conference with small business leaders the bill would help entrepreneurs and workers.
“We’re going to raise wages for our businesses,” she said. “In order to keep employees that are well-trained and that we want to have in our businesses, we’ve got to pay them to show them their worth so they don’t (a) go somewhere else, or (b) try to find another occupation.”
Capito was joined by fellow Republican senators, Small Business Administration administrator Linda McMahon and small business owners, including Matt Fisher of Your Hobby Place in Martinsburg. Fisher, who helps operate two locations, said the tax code is in dire need of reform.
“High taxes make it unnecessarily challenging to compete in an increasingly globalized economy and turn a meaningful profit,” he said. “At the same time, almost all small businesses need to put considerable time and money towards tax compliance year after year.”
Senate is scheduled to resume Friday at 10 a.m, with voting expected to begin at 11 a.m. The measure needs 51 votes to pass, meaning two Republican senators can vote against the legislation given a supporting vote by Vice President Mike Pence. The House of Representatives passed its tax bill on Nov. 16, with Reps. David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Evan Jenkins among those voting in favor of the House version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.