The Senate hopes to vote on a negotiated final version of the Republican tax plan early next week, with the House voting no later than Wednesday and the whole package landing on President Trump's desk by a Dec. 20 deadline. But the progress of reaching an agreement between the chambers is slow going, and Republicans are acutely aware that the clock is ticking. "I don't think you can say at this point anything is really nailed down," Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) confessed to Politico on Monday.
There are a number of thorny issues left to resolve, and the Senate is operating with strict budget rules. The corporate tax rate stands out as one topic of major debate, with the chambers agreeing to a lower 20 percent rate, but the Senate has suggested delaying the rate until 2019. A higher rate, such as 21 or 22 percent, is also being discussed to generate around $200 billion to offset the cost of other provisions. Questions about individual income brackets and state and local tax write-offs also have yet to be fully resolved.
Complicating matters is the looming end-of-the-year deadline, even as some Republicans "take a second look, making sure the final product is one Republicans can support," the Los Angeles Times writes. As Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) put it to the paper: "The desperation is palpable."
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