Home / World News / How Republicans pulled off the biggest tax overhaul in 30 years – The Denver Post

How Republicans pulled off the biggest tax overhaul in 30 years – The Denver Post

By Mike Debonis and Erica Werner, The Washington Post

WASHINGTON – In the days leading up to a critical Senate vote this month on the GOP tax plan, Republican Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio, met secretly with Sen. Joe Manchin III, W.Va., in the moderate Democrat’s hideaway office in the basement of the Capitol.

Manchin told Portman that he would consider joining the tax effort, if only for a few changes. Chief among them: Instead of cutting the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, a top Republican goal, reduce it to 25 percent – and use the proceeds for bigger middle-class tax cuts. Other Democrats, Manchin suggested, might follow.

Portman took the request to Republican leaders, who rejected it.

For Republican leaders, the prospect of a bipartisan deal that could have solidified public support for the tax plan was far outweighed by the imperative to keep the GOP unified and the belief that deep cuts in corporate taxes, more than anything else, were the recipe for economic and political success.

“I would have preferred for it to have been bipartisan,” Portman said. “There were certain things that he was looking for that didn’t fit with the consensus that we had reached with the Republican conference.”

The result is a bill passed along strict partisan lines that now awaits President Donald Trump’s signature – the GOP’s crowning legislative achievement in the first year of the party’s control of Washington.

The decision to spurn Democrats underscores the political risks undertaken by the GOP, which pushed forward on the tax bill despite polls showing that it is one of the most unpopular pieces of legislation in recent history and independent, nonpartisan analyses projecting that it will disproportionately reward the wealthy and corporations, offer only moderate benefits to the middle class, and substantially drive up the deficit.

Republicans argue, however, that the cuts will spur economic growth and that everyday Americans will reward the GOP for creating jobs, boosting their paychecks and simplifying the tax-filing process for millions of households.

“My view of this: If we can’t sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said after the final bill passed his chamber.

Republicans plowed forward even as foreboding political currents swirled: the Russia investigation pushing Trump’s approval ratings ever lower, a political upset in Alabama underscoring the fragility of the GOP’s majorities in Congress as midterms loom next year. The bill itself grew more unpopular in every successive poll, yet the outside threats seemed to sharpen the need to claim a political prize. Republicans dug in and stuck to their schedule, a nearly unheard-of achievement for a major bill.

About brandsauthority

Check Also

New York City’s Top Corruption Watchdog Leaving for Federal Role

Margaret Garnett, the commissioner of the New York City agency that roots out corruption in …

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: