Republicans in Congress released their tax plan amid expectations it would gain approval in Congress after Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Bob Corker of Tennessee said they would vote to approve the $1.5 trillion legislation.
The full text of the bill was released around 5:30 p.m. ET. Rubio reportedly reversed his opposition to the bill after changes were made to a fund a tax credit for parents to pay for child care.
It's unclear whether any Republican senators will oppose the legislation, which would give President Donald Trump his first major victory in Congress. Rand Paul of Kentucky has said he won't vote for legislation that increases the nation's debt. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Jeff Flake of Arizona, both of whom have acted independently of GOP leaders, may also oppose the bill.
John McCain of Arizona, who voted against the GOP's earlier effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, is in the hospital for treatment of brain cancer.
The new GOP plan repeals the penalty for failing to sign up for Obamacare in 2019, rather than in 2018.
Losing the support of three Republicans would doom the bill. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the full House will take a vote on the measure on Tuesday.
Vice President Mike Pence is delaying a planned trip to the Middle East as the vote looms because he represents the tie-breaking vote in the Senate.
The cost of the tax bill, which is focused on cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy, hasn't been established, but earlier versions have been estimated to cost $1.5 trillion over 10 years, all of which will be added to the nation's $20 trillion debt.
The legislation is opposed by all the Democrats in Congress as well as by some prominent business leaders.
The bill will take money away from schools and students, restrict the nation's ability to invest in infrastructure, do nothing to boost real wages while making health insurance more expensive and make it harder to control the costs of Medicare and Social Security without cutting defense and other spending, former New York City Mayor and billionaire media tycoon Michael Bloomberg said in an article.
All three major U.S. stock market indexes traded at records on Friday.
Several provisions of the bill have been changed. The combined Senate/House agreement differs from the House bill by permitting taxpayers to retain a deduction for high out-of-pocket medical costs and a provision that lets graduate students avoid paying taxes on tuition stipends.
The revised bill calls for a corporate tax rate of 21%, compared with the 20% called for in both houses' earlier bills, and will cut the top individual tax rate to 37% from the 39.6% it is now. The bill retains plans to reduce such current tax breaks as being able to deduct state and local taxes and the interest paid on mortgages.
The new version of the bill delays until 2019 the repeal of the Obamacare requirement that Americans should have health insurance or else pay a penalty, and adds a provision that opens the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to energy exploration.
The GOP hopes to pass the bill next week and send it to Trump for his signature before Christmas. The total costs of the bill have to be less than $1.5 trillion for Republicans to gain passage without support from Democrats. The current Senate has 52 Republicans vs. 48 Democrats and independents who vote together. This week's election of Democrat Doug Jones of Alabama, who will replace Republican Luther Strange sometime early next year, won't affect next week's vote, should there be one.
The bill removes the Senate plan's inclusion of the corporate alternative minimum tax, which was added as a way to pay for the bill but aroused objections from companies that said it would restrict their ability to use the research and development tax credit, the Times reported.
The legislation was prepared by Republicans only and has been the subject of no public hearings.
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