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The Latest: Senators Debate the GOP Tax Reform Bill

by Countable | 12.2.17

(Update: 12/2 1:52am ET): The Senate passed its amended version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on a 51-49 vote.


With Wednesday’s successful 52-48 vote to start debate on the Senate GOP tax reform plan, senators will now consider numerous amendments during 20 hours of floor debate throughout the rest of this week with an eye toward a passage vote on Friday.

You can see the amendments and other procedural motions that have been or will be brought up for a vote below after they’ve been officially announced.

Past Votes

Hatch-Murkowski Amendment: This amendment offered by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) would replace the legislative text of this bill with text approved by the Senate's Budget Committee and legislation from the Energy & Natural Resources Committee related to the Arctic National WIldlife Refuge. Adopted by voice vote. 12/2 1:52am ET

Merkley Amendment: This amendment offered by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) would eliminate a provision that exempts higher education institutions that choose to forego federal funding for its students from the tax on university endowments. Passed 52-48. 12/2 1:20am ET

Cantwell Amendment: This amendment offered by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) would strike the provision of the bill that allows for drilling on the non-wilderness coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Failed 48-52. 12/2 1am ET

Manchin Motion to Commit: This vote will be on a motion offered by Sen. joe Manchin (D-WV) to send the bill to the Finance Committee to be revised so that individual income tax cuts are permanent. Failed 38-61. 12/2 12:40am ET

Kaine Amendment: This amendment offered by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) keeps the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) as is, reduces the corporate income tax rate to 25%, makes individual income tax cuts for working and middle class families permanent. Because it would waive the Budget Act, this vote requires 60 votes to be successful. Failed 34-66. 12/2 12:10am ET

Cruz Amendment: This amendment offered by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) would allow funds from 529 Savings Plans to be used on private or parochial school expenses. Passed 51-50 with a tiebreaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence 12/1 11:39pm ET

Menendez Motion to Commit: This vote will be on a motion offered by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to send the bill back to the Finance Committee to be revised so that the repeal of the state and local tax deduction would be reversed if states' investment and funding for certain services decline, or taxes on the middle class increase. It'd require a simple majority to be successful. Failed 48-52 12/1 11:10pm ET

Rubio-Lee Amendment: This amendment offered by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) would increase the child tax credit to $2,000 and pay for it by setting the corporate income tax rate at 20.9%. Because it would waive the Budget Act, this vote requires 60 votes to be successful. Failed 29-71. 12/1 10:50pm ET

Brown Amendment: This amendment offered by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) would provide for an expanded child and family credit. Because it would waive the Budget Act, this vote requires 60 votes to be successful. Failed 48-52 12/1 10:30pm ET

Sanders Amendment: This amendment offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) amendment would prohibit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Because it would waive the Budget Act, this vote requires 60 votes to be successful. Failed 46-54. 12/1 10:10pm ET

Schumer Motion to Adjourn: This vote will be on a motion offered by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to adjourn until Monday. Failed 48-52 12/1 9:40pm ET

Cardin Motion to Commit: This vote will be on a motion to send the bill back to the Finance Committee to be revised to require that tax revenue generated by companies repatriating overseas profits be invested in infrastructure. Failed 44-56 12/1 2pm ET

Baldwin Motion to Commit: This vote will be on a motion by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to send the bill back to the Finance Committee to be revised so that so-called "carried interest loophole" is eliminated. That provision of the tax code allows investment funds to be structured as a partnership, which means they pay taxes on capital gains instead of ordinary income, which is generally taxed at a lower rate. (Baldwin introduced this legislation as a standalone bill you can read here.) Failed 48-52. 12/1 12pm ET

Nelson Motion to Commit: This vote will be on a motion by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) to send the bill back to the Finance Committee to be revised so that the cut in tax rates for middle class individuals be made permanent. Failed 48-52.12/1 12pm ET

Stabenow Motion to Commit: This vote will be on a motion by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to send the bill back to the FInance Committee to be revised to include a trigger to restore corporate tax rates to their current level if average household wages don't rise by $4,000 in the next two years. Failed 45-55. 11/30 7pm

King Motion to Commit: This vote will be on a motion by Sen. Angus King (I-ME) to send the bill back to the Finance Committee to be revised to be deficit neutral. Failed 48-52. 11/30 4:30pm ET

Casey Motion to Commit: This vote will be on a motion by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) to send the bill back to the Finance Committee to be revised to reverse tax breaks for profitable corporations if workers wages don't go up. Failed 48-51. 11/30 2:15pm ET

Brown Motion to Commit: This vote will be on a motion by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to send the bill back to the Finance Committee to be revised to include a tax credit for "Patriot" corporations. Failed 48-52. 11/30 12:20pm ET

Wyden Motion to Commit: This vote will be on a motion by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) to send the bill back to the Finance Committee for revision. Failed 48-51. 11/29 5pm ET

Tell your senators how you want them to vote on these amendments and motions using the Take Action button.

— Eric Revell

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(Photo Credit: uschools / iStock)

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  • StephanATX
    11/30/2017
    ···

    America does not need temporary tax relief but real tax reform that is the written in a bipartisan manner borne out of real debate and not behind locked doors. For this bill to be considered serious legislation, it should go thru regular order, with public hearings and time for the data to show how much the deficit will be impacted before any vote.

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  • Gail
    11/30/2017
    ···

    America would be better served if congress were to address the frightening escalation of the President’s insane rhetoric with the potential of sparking WWlll rather than trying to shove America’s wealth down the corporate gullet with the ill-gotten Presidency. It is so repulsive.

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  • Countryfirst
    11/30/2017
    ···

    NC Senators Burr and Gillis are lying cowards..this tax SCAM will break the backs of middle class and low income citizens..you are OWNED by your rich lobbyists and your sickeningly cowardly worship of a man who is trying to form a dictatorship..the moron in chief is dismantling our country and you're supporting those efforts..TREASONOUS ACTIONS AND DESPICABLE FOR PEOPLE CHARGED WITH DEFENDING THE CONSTITUTION..DISGUSTING MONEY GRUBBING REPUBLICANS..CAN'T WAIT TO GET ALL OF YOU OUT OF OFFICE AND INTO A DAMN JAIL WHERE YOU BELONG!!!

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  • Ethan
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Please do not rush Tax Reform. It is clear from multiple non-partisan reviews that the current model will increase our national debt by giving tax cuts to those who don’t need them- the wealthy and corporations. Allow repatriation of US Corp foreign held earnings at a lower rate and make the corporate tax rate in line with foreign European nations. Corporations will not increase wages nor will the higher new employees UNLESS people are buying more from them. You can’t increase demand for goods without increasing expendable income.

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  • HockeyGuy
    11/30/2017
    ···

    The GOP tax plan is nothing more than trickle down economics!!! It is not a new idea, it has never worked, and it never will!!!

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  • Steve
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Please vote NO on the current republican tax “reform” bill. I have a lot of concern on how the bill treats graduate students and higher education.

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  • lensdoctor
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Hands off Social Security benefits and Medicare benefits! Remember, we hired you and we can fire you.

    Like (163)
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  • M
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Simply put: NO on GOP tax legislation. Signed, America

    Like (131)
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  • Sky
    11/29/2017
    ···

    Don’t make corporate tax cuts, and don’t take away the individual mandate! And finally how cruel are you to take away child tax rebates for tax paying immigrants!? Vote NO on this!

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  • M
    11/30/2017
    ···

    The core of the tax bills currently under consideration is rotten. Trickle down economics has been repeatedly empirically debunked, so there is no legitimate reason to impoverish the poor for the benefit of the wealthy and corporations. The only explanation is craven greed of Congresspersons beholden to donors. Anyone voting for the bills is blatantly corrupt and should be expelled from public service.

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  • Ralph
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Republicans will rue the day that they allowed the corporations to co-opt their party. Their stand on taxes, education, climate change, healthcare, national monuments, energy, the EPA, financial oversight/consumer protection, military spending, etc.,etc. are all nothing but giant corporate giveaways at the expense of the working class of our country. No amount of hiding the true cost of these policies until after the 2018 elections will ever make these policies right or save the Trump administration (and his congressional enablers) from the eventual wrath of the American voters!

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  • Mark
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Do not raise the debt!! This give away to corporations will bankrupt the future generations. Really can't believe how Republicans have flip flopped on the debt. This will ensure that the swamp gets deeper and lasts for generations. While we're at it, where are the tax returns the President promised to release? Put a hold on this tax reform until we see those returns AND we are sure it doesn't raise the debt. Once those two objectives have been satisfied, reform away.

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  • Brenda
    11/30/2017
    ···

    To Whom It May Concern: Please vote NO on the GOP tax bill. It does nothing but make sure the wealthy get richer. It is clear that the middle class and the poor will suffer from this, especially the entitlement reform that is sure to follow when they decide the amount added to the deficit is too much.

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  • John
    11/30/2017
    ···

    You just don’t appear willing to listen, capable of conveying the message, or standing up for the interests, of your constituents. You have abdicated your duties and are following POTUS down a destructive path. One that will damage the country. Yes, the nation has developed a chronic case of ADD in the age of digital overload, unable to retain focus on key details. But, you are weaving a tapestry for political ads that are going to destroy you in the midterms. You won’t separate yourself from a TOTAL LIAR AND FRAUD (POTUS). You won’t issue a full-throated denouncement of a child predator (Roy Moore). You want to ram through a piece of legislation in the case of this tax farce, which is only guaranteed to try more trickle-down theory that has never worked. Yet, key deductions and offsets will be stripped from millions of Americans in a “shell game” so you can tout that the glorious federal government has reduced its specific tax burden...who cares what that means at the state and local levels?!? As Cheney stated, we have had an act of war committed by Russia through their meddling in the election. And, you are in NO HURRY to push forward with a meaningful inquiry. Trump picks childish Twitter fights with allies and you sit silent. This may sound rambling as compared to the topic at hand. But, I just want to let you know that not everyone is fooled by smokescreens, silent inaction, and outright lies. Unless you grow a backbone immediately and start working the agenda for all Americans whom you represent, know this...we’re coming for you. Get ready.

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  • Tadros
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Absolutely horrified to watch this hostile takeover by corporate donor and gop recipients of insane amount of contributions DIRECTLY TO THEM!! Vote this mistake in and next election prepare to leave if a revolution doesn’t occur before!

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  • Christy
    11/30/2017
    ···

    The fact that this has passed to debate, and that this is not following protocol just emphasizes how insanely corrupt, spineless, and greedy this administration is.

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  • Rick
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Please do not use tax reform to weaken or repeal the Johnson Amendment, which keeps divisive partisan politics out of nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations. I am concerned that efforts to repeal or weaken the Johnson Amendment would harm my community Experts warn that the tax bill as written would reduce charitable giving to the work of nonprofits by more than $13 billion every year and limit the charitable deduction to only the wealthiest taxpayers. This policy change will wipe out more than 220,000 nonprofit jobs and impact the important work these groups are doing. A simple solution exists: Add a Universal Deduction for charitable giving to the tax reform bill during the floor debate. Thank you!

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  • KansasTamale
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Vote NO on the GOP tax bill. It does nothing for the country except make the debt higher & the deficit worse. It will make sure the wealthy get richer and they will pocket that money. None will advance their company or build new businesses, it will only hurt the middle class and the poor will suffer the worst because their tax rate will go up 2%. For them 2% could be the difference between eating or having a place to live. The entitlement reform that is sure to follow when they decide the amount added to the deficit is too much will put the elderly at risk because the GOP will cut Medicare, Medicaid and even Social Security which is paid for by the people receiving their retirements. This bill stinks like week old fish!!!

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  • Donna
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Any YES vote for this sham by my Colorado Senators will be reciprocated with a NO vote during your next reelection campaign. I may not be a rich donor, but I do have a lot of friends here with the power of the vote. This Congress has already screwed the lower and middle class voters enough this year. Maybe you should examine your conscience and screw the donors instead. Most of them are from out of state and can't vote for you anyway.

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  • Nancy
    11/30/2017
    ···

    This tax legislation is completely immoral. They are raising taxes on the lower and middle classes only to cut taxes for giant corporations. They are also taking healthcare away from the people least able to pay for it. And at the same time, they are supporting a president who is mentally unstable and dangerous. Millions of people could die in a war in Asia only to fund corporate tax cuts. There are no words to express the horror of what they are doing!

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