Senate expected to vote on tax plan today
December 1, 2017
The Senate will convene at 10 a.m. today (Dec. 1) and is scheduled to begin voting at 11 a.m. on H.R. 1, the Tax Reconciliation Act.
But the votes will take place in the context of the size of the increased deficit and concerns that Pay-As-You-Go rules would lead to massive cuts in spending, including in farm programs.
Lawmakers were forced to contemplate significant changes, including future tax increases, to help pay for the legislation, after the Joint Committee on Taxation found that the tax cuts would not pay for themselves by generating enough revenue through economic growth to offset the tax cuts, leading to $1 trillion to budget deficits over the next 10 years, The New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, awareness appeared to be growing that the Pay-As-You-Go rules would lead to unpopular cuts if Congress does not find a way to address that issue.
The Times also published a list of the PAYGO cuts, including those affecting the Agriculture Department such as a cut to the secretary's office and farm programs.
A farm lobbyist said ag leaders had a meeting with the staffs of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Thursday, but no one returned requests from The Hagstrom Report to discuss the content of the meeting.
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Farm groups were preparing a coalition letter urging action on the PAYGO problem, but the congressional Republican leadership convinced the farm lobbyists not to make that letter public, sources said.