Small Businesses Could Win Big from Senate Vote on Tax Reform

The U.S. Senate at week’s end pushed the tax bill to an inevitable vote and included a popular provision for small businesses.

Senate Republicans agreed to boost the deduction for pass-through businesses from 17.4 percent to 23 percent, The Hill reported. Many small businesses are so-called pass-through businesses that don’t have the same tax advantages as large corporations.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., announced the provision. “I appreciate the Senate leadership’s willingness to work to close the gap between pass-through businesses and C corporations,” he said.

Earlier this week, senators voted 52-48 along party lines to take up the House-passed legislation. Alabama’s senators, Republicans Richard Shelby and Luther Strange, voted to begin debate.

The unanimous Republican vote is an indication that the tax bill probably will pass prior to the Dec. 31 end of the tax year.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Friday that the Senate has the votes to pass the tax bill. The Senate needs only 50 votes to advance the legislation under the fast-track budget procedure known as reconciliation that the GOP is using, assuming that Vice President Mike Pence casts the deciding vote.

“This week’s vote can be the beginning of the next great chapter for the American worker,” President Trump said, adding that the tax cuts would ensure a “merry Christmas” for the country, The Hill reported.

The House-passed bill contains a provision to cut corporate income taxes from 35 percent to 20 percent, a provision that will encourage more domestic investment and possibly return overseas American-owned businesses to the United States.

As soon as the Senate approves its verison, Congress would have this month to work out differences between the Senate and House bills, The Hill reported.

The Business Council of Alabama’s national partners, the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, support tax reform as a kick-starter for economic growth and job growth.


House Likely to Vote on Stopgap Funding Through Dec. 22; House Speaker Says It’s Up to Democrats to Keep Government Operating

Roll Call (Shutt 11/29) “House Republicans are preparing a stopgap spending bill that could fund the government through Dec. 22, according to two House GOP sources. The House Republican Conference [was] expected to discuss the stopgap spending bill, or continuing resolution, during a meeting Friday morning, according to a senior House GOP aide.

“Such a bill would buy more time for negotiations as the deadline to avoid a partial government shutdown inches closer. But, Senate aides said there was not yet bicameral agreement on the date or content of the measure, though time is short before the current stopgap bill expires Dec. 8.

“‘We will pass a short-term CR to keep the government open. And if the Senate Democrats choose to filibuster, then they will have chosen to shut the government down,’ (Speaker Paul) Ryan said.

“Whether such a bill could pass the Senate remains to be seen. Republicans could attach a third disaster aid bill, which will be upward of $44 billion, to the CR. That would make it difficult for Democrats to vote no. But Ryan indicated Thursday that would not happen because appropriators won’t be able to draft that legislation in time.”