The Latest: Economic adviser talks tax bill with GOP foe

November 17, 2017

Kevin Hassett, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers talks to reporters during a press briefing in the Brady press briefing room at the White House, in Washington, Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Republican-pushed tax overhaul legislation (all times local):

3:55 p.m.

The chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers says he met yesterday with a senator who opposes the senate’s tax overhaul plan.

Kevin Hassett tells reporters at the White House Friday that he met Thursday with Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, who opposes the Senate bill that would slash the corporate tax rate and reduce personal income tax rates for many.

At least five other Republican senators have yet to declare support for the plan, leaving the bill’s fate far from certain in a chamber the GOP controls by just 52-48.

Hassett declined to answer why the proposal under discussion would make the corporate tax cuts permanent, while letting the individual cuts expire.

He says the president supports making both cuts permanent, but it’s up to Congress to write the bills.

Republicans and Democrats shouted across each other in a heated Senate Finance committee hearing debating the tax bill overhaul. The Senate version of tax bill was approved and sent to the full Senate after four days of often fierce partisan debate. (Nov. 17)


6:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the Democrats could exert greater sway over the shape of tax overhaul legislation if they weren’t focused wholly on defeating it.

In a pre-dawn tweet Friday, Trump says: “If Democrats were not such obstructionists and understood the power of lower taxes, we would be able to get many of their ideas into Bill.”

In another post to his Twitter account, the president lauded “Great numbers on Stocks and the Economy.”

He says, “If we get Tax Cuts and Reform, we’ll really see some great results.”

Trump has been exultant in the wake of House passage Thursday of a massive tax cut bill that ranks as his and the Republican Party’s top legislative priority. He visited the U.S. Capitol ahead of the vote to talk to fellow Republicans there.


3:30 a.m.

Republicans have stretched closer to delivering the first big legislative victory for President Donald Trump and their party, whisking a $1.5 trillion overhaul of business and personal income taxes through the House. Thorny problems await in the Senate, though.

The House passage of the bill Thursday on a mostly party-line 227-205 vote also brought nearer the biggest revamp of the U.S. tax system in three decades.

But in the Senate, a similar measure received a politically awkward verdict from nonpartisan congressional analysts showing it would eventually produce higher taxes for low- and middle-income earners but deliver deep reductions for those better off.

The Senate bill was approved late Thursday by the Finance Committee and sent to the full Senate on a party-line 14-12 vote. Like the House measure, it would slash the corporate tax rate, and reduce personal income tax rates for many.

Update hourly