On Thursday, October 19, the Senate adopted their budget resolution by a vote of 51 to 49. As a result, Congressional Republicans are one big step closer to having the legislative tool they need to pass a tax cut package.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was the only Republican no vote. As Senators worked on adopting their resolution, they were attempting to coordinate with House Republican leadership. They hope and expect that the House can make quick work of the Senate resolution and approve the modified resolution this week.
The deal would allow for a ten-year $1.5 trillion tax cut that does not have to be offset (paid for) over ten years. The deal drops the House directive to find $200 billion in mandatory and entitlement spending cuts. The resolution directs the Senate Finance Committee to come up with a tax package by November 13 but that date is not binding. It also sets spending levels that would result in flat non-defense spending levels for 2017 and cut levels well into the future while allowing significant increases in the defense budget. These provisions, however, will have to be dealt with separately as part of a bill that gets signed by the President.