You Can Ignore All but One Thing in Senate Budget Vote

In addition to usual political theatrics, it includes language to speed up Trump's tax plan
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2017 6:19 AM CDT
You Can Ignore All but One Thing in Senate Budget Vote
President Trump is happy that his tax plan remains on track.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Senate passed its version of a budget blueprint Thursday night, but even lawmakers acknowledge that it's safe to ignore almost all of it. The blueprint that passed on a 51-49 vote contains many items great for political posturing but unlikely to actually become law. However, its passage accomplishes one huge thing for Republicans and President Trump—it includes parliamentary language that will make it possible for the GOP to pass the president's upcoming tax plan with a simple majority, meaning Democrats won't be allowed to filibuster, reports the New York Times. As Republican Bob Corker, who sits on the Budget Committee put it: "The only thing about this that matters is preparation for tax reform." He called the rest of the budget process "the biggest hoax hatched upon the American people ever," per Politico.

Trump himself quickly praised the vote, hailing it overnight Thursday in a tweet as the "first step toward delivering MASSIVE tax cuts." He continued Friday morning. "This now allows for the passage of large scale Tax Cuts (and Reform), which will be the biggest in the history of our country!" he wrote. Now comes what the Wall Street Journal calls a "sprint" to get a tax plan written and passed before the end of the year. The newspaper lays out the difficult next steps, with both the House and Senate needing to reach agreement on the same plan. One big hurdle: The Senate's version has tax cuts that could increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, while the House version calls for no deficit increase at all. House Speaker Paul Ryan has floated the possibility of an early November vote in his chamber, which Politico sees as "ambitious." (More Senate stories.)

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