Analysis: Tax bill will increase federal deficit by $1T; Senate delays vote

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell makes remarks after President Donald Trump's visit to Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Thursday, the Joint Committee on Taxation released a report that estimates the GOP tax bill would grow the deficit by $1 trillion over 10 years. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI

Dec. 1 (UPI) — The non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation released an analysis of the Senate Republicans’ tax bill Thursday, estimating the federal deficit will increase by nearly $1 trillion despite Republicans’ claims the bill would balance the budget.

According to the JCT analysis, the federal deficit would grow by $407 billion directly from the tax cuts, while the overall effect will be nearly $1 trillion over 10 years.

The estimates contradict what Republican leaders said was a fiscally responsible tax bill that would cut — not grow — the deficit.

Last month, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky told CNN the tax bill would be revenue-neutral. Earlier this month, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the bill would “pay for itself” and “pay down debt.”

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Finance, said the JCT confirms Democrats’ criticisms of the Republican-led bill.

“This score that I’ve just gotten ends the fantasy about magical growth and claims that tax cuts pay for themselves,” he said, according to The Hill.

But Republican leaders have pushed back against the JCT analysis. Julia Lawless, spokeswoman for finance committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said JCT analyzed a draft of the bill that is not yet in its final form.

“An analysis of tax provisions that do not reflect the final outcome of the evolving Senate tax bill — which will be amended on the floor this week — is incomplete,” Lawless said.

Indeed, several Republicans are demanding changes to the bill as it’s currently written because the tax cuts do not cover the overall cost of the bill.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told reporters that a vote scheduled for Thursday evening would be postponed and another debate would be held Friday morning.

In addition, the Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that a fiscal “trigger” to appease deficit hawks will not work under Senate rules, CNBC reported.

 

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