Now that the distraction in ‘Bama is finished, we turn our attention to the Billions for Billionaires bill, which oddly has lit a fire underneath amply be-chinned Mitch McConnell: he wants this thing finished before newly elected Sen. Doug Jones is seated. For obvious reasons.
Perhaps it is not a slam-dunk (yet) as Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie tells us:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is in the hospital. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) hasn’t voted in the past few days.
“Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for recovery from the side effects of another round of treatment for brain cancer … McCain, who missed a third straight day of Senate votes Wednesday, has been undergoing rounds of chemotherapy and radiation to treat glioblastoma, the terminal form of brain cancer he was diagnosed with in July. McCain has been undergoing treatments since early September at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, next to Walter Reed.”
So let’s jump into the weeds. And keep in mind, though few stories are mentioning it, the Individual Mandate repeal remains in the bill like the razor blade in the apple. Also, the Murkowski bribe: opening ANWAR to oil drilling. Because: why not?
- The bill now allows people to deduct up to $10,000 in income and property taxes. The 35 Republican representatives from California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois may be up the creek.
- Suck-it, RoJo: people owning a pass-through business will be able to exclude 20% of their income from taxes but will be taxed at ordinary rates for the rest. 500 Quatloos says he’ll vote for it anyway.
- The compromise between the Senate’s top rate of 38.5% and the House’s top rate of 39.6% is 37%. Someone missed that day at pre-algebra.
- The Senate had the Corporate Tax Rate at 20% and the House had it at 20%, so naturally the average came out to be 21%. Math, how do it work?
- The Senate bill had interest deductions for mortgages up to $1 million but the House bill had deductions up to $500,000. The final bill puts the limit at $750,000. (Methinks that someone had a pocket of quarters and could visualize it. Only guessing, of course.)
And here’s the likely schedule (also from Tiger Beat):
- Friday: Republicans are scheduled to release their tax bill.
- Monday through Wednesday: Congress is going to finish up its tax debate.
- Remainder of the week: Government funding, which expires Friday, Dec. 22.
I still think that there is a chance that this thing could blow up from deficit hawks in the so-called Freedom Caucus and those 35 blue state Republicans who don’t want to have their ass in a sling, especially from big GOP donors in blue states.