Tax Bill Likely Has Enough Senate Vote, But Detractors Vow to Slow Process

The bipartisan tax bill the House just passed overwhelmingly likely has enough Senate votes, but GOP detractors there vow to slow it down. The House vote approving the tax bill with key breaks for agriculture was 5 to 1.

American Farm Bureau Director of Government Affairs Dustin Sherer says that should be good news for the bill in the Senate. He says, “So, if you apply that same generalization over there, yeah, it’s got the votes to pass. It should be bipartisan. But whether or not there are senators that oppose it so much that they try to drag the process out.”

Several GOP senators now vow to do just that, seeking changes to the bill’s renewed expansion of the childcare tax credit. And Sherer points out how easy it is in the Senate to slow things down; “If one senator objects to a time agreement, you don’t get a time agreement. It’s just how that place works.”

Not having a set debate time forces multiple 60-vote procedural hurdles to overcome filibuster tactics. But Sherer says Democrats must also consider savings achieved now by making the retroactive tax cuts ahead of next year’s tax cliff for these breaks.

Sherer adds, “They have the incentive to be engaged when it comes time to talk about extending the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act expiring provisions, almost entirely fall on the individual side of the code, when farmers and ranchers file their taxes.”

This impacts how much producers pay for everything from buildings and equipment to high-interest costs, especially in an election year.

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