GOP senators agree to proposed $1.5 trillion cut to Medicare and Medicaid
The GOP-controlled Senate passed a sweeping budget measure late Thursday night that would set the stage for Trump’s proposed tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals.
The measure passed by 51-49 vote, with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky the only Republican to vote against it. While the budget resolution itself is nonbinding, Trump’s plan to reduce the tax burden on his corporate constituents is now one step closer to becoming reality.
The GOP may include special instructions that allow for the final tax plan to be passed by a simple majority if they believe there won’t be a Senate filibuster to block it. But proposing massive cuts to funding for social programs and healthcare in exchange for tax giveaways to the wealthy already has some Republicans up in arms.
Senator David Perdue from Georgia, who supported this initial budget resolution, is one of a handful of Republicans whose comments indicate that he may not support the final bill.
“The budget’s a sham. It has nothing to do with reality. … It’s a tool to get to reconciliation.”
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) called the budget a “hoax”.
But most Republicans publicly support the plan and believe that Trump’s proposed tax cuts will give a jolt to the economy and grow it through future tax revenues.
Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin predicted the tax package will create such massive economic growth that it will not only cover the proposed $1.5 trillion economic shortfall, but that it will begin to pay down the nation’s debt. Mnuchin and Trump want to cut tax rates on corporations from 35% to 20%, and simplify individual tax rates by creating three brackets of 35%, 25% and 12%. They have yet to decide on income levels for those brackets, but are also considering eliminating deductions that predominantly benefit the shrinking middle class.
Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted the following after the measure passed.
Republicans’ budget is not a bad bill. It’s a horrific bill.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 20, 2017
Earlier this week Sanders called the proposal “Robin Hood in reverse,” for taking away tax breaks and services from the working poor to give massive tax cuts to the rich.