GOP Says Votes Sufficient for Tax Reform Measure

Siobhan HughesRichard Rubin and Kristina Peterson reported today at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “Senate Republicans are poised to pass their tax bill as soon as today after a flurry of late deal-making won over wavering senators.”Sens. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) and Steve Daines (R., Mont.) backed the bill after securing larger tax cuts for pass-through businesses such as partnerships and S corporations.

“Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) said Republicans have the 50 votes they will need to pass the bill and Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.), a possible no vote, said the bill will probably pass.”

The article pointed out that, “Republicans haven’t released the details or scheduled a vote.”

Meanwhile, a separate WSJ update from yesterday pointed to some of the potential impacts of the tax reform bill on the agriculture industry, and noted that, “Many farm groups are pleased the proposed legislation includes tax deductions for large capital purchases and other provisions that help farmers reduce large swings in their tax burdens resulting from variations in markets and weather.

“But the National Farmers Union, which advocates for small farmers, is worried about plans in the Senate version of the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s health-insurance mandate. Roger Johnson, the group’s president, said farming is among the most dangerous occupations in the country and that many farmers rely heavily on access to medical care and would be hurt by higher premium costs expected to result from the bill.

“Agricultural cooperatives want to protect deductions related to co-op costs, which farmers use to reduce their own tax obligations. Discarding that deduction—which both the versions of the legislation would do—would hurt farmers amid a multiyear slump in crop prices, said Chuck Conner, chief executive of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. ‘The timing of this couldn’t be worse,’ he said.”

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