Schumer Calls for Delay on Tax Bill After Election of Doug Jones (AL)
December 13, 2017
Senate Minority Leader calls for GOP to delay tax bill after Alabama election; GOP reaches tentative agreement to increase corporate tax rate in bill from 20 percent; Trump signs $700 billion defense policy bill; U.S. Consumer Prices Rise by 0.4% in November.
- Senate Minority Leader calls for GOP to delay tax bill after Alabama election. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is demanding that Republicans delay their vote on the tax plan in the wake of Tuesday’s special election in Alabama. Democrat Doug Jones won the special election, defeating GOP candidate Roy Moore. Jones’s win will narrow the GOP majority in the Senate down to 1 seat, 51-49, which complicates Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) ability to pass the tax legislation. Democratic senators and progressive outside groups immediately took action to try to delay the vote for the tax bill. However, Jones isn’t expected to impact the timeline for tax reform, as Republicans want to vote on the tax bill next week, while Alabama officials have said they will not certify the Senate race results until Dec. 26, meaning that Jones might not be seated until January. [The Hill]
- GOP reaches tentative agreement to increase corporate tax rate in bill from 20 percent. Republican negotiators have reached a tentative agreement to increase the corporate tax rate in their House-Senate tax bill by 1 percent, from 20 to 21 percent, in order to seek the revenue they need to pay for significant changes that could be sold as tax relief for individuals. The higher corporate tax rate could pay for a reduction in the top individual rate, which Republicans are considering lowering to 37 percent, beneath the current top rate of 39.6 percent and lower than the rates set by the bills passed by the House and Senate earlier this year. The higher corporate tax rate could also pay for keeping more deductions for taxpayers, particularly in high-tax states that would be severely impacted by proposals to eliminate the state and local tax deduction or a cap on the property tax deduction. [The Hill]
- Trump signs $700 billion defense policy bill. President Trump signed a nearly $700 billion annual defense policy bill on Tuesday. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizes the military to add troops, ships, planes and other equipment, yet Congress still has to pass a spending bill to make the buildup a reality. The NDAA passed Congress last month with large, bipartisan majorities, 356-70 in the House and by voice vote in the Senate. The bill authorizes $626.4 billion for the base defense budget and $65.7 billion for a war fund known as the Overseas Contingency Operations. The funding would add 7,500 active-duty soldiers to the Army, 4,000 active-duty sailors to the Navy, 1,000 active-duty Marines and 4,100 active-duty airmen to the Air Force. The money would also allow for a 2.4 percent pay raise for troops. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- U.S. Consumer Prices Rise by 0.4% in November. The Labor Department reported on Wednesday that its consumer price index rose by 0.4 percent in November after increasing by 0.1 percent in October. The increase in consumer prices was primarily due to a jump in energy prices, which surged up by 3.9 percent in November after dropping by 1.0 percent in October. Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices increased by 0.1 percent in November after rising by 0.2 percent in the month prior. The uptick in core consumer prices reflected a continued increase in shelter prices and motor vehicle insurance prices, used cars and trucks, and new vehicles. Compared to November a year ago, consumer prices were up by 2.2 percent and core consumer prices were up by 1.7 percent. [NASDAQ]