Senate GOP Reaches Tentative Deal for 10-Year, $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker
Sen. Bob Corker / Getty Images
September 19, 2017

Senate Republicans announced Tuesday that they have struck a tentative deal for sweeping tax reform, with tax cuts totaling $1.5 trillion over 10 years.

Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) informed reporters with the Wall Street Journal about the deal, but declined to provide specific numbers. The deal was reached after a Tuesday Senate Republican working lunch. Vice President Mike Pence was reportedly also in attendance.

The plan itself has not yet been written. House, Senate, and White House tax leaders are scheduled to release more information next week.

Part of passing such a tax cut would require Republicans negotiating and passing a budget with offsets for the reduction in incomes. If Republicans can create a revenue-neutral bill, they will be able to, under Senate rules, pass their budget and tax cut through on a simple majority vote, i.e. without needing to pick up any Democratic votes.

Reducing the size of the budget will also allow Republicans to avoid making tough calls on removing tax deductions from the current code. Though large, the cuts may not be permanent, with some allowed to sunset after 10 years.

Democrats were critical of the plan out of the gate, noting the nation's $20 trillion debt and projected $10 trillion deficit over the next decade. Continued deficit spending at this scale could endanger the U.S.'s credit-worthiness, as when Standard & Poor's downgraded it in 2011.

"If this was starting with a clean balance sheet, it would be problematic," Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.) said. "But it is exponentially more problematic."