Efforts to make changes to the federal tax code are moving forward in Washington as Republican Senate leaders attempt to find the needed votes for passage.
U.S. Senator Deb Fischer, a Republican, believes Congress will approve a tax package.
“I’m feeling pretty positive about it,” Fischer tells Nebraska Radio Network. “When I visit with Nebraskans, they want to see tax reform done. They want to see tax cuts happen.”
The Senate bill differs somewhat from the House bill approved earlier.
A handful of Republican senators aren’t sold on the plan and Senate leaders are working to allay their concerns to secure the votes they need.
Fischer says the plan will bring tax relief to the Middle Class.
“That was my number one priority, to be able to look at how we can let people keep more of their own money in their pocket and this proposal that we’re putting out there does that,” according to Fischer.
Fischer has a vested interest in the bill. It includes her paid family leave proposal. The two-year pilot program would provide a 25% tax credit to businesses which provide paid family leave.
Senate Republican leaders seemed optimistic after meeting with President Trump about the tax package. Reform of the federal tax code remains a top priority of both the president and Congressional leaders, who hope to have something passed this year.
The Senate Budget Committee approved the bill on a 12-11 vote, passing the bill on to the full Senate for debate, which could still take place this week. The Senate bill differs from the version approved by the House earlier this month.
The Senate doesn’t change the individual income tax brackets as drastically, maintaining the current seven brackets. Both bills nearly double the standard deduction, which would allow several individuals as well as couples to skip itemizing deductions, reducing their paperwork. Individual filers would no longer be able to deduct what they pay in property taxes and local income and sales taxes in the Senate bill while the House bill allows property tax deductions up to $10,000.
While the House bill would cap the mortgage interest deduction, the Senate bill maintains the current deduction. A big addition to the Senate bill is a provision which would repeal the individual mandate to buy health insurance contained in the Affordable Care Act.
The corporate tax rate would drop from 35% to 20% in both bills. The bills would also change how multinational corporations are taxed.