On his way to New York for three fundraisers, President Donald Trump said the corporate tax rate in the GOP plan might end up rising to 22 percent from 20 percent.
WASHINGTON — Hours after the passage early Saturday of a $1.5 trillion tax cut, President Donald Trump suggested for the first time that he would consider a higher corporate rate than the one Senate Republicans had just endorsed, in remarks that could complicate sensitive negotiations to pass a final bill.
On his way to New York for three fundraisers, Trump said the corporate tax rate in the GOP plan might end up rising to 22 percent from 20 percent.
Lawmakers in both the House and Senate had fought hard to keep the corporate rate low, with the Senate late Friday rejecting a proposal backed by some Republicans to push it up to 21 percent in exchange for more working-family tax breaks.
The Senate passed the final version of its bill on a 51-to-49 vote, with Tennessee’s Sen. Bob Corker the lone Republican voting against it on concerns that it would drive up the federal deficit. Democrats, who all voted against the measure, howled that the bill’s details were not released until hours before passage, with lobbyist-driven handwriting present on the final version.
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Senate Republicans moved fast, in part, because they wanted to comply with Trump’s demand to send him the tax-cut legislation for his signature by the end of the year.
The House and Senate intend to take steps as soon as Monday to set up a conference committee to negotiate the significant differences between the Senate plan and the version passed by the House last month. But Trump’s statement Saturday threatened to introduce a complication.
“Business tax all the way down from 35 to 20,” Trump told reporters, remarking on a core provision of the Senate bill. “It could be 22 when it all comes out, but it could also be 20. We’ll see what ultimately comes out.”
Trump’s shift perplexed some Republicans. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tried to pare back the proposed cut in corporate tax rates to 20.94 percent to provide a more generous increase in the child-tax credit. But he was rebuffed.
“Senate leaders & White House fought hard to defeat expanded #ChildTaxCredit b/c of 20.94% rate but now 22% is ok?” Rubio tweeted Saturday.
White House officials did not immediately respond to questions seeking clarity on Trump’s…