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Eye On Boise

Risch praises Senate GOP tax bill, says he’s ‘committed to get this bill through’

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch speaks at a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, praising the Senate GOP tax bill. (Screenshot, Senate GOP video)
Idaho Sen. Jim Risch speaks at a press conference in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, praising the Senate GOP tax bill. (Screenshot, Senate GOP video)

Idaho Sen. Jim Risch, who chairs the Senate Small Business Committee, spoke out in favor of the Senate GOP tax bill this morning at a D.C. press conference he hosted that featured Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, several GOP members of Risch’s committee and representatives of business advocacy groups.

“Lower tax rates for small businesses is part of the conversation,” Risch declared. “I’m encouraged by the plan the Senate Finance Committee has moved out of committee. The aim of this entire exercise is to reduce the burden on taxpayers and create an environment that enables families and businesses, particularly small businesses, to thrive. With tax reform we have a real opportunity to make changes that will have a tangible, positive effect on the American people and create an environment for our nation’s job creators to prosper.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.

The Senate GOP tax bill faces a key test this afternoon in the Senate Budget Committee; Senate GOP leaders hope to bring it to a floor vote yet this week. The measure is deeply unpopular, in part because it would cut the corporate tax rate by almost half and balloon the federal deficit by $1.4 trillion over 10 years, according to latest Congressional Budget Office estimates. Senate GOP leaders hope to pass it under reconciliation rules that would allow it to pass without support from any Senate Democrats.

At this morning’s press conference, McConnell said the majority of American businesses are “what we call ‘pass-throughs,’” businesses whose income is passed through to their owners to be taxed under the individual income tax, rather than the corporate tax. “These are the job generators,” McConnell said. “Every small business group I can think of is on board for this comprehensive tax reform that we hope to clear the Senate this week. We’re excited about this opportunity. It’s been 30 years since the tax code was dealt with in such a comprehensive way.”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the Senate majority whip, said, “There have been concerns that have been raised by others about the larger pass-throughs. … Unlike the debate and votes we had on health care, every single member of the Republican Conference is working to get to ‘yes,’ and as long as people are willing to work in good faith and we come up with alternate solutions to address their concerns, I think we will have a great victory this week.”

Representatives of groups including the National Federation of Independent Business and the American Trucking Association praised the bill, saying it would bring tax cuts, simplicity and certainty. McMahon offered a similar message. “To a business, they have told me that if they have tax cuts, if they have certainty in the tax program, if they can get it done and part of their planning process, they will reinvest that money back into their businesses,” she said. “They’ll hire more people, they’ll raise their wages, they’ll reinvest in their businesses. That’s what they’re telling me across the country.”

Risch said, “All of us have been reading and listening to some negative things about this tax bill. Today you’ve heard from a real cross-section of who are going to work with this bill and what it will do for their businesses. Those of us in the Senate who are working on this are committed to get this bill through.”



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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