Nicholas Goldberg: The reprieve we got on Nov. 8 after the House passed the GOP tax bill has led me to be optimistic that the tax package could be passed in the Senate when it comes up for a vote in January.
“What I hope, what I think is critical, that Republicans, once again, and this time in a bipartisan way, they’re able to get a deal done,” he said. “The problem, of course, is that the Senate, you know, has the same problem they have in the House and they just don’t understand why they can’t get anything through the Senate, so I’m cautiously optimistic.”
The Senate has until Jan. 3 to pass the tax plan and, because tax reform is so complex and the Senate has 60 votes, the GOP will not likely be able to ram the tax bill through with only a simple majority.
But GOP Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Susan Collins (Maine) have all recently said that they will back the tax bill, which is what is needed to pass the legislation with bipartisan support, but as long as it does not receive all the needed committee votes in the upper chamber it will not be able to pass.
Goldberg explained that, in addition to the tax bill, Republicans will also be coming up with an alternative to the Affordable Care Act, and it is something that many Americans want and support, but they cannot achieve the 60 votes needed to pass tax reform.
“I think we’re going to have a new plan to replace the Affordable Care Act that will be very similar, but, of course, it has to have the 60 votes to pass,” Goldberg said.
However, he stressed that the alternative bill would have to have, perhaps, a few tax increases to make it more appealing to mainstream Republicans who see raising taxes as a big problem.
“There are no tax increases,” he said. “The only tax increase is the repeal of the individual mandate, and that takes care of the cost to the individual taxpayers, which is $3,000,