The feed-the-rich tax bill that Republicans are jamming down the country’s throat is set for a vote sometime in the next 16 hours, and while it’s still unclear whether Republicans have the requisite votes to pass it, they seem to be on a much better trajectory we saw during the healthcare debacle this summer. For one, “Maverick” McCain—hero of the resistance in July—is officially on board:
The Republicans need 50 votes, and will be opposed unanimously by 47 Democrats and Bernie Sanders. That means three defections would cost them their chance, just like it did with healthcare. The Senate convened at 10:30 today, and here are the basics you need to know as we approach the witching hour:
—There are 20 hours of debate available, which means that technically this thing could persist overnight and into the early morning. It probably will, unless Republicans reach a point where they have the votes to pass the bill. If that happens, it’s go time.
—Much of the ongoing debate centers on whether to include a so-called “trigger” that would essentially raise tax rates in case of a recession in order to forestall a deficit (this could end up being a procedural problem), and the exact figure of the new corporate tax rate.
—Susan Collins (R-ME) is, predictably, one of the Republican hold-outs, just as she was with healthcare. (They never won her over back then, and she helped scuttle the whole process.) Her biggest issue now is with Republican efforts to repeal the Obamacare individual mandate (oh yeah, did I mention this tax bill is also a healthcare bill?), an amendment that allows for state and local tax deduction, the deficit trigger, and spending cuts that might be required to afford the bill.
—A couple Republicans proposed reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 22 percent, instead of 20 percent, in order to help low-income people offset income taxes, and guess what? Rich people are PISSED about that two percent, and the Koch brother crony mob are out with their gilded pitchforks.
—In all, there are ten Republicans with “concerns” about the tax bill. If three of them vote against it, it fails. The other 42 are on the record supporting it, in pretty much any iteration.
—Starting tonight, there will be a “vote-a-rama” to approve or reject amendments, and, at some point, a final vote on the overall bill itself. The odds look good that it will pass—buckle up, America, you’re a kleptocracy now.