November 30, 2017 / 11:17 PM / 16 days ago

Republican tax bill stumbles on deficit 'trigger,' new options weighed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Republican tax bill in the U.S. Senate stalled on a procedural problem late on Thursday, forcing lawmakers to weigh new options to an amendment sought by a leading fiscal hawk to address a projected large expansion of the federal deficit under the measure, senators said.

Senator Bob Corker had wanted to add a provision to the bill that would trigger automatic tax increases in years ahead if the tax cuts in the bill failed to boost the economy and generate revenues sufficient to offset the deficit expansion.

But the Senate parliamentarian barred Corker’s ”trigger“ proposal. “We just got the realization from the parliamentarian that that’s probably not going to work,” said Republican Senator David Perdue.

In response, Republicans were considering building future tax increases into their bill. ”It’s not a threshold anymore. It’s just a tax increase. ... The only thing that’s come off the table is the trigger concept,” Perdue said.

Reporting by David Morgan, Amanda Becker, Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Peter Cooney

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