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Sen. Chuck Grassley arrives at the Capitol in Washington. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Republicans are starting to argue against the fiscal trigger being added to the Senate GOP tax plan to appease concerns from members — including Sens. Bob Corker, James Lankford and Todd Young — who don't want to blow up the deficit as a result of overhauling America's tax code.

Why it matters: An effort to win over some holdouts on the tax plan is alienating other lawmakers on both the House and Senate side, potentially jeopardizing plans for a vote tomorrow in the upper chamber. The GOP can only afford to lose two votes, but it's still unclear whether concerned members would actually vote against a bill that includes the trigger.

The concern: Although details on the "trigger" haven't been released yet, some Republicans are raising questions about whether it would eventually lead to a hike in taxes, which could spook business' outlook for economic growth. And that's part of the impetus behind overhauling the tax code in the first place.

The Republicans opposing the trigger:

  • Sen Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who called it bad for economic growth, per Bloomberg.
  • Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, per NBC.
  • Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, who said "I'm not too keen on automatic tax increases," per NYT.
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who said "I don't think it would look very good to have a bill to cut taxes that also signals to the world that we're just automatically going to increase taxes," per Talking Points Memo.
  • Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and drafted the House tax plan, per NYT.
  • Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity called it "antithetical to the principles of the unified tax framework," per NYT.
  • Americans for Tax Reform called it "a self-fulfilling threat to kill jobs."
  • American Conservative Union Foundation called it "bad policy and bad for the economy."

Republican Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch told reporters, "I'd prefer not having it there. We're probably going to have one. But I'd prefer not having it," per Reuters.

Go deeper

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Omicron outbreaks were bad for business in January

Data: New York Federal Reserve Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

Emerging anecdotal evidence shows just how hard the recent rise in COVID-19 cases hit businesses in early January — but that hasn't hurt some business leaders’ longer-term views on their companies' prospects.

Why it matters: Increasingly, the economic recovery has come in fits and starts that move in tandem with new peaks in cases. Look no further than the thousands of cancelled flights and shuttered Broadway theaters in the wake of the Omicron variant's spread over the last few months.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
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The shifting definition of fully vaccinated

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The definition of what it means to be "fully vaccinated" is evolving even as the CDC has remained careful not to officially change it.

Why it matters: CDC officials have been balancing the job of convincing Americans who've already gotten two doses of the importance of boosters with getting many Americans who still need their first doses to get their shots at all.

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Small businesses see hiring as No. 1 worry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Almost every small business owner in a Goldman Sachs survey is having trouble hiring — and two-thirds think the federal government has done too little to ease their hiring, supply-chain and inflation worries.

Why it matters: The Goldman Sachs research gives a vivid window into the continuing headwinds and hardship for entrepreneurs.