Nov 28, 2017

Senate Budget Committee votes 12-11 to advance tax bill

Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee look over amendments during the markup of Senate's fiscal year 2018 budget resolution, Photo: AP

The Senate Budget Committee has voted to advance the Senate tax bill by a 12-11 margin, with only Republicans voting in favor. GOP leadership hopes to bring the bill up for a vote before the full Senate by the end of the week.

Why it matters: The 12-11 vote was just a procedural move, but it was a critical hurdle given that some Republicans had expressed concerns about the bill. Two Republicans who had been holding out, Bob Corker and Ron Johnson, both voted "yes.”

Yes, but: Johnson spokesman Ben Voekel said the senator's support was only a vote for "moving the process forward."

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Skepticism rises over government's small business bailouts

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America today launched its $350 billion bailout for small businesses, and already there is widespread skepticism that the program will run smoothly or be large enough to meet demand.

What's new: House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy yesterday said that the affiliation rule will be waived for any company with less than 500 employees that doesn't have a controlling outside shareholder, thus making most VC-backed startups eligible for PPP loans. This was based on a conversation he'd just had with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.