WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump’s tax reform plans won partial support on Friday when Republican U.S. Senator Rand Paul said he was “all in” for massive tax cuts, but the party was still far from united over how to achieve the main item on its domestic agenda.
Trump’s drive to overhaul the U.S. tax code cleared a critical hurdle on Thursday when the Senate approved a budget measure that will allow Republicans to pursue a tax-cut package without Democratic party support.
But Republicans, who control both the Senate and House of Representatives, have yet to produce a tax reform bill as a self-imposed deadline to overhaul the U.S. tax code by the end of the year approaches. The party’s lawmakers differ widely on what cuts to make and how to pay for them.
They are under intense pressure to succeed on tax reform after failing so far to make good on their other main legislative ambition: scrapping Obamacare, the signature healthcare law of former President Barack Obama.
On major world markets, stock prices advanced on Friday, bond yields rose, and the U.S. dollar strengthened on increased hopes that Trump could make progress on his fiscal plans.
Democrats are likely to reject the Trump administration’s tax plan, which promises to deliver up to $6 trillion in tax cuts to businesses and people but will bloat the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade.
Senator Rand Paul, a fiscal hawk, was the lone Republican to vote against the budget measure on Thursday. He objected to spending levels that he said would exceed agreed caps by $43 billion, and called for spending reforms for so-called entitlements such as the Medicare and Medicaid health insurance programs.
On Friday, Paul said in a post on Twitter that he was “all in” for the “biggest, boldest cuts possible - and soon!” But he did not address the specifics of the tax plan.
Trump on Friday expressed optimism about the tax reform, saying Paul would eventually back the proposed tax measure when it comes up for a vote.
“The Budget passed late last night, 51 to 49. We got ZERO Democrat votes with only Rand Paul (he will vote for Tax Cuts) voting against,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “This now allows for the passage of large scale Tax Cuts (and Reform), which will be the biggest in the history of our country!”