House and Senate negotiators released their thousand-page tax bill Friday evening, getting one step closer to passing sweeping legislation that would provide deep tax cuts for corporations and tax breaks for the wealthy, while offering what most economists say are more limited benefits for middle-class Americans.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 would lower the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, eliminate the corporate alternative minimum tax which ensures corporations pay at least some tax on their income, lower the top individual income tax rate and raise the threshold for inheritances to be subject to the estate tax.
It lowers tax rates overall within seven brackets, and keeps popular deductions including on student loans, medical expenses and charitable giving, and curtails the mortgage interest deduction and deductions people take on state and local taxes if they choose not to take the standard tax deduction.
Individuals may see some relief in the form of a doubled standard deduction, but at least two independent analyses have found that people making less than $75,000 would actually pay more in taxes in the next ten years.
Congress is expected to begin voting on the bill early next week.
Two key Republican holdouts did a 180-degree turn on Friday and now support the GOP tax bill: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.
While several Republicans say they are still waiting to see the final bill, right now, it does not appear a single Republican is on the record as a “no” vote.
Rubio, who on Thursday was a “no’ vote, now appears on board after Republicans expanded the child tax credit.
Corker, who was the sole Republican to oppose the original Senate bill over concerns about the deficit, is also now a yes.
“After great thought and consideration, I believe that this once-in-a-generation opportunity to make U.S. businesses domestically more productive and internationally more competitive is one we should not miss,” Corker said in a statement.
“In the end, after 11 years in the Senate, I know every bill we consider is imperfect and the question becomes is our country better off with or without this piece of legislation. I think we are better off with it. I realize this is a bet on our country’s enterprising spirit, and that is a bet I am willing to make.” he concludes.
Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, also shared the same concerns with Rubio about the child tax credit. On Friday, Lee signaled he might be coming around in support of the bill in a statement to ABC News.
“Sens. Rubio, Heller, and Scott have done a tremendous job fighting for working families this week and they have secured a big win,” Sen. Lee said. “I look forward to reading the full text of the bill and, hopefully, supporting it.”
On Thursday, there were concerns the potential absence of Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., could complicate the bill’s chances.
McCain, who is undergoing treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer, was not at work Thursday in the U.S. Senate. His office reported that he is “receiving treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center for normal side effects of his ongoing cancer therapy.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan said that considerations of absences in the Senate could impact which chamber takes the first votes.
“There is discussion about this,” Ryan said. “It’s all about timing and managing absences in the Senate.”
GOP leaders are optimistic that they will get this done.
Asked if he’s confident this will pass, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, responded with just one word: “yes.”
Here is what ABC News has learned will be included in that bill:
— Corporate rate to 21%, down from 35% under current law. Takes effect in 2018.
— Eliminates Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax – Had been “rolled back” but not repealed in previous versions, according to Sen. John Cornyn.
— Pass-through deduction rate set at 20% for first $315,000 of joint income
FOR THE WEALTHY
— Top individual rate to 37%, down from 39.6% under current law.
— Individual Alternative Minimum Tax exemption increased to $500k for individuals, $1 million for couples filing jointly.
FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS
— Standard deduction increased from $12,700 to $24,000 (had been previously reported as $24,400) for joint returns and from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals. According to the Tax Policy Center, more than two-thirds of Americans take the standard deduction when filing taxes.
— Tax brackets: 7 brackets + a 0% rate 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, 37%
— Doubles the amount of the current exemption from the Estate Tax (currently $5.5 million)
For those who ITEMIZE instead of take the standard deduction
— State and local tax deduction capped at $10,000 combined from any/all categories (property/income/sales taxes). Current law caps property tax deduction at $1 million. There are no current caps on state/local income tax deduction.
— Mortgage interest deduction capped at $750k, down from $1 million under current law.
— Graduate school stipend deduction (tax-free tuition waivers) preserved.
— Student loan interest deduction preserved.
— Medical expense deduction is preserved. It allows Americans to deduct medical expenses not covered by insurance that exceed 10 percent of adjusted gross income.
— Child Tax Credit preserved. Expanded from $1,000 to $2,000 and refundable up to $1,400 – had previously been refundable up to $1,100 but Rubio got it raised
— Adoption tax credit is preserved
— Charitable giving tax deduction is preserved
— Repeal of individual mandate requiring health insurance. According to CBO, repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate insurance could lead to 13 million more Americans without health insurance, while saving the government $338 billion in federal health insurance subsidy payments over the next decade.