- On Thursday, the Senate is expected to vote on its budget resolution, a key step toward tax reform.
- President Donald Trump teased the vote on Twitter, saying of he thinks the GOP has “the votes, but who knows?”
- GOP Sen. Rand Paul is the only Republican projected to vote against the measure.
President Donald Trump on Thursday teased the upcoming vote on the fiscal year 2018 budget on Twitter, appearing to be cautiously optimistic on the prospects for the major step toward passing the GOP tax reform plan.
“Republicans are going for the big Budget approval today, first step toward massive tax cuts,” Trump tweeted. “I think we have the votes, but who knows?”
After deliberating on the fiscal year 2018 budget over the past two days, the Senate is expected to take up a vote on the resolution on Wednesday. The House passed its own substantially different version of a budget on October 5.
The Senate budget will include what is known as reconciliation instructions, which will allow Republicans to eventually pass a tax reform bill through the chamber with a simple majority and avoid a Democratic filibuster. This is important since the GOP only holds a slim 52-seat majority.
Trump’s tease, casting doubt that the Republicans having enough votes to pass the resolution, appears to be in reference to resistance by Sen. Rand Paul. Paul believes the resolution does not do enough to control spending.
Despite Paul’s defection, it does appear that Republicans have enough breathing room to pass the budget. Sen. John McCain, who originally appeared to be wavering on the proposal, said he would vote for the measure as a way to kick off the tax reform process.
Additionally, the math for Republicans is a bit easier with Sen. Thad Cochran returning to Washington after a health problem and Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez expected to be away from Capitol Hill due to a corruption trial in New Jersey.