February 11, 2016

Senate GOP breaks Democrat filibuster; advances tax cuts (AUDIO)

A Republican ultimatum forces Senate Democrats to get out of the way of a watered-down tax cut bill.  Republicans have put the bill into position for passage today by breaking a Democratic filibuster early this morning.

Senator Will Krause of Lee’s Summit had gotten a more ambitious tax cut and sales tax increase proposal through the Senate earlier this year .  But the House supports a weaker plan that phases in a fifty percent business tax cut in the next five years, cuts the corporate income tax rate by three percent in ten years or more, and lowers the individual income tax rate by a half-percent in the next ten years or more.

The “or more” phrase is important to both sides because the tax cuts would not go into effect unless the economy grows by at least $100 million a year. And the sales tax increase in the earlier bill has been eliminated.

Democrat floor leader Jolie Justus and her other nine Democrat senators had  held up the bill until they were told to back off or other issues they oppose would be taken to a vote. Justus thinks a veto by Governor Nixon is likely.  Nixon already indicated a dislike for the earlier bill.

AUDIO: Justus :09

Kraus, however, thinks a governor’s veto would be overridden.

AUDIO: Kraus :12

The final senate vote is expected this afternoon. If the House approves some Senate changes, the bill goes to the Governor.