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VOL. 10 | NO. 49 | Saturday, December 2, 2017

Corker, Alexander Split in Senate Tax Reform Vote

By Bill Dries

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Tennessee’s two Republican U.S. Senators split in the Friday, Dec. 1, 51-49 Senate vote approving tax reform legislation.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker has been leading a group of self-described “deficit hawks” in the Senate who held out for triggers in the tax cuts included in the bill that would have raised tax rates in later years if the tax cuts weren’t living up to projections of economic growth.

But the triggers were ruled out of order Thursday by the Senate parliamentarian.

“From the beginning of this debate, I have been a cheerleader for legislation that – while allowing for current policy assumptions and reasonable dynamic scoring – would not add to the deficit and set rates that are permanent in nature,” Corker said in a written statement after Thursday’s vote.

“While I support a number of the provisions included in this legislation and continue to believe it would have been fairly easy to alter the bill in a way that would have been more fiscally sound without harming the pro-growth policies, unfortunately, it is clear that the caucus is in a different place,” he said. “This is yet another tough vote. I am disappointed. I wanted to get to yes. But at the end of the day, I am not able to cast aside my fiscal concerns and vote for legislation that I believe, based on the information I currently have, could deepen the debt burden on future generations.”

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander termed the bill he voted for “good for Tennesseans’ family incomes.”

“First, middle-income tax cuts leave more money in the pockets of Tennesseans,” Alexander said in a written statement. “Second, taking the handcuffs off job creators will grow the economy, create jobs and raise wages.”

The Senate version differs from the tax reform bill passed last month by the U.S. House with leaders of both chambers now starting the process of reconciling that differences.

In the House vote, Democratic U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis voted no and Republican U.S. Rep. David Kustoff of Germantown voted yes.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 133 1,342
MORTGAGES 0 131 1,047
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 1 20 171
BUILDING PERMITS 0 305 3,056
BANKRUPTCIES 17 135 753
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 53 329
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0