U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday he is nearly certain Senate Republican leaders have secured enough support to pass a budget bill that would help them approve tax legislation.
“Republicans are going for the big Budget approval today, first step toward massive tax cuts. I think we have the votes, but who knows?,” Trump tweeted.
Later Thursday, Trump told reporters at the White House, “I think we have the votes for the budget, which will be phase one of our massive tax cuts and reform.”
The Senate is scheduled to vote Thursday on a resolution to establish a federal budget framework for fiscal year 2018. The measure contains a legislative tool that would enable the 100-seat Senate, which Republicans control by a 52 to 48 margin, to approve a tax bill with a simple majority vote instead of the generally required 60 votes.
Unless there are Republican defections, the measure could be approved without Democratic support.
After failing to pass a Trump-supported effort to dismantle the nation’s health care law, commonly known as Obamacare, Senate Republicans are under pressure to approve the tax cut bill that is under consideration. The tax bill would clear the path for tax legislation that could add up to $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade to pay for tax cuts.
The Senate and the House of Representatives must agree on a budget resolution for the next fiscal year in order for Republicans reach their goal of enacting a tax bill that would be submitted to Trump for his signature by the end of this year.