One of the issues that is already causing problems for Republicans is the alternative minimum tax for businesses, which the House eliminated in its version of the bill but the Senate retained at 20 percent in a last-minute effort to pay for other cuts.
While most GOP lawmakers in both chambers (and virtually all corporate lobbyists) would prefer to eliminate the AMT entirely, there’s the question of how to pay for the revenue loss, which is pegged at about $40 billion over 10 years by the Joint Committee on Taxation.
However, that estimate may understate the actual cost considerably. NYU law professor Lily Batchelder, who served in the Obama administration, thinks that the Senate’s proposed corporate AMT would actually raise more than $300 billion over 10 years, so cutting it will be that much more costly.
While Batchelder’s estimate is unlikely to change the scorekeeper’s official tally, it does help explain why some businesses are fighting the Senate’s proposal so vigorously – and why it’s looking less likely that the provision will remain in the final bill.