- The Washington Times - Friday, October 20, 2017

Sen. Tim Scott said Friday that he’s “encouraged” by talks with the House Freedom Caucus about the Republican budget deal.

“The word coming out of the House as late last night when we were still on the floor was that the budget as we constructed it probably is acceptable for the Freedom Caucus,” the South Carolina Republican said on Fox News. “If that’s the case, that saves us about two weeks of negotiations with the House.”

Mr. Scott said that Republicans in both the House and Senate are eager to move on to tax reform and do not want to draw out the budget debate. After a late night of voting Thursday, the Senate was initially concerned that the budget may be delayed by fiscal hawks in the conservative Freedom Caucus due to the predicted increase in the deficit.

But Mr. Scott indicated Friday members of the group would pass the Senate version to streamline the process and move to tax reform.

Senate Republicans passed the budget along party lines with Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky as the lone Republican to vote against the plan due to changes in the federal spending caps.

Mr. Scott said the reason his party wants to move on tax reform is because the plan has tangible benefits for both middle-class and poverty-level families.

“The average person in this country will see about $4,000 annually stay in their paychecks. said differently $350 a month on average, the average person in our country gets to hold on to,” he said.

Democrats have argued that the Republican tax plan only benefits the wealthy and corporations without providing a break for the middle class.

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