As reconciliation begins, Iowa senators shore up support for tax reform

WASHINGTON D.C. (KCRG-TV9) -- One of Iowa's two Republican senators says tax reform will happen before Christmas.

U.S. lawmakers are working right now to reconcile differences between the House and Senate bills.

The reform calls for the biggest changes to the national tax code in 30 years. The GOP promises the middle class will benefit and the reduced regulations will spur the country's economy.

It's a big moment for the right- which has been looking for a major legislative win since the start of the year.

"I think we'll have something on the president’s desk by Christmas," said Sen. Ernst.

The Iowa Republican senator’s comments come as the conference committees try to reconcile a number of key differences between the Senate and House files. They include the estate tax, tax cuts for individuals and the Obamacare individual mandate.

In that case, the Senate version eliminates the mandate. It could potentially save hundreds of billions of dollars but gain 13 million uninsured Americans, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Sen. Ernst and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R), Iowa, have spent the last few days reassuring their constituents the reform makes sense.

"The whole thing is to grow the economy,” said Sen. Grassley. “Give a middle-income tax cut. Make sure our corporations are competitive in a global economy."

Critics claim the reform won't do as Republicans promise, citing the recent CBO report which found most Americans making less than $75,000 annually will end up spending more over the next ten years.

But, both Grassley and Ernst cited another report from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. It found the Senate's plan would mean thousands in savings for some Iowa families.

"They determined our average family of four in Iowa could see $2,600 of savings,” said Sen. Ernst. “Meaning their wages are kept in their own pockets."

The clock is ticking on reform if the right wants that success before Christmas break. Despite not having cooperation from Democrats, who largely said the legislation has been slammed through Congress, the GOP expects victory.