09162019What's Hot:

7 key players on tax reform and how they could stop the bill

Republicans are just a few steps away from accomplishing a decades-long dream — overhauling the tax code. But with the Senate hoping to vote on its tax bill in just days, at least seven Republicans may still need convincing about their party’s proposal.

Deficit hawks

“God put Republicans on Earth to cut taxes,” as the late columnist Robert Novak once put it. But conservatives also have long lamented the soaring national deficit. If the Senate tax bill adds too much red ink, it risks losing the support of these senators:

Bob Corker

Jeff Flake

Jerry Moran

Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)

Corker, who has suggested he could vote against the tax plan during a key Budget Committee vote on Tuesday, has been working with Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) on a potential mechanism to increase taxes if the tax bill doesn’t spark enough economic growth.

Don’t forget:

President Donald Trump and Corker, who isn’t seeking reelection next year, have lobbed insults at each other on Twitter in recent months. Still, Trump’s top economic advisers have been furiously lobbying to win Corker’s vote.

Advertisement

Jeff Flake (R – Ariz.)

Flake said Monday that he was “a bit” encouraged by the talks over adding a potential deficit trigger to the tax bill. Both the House and the Senate tax bills allow tax relief for individuals to expire, arguing that it would be extended by future Congresses. But deficit hawks like Flake say that masks the true costs of the tax bill.

Don’t forget:

Like Corker, Flake, who isn’t running for reelection, is a harsh critic of Trump.

Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)

Moran said at a town hall in Kansas last week that he had concerns both about repealing the individual mandate and the tax bill’s potential to rack up more debt.

Don’t forget:

The Kansas Republican was a surprise problem for GOP leaders on Obamacare repeal, just as he’s emerged to be on taxes.

Advertisement

Small business advocates

During the health care fight, Sen. Ron Johnson showed he could be a thorn in the side of leadership. Now he’s back, this time with Sen. Steve Daines, advocating for pass-through businesses.

Ron Johnson

Steve Daines

Ron Johnson (R- Wis.)

Johnson, who was the first Senate Republican to come out against the tax plan, also said Monday he could vote against the tax bill in the Budget Committee. The Wisconsin Republican has said he’s still looking for a way to make the Senate bill more generous to the so-called pass-through businesses that pay taxes through the individual system and get less tax relief under GOP proposals.

Don’t forget:

Johnson has said he wants to see fixes meant to win him over before Tuesday’s committee vote. Senate Republicans have proposed increasing a proposed tax deduction for pass-through businesses from 17.4 percent to 20 percent, but Johnson told Bloomberg he’d prefer 25 percent.

Steve Daines (R-Mont.)

Daines, a former businessman like Johnson, also believes the Senate tax bill favors corporations over smaller companies. He became the second Senate Republican to announce opposition to the tax bill on Monday, joining Johnson.

Don’t forget:

The Montana Republican has floated the idea of barring corporations from deducting their state and local taxes, which could raise billions of dollars in revenue that could be used to offer more tax relief to pass-throughs.

The moderates

Senate Republicans want to repeal the individual mandate that requires most Americans to buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty. Supporters say eliminating the mandate would save hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade to help pay for bigger tax cuts for middle-class Americans, but repealing the mandate risks losing the support of:

Susan Collins

Lisa Murkowski

Susan Collins (R- Maine)

Collins was seen as the Senate Republican most likely to have problems with the decision to scrap the individual mandate in tax reform. But Collins has also questioned the Senate’s decision to eliminate the deduction for state and local taxes entirely, and said the Senate bill cuts the corporate rate too much and shouldn’t cut the top individual rate at all.

Don’t forget:

Could the Maine Republican be won over if the Senate kept some of the state and local deduction? The House tax bill would let taxpayers still deduct up to $ 10,000 a year in property taxes.

Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

Murkowski, who has consistently opposed GOP proposals this year to repeal Obamacare, wrote this month that she supported getting rid of the individual mandate. The Alaska Republican added that didn’t mean she supported the tax bill, and that she still wanted measures to stabilize Obamacare exchanges if the individual mandate were scrapped.

Don’t forget:

Murkowski is likely to be pleased by a move to open sections of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling as part of the tax reform push.

Additional reporting by Bernie Becker.

Source: POLITICO – TOP Stories

comments powered by HyperComments

More on the topic