The Republican Party needs these tax cuts. President Trump needs these tax cuts. The American people may or may not need these tax cuts, depending on who you ask. The real question is whether or not 50 Senators agree we need these tax cuts. Senator John McCain is now on board to be among those 50, but there’s still work to be done to get them passed.
“After careful thought and consideration, I have decided to support the Senate tax reform bill,” McCain said in a statement Thursday. “I believe this legislation, though far from perfect, would enhance American competitiveness, boost the economy, and provide long overdue tax relief for middle class families.”
That’s one potential “nay” covered. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is a firm “nay” unless changes are made to the way pass-through businesses taxes are handled.
WASHINGTON—Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) said he opposes the Senate Republican tax package, becoming the first GOP voice of dissent that, if it gains momentum, could force significant changes or jeopardize the party’s goal to pass the bill before the end of the year.
“If they can pass it without me, let them,” Mr. Johnson said in an interview Wednesday, adding that the plan unfairly benefits corporations more than other types of businesses. “I’m not going to vote for this tax package.”
Republicans can afford one more “nay” from their side and still leave it to Vice President Mike Pence to cast the tiebreaking vote. One conspicuous potential “nay” is Susan Collins, who helped Democrats kill the various Obamacare repeal and replacement bills. Her beef with the current bill surrounds certain tax credits:
Multiple sources on Capitol Hill report that Maine Sen. Susan Collins will push today to eliminate the “carried interest” provision of the tax code.
Collins should not hold tax reform hostage for the sake of this anti-investment provision. And if she does, other Republicans should stand strong and oppose her efforts.
If she does indeed vote against the plan, that means the GOP needs all four of the known question marks in the Senate to come on board. The four who have voiced concern and potential opposition to the bill are Senators Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, and Steve Daines.
Multiple liberal groups are rallying Democrats to call on these Senators and express their opposition to the plan. If the GOP can pass it, reconcile it with the House version, and put it on the President’s desk, they will have their first major piece of legislation since gaining control of the White House. If they can’t get it done, their string of failures will be glaring going into the midterm elections next year.