McCain Is A Yes On Tax Reform

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein.

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Jack Crowe Political Reporter
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Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona announced Thursday he will vote for the Senate tax reform bill after weeks spent refusing to voice support for the legislation.

“After careful thought and consideration I have decided to support the Senate tax reform bill,” McCain said in a statement. “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.”

McCain, who cast a decisive vote against Obamacare repeal in August, has been tightlipped regarding his specific objections to the bill, publicly stating that he had multiple concerns but refusing to elaborate on a number of occasions.

McCain attributed much of his opposition to the Republican Obamacare repeal bill to the leadership’s decision to forego regular order in an attempt to rush the bill to President Donald Trump’s desk. This time around, McCain praised the leadership for their deference to procedure.

“For months, I have called for a return to regular order, and I am pleased that this important bill was considered through the normal legislative processes, with several hearings and a thorough mark-up in the Senate Finance Committee during which more than 350 amendments were filed and 69 received a vote,” McCain said in the statement.

The announcement comes one day after GOP Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska conceded their support for the bill.

The dissenting lawmakers’ objections were due to a variety of concerns. Murkowski and GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine oppose the decision to repeal the Obamacare tax levied against individuals who choose to go uninsured as part of the tax bill.

Johnson and GOP Sen. Steve Daines of Montana object to the disparity between the generous cuts provided to corporations and the cuts included for small businesses, which qualify as pass through entities and as a result pass their earnings on to be taxed on the individual return of their owners. Johnson announced his support after leadership agreed to provide a more generous break to pass through entities.

McCain’s decision strikes a decisive blow to Republican opposition as only three lawmakers, Collins, Daines and Jeff Flake of Arizona remain publicly undecided. Daines cast a procedural vote in favor of the bill Tuesday and Collins hinted Thursday morning she would likely support the bill, which suggests both lawmakers will ultimately come around.

The Senate is expected to vote Thursday night or Friday morning.

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