McConnell: ‘We Have The Votes’ To Pass Tax Reform

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday as he was walking onto the Senate floor that Republicans have the votes to pass tax reform.

“We have the votes,” McConnell told reporters Friday morning after emerging from a closed-door meeting with Senate Republicans.

Senate leadership has spent Thursday evening and Friday morning rewriting their tax bill to get a number of Republican holdouts on board. Senators are expected to vote on the bill Friday after putting the legislation on the floor for debate.

GOP Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Steve Daines of Montana, along with a number of other Republican senators, were voicing concerns about the bill leading into Friday morning, threatening to vote against the bill if leadership did not compromise.

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn also told reporters Friday that he believed Republicans had the votes, but said Corker and Flake are likely going to vote against the bill. Three GOP defections would kill the bill, so another no vote could work to upend the first major legislative victory of President Donald Trump’s first year in the White House.

Flake announced Friday that he will vote for the bill, but said he got a commitment from leadership that they will work with him to enact protections for Dreamers.

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