At 1:51 a.m. ET Saturday, the Senate passed a nearly $1.5 trillion Republican tax bill with a 51-49 vote. The bill largely benefits businesses and wealthier individuals.
Zero Democratic senators voted in favor of the bill, and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., was the only Republican to vote against the historic bill, citing concerns that the new tax plan would raise the deficit.
Corker released the following statement Saturday:“My concern about the impact a rapidly growing $20 trillion national debt will have on our children and grandchildren has been a guiding principle throughout my time in public service. And during my 10 years and 11 months in the Senate, I have consistently fought for fiscal discipline in Washington.
“I have authored comprehensive legislation to address America’s debt crisis, including the Commitment to American Prosperity (CAP) Act and the Fiscal Sustainability Act. I also have taken some really tough votes against very popular policies, including appropriations bills, budget resolutions, defense authorizations, disaster funding, and even a veterans’ bill.
“But at the same time, I have consistently advocated for pro-growth tax reform. And in my view, these are not mutually exclusive priorities.
“From the beginning of this debate, I have been a cheerleader for legislation that – while allowing for current policy assumptions and reasonable dynamic scoring – would not add to the deficit and set rates that are permanent in nature.
“I worked closely with Senator Toomey to negotiate the budget agreement that paved the way for this legislation. And I have worked diligently over the past few weeks with Senate leadership and the White House to make improvements.
“While I support a number of the provisions included in this legislation and continue to believe it would have been fairly easy to alter the bill in a way that would have been more fiscally sound without harming the pro-growth policies, unfortunately, it is clear that the caucus is in a different place.
“This is yet another tough vote. I am disappointed. I wanted to get to yes. But at the end of the day, I am not able to cast aside my fiscal concerns and vote for legislation that I believe, based on the information I currently have, could deepen the debt burden on future generations.
“I thank the administration, Senate leadership, and members of the tax-writing committee for working with me in good faith, and as I shared with President Trump when I called him a short time ago, I will take a close look at the product developed in conference before making a decision on the final legislation.”The bill is not officially law, however. Before it is presented to President Trump to sign, the House and Senate must reconcile differences between the two versions of the bills. Trump is aiming to sign the bill, which would be the most monumental piece of tax legislation in the last 30 years, before Christmas.
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