John McCain isn’t the only GOP senator who will be voting for the tax bill despite concerns over some of its effects — a sign of just how eager Republicans are to accomplish a core item on their agenda and just how acutely they feel the political pressure heading into a midterm election year. Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur:
“Some Republican senators hate that they’re about to vote for a bill that cuts individual tax rates before raising them back in a few years. Others hate that they might have to approve spring-loaded tax hikes if deficits increase. Some hate that large corporations would get a lower tax rate than family-owned businesses. And plenty of GOP senators hate that their once-in-generation opportunity to rewrite the tax code wouldn’t abolish the estate tax that conservatives detest.”
Republicans clearly, desperately, want to get to “yes,” but whether they can or not may well depend on one other controversial provision still being negotiated: the revenue trigger that would raise taxes if the economy and federal receipts don’t grow as projected. Sen. Bob Corker and some fellow GOP deficit hawks want that backstop to be included, while other senators don’t like the idea. Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, for example, reportedly said Tuesday he’d have to be drunk to vote for it and that he’d rather drink weed killer. But by Wednesday, he was moderating those sentiments. “I said if I voted for it, consider me drunk,” he told reporters. “And I may have to get drunk to vote for the bill.”
While it’s pretty clear at this stage that Republicans will do whatever it takes to get to yes, the trigger may not comply with the Senate’s budget rules. The question then will become whether Corker and a few other senators who have expressed concerns about the tax bill’s deficit effects would hold their noses and fall in line too.