Republicans are still going to vote for Trump's tax plan

The big news is that Trump's inner circle is in trouble. But the Republicans are still trying to change the economy

Published December 1, 2017 1:33PM (EST)

Mitch McConnell (Getty/Drew Angerer)
Mitch McConnell (Getty/Drew Angerer)

Amid news that President Donald Trump's former national security adviser pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador, and despite uncertainty from within the Republican Party, leadership claims to have the votes needed to pass tax reform.

"We have the votes," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on Friday, according to The New York Times. Senator John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican, also said the same thing.

Republicans had been uncertain about mustering up at least 50 votes for the bill heading into Friday morning after some late-night drama on Thursday.

Senate Republicans who had been skeptical of the proposed tax plan such as Jeff Flake of Arizona, Steve Daines of Montana and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, are now supporting the bill and are expected to vote yes when the floor votes late on Friday afternoon.

Corker attempted to include a trigger in the tax plan that would kick in if the promised economic growth had not actually materialized, but that plan was rejected on Friday, the Times reported.

However, the legislation will also "now include a $10,000 deduction for state and local property taxes in a bid to sway Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who remains on the fence," the Times reported. Collins has still expressed skepticism.

"I don’t know how Senator Cornyn can speak for me, I speak for myself," Collins said on Friday, surrounded by reporters, according to the Times.

But Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, have heavily lobbied "for an amendment that would allow more low-income families to claim an expanded child tax credit." That could only be funded if the corporate tax rate was slightly higher at 22 percent, than the proposed 20 percent. Trump does not support that change, but it's not clear — and unlikely — if Rubio or Lee would oppose the legislation because they don't receive their amendment.

Even if Collins and Corker oppose the bill, the Republicans look positioned to have 50 yes votes, which would allow Vice President Mike Pence to break the tie. A vote is expected later on Friday afternoon.

By Charlie May

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