Update: Right on cue, Jeff Flake has announced that he will support the bill. So that’s cool.
Original Story: After an eventful day yesterday in which the Senate was open to debate over the Republicans’ proposed tax reform bill for 20 hours, Republicans are planning a final vote today.
Senator John Cornyn, the majority whip, claims his party has the votes to muscle the bill through Congress. Democrats and Bernie Sanders all unanimously plan to vote against the bill, since Republicans are rejecting every attempt they make at amending it. This means that if three Republicans vote against the bill, the bill cannot pass.
As our own Shane Ryan wrote in yesterday’s primer, there are ten Republicans who have expressed concerns over the bill, mostly over how it increases the federal deficit and also somehow cuts Medicare and Medicaid. They don’t seem to have a problem with the fact that the bill is designed to benefit corporations and the wealthy.
That list of ten Republicans has since dwindled. One after another, holdouts have been announcing their support for the bill (including John McCain, that wild rogue maverick). The New York Times reports that there are still three senators who have not announced support for the bill, and if they all hold out, the bill cannot pass. Those senators are Bob Corker, Jeff Flake and Susan Collins. Each one of those senators either has a personal feud with President Trump or a track record of voting against evil Republican bills in the last year. Collins voted against the ACA repeal, effectively scuttling it. Flake has repeatedly decried the raising of the federal deficit (which would increase by $1 trillion under the bill). Corker has voiced similar concerns, but voted to pass the bill through the Senate Finance Committee earlier this week.
All three of those senators could flip either way. If a single one of them does, America will go deeper into debt, and corporations across the country will suddenly have more power and money than ever.
The Republicans plan on voting tonight. If you are represented by Corker, Flake or Collins, now would be an excellent time to call them and tell them what you think of the GOP’s plan to give their money away to corporate entities.