The looming GOP tax reform bill cleared the first stage Thursday when it passed in the House of Representatives 227 to 205.
Yet, as it now makes its way to the Senate for consideration and revision, let’s take a few minutes to acknowledge the 13 Republican lawmakers who rejected it.
For a bill that was sold as a “middle-class tax cut,” every representative who voted against it, except one, came from New York, New Jersey, and California, states with some of the highest taxes in the country.
Those lawmakers were:
From New York:
From New Jersey:
From North Carolina:
- Walter B. Jones
They opposed the legislation mainly because it curtailed state and local tax (SALT) deductions.
The bill caps the deduction for property taxes at $10,000 and eliminates the tax break for state and local income, or sales taxes.
Before we applaud their courage for standing up to their other GOP brethren, though, we must remember most politicians’ primary concern is with getting re-elected.
Based on Inside Elections ratings, six of the 13 opposing lawmakers are facing competitive races in next year’s mid-term elections. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting 11 of them.
Regardless of whether their dissent was predicated merely on political strategy or sincere principle, dissent they did, and for that they deserve our thanks.
Perhaps their opposition will inspire Senate colleagues to oppose it as well.
There are already some doubts circulating around the Senate, not least of which is coming from Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who, with Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), helped defeat the vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) in July.
However, according to CNN, Murkowski may vote yes due to arcane Senate rules combined with a bill to open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil and gas drilling.
As if the proposed Senate Republican tax plan did not put enough targets on average Americans’ backs, according to multiple reports, the revised bill includes another insult: repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.
Image credit: thehill.com