The tax bill is not exactly what the Arizona senator said he wanted.
Once again, John McCain might hold the fate of President Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s biggest legislative priority in the palm of his hands.
Where does the Arizona senator, the maverick who helped sink Obamacare repeal this summer, stand on the GOP tax bill?
He’s not really saying.
McCain says he’s still undecided on the tax bill. Concerns? “A lot of things.”
— Richard Rubin (@RichardRubinDC) November 27, 2017
McCain is likely to be a critical vote. Senate Republicans need 50 of their 52 members to support the tax plan. With a few deficit hawks and moderates like Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in doubt, he could end up being the 50th vote in favor or the third vote against.
The senator, who was diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year, could probably find reason to oppose the plan if he wanted to. But his style throughout the year has been to keep his cards close to his chest. Before dramatically voting down Obamacare repeal earlier this year, McCain only offered to reporters: “Watch the show.”
What does McCain want? He’s been preoccupied with the process that produced the tax bill, demanding “regular order” rather than a rushed and secretive negotiation. He has praised Republican leaders at times for running the tax bill through regular order, but other times blanched at last-minute changes, more of which could be coming. The Senate is currently debating a major alteration that would trigger automatic tax hikes if the federal deficit grows too much in later years.
He also wanted a bipartisan bill, whereas Senate Republicans decided to pass their tax overhaul through budget reconciliation explicitly so they wouldn’t need Democrats to vote for it. No Senate Democrat is expected to back Read More Here