From NBC News:
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., threw his support behind the Republican tax plan Thursday, boosting the bill’s chances of passage.
McCain said that while the Senate bill is “far from perfect,” he believes it will “enhance American competitiveness, boost the economy and provide long overdue tax relief for middle class families.”
The Maverick added, “But my wife Cindy inherited a Budweiser fortune, so fuck all that shit about working together and gimme those tax cuts!!”
While McCain’s support offered momentum, a late-in-the-day analysis from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, or JCT, concluded that the plan doesn’t live up to expectations.
The JCT estimated that, even accounting for economic growth, the tax bill would increase the deficit by $1 trillion over 10 years. Republicans have previously said economic growth would cover the costs of the bill, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, said would add $1.44 trillion to the deficit over the same time.
Assuming all Senate Democrats vote against the tax plan, Trump can afford to lose only two Republican votes — three would sink the bill.
There’s a handful of other holdouts, including Bob Corker of Tennessee,
LurchJames Lankford of Oklahoma and Jeff Flake of Arizona, who have expressed concerns about how the bill would affect the deficit.
They wanted a “trigger” mechanism that would hike taxes should the bill not prompt enough economic growth, but the Senate parliamentarian ruled late Thursday afternoon that the proposed trigger wouldn’t work under Senate rules, Corker said. Corker and Flake both announced this year that they wouldn’t seek re-election in 2018.
Trump and Republican lawmakers have repeatedly touted the bill as a boon for the middle class, despite several independent analyses that say otherwise. Two-thirds of middle-class earners would see tax increases, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.
The bill would also eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, cutting the tax credits it offered to lower-income earners who purchase health care. This would leave poorer Americans worse off, the CBO said, while top earners and corporations would benefit.
Democrats, meanwhile, have remained united in opposition.
The bill would “increase the deficit which will cannibalize support from everything we know is essential to economic growth [and] a strong middle class,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said in tweet.