Tags: Trump Administration | Trump Tax Reform | james lankford | senate | tax bill | mandate

Sen. Lankford: Repealing Individual Mandate Won't Hinder Tax Bill

Sen. Lankford: Repealing Individual Mandate Won't Hinder Tax Bill
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 15 November 2017 08:54 AM

Adding a repeal of the individual healthcare mandate to the Senate's tax reform bill will not make it more difficult to get it passed, Sen. James Lankford said Wednesday.

"You have pretty strong agreement among Republicans that we don't like the individual mandate," the Oklahoma Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. 

"The reason is that it's a tax put directly on people that can afford it the least."

Lankford said that in his state alone, 81 percent of the people who are paying the individual mandate tax earn less than $50,000 a year.

"This was a tax that intended to push people to buy insurance, but it's the people that can afford it the least," said Lankford.

Meanwhile, the Senate bill calls for permanent corporate tax cuts, while requiring individual tax cuts to expire, but Lankford said he expects the cuts would be renewed and "should stay very consistent."

He is concerned, however, about the effects on the debt and deficit if corporate rates remain reduced permanently.

"It's extremely important we focus in on this," Lankford said. "Ten years from now we'll have a different look of what's happening and where we are with economic growth, evaluate it and make the decision at that time. You can't guess what the tax rate is going to be in a couple of years."

If that would happen, then people might not invest, he continued, meaning "jobs don't grow, you don't have growth in the economy, and people don't have higher wages."

Whomever is in the House and Senate 10 years from now, he continued, will have to evaluate matters at that point, but "we have to have consistent spending or we'll never get charge of the debt and deficit."

Meanwhile, the matter of deductions for state and local taxes have been set "completely aside" in the Senate bill, and will likely become a negotiating point between the House and Senate during when the bill goes into conference.

Lankford also spoke about the situation involving Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, telling the program he thinks the former judge should step out of the rate over claims of sexual assault dating back to the late 1970s-early 1980s.

"Obviously, I'm incredibly sad for those girls that were affected during that time period, their families and the nation," said Lankford. "People of Alabama are having to make a decision on someone who had immoral behavior or someone they don't like their politics on."

However, Lankford said he is pleased that the nation is now talking about moral issues and trying to hold its leaders to a higher standard.

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Adding a repeal of the individual healthcare mandate to the Senate's tax reform bill will not make it more difficult to get it passed, Sen. James Lankford said Wednesday.
james lankford, senate, tax bill, mandate
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2017-54-15
Wednesday, 15 November 2017 08:54 AM
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