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Sen. Lankford: No Reason Tax Bill Can't Pass This Week

Image: Sen. Lankford: No Reason Tax Bill Can't Pass This Week
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By    |   Tuesday, 28 November 2017 01:20 PM

There is no reason why the remaining disagreements among Republicans over the tax reform legislation cannot be resolved this week, Sen. James Lankford told Hugh Hewitt on his radio show on Tuesday.

The Oklahoma congressman is considered one of eight GOP senators who are uncertain about supporting the Republican tax plan unless certain changes are made. Republicans can afford to lose only two senators in their party and still pass the legislation.

"All of us are going through a very complicated bill and saying what will be a couple of things that would improve it," Lankford said.

"We're in that final moment as you're working through the legislation. It's getting narrower and narrower. And everyone looks at it and says okay, there's one final thing, let's see if we can get this done and try to get it complete."

Lankford's main worry is that the legislation won't cause the deficit to accelerate.

"We are all making our best educated guess of exactly what the rates should be," he said. "We're trying to bring them down as fast, as far as possible. What I have asked for is a way to have a five-year lookout.

"And if we get five years down the road and realize that the revenue is not coming on, the economic growth has not happened as expected, I don't want our deficits to accelerate. So I'm looking for a very small tweak. I'm not looking for some giant change on it."

When asked if his concerns were addressed if that would also satisfy other senators worried about deficit growth such as Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, Lankford said that he thinks it would because he has worked together with them to provide what they call a backstop if the predictions are incorrect.

Lankford explained his concern over the deficit.

"The deficit's gone down every year since 2011; in the last two years, deficit has started tweaking back up again," he said. "So we have to be able to deal with economic growth. We need to be able to bring our tax code down significantly. But we also need to make sure that we're paying attention to the future generation as well and how we're going to handle our economy."

Other senators, however, sit on opposite ends of a Catch 22 seesaw, Axios points out.

For example, Maine Sen. Susan Collins raised serious objections when GOP leaders in the Senate decided to add to the tax bill the repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate to help limit deficits.

She said this would be a mistake because it would cause healthy people to drop their coverage and hike up the price of premiums even further for others.

But Lankford told Hewitt that he thinks the elimination of the individual mandate will actually happen.

"I predict that it will, and I certainly hope that it will," he said. "Everything that I have seen shows that that's continuing to move forward. With all the reports, with all the pushback that we've had on it, it's still the absolute right thing to do.

"It doesn't take away a single subsidy from anyone. But it certainly protects people from the tax penalties and the IRS from the individual mandate itself."

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There is no reason why the remaining disagreements among Republicans over the tax reform legislation cannot be resolved this week, Sen. James Lankford told Hugh Hewitt on his radio show on Tuesday.
james lankford, tax bill, pass
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2017-20-28
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 01:20 PM
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