Tags: tom cole | republicans | house | senate | tax reform bill

Rep. Cole: Senate GOP 'Fumbled' Healthcare, Won't Fail on Taxes

(MSNBC/YouTube)

By    |   Thursday, 16 November 2017 10:51 AM

House Appropriations Republican Tom Cole said he respects the pushback coming from Senate Republicans over the tax bill, but that they're the ones who "fumbled" healthcare and they can't afford to fail again.

Compromise and a better bill in the end will win out, the Oklahoma representative said Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program, acknowledging there are parts of the Senate bill he likes better than his chamber's.

"With all due respect to my friends in the Senate, they sort of fumbled on the 1-yard line on healthcare. I don't think they'll do it again. I don't think they can afford to do it again," Cole told the "Morning Joe" panel.

"There's certainly things in the Senate bill actually I like better than in the House bill," Cole said. "So we'll find a middle ground and get it to the president's desk . . . This is a big deal for us."

Republican Sens. Ron Johnson and Pete King have both come out against the tax bill, as it currently stands, for different reasons; Johnson isn't pleased on the corporate side, while King, R-NY, is unhappy with the proposal to do away with state and local tax (SALT) individual deductions.

"I have a lot of respect for Ron Johnson. I think he raises a very important point. Now, the bill overall lowers taxes for businesses large and small," Cole said. "But big corporations come out a little bit better. If they can find a better solution in the Senate, I'm open to that.

"I respect Peter King as much as any member we have. But if you make $250,000 in Oklahoma City or $250,000 in New York City, you ought to be paying the same amount of federal taxes," Cole said.

Cole also addressed the Senate's inclusion to eradicate the individual mandate of Obamacare, a move that the CBO says would save nearly $350 billion, saying he doesn't believe it to be a deal-breaker either way.

"We'll see what (Senate Republicans) actually come up with and whether they put it in the bill, and we'll go to conference and work it out," Cole said. "But we're not going to lose a lot of votes over that particular issue, in my view.

"I wouldn't favor putting it in (the House bill) at the last minute here. As a matter of fact, that's clearly not going to happen. We had opportunities to do it. Chose not to do it," Cole said.

"I think this is a negotiable item. Personally I don't have any problem including it. I mean, making people buy a product that they don't want to buy and then fining them if they don't, and most of those fines mostly fall on people that make less than $50,000 a year, I find that pretty repugnant use of government power," Cole said.

Cole said the low support for the bill says more about the political divides in the country than it does about the bill itself.

"I think we live in a highly polarized age," Cole said. "I think anything associated with Republican or (President Donald) Trump right now really pretty much reflects where that brand is. I don't think it's a serious look at what the tax bill actually does for individual Americans or business."

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House Appropriations Republican Tom Cole said he respects the pushback coming from Senate Republicans over the tax bill, but that they're the ones who "fumbled" healthcare and they can't afford to fail again.
tom cole, republicans, house, senate, tax reform bill
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2017-51-16
Thursday, 16 November 2017 10:51 AM
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