Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., announced his support Thursday for the GOP’s massive tax bill, in an important boost to President Donald Trump’s effort to overhaul the code for the first time in three decades.
In a statement McCain said, “This bill would directly benefit all Americans, allowing them to keep a higher percentage of what they earn.”
His announcement came as the Senate steamed toward a final vote later Thursday or Friday on the legislation that slashes corporate rates but delivers mixed or in some cases no relief to individuals. The bill is projected to increase deficits by approximately $1.5 trillion over the next decade, but GOP leaders and the Trump administration argue it will juice economic growth, a contention not backed by nonpartisan analyses of the legislation.
McCain’s stance on the legislation had been uncertain, and leadership eyed him warily after he unexpectedly sunk their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act over the summer with a theatrical thumbs-down on the Senate floor.
With McCain in the “yes” column, the number of undecided or undeclared Republican senators is rapidly dwindling as GOP leaders look to lock down support. They have little margin for error in the closely divided Senate where just three defections can sink the bill, since Democrats are unanimously opposed.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters Thursday, “We’re certainly optimistic. As you know we had everybody on board to take the bill up. I think everyone is trying to get to yes. We’ll have an open amendment process but I’m optimistic.”
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Erica Werner, Mike Debonis, Damian Paletta