It’s no secret that longtime Arizona Sen. John McCain isn’t a fan of President Trump. The two Republicans have sparred back and forth on multiple issues since Trump first announced his candidacy for office.
McCain has already killed some form of Obamacare repeal twice this year, angering both his constituents and party alike. Now, a new report is claiming McCain may stop the president’s drastic tax cut plan from moving forward.
From Washington Post:
Arizona Republican, who is fighting a public battle with brain cancer, will be among his party’s most closely watched as the year winds down and the tax debate gears up. Yet over his decades in public life, McCain has traced a zigzagging line on the subject,leaving little clear indication of how he’ll approach a potentially decisive vote. A look at the senator’s record on taxes shows that three things seem most important to him: public debate, some help for the middle class, and not exploding the deficit.
On tax policy itself, McCain has proved a moving target. He opposed the 2001 Bush tax cuts — one of only two Republicans to do so — citing what he called the bill’s lopsided benefits for the wealthy. “I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans who most need tax relief,” he said. Two years later, he was one of only three Republicans to vote against the next round of Bush cuts, again citing its skew toward the rich but also the deficit impact of another round of breaks as the country faced mounting war bills.
More recently, McCain sounded more like his trustbusting political hero, Teddy Roosevelt, when he confronted Apple’s tax-dodging strategies. In a 2013 hearing, he joined with then-Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) in criticizing chief executive Tim Cook. “U.S. corporations cannot continue to avoid paying their appropriate share in taxes,” McCain told the tech honcho. “Our military can’t afford it. Our economy cannot endure it. And the American people will not tolerate it.”
USA Today suggests it could be more Republicans than just McCain:
Grassroots Republicans have no idea how close the GOP is to another profoundly disappointing policy collapse in Washington: failing to enact tax reform. Once again, the Republican Party finds its ability to fulfill a longstanding campaign promise in the hands of three senators: Rand Paul of Kentucky, John McCain of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine.
All three have, heretofore, been flies in President Trump’s ointment. Will they do it again on taxes?
The Republican tax reform plan is pro-worker and pro-growth. Before it can move, however, the Senate must take another vote that unlocks the door: passing a budget resolution. If all three flies descend and vote no on the budget, tax reform dies with it.
On Friday, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi of Wyoming released the GOP’s budget blueprint, which reduces federal spending by $5.1 trillion, provides a surplus of $197 billion over 10 years, and protects Social Security. As reported by Politico, passing the budget “sets up the special power of budget reconciliation GOP leaders can use to advance tax reform with just a 50-vote threshold in the Senate.”
In other words, Republicans can cut everyone’s taxes even if no Democrats want to.
If this were a baseball game, the budget vote is the set-up relief pitcher that needs to get the team through the eighth inning to make way for tax reform, the closer. And, as baseball fans know, the set-up man can sometimes blow it before the closer ever gets a chance. This is the predicament Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell finds himself in yet again — corralling 50 of 52 Republicans so Vice President Pence can break the tie.
What does it mean to be a Republican today? Certainly not unity.
Did a single Congressional Democrat ever go against Barack Obama? I guess that’s the difference between the parties.
H/T: Gateway Pundit