A GOP Senator with a spine to block the expected passage of the tax bill this week would be great.
According to one analysis, the tax bill’s winners would include the Trumps, other multimillionaires, and corporations. Among the losers will be individual taxpayers, especially those who are poor and need health insurance.
John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, admitted Sunday that the measure would grow the debt and thus cancel out any growth effects. A Congressional projection is that the bill will add $1 trillion to the government debt.
With the narrow 52-48 margin in the Senate, a couple of GOP Senators with spines could make a difference in blocking this windfall for the wealthy.
Unfortunately, even the potential brave GOP Senators have folded — or will fold.
GOP Senator Bob Corker
Among the GOP Senators, Bob Corker is a deficit hawk. Further, Corker had been increasingly critical of Trump.
In fact, Corker was the lone Republican who voted against the initial tax bill. Now he has agreed to support the conference bill.
In explaining his support for the new bill, Corker made the usual noises about how the legislation was “imperfect,” but he expected it to be beneficial in the end. He also said he changed his mind because of “conversations” with many people
Now, Corker is retiring at a relatively young age. Thanks to his support of the tax bill, he can look forward to a high-income future with wealthy Republican donors who support the bill.
Perhaps that reason also explains the vote of another retiring Senator.
GOP Senator Jeff Flake
As I wrote previously, Arizona’s John McCain and the retiring Jeff Flake are two Senators who even liberals can respect. They have both shown courage and principles.
Therefore, Jeff Flake’s support for the debt-boosting tax bill is mystifying. When he first came to the House, he was a noted fiscal hawk.
Even in the Senate, he continued to raise concerns about spending. In early November, he was leery of the tax bill, which was then projected to add about #1.5 trillion to the debt.
However, Flake did vote for the initial tax bill. As of Friday, he was still undecided about the conference version.
Perhaps Flake will grow a spine and reject the bill. Or he can support it, and like Corker, look forward to a dollar-filled future with GOP donors.
GOP Senator Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio, Florida’s Senator, was probably the most surprising GOP Senator who developed a spine for a few days.
In the end, he got about half of one change. It was enough for him to lose his spine and throw his support for the bill.
The lack of a spine among these Senators is not very hopeful for the future.