New from Washington, D.C.: Two GOP Senators Defect Over Tax Reform Bill

Washington, D.C., is abuzz with the news that a second Republican Senator has jumped ship when it comes to supporting the GOP tax reform legislation in its current form. On Monday, November 27, Senator Steve Daines of Montana became the second member of the chamber to state he would not vote for the tax reform bill in its current form. The first Republican GOP Senator to make that decision was Senator Ron Johnson. The legislation officially is entitled Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The GOP has a fragile, narrow majority in the U.S. Senate. With these two defectors, if all other GOP Senators end up voting for the bill in its current form, and all Democrats vote against it, Vice President Pence will need to be called in to break the tie. All Democrats are expected to vote against the legislation. The same cannot be said about all other Republicans voting in the affirmative.

President Donald Trump, at least in his recurring tweets, had indicated his support of the legislation in its current form. He insists that it will be enacted into law.

Upwards to at least four other Republican members of the U.S. Senate have expressed the possibility that they made not vote for the legislation in its current form. The likelihood of at least one of these members formally announcing he or she will not vote in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is strong. If that occurs, the GOP would lake the votes to get the bill through the Senate without reforming it.

The President, and the GOP Congressional leadership, have all insisted that they would pass tax reform legislation prior to the Christmas recess. That still can be accomplished, but will now likely necessitate some more revisions to the legislation in order to keep GOP Senators and Representatives on board.

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