- The Washington Times - Friday, December 1, 2017

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, one of the last remaining GOP holdouts on the Senate’s tax-cut plan, announced Friday he will support the bill in exchange for work on a fix for certain illegal immigrants often brought into the country as children — a hot-button issue as lawmakers also work on year-end spending bills.

Mr. Flake said he wanted to get a firm commitment for work “on a growth-oriented legislative solution to enact fair and permanent protections for DACA recipients,” and to eliminate what he described as one of the budget gimmicks GOP leaders are using to bring down the cost of their bill.

“Having secured both of those objectives, I am pleased to announce I will vote in support the tax reform bill,” Mr. Flake said.

“From the outset of the current debate on tax reform, my goal has been to ensure that Congress passes a tax reform package that is both fiscally-responsible and promotes economic growth,” he said.

Mr. Flake and Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee have been pushing to include an automatic “trigger” that would raise taxes down the line if the plan doesn’t generate the levels of growth Republicans are anticipating.

But other senators have been cool on the idea, and it appears leaders could be prepared to press forward without it.

Republican leaders emerged from a closed-door meeting Friday expressing confidence that they have the 50 votes necessary to pass the $1.4 trillion-plus tax overhaul plan.

“We have the votes,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said as he walked into the chamber.

Many Democrats have said they won’t support a year-end spending bill that doesn’t provide a legislative fix for so-called “Dreamers” in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

President Trump announced a six-month phaseout of the program, and punted the issue to Congress to come up with a fix.

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