- The Washington Times - Monday, November 27, 2017

Sen. Rand Paul on Monday announced he plans to vote for the Senate tax plan as it currently stands, handing GOP leaders a key “yes” vote ahead of a potential floor vote later in the week.

Mr. Paul said he’d like the tax cut to be even bigger than the nearly $1.5 trillion price tag, but that he’s pleased lawmakers included a repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate in the plan.

“I’m not getting everything I want — far from it,” the Kentucky Republican wrote in an opinion piece for Fox News. “But I’ve been immersed in this process. I’ve fought for and received major changes for the better — and I plan to vote for this bill as it stands right now.”

Mr. Paul also said he’d like to see more permanence on the individual tax side, and that he wants to see the Senate follow the House’s lead in preserving some of the deductions for state and local taxes paid.

“The good news is — we can do this every year,” Mr. Paul wrote. “Want a bigger tax cut? Urge your legislators to do one every single year. I’ll sponsor it. Want them to be permanent? Well, one good start is to keep extending them, every single year.”

Senate Republicans, who control 52 seats in the 100-member chamber, can afford no more than two defections to pass a bill under fast-track budget rules, assuming no Democrats support it.

Several other GOP senators — including Susan Collins of Maine, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Bob Corker of Tennessee — have expressed various concerns about the bill, ranging from the inclusion of the individual mandate to the bill’s treatment of small businesses to its effect on federal deficits.

Whatever the Senate passes will ultimately have to be reconciled with the House version, which passed earlier this month.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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