Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) threatened to derail tax reform at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, unless Congress adopts a permanent, deficit reducing tax plan.
Sen. Corker said on Wednesday that he would not vote for a final bill unless it “reduces deficits, and does not add to the deficit with responsible growth models. And unless we can make it permanent, I don’t have any interest in it.”
Corker announced in September that he will retire after his term expires in 2018. Sen. Corker announced his departure from the Senate one day after Breitbart News reported on his $3 million “swamp” deal and just hours after conservative Judge Roy Moore beat establishment candidate Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL) in a Senate runoff election.
Now, Sen. Corker threatens to halt any progress that Republicans have made with tax reform, similarly to how Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) tanked Obamacare repeal twice this year.
Corker said at the hearing, “This is some of the most meaningless work that we do here.” The Tennesseean argued that the 2018 budget amounts to nothing more than a vehicle for Republicans to pass a tax reform package.
Republicans hope to use budgetary reconciliation to attach a tax reform proposal to the 2018 budget that will allow the Senate to pass the tax reform legislation using a simple majority. GOP lawmakers tried to repeal and replace Obamacare using the same strategy.
Corker said that he agreed to allow the $1.5 trillion deficit provision for tax reform into the 2018 budget resolution to move the process forward. He explained that he would accept a tax reform proposal that would not add to the budget if increased economic growth were to fill in the missing gap in government revenue.
The current tax plan proposal introduced by Republicans would include $4 trillion in tax cuts. Republicans hope to cut roughly $2.5 trillion in missing revenue by closing loopholes and eliminating deductions to hit the maximum $1.5 trillion deficit allowed for Congress’s budget rules.
President Donald Trump said that the tax reform plan “will be rocket fuel for our economy.”