Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) has announced his support for the Republican tax reform bill currently in the House of Representatives, according to a report by CNN. This is no doubt a boon for the bill, which was expected to face criticism from libertarian-minded Republican lawmakers such as Massie and the members of the Freedom Caucus for not going far enough in reducing the tax burden of Americans.
“I am going to vote for this,” Massie stated. “This is a new experience for me to be excited about a bill.”
Massie claimed that while he continues to have reservations about the potential debt that the bill would create, he believes this is best tackled through spending cuts, especially due to the benefits that tax reform would yield for his constituents in Kentucky’s 4th congressional district.
Massie went on to say that he “can go home and tell [his] constituents unequivocally this bill is better than the status quo”, while he “couldn’t do that with health care,” referring to the Republican health care reform efforts during the summer, which he had opposed.
“The health care bill was slapdash,” Massie continued. “There wasn’t a tenth of the thought and planning in the health care bill that there is in this tax bill. The health care bill? I called it a kidney stone because all we wanted to do was pass it.”
Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) said he was “proud” that Massie would be siding with his party on this issue. Massie then joked that Barr, a more moderate Republican than Massie, “has more concerns than I do”.
Although Barr also intends to support the bill, other Republicans, particularly those that represent districts in Democrat-dominated states like New York and New Jersey, have already come out in opposition to the bill. In particular, they object to the bill’s repeal of the State And Local Tax (SALT) deduction, as this would lead to individuals in these states having to pay more in taxes. Proponents of the bill argue that this outcome is necessary in order to incentivize states and localities to lower their taxes as well, instead of exploiting the deduction to expand the size of state and local government.