The 13 House Republicans who voted against the GOP tax plan

The House vote on the GOP plan to overhaul the tax code Thursday was notable for the relatively few Republicans who voted against it.

Only 13 Republicans joined with Democrats in opposing the measure, which gave GOP leaders a comfortable margin to pass their bill. Republicans could afford 23 defections with all but two members voting on Thursday.

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GOP lawmakers have long wanted to cut taxes, and they face substantial pressure to secure a major legislative win before next year’s midterm elections.

Of the Republicans who voted against the bill, all but Rep. Walter JonesWalter Beaman JonesGOP rejects Dem effort to demand Trump’s tax returns ahead of Senate vote GOP in furious push for tax-reform votes Congress must end American support for Saudi war in Yemen MORE (R-N.C.) were from high-taxed states such as New York, New Jersey and California. These states would be particularly hard hit by the bill’s treatment of the state and local tax (SALT) deduction.

The 13 GOP defectors were Jones and New York Reps. Dan Donovan, John FasoJohn James FasoFormer congressman Hinchey dies Green group poll: Arctic refuge drilling unpopular in key GOP districts The 13 House Republicans who voted against the GOP tax plan MORE, Pete KingPeter (Pete) Thomas KingThe 13 House Republicans who voted against the GOP tax plan House passes sweeping tax bill in huge victory for GOP House GOP set for big tax win MORE, Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin; New Jersey Reps. Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenConservative lawmakers met to discuss GOP chairman’s ouster Overnight Finance: GOP delays work on funding bill amid conservative demands | Senate panel approves Fed nominee Powell | Dodd-Frank rollback advances | WH disputes report Mueller subpoenaed Trump bank records Overnight Finance: House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama | GOP leaders to consider Dec. 30 spending bill | Justices skeptical of ban on sports betting | Mulvaney won't fire official who sued him MORE, Leonard LanceLeonard LanceAn overlooked solution to the opioid epidemic GOP rep: Taxpayer money should not pay for settlements The 13 House Republicans who voted against the GOP tax plan MORE, Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoJuan Williams: The GOP has divided America The 13 House Republicans who voted against the GOP tax plan House passes sweeping tax bill in huge victory for GOP MORE and Chris Smith; as well as California Reps. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaTrump-free Kennedy Center Honors avoids politics Giffords gun group targets Issa over concealed carry bill The Hill Interview: Missouri Republican has gavel on his radar MORE, Tom McClintockThomas (Tom) Milller McClintockPelosi blasts California Republicans for supporting tax bill The 13 House Republicans who voted against the GOP tax plan House passes sweeping tax bill in huge victory for GOP MORE and Dana Rohrabacher.

Most of the defectors are among the top Democratic targets in the 2018 midterm elections.

Currently, taxpayers can deduct their state and local property taxes as well as either their income or sales taxes. The House bill would repeal the income and sales tax deductions and cap the property tax deduction at $10,000.

Jones voted against the legislation because of concerns about the elimination of certain tax credits and deductions, as well as the impact on the deficit.

“I’m all for tax reform, but it must grow the economy, not the debt,” Jones said in a statement.

The House GOP’s tax-reform bill is expected to add $1.4 trillion to the deficit over 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Other conservative lawmakers who have cited concerns about deficit spending to consistently vote against bills in the past set aside those warnings on Thursday.

For example, Reps. Justin AmashJustin AmashGOP leaders agree to consider Dec. 30 spending bill House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama Overnight Finance: House approves motion to go to tax conference — with drama | GOP leaders to consider Dec. 30 spending bill | Justices skeptical of ban on sports betting | Mulvaney won't fire official who sued him MORE (R-Mich.) and Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieHouse passes concealed carry gun bill GOP could punt funding fight to January McConnell PAC demands Moore return its money MORE (R-Ky.) both supported the tax-reform bill on Thursday. Amash and Massie previously voted against aid for Texas communities affected by Hurricane Harvey in September because it would add to the deficit.

Massie explained he is being consistent by voting for new tax cuts and against new government spending, saying in a statement, "It is irresponsible to increase spending and decrease taxes, which is why I consistently vote to decrease spending and decrease taxes."
 
Amash similarly said that supporting tax cuts and spending reductions were consistent with limited government principles, writing on Facebook, “I believe firmly in limited, constitutional government. That means, among other things, support for less government spending and lower, fairer taxes."
 
Deficit hawks justified voting for a tax overhaul that adds to the deficit because they believe tax cuts will spur enough economic growth to pay for themselves, despite studies indicating otherwise.

“The idea is we’re making an investment now, which will in the short term increase the deficit, but as somebody who is definitely concerned about the deficit and the debt, this is the only way that we have to work ourselves out of this,” Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) told The Hill.

There were no defections on the tax bill from members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, which often finds itself at odds with leadership.

Some Freedom Caucus members were undecided in the days leading up to the vote because they were worried that not everyone would see a tax cut. But these lawmakers ultimately voted in favor of the bill.

“This is big step in the right direction, but it’s not going to be the only step,” said Rep. Warren DavidsonWarren Earl DavidsonThe 13 House Republicans who voted against the GOP tax plan House votes on US involvement in Yemen This week: House GOP pushes tax reform vote MORE (R-Ohio) shortly before the vote. “We've got to make sure that the tax-reform plan isn’t just a single bill but is a process that works for every American.”

The SALT deduction has been a major issue in the tax debate in recent weeks.

The tax framework congressional GOP leaders released in September proposed fully repealing the deduction, generating pushback from lawmakers in high-tax states like New York and New Jersey.

The House advanced its budget resolution last month by a narrow margin, largely because many of the lawmakers from those states opposed it due to their concerns about SALT.

As a compromise, House GOP leadership decided to include a limited deduction for property taxes.

The move won over some of the blue-state Republicans, such as Rep. Tom MacArthurThomas (Tom) Charles MacArthurThe 13 House Republicans who voted against the GOP tax plan House GOP set for big tax win The Republican tax bill will cut thousands of Puerto Rico jobs MORE (R-N.J.). After MacArthur announced his support for the bill, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMark Mellman: History’s judgment Trump's motorcade greeted with chants of 'lock him up' in NYC Treasury watchdog probes lack of tax plan analysis from Mnuchin MORE and President Trump's daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump visited MacArthur’s district to promote the tax overhaul efforts.

But a number of other blue-state Republicans were unsatisfied with the $10,000 property-tax deduction and were concerned that their districts would still be hurt by the tax bill.

“It’s supposed to be a tax-cut bill, but it’s going to be raising taxes on people in our communities and on New York State overall,” King said at news conference with three other New York Republicans ahead of the vote.

Faso said at the press conference that most middle-class families in his state would end up getting a tax cut, but the bill would be harmful because it would result in more businesses and entrepreneurs fleeing New York for lower-tax jurisdictions.

“This legislation will accelerate the trend of people leaving New York State, which will then place a greater burden on the people of my district and every district in New York State,” he said.

The New York Republicans had pitched to leadership that the full SALT deduction be maintained for four years and then phased out for people making more than $400,000.

And they said they would still like to be able to get to "yes" on the final tax bill.

“I would love to be able to pass tax cuts for all of my hard-working, middle-income constituents on Long Island,” Zeldin said.

The Senate’s tax bill fully repeals the SALT deduction, but some GOP senators have expressed an interest in preventing tax increases for those who currently rely on the preference.

Additionally, there are some GOP lawmakers who still might prefer changes to SALT but voted "yes" on Thursday to advance the process.

“While this bill is not perfect in its current form and there are changes I will continue to advocate for, especially on the SALT front, I strongly believe that passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a critical step to move this important process forward and ensure our tax codes reflects the values of fairness and hard work,” said Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.).

While passage of the House’s bill went smoothly, it is possible that some of the lawmakers who voted for the legislation won’t ultimately approve of any compromise legislation reached by House and Senate Republicans.

If the Senate is able to pass a bill, the House and Senate are expected to go to a conference committee to work out their differences.

Rep. Ryan CostelloRyan Anthony CostellloGreen group poll: Arctic refuge drilling unpopular in key GOP districts The 13 House Republicans who voted against the GOP tax plan Lawmakers unveil 'ME TOO Congress' bill to overhaul sexual harassment policies MORE (R-Pa.), who is being targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the midterm elections and voted for the House bill, said Thursday’s vote was in part about “moving tax reform forward, because there’s going to be another bill that we’re going to look at that’s going to have some differences from this bill.”

He said he would “carefully evaluate” a bill produced by a conference committee.

Updated: 11:21 p.m.