Corker: Tax cuts could be 'one of the worst votes I've made'

Retiring Tennessee Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSenate chaplain offers prayer 'as children are being separated from their parents' Senate passes 6B defense bill This week: House GOP caught in immigration limbo MORE (R) said his vote on the GOP tax law could be one of the worst of his career if estimates that it will add $1.9 trillion to deficits over a decade prove correct.

“If it ends up costing what has been laid out here, it could well be one of the worst votes I’ve made,” he said at a Senate Budget Committee hearing on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate that produced the figure.

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“I hope that is not the case, I hope there’s other data to assist, whether it’s jobs or growth or whatever,” Corker added.

Corker voted against a version of the GOP tax-cut bill in early December, and was the only Republican senator at the time to cast a “no” vote on the bill.

But he voted for the final bill after a House-Senate conference, joining the rest of his Senate GOP colleagues to support the legislation backed by President TrumpDonald John Trump20 weeks out from midterms, Dems and GOP brace for surprises Sessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Kim Jong Un to visit Beijing this week MORE.

He had initially held out in opposition over complaints that the bill added to the deficit.

At one point, he vowed not to vote for any tax bill that added a cent to the deficit, and compared the nation’s fiscal worries to dangers posed by a nuclear-armed North Korea.

The new CBO estimate that the bill would cost $1.9 trillion through 2028 is higher than previous available estimates, largely because it includes the interest costs of servicing the debt, as well as more recent economic data. The Joint Committee on Taxation had estimated the bill would cost roughly $1.1 trillion over a decade at the time Corker cast his vote. Both estimates take into account the effects of economic growth on revenues. 

At the hearing, Corker said his best vote was on the Budget Control Act that limited domestic spending. He also slammed a recent bipartisan spending bill that could add an estimated $2 trillion to the deficit over a decade.

“None of us have covered ourselves in glory. This Congress and this administration likely will go down as one of the most fiscally irresponsible administrations and congresses that we’ve had,” Corker said.

Other congressional Republicans have simply cast aside the CBO estimate as inaccurate.