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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 JonesSupreme Court declines to hear case challenging unlimited super PAC fundraising Experts warn Georgia's new electronic voting machines vulnerable to potential intrusions, malfunctions Georgia restores 22,000 voter registrations after purge 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 FasoDemocrats go big on diversity with new House recruits Kyle Van De Water wins New York GOP primary to challenge Rep. Antonio Delgado The most expensive congressional races of the last decade MORE, Pete KingPeter (Pete) KingRundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day Democrats, GOP fighting over largest House battlefield in a decade Treasury withheld nearly M from FDNY 9/11 health program MORE, Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin; New Jersey Reps. Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenBottom line Republican lobbying firms riding high despite uncertainty of 2020 race Ex-Rep. Frelinghuysen joins law and lobby firm MORE, Leonard LanceLeonard LanceThomas Kean wins GOP primary to take on Rep. Tom Malinowski Gun debate to shape 2020 races GOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs MORE, Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoVan Drew-Kennedy race in NJ goes down to the wire Van Drew wins GOP primary in New Jersey Amy Kennedy wins NJ primary to face GOP's Van Drew MORE and Chris Smith; as well as California Reps. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaIssa defeats Campa-Najjar in California House race Chamber-backed Democrats embrace endorsements in final stretch Ex-RNC, Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy charged in covert lobbying scheme MORE, Tom McClintockThomas (Tom) Milller McClintockGOP lawmaker defends Newsom for breaking 'idiotic' COVID-19 rules GOP's McClintock fends off challenger in California Republicans in campaign mode for top spots on House environmental committees 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 AmashIncoming GOP lawmaker shares video of hotel room workout, citing 'Democrat tyrannical control' Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day Romney congratulates Biden after victory MORE (R-Mich.) and Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieCheney seeks to cool tensions with House conservatives House in near-unanimous vote affirms peaceful transfer of power Ron Paul hospitalized in Texas 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 DavidsonHillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns 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 MacArthurChamber-backed Democrats embrace endorsements in final stretch Republican David Richter wins NJ primary in race to challenge Rep. Andy Kim What to watch in New Jersey's primaries on Tuesday MORE (R-N.J.). After MacArthur announced his support for the bill, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Initial jobless claims rise for 2nd week | Dow dips below 30K | Mnuchin draws fire for COVID-19 relief move | Manhattan DA appeals dismissal of Manafort charges Mnuchin to put 5B in COVID-19 relief funds beyond successor's reach The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience 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 CostellloBottom Line Trump struggles to stay on script, frustrating GOP again Bottom line 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.