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 JonesExperts warn Georgia's new electronic voting machines vulnerable to potential intrusions, malfunctions Georgia restores 22,000 voter registrations after purge Stacey Abrams group files emergency motion to stop Georgia voting roll 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 FasoThe most expensive congressional races of the last decade The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority GOP House super PAC targets two freshman Dems with new ads MORE, Pete KingPeter (Pete) KingJohn Kerry: GOP lawmaker against coronavirus package 'tested positive for being an ---hole' Lawmakers highlight flights back to DC for huge coronavirus vote Trump flexes pardon power with high-profile clemencies 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 LanceGun debate to shape 2020 races GOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs Bottom Line MORE, Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoStimulus price tag of .2T falls way short, some experts say Democratic challenger on Van Drew's party switch: 'He betrayed our community' Trump announces Van Drew will become a Republican in Oval Office meeting MORE and Chris Smith; as well as California Reps. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaNew poll shows tight race in key California House race Five Latinas who could be Biden's running mate The Hill's Campaign Report: Campaigns confront reality of coronavirus MORE, Tom McClintockThomas (Tom) Milller McClintockTop conservatives pen letter to Trump with concerns on fourth coronavirus relief bill Hispanic Caucus campaign arm unveils non-Hispanic endorsements Overnight Energy: Panel gives chairman power to subpoena Interior | House passes bill to protect wilderness | House Republicans propose carbon capture bill | Ocasio-Cortez introduces bill to ban fracking 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 AmashHouse Armed Services chairman calls for removal of Navy chief Overnight Defense: Trump 'may look into' dismissal of Navy captain | Acting Navy chief stands by speech calling ousted captain 'stupid' | Dems call for chief's firing | Hospital ship to take coronavirus patients Democratic lawmakers call for Navy chief's firing MORE (R-Mich.) and Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieThe Hill's Campaign Report: North Carolina emerges as key battleground for Senate control The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump blends upbeat virus info and high US death forecast GOP challenger seizes on outrage against Massie 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 DavidsonLawmakers shame ex-Wells Fargo directors for failing to reboot bank Overnight Defense: House passes bills to rein in Trump on Iran | Pentagon seeks Iraq's permission to deploy missile defenses | Roberts refuses to read Paul question on whistleblower during impeachment trial Here are the lawmakers who defected on Iran legislation 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 MacArthurRepublicans plot comeback in New Jersey Republicans spend more than million at Trump properties The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority MORE (R-N.J.). After MacArthur announced his support for the bill, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Trump officials struggle to get relief loans out the door | Dow soars more than 1600 points | Kudlow says officials 'looking at' offering coronavirus bonds Trump officials struggle to get coronavirus-relief loans out the door Kudlow says administration 'looking at' offering coronavirus bonds 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 Former GOP Rep. Costello launches lobbying shop Head of Pennsylvania GOP resigns over alleged explicit texts 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.