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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 JonesThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Ex-Greenville mayor wins Dem primary in North Carolina, GOP candidates head to runoff North Carolina reporter says there could be 'new crop' of GOP candidates in 9th Congressional District race 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 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority GOP House super PAC targets two freshman Dems with new ads Tax law failed to save GOP majority MORE, Pete KingPeter (Pete) Thomas KingThirty-four GOP members buck Trump on disaster bill House bill seeks to bolster security for synagogues, mosques in wake of attacks Tax Foundation: Bill to roll back SALT deduction cap would cost 3B MORE, Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin; New Jersey Reps. Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenThe 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority Top House GOP appropriations staffer moves to lobbying shop Individuals with significant disabilities need hope and action MORE, Leonard LanceLeonard LancePush for ‘Medicare for all’ worries centrist Dems Incoming Dem lawmaker: Trump 'sympathizes' with leaders 'accused of moral transgressions' On The Money: Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority | Grassley opts for Finance gavel, setting Graham up for Judiciary | Trump says China eager for trade deal | Facebook reeling after damning NYT report MORE, Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoThe 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority LoBiondo launches consulting firm Live coverage: House elects new Speaker as Dems take charge MORE and Chris Smith; as well as California Reps. Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaFive times presidents sparked controversy using executive privilege GOP plots comeback in Orange County The Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress MORE, Tom McClintockThomas (Tom) Milller McClintockConservation happens one animal at a time House passes bill expressing support for NATO Oregon Dem top recipient of 2018 marijuana industry money, study finds 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 Democrats press leaders to start Trump impeachment Schumer declines to endorse Amash's comments on 'impeachable conduct' by Trump Amash won't rule out Libertarian challenge to Trump MORE (R-Mich.) and Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP lawmaker doubles down on criticizing Kerry's political science degree as not 'science' John Kerry fires back at GOP congressman questioning his 'pseudoscience' degree 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 DavidsonHouse Freedom Caucus votes to condemn Amash's impeachment comments Amash storm hits Capitol Hill Blockchain could spark renaissance economy 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 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority 10 things we learned from the midterms New Jersey New Members 2019 MORE (R-N.J.). After MacArthur announced his support for the bill, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Democrats sense new momentum in Trump tax return fight IRS draft memo found that agency must provide tax returns to Congress: report 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 CostellloLobbying world Overnight Energy: Park Service closing Joshua Tree after shutdown damage | Dems deliver trash from parks to White House | Dems offer bills to block offshore drilling | Oil lobby worries about Trump trade fight Ex-GOP Rep. Ryan Costello joins group pushing carbon tax 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.