The Hill’s Whip List: Where Republicans stand on Senate tax bill

The Hill

Senate Republicans are poised to pass a massive tax-reform plan.

Leaders had hoped to pass the bill this week but momentum stalled Thursday night with a handful of GOP senators pushing for changes to address the bill’s impact on the deficit and its treatment of so-called pass through businesses.

But changes to the bill won support from Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) who wanted better treatment for businesses that are not corporations.

Another proposal being considered would reduce the size of the $1.4 trillion tax package by $350 billion to win over Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who have concerns about the deficit. But that change is not popular with House conservatives.

Early Friday afternoon, Flake said he was “pleased to announce” he could support the legislation in its current form, appearing to give Republicans their necessary 50 votes.

Corker is the lone Republican to oppose the bill.

Once it clears the Senate, lawmakers would then have to reconcile it with the House tax-reform package, which has key differences, and pass it through both chambers before delivery to the White House by year’s end.

Here is a look at how the votes are stacking up.

The Hill will be updating this list. Send updates to

This list was last updated on Dec. 1 at 5:01 p.m. Latest updates: Sens. Bob Corker (Tenn.), Susan Collins (Maine) Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), and Steve Daines (Mont.).


No (1)

Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.) — Corker wanted a “trigger” that would raise taxes if revenue projections fell short, but that proposal failed to meet Senate rules. Leaders floated but eventually rejected an offer to scale back the cuts by hundreds of billions of dollars. “This is yet another tough vote. I am disappointed. I wanted to get to ‘yes.’ But at the end of the day, I am not able to cast aside my fiscal concerns and vote for legislation that I believe, based on the information I currently have, could deepen the debt burden on future generations,” Corker said in a statement Friday.


Likely yes (8)

Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.) — Cotton is likely a “yes” vote. “Every income group under the Senate bill will see a tax cut,” Cotton told CBS News’s “Face the Nation.”

Sen. Deb Fischer (Neb.) — Fischer is a likely “yes” vote.

Sen. James Lankford (Okla.) — Lankford said Wednesday he would back the bill if it includes a “backstop” that would raise rates if revenue fails to meet expectations. “So yes, I am on board with this bill because I want to see the good economic growth that’s coming with it, but I also want to make sure we’re protecting future taxpayers as well in debt and deficit,” he told “CBS This Morning.”

Sen. Mike Lee (Utah) — Lee is seeking an increase in the child tax credit and is introducing an amendment on that issue with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Sen. Jerry Moran (Kan.) — Moran told Fox News on Tuesday he “expects to vote ‘yes.’ ” Moran previously raised concerns about the repeal of the individual mandate and the bill’s impact on the deficit.

Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) — Rubio is seeking an increase in the child tax credit with Sen. Mike Lee (Utah).

Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.) — Sasse is a likely “yes” vote.

Sen. Todd Young (Ind.) — “I am highly probable to vote for this,” Young told The Indianapolis Star on Wednesday. “Of course, it’s subject to an amendment process on the floor. I still need to take a look at what sort of amendments are offered. But I’m pleased with the work product.”


Yes (43)

Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) — Alexander told USA Today he supports the tax plan and using it to repeal the individual mandate.

Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.) — Barrasso told Fox News the Senate GOP tax bill would create a “simpler, fairer” tax system.

Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.) — Blunt told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “we’ve had eight years of economic stagnation for hardworking families and this tax bill, I think, creates the opportunity to move dramatically beyond that.”

Sen. John Boozman (Ark.) — Boozman voted for the bill in the Senate Budget Committee.

Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.) — Burr voted for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) — “For West Virginians and so many Americans across the country, the status quo just isn’t working, and this is our opportunity to change it,” Capito said in a statement.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (La.) — Cassidy said in a floor speech that under the Senate tax bill his constituents “will increase their take-home pay, they’ll have higher wages, they will have a better life.” He voted for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee. 

Sen. Thad Cochran (Miss.) — Cochran said in a statement that he is “optimistic about the potential for this legislation to increase economic opportunity and help Mississippi families keep more of their take-home pay.”

Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) — Collins said Friday she would vote for the bill after securing changes to the state and local property tax deduction, a measure to help those with high health-care costs and efforts to shore up ObamaCare markets.

Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) — The No. 2 Republican in the chamber said in a floor speech that the Senate framework “is designed to cut taxes for middle-class families, not millionaires. It’s to help small businesses grow and create more jobs. It’s to provide relief for hardworking families by increasing the standard deduction.” Cornyn voted for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee.

Sen. Mike Crapo (Idaho) — Crapo voted for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee and on the Budget Committee.

Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) — Cruz defended the bill during a CNN town hall Tuesday night. “If you’re a taxpayer, this bill benefits you,” he said.

Sen. Steve Daines (Mont.) — Daines initally came out against the tax bill over concerns it unfairly favored corporations. But on Friday, Daines said he was a “yes” after winning more favorable treatment for pass-through businesses.

Sen. Mike Enzi (Wyo.) — Enzi said in a statement that the legislation “will help grow the economy, create more jobs and raise wages. I look forward to working with my colleagues to help pass tax relief to not only benefit hardworking Americans, but make our economy and country stronger.”  He voted for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee and as chairman of the Budget Committee.

Sen. Joni Ernst (Iowa) — “It is long overdue for our country to pursue a simpler tax code that provides much-needed relief for hardworking Iowans that puts our economy back on track,” Ernst wrote in an op-ed for the Des Moines Register.

Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.)  Flake released a statement just after noon Friday saying he had “secured” his “objectives” from negotiations and would be voting in favor of the legislation.

Sen. Cory Gardner (Colo.) — Gardner voted for the bill in the Senate Budget Committee.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) — Graham voted for the bill in the Senate Budget Committee.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) — Grassley said in a statement that the bill “takes a giant step forward to make our tax code simpler, fairer and more competitive.” He voted for the bill on the Senate Budget Committee.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) — Hatch is the Finance Committee Chairman and one of the architects of the bill.

Sen. Dean Heller (Nev.) — Heller voted for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee. He is considered the most vulnerable GOP senator up for reelection in 2018.

Sen. John Hoeven (N.D.) — Hoeven said in a statement that “the Senate tax relief draft lowers rates for individuals and small businesses, including our farmers and ranchers, which is good for North Dakota and good for our nation.”

Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.) — Inhofe told The Oklahoman that he supports the Senate tax bill even if it increased the debt. 

Sen. Johnny Isakson (Ga.) — Isakson said the tax package “will simplify our broken tax code and show the world that the United States will again be a world-class competitor in the global marketplace.” He voted for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee.

Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.) — Johnson initially opposed the bill but is a “yes” after winning changes on how the bill treats small businesses and pass-through entities.

Sen. John Kennedy (La.) — Kennedy voted for the bill in the Senate Budget Committee.

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) — “After careful thought and consideration, I have decided to support the Senate tax reform bill,” McCain said in a statement Thursday. “I believe this legislation, though far from perfect, would enhance American competitiveness, boost the economy, and provide long overdue tax relief for middle class families.” McCain said he understood concerns about the deficit but the “bill’s net effect on our economy would be positive.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) — Murkowski is a “yes,” according to MSNBC. The tax bill will also be tied to a measure that would allow drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a longtime priority for Murkowski.

Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) — Paul said he would have preferred a larger cut but hailed the bill for including repeal of the ObamaCare mandate. “I’ve fought for and received major changes for the better — and I plan to vote for this bill as it stands right now,” he said Monday in an op-ed for Fox News. “I urge my colleagues to do the same.”

Sen. David Perdue (Ga.) — Perdue said in a statement that “we are on track to deliver results and fundamentally change this tax code.” He voted for the bill in the Senate Budget Committee.

Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) — Portman voted for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee.

Sen. Jim Risch (Idaho) — Risch said on the Senate floor that “under the plan released by the Senate Finance Committee, middle-class Americans will see a benefit in the form of a lower tax bill, which means more money for households to bring home.”

Sen. Pat Roberts (Kan.) — Roberts voted for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee.

Sen. Mike Rounds (S.D.) — Rounds said on Twitter that the Senate tax bill would “create jobs, raise wages and provide a fairer tax system for South Dakotans.”

Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.) — Scott voted for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee.

Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.) — Shelby said in a tweet that the Senate GOP tax plan will “grow the economy by 3.7 percent and create nearly 1 million new jobs across the nation.”

Sen. Luther Strange (Ala.) — Strange voted for the bill in the Senate Budget Committee.

Sen. Dan Sullivan (Alaska) — Sullivan is a “yes” vote.

Sen. John Thune (S.D.) — Thune said on Twitter that “the American people deserve a tax code that works for them, not against them. That grows their paychecks, instead of shrinking them. … And that’s exactly what we’re going to give them, starting today.” He voted for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee.

Sen. Thom Tillis (N.C.) — Tillis is a “yes” on the tax bill.

Sen. Pat Toomey (Pa.) — Toomey said in a statement that “this tax reform package is going to directly lower the tax bill, and therefore, be a pay raise for the overwhelming, vast majority of Pennsylvanians who are getting up every day and going to work and supporting their families. And that’s very good news.” He voted for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee and on the Budget Committee.

Sen. Roger Wicker (Miss.) — “I am eager to roll up my sleeves — working nights if necessary, working weekends if necessary — to get this bill to the president’s desk,” Wicker said in a statement.

Tags Ben Sasse Bill Cassidy Bob Corker Chuck Grassley Cory Gardner Dan Sullivan Dean Heller Deb Fischer James Inhofe James Lankford Jeff Flake Jerry Moran Jim Risch John Barrasso John Boozman John Cornyn John Hoeven John Kennedy John McCain John Thune Johnny Isakson Joni Ernst Lamar Alexander Lindsey Graham Lisa Murkowski Luther Strange Marco Rubio Mike Crapo Mike Enzi Mike Lee Mike Rounds Mitch McConnell Orrin Hatch Pat Roberts Pat Toomey Rand Paul Richard Burr Richard Shelby Rob Portman Roger Wicker Ron Johnson Roy Blunt Shelley Moore Capito Steve Daines Susan Collins Ted Cruz Thad Cochran Thom Tillis Tim Scott Todd Young Tom Cotton

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