Senate

Flake skips WH tax event: ‘I can only take so many of those stand around and clap things’

Greg Nash

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said he skipped a gathering of congressional Republicans at the White House on Wednesday because he did not want to attend an event where lawmakers are expected to simply “stand around and clap.”

The event, attended by House and Senate GOP leaders and a number of Republican lawmakers, was held to celebrate congressional Republicans’ passage of a massive tax rewrite. 

“I can only take so many of those stand around and clap things, I’d rather be here,” Flake told reporters at the Capitol.

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Republicans in the Senate and House gave final approval to the tax overhaul on Wednesday, making good on a promise to send the legislation to President Trump’s desk by Christmas. 

The legislation permanently slashes the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and offers smaller, temporary cuts to individual tax rates.

Flake voted in favor of the measure in the Senate early Wednesday, but did not attend the celebratory event at the White House later in the day.

The Arizona Republican, one of Trump’s most vocal GOP critics, announced earlier this year he would not seek reelection in 2018, citing disparities between his own brand of conservatism and that of Trump.

In a defiant speech on the Senate floor, Flake delivered a thinly veiled criticism of the president’s politics.

Tags Donald Trump Jeff Flake Tax reform

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