Rand Paul to offer ObamaCare mandate repeal in Senate tax bill
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that he will propose amending the Senate GOP tax bill to repeal ObamaCare’s individual mandate and create a property-tax deduction similar to that in the House bill.
“Today I am announcing my intention to amend the Senate tax bill to repeal the individual mandate and provide bigger tax cuts for middle income taxpayers,” Paul said on Twitter. “The mandate repeal is a promise we all made and we should keep. It also allows an additional $300 billion+ in tax cuts.”
Paul expressed concerns that the Senate tax bill would increase taxes on some because it repeals the full state and local tax deduction. The House bill repeals the deductions for state and local income and sales taxes but keeps a deduction for property tax deductions up to $10,000.
“My amendment will fix a problem in the Senate bill where many taxpayers would see a tax increase because of the loss of state and local deductions,” he tweeted. “I will introduce a similar deduction as the House plan, making the tax reform plan more fair for everyone.”
“This will help ensure House acceptance of the Senate plan as leaders there have stated they will not accept a plan with no state and local deductibility,” he added. “Repeal the mandate fix problems with Senate bill through more tax cuts for all and help ensure House and Senate plans agree.”
The Senate Finance Committee is currently marking up their tax bill, with the hopes of advancing it by the end of the week. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) hopes that the bill will be considered on the Senate floor the week after Thanksgiving.
Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is expected to offer modifications to the bill on Tuesday, and committee members’ amendments will likely start to be discussed on Wednesday.
Senators will also be able to offer amendments on the floor. Paul does not serve on the Finance Committee.
President Trump and several other conservative lawmakers have also expressed a desire to repeal the individual mandate, but it is not a part of either the House or Senate bills as of Tuesday morning. The issue remains under discussion.
Paul isn’t the only GOP senator who has expressed concerns with the Senate’s plan to eliminate the full state and local tax deduction. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told reporters Monday that she wants the Senate to keep the top individual rate at 39.6 percent instead of lowering it to 38.5 percent in order to help pay for a property-tax deduction.
However, Collins has said she wants the individual mandate to be kept separate from the tax bill.
She was one of three Republican Senators who voted against her party’s latest effort to repeal ObamaCare.