Flake to back tax bill, giving GOP 50 votes

 
"I am pleased to announce I will vote in support the tax reform bill," he said in a statement.  
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Republicans had to kick work on the tax plan into Friday when deficit hawks led by Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCIA's report complicates US response to Khashoggi murder Corker: 'Everything points' to Saudi crown prince ordering Khashoggi's killing CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi murder: report  MORE (R-Tenn.) threatened to kill the bill during an unexpected floor showdown on Thursday evening.
 
Republicans are expected to pass their tax plan as soon as Friday

Leadership appeared confident on Friday morning that they had the votes to pass their tax plan.

"We have the votes," McConnell told reporters after a closed-door caucus meeting.

GOP Sens. Corker and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell, Flake clash over protecting Mueller probe Overnight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — Border deployment 'peaked' at 5,800 troops | Trump sanctions 17 Saudis over Khashoggi killing | Senators offer bill to press Trump on Saudis | Paul effort to block Bahrain arms sale fails Senators introduce bill to respond to Khashoggi killing MORE (Maine) have not said how they will vote on the tax legislation. 

Flake said in addition to getting rid of an $85 billion "budget gimmick," he had also secured an agreement to work on a legislative fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

"The second was to obtain a firm commitment from the Senate Leadership and the administration to work with me on a growth-oriented legislative solution to enact fair and permanent protections for DACA recipients," he said.

The Trump administration announced earlier this year that it would end the DACA program.

A group of Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP's Grassley admonishes Trump on Kelly comments  Senate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Trump set to have close ally Graham in powerful chairmanship MORE (R-Iowa), made an offer to Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinMultiple deaths in shooting at Chicago hospital Senate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Overnight Health Care — Presented by The Partnership for Safe Medicines — GOP lawmaker pushes back on Trump drug pricing plan | Pfizer to raise prices on 41 drugs next year | Grassley opts for Finance gavel MORE  (D-Ill.) that would pair much of Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenate barrels toward showdown over Trump's court picks Dem gains put Sunbelt in play for 2020 Trump’s backing may not be enough on criminal justice reform MORE's (R-Texas) border security bill with an immigration fix that did not include a path to citizenship.

Some House Democrats, and a growing number of Senate progressives, have pledged to oppose any government spending bill without a deal on DACA. 

  
Updated 12:20 p.m.