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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Flake's decision officially gives Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Dems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Senate passes bill making hacking voting systems a federal crime MORE (Ky.) the 50 out of 52 GOP senators he needs to let Vice President Pence break a tie on the legislation.
 
Republicans had to kick work on the tax plan into Friday when deficit hawks led by Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' 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 CollinsHillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp Trump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout 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 GrassleyOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Sanders mounts staunch defense of 'Medicare for All' | Biden, Sanders fight over health care heats up | House votes to repeal ObamaCare 'Cadillac Tax' | Dems want details on fetal tissue research ban Senate approves long-delayed tax treaties in win for business The peculiar priorities of Adam Schiff MORE (R-Iowa), made an offer to Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations Senate approves long-delayed tax treaties in win for business MORE  (D-Ill.) that would pair much of Sen. John CornynJohn CornynDemocratic Houston councilwoman announces Senate bid Trump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal 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.