The Republican Party in the Senate is in a very tricky place in terms of getting legislation passed. They are trying to put forward a bill that an unpopular President can sign while at the same time keeping all of their own members together to vote on it. They already know that all forty-eight Senate Democrats will vote against the bill, so they can only afford to lose two Republican Senator’s votes to get something to pass (with the tie-breaking vote cast by Vice President Mike Pence).
Currently, there are already two Senate Republicans who have said that they are “No” votes on the legislation the way that it is currently written. If reporting from CNBC is accurate, there could be at least one more who may not vote in favor of it as well.
Senator Corker from Tennessee has stated that he has been a deficit hawk in the Senate for eleven years, and he does not want to see the nation damaged by any actions that he might take on this tax bill. He indicates that he believes that this tax bill would be harmful to the country in its current form. That could mean he is the third “No” vote that liberals need to see this bill defeated.
Corker has been a critic of the President for some time now, and he remains a thorn in the side of the President on many issues. He was considered a top contender to draw a primary challenger if he were to decide to run for re-election. However, he has designed to retire from the Senate at the end of his term. This frees him up to actually vote the way that he believes is right rather than the way that may be most politically advantageous for him at any given moment. With that prospective, it is easy to see why this whole conversation about the tax bill could be an interesting one to keep an eye on.