Senate Republicans are hoping for tax reform by Christmas, but they still need to make sure to get a few more members of their party on board first.
In order to do that, GOP lawmakers are considering different measures to garner more support, including implementing an automatic trigger that would raise taxes if the legislation failed to garner as much revenue as expected.
Republicans only have two votes to spare in the Senate, where they hold a 52 to 48 edge. Vice President Mike Pence would break the tie, if needed.
Here’s a look at which Republicans still have concerns about the current tax reform measure.
Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., is a no so far on the tax reform legislation but told Fox News Tuesday that he’s had “very construction and positive conversations” with President Trump and others in the administration who have a hand in overhauling the nation’s tax process.
Daines said he is “optimistic” that the improvements could be made to the bill before it’s time to vote – in which case, he could change his mind.
Wisconsin’s Sen. Ron Johnson originally wasn’t too big of a supporter of the tax bill, but after meeting with Senate leadership and Trump, he voted it through the Finance Committee.
He told Fox News that Trump promised to fix some of the problems he had with the measure and would work with them as the bill moves to the full Senate. Johnson voted to move the legislation out of the Senate Budget Committee Tuesday and said he’s been assured that his concerns with pass-throughs will be addressed.
When it came to Republicans’ efforts to overhaul the healthcare system, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was not on board. Now Republicans are looking to see if she’ll join them on taxes.
While her position is still unknown, she has reportedly said there are things she is “trying to change” regarding the current legislation. After meeting with the president Tuesday, Collins said she was feeling “optimistic” about tax reform, the New York Times reported.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., is one Republican who still hasn’t made up his mind – at least publicly – about his vote on tax reform. He has said he’s concerned about how the legislation will impact the national debt, but he did vote it through the Senate Budget Committee Tuesday.
Corker wants to include a “backstop” or trigger in the legislation that would increase revenues even if the plan falls short.
After Trump’s meeting with Senate Republicans, Corker said, “I think we’re getting to a very good place on the deficit issue.”
“While we are still working to finalize the details, I am encouraged by our discussions.”
Like Sen. Bob Corker, Jeff Flake has been publicly at odds with the Trump administration – especially since he announced his impending retirement from the Senate.
And also like Corker, Flake, R-Ariz., has not publicly announced where he stands on the tax reform legislation but has expressed concern about its impact to the country’s debt.
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., wants to make sure the legislation doesn’t increase the federal deficit and has yet to publicly announce his plan for the bill.
“What changes might be needed in the tax code in the days ahead, to be able to adjust in what scenario,” Lankford said. He’s maintained that he’s not against tax reform but wants to make sure it’s done “right.”
While Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., hasn’t announced how he plans to vote, he did praise the Senate Finance Committee for passing the tax plan through the use of regular order earlier this month.
Like others, McCain is also considered a deficit hawk when it comes to the tax bill and its impact on the federal deficit.
At a town hall event last week, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., refused to commit to the current tax legislation but did say that he is “for some tax bill.”
“Can we find taxes to cut that grow the economy? We don’t want to increase the debt and deficit as a result of tax cuts,” Moran said, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. “My goal is to find out which taxes you cut can actually help create more jobs, better jobs, higher-paying jobs … and which ones don’t do that. Not all of them do that.”
A more moderate Republican, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has not yet committed to backing the tax reform measure.
But Murkowski could potentially be swayed into voting for the bill if it comes with a provision that would allow drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – something that she’s long pushed for.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told WFOR-TV that when it comes to tax reform, he’s looking for two components: a proposal that will make the U.S. “more competitive” and “take care of workers.”
Rubio has pushed for an expansion of the child tax credit and wants to make “it fully refundable against payroll taxes.”
Fox News’ Peter Doocy and The Associated Press contributed to this report.