Rand Paul: 'I plan to vote for the Senate tax bill' despite problems

Key Points
  • Sen. Rand Paul says he plans to vote for the Senate tax reform bill despite reservations about parts of it.
  • In an op-ed, Paul praises the bill's steep revenue cuts and its provision to abolish the Obamacare individual mandate.
  • But he also says the bill is "not perfect," and he'd like to see "more permanence" for individual tax cuts.
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
Joshua Roberts | Reuters

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says he plans to vote for the Senate tax reform bill despite reservations about parts of it.

Earlier this year, Paul voted against the Republican-backed Senate budget resolution, which triggered the reconciliation rules needed to pass tax cuts with a simple majority. But in an op-ed Monday for FoxNews.com, he praised the bill's steep cuts to federal revenues and the abolition of the individual health insurance mandate.

This tax bill is a true test for my colleagues. I'm not getting everything I want — far from it. But I've been immersed in this process. I've fought for and received major changes for the better — and I plan to vote for this bill as it stands right now. I urge my colleagues to do the same. I urge you, their constituents, to make sure they hear from you.

Paul also said the legislation still has problems, some of which can be fixed before a final bill is voted on. Others, he wrote, may have to "wait for another day."

This bill is not perfect. I would prefer a larger cut. I would prefer that the Senate bill match the House bill and keep some form of state and local deductions so that no one gets caught in the trap of losing too many deductions at once and failing to benefit from the tax cuts. Lastly, I'd like to see more permanence on the individual side. Some of that is still achievable. Some of it is due to the peculiarities of the budget and Senate rules and will have to wait for another day.

Republicans are racing this week to secure the 50 votes needed to pass the bill, which would be the party's, and President Donald Trump's, signature legislative accomplishment this year if it becomes law.

At least six Republican senators have yet to commit to voting for the tax reform bill in its current form.

Read Paul's entire op-ed here.