WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Senator Rand Paul, a fiscal hawk who has sometimes opposed his party’s spending plans, said on Monday he planned to vote for the U.S. Senate tax bill and urged his colleagues to do the same.
Paul, writing in a Fox News online opinion piece, said that while the bill was not perfect and he would “prefer a larger cut,” he planned to support the measure because it achieved some of his goals, and he could push for more changes next year.
“This tax bill is a true test for my colleagues,” wrote Paul, who represents Kentucky. “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.”
President Donald Trump, also a Republican, had set a goal of signing a sweeping tax overhaul into law before the end of 2017.
About a half-dozen lawmakers have voiced concerns about provisions including a nearly $1.5 trillion addition to the federal deficit, the treatment of small businesses and the potential impact on health insurances costs for people with medical conditions.
Senate Republicans hope to pass their bill as early as Thursday. With only a 52-48 majority in the 100-seat Senate, and Democrats unlikely to vote for the measure, they can lose support from no more than two members of their own ranks.
With the clock ticking, Trump was set to meet top Senate Republican tax writers at the White House as the administration considered policy tweaks to make the bill more palatable to potential Republican holdouts.
Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Lisa Von Ahn