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Conservative Review

Vote Alert: Tax Cut for America

Given our current political environment, there is no easy way to reform the base structure of our current progressive income tax. The GOP tax bill certainly will not solve the systemic problems with our tax code or system of governance. The bill does not make the code simpler, flatter, or fairer. Conservatives have long advocated for transformative tax reform and would have preferred a flatter tax that broadens the base so that everyone pays a fair, low rate.

This GOP tax bill does cut taxes for almost everyone, particularly for families with children. Additionally, this bill substantially lowers the ridiculously high business tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and significantly reduces the tax liability for "pass through" income of small business owners. But with the inclusion of an expanded refundable child tax credit, this bill increases the current progressive nature of the federal income tax by ensuring that even more individuals pay zero taxes and some others “earn” extra cash through the tax code. Simply put, this bill is a tax cut, not tax reform.

While conservatives would prefer that Congress cut spending to offset at least part of the tax cut, unfortunately, that was not an option on the menu. Neither Republicans nor Democrats have any interest in reducing the size of the federal government or even cutting waste in a meaningful way.

Ultimately, when faced with the final choice of spending into oblivion with a progressive tax code that cuts taxes for almost everyone who pays them (and gives money to many who don’t) vs. spending into oblivion without a tax cut and no chance for economic growth, the best thing for conservatives is to pocket the tax cut and continue fighting for more structural reforms to the code, more spending cuts, and entitlement reforms.

As an added bonus, this bill repeals the unconstitutional requirement to purchase medical insurance. To be clear, this is not a fulfillment of the GOP promise to repeal Obamacare. However, it is better than the status quo and will help consumers escape from the monopoly of the insurance cartel and create alternatives that will compete with the system.

The bill was approved by the Senate 51-48 on December 20, 2017, and the House of Representatives approved the bill 224-201 on December 20, 2017.

To see how your elected officials stack up or other votes that compose the Liberty Score, view our full scorecard here.

Conservative position: YES

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U.S. Senate

YEAs — 51

Alexander (R-TN)

Barrasso (R-WY)

Blunt (R-MO)

Boozman (R-AR)

Burr (R-NC)

Capito (R-WV)

Cassidy (R-LA)

Cochran (R-MS)

Collins (R-ME)

Corker (R-TN)

Cornyn (R-TX)

Cotton (R-AR)

Crapo (R-ID)

Cruz (R-TX)

Daines (R-MT)

Enzi (R-WY)

Ernst (R-IA)

Fischer (R-NE)

Flake (R-AZ)

Gardner (R-CO)

Graham (R-SC)

Grassley (R-IA)

Hatch (R-UT)

Heller (R-NV)

Hoeven (R-ND)

Inhofe (R-OK)

Isakson (R-GA)

Johnson (R-WI)

Kennedy (R-LA)

Lankford (R-OK)

Lee (R-UT)

McConnell (R-KY)

Moran (R-KS)

Murkowski (R-AK)

Paul (R-KY)

Perdue (R-GA)

Portman (R-OH)

Risch (R-ID)

Roberts (R-KS)

Rounds (R-SD)

Rubio (R-FL)

Sasse (R-NE)

Scott (R-SC)

Shelby (R-AL)

Strange (R-AL)

Sullivan (R-AK)

Thune (R-SD)

Tillis (R-NC)

Toomey (R-PA)

Wicker (R-MS)

Young (R-IN)

NAYs — 48

Baldwin (D-WI)

Bennet (D-CO)

Blumenthal (D-CT)

Booker (D-NJ)

Brown (D-OH)

Cantwell (D-WA)

Cardin (D-MD)

Carper (D-DE)

Casey (D-PA)

Coons (D-DE)

Cortez Masto (D-NV)

Donnelly (D-IN)

Duckworth (D-IL)

Durbin (D-IL)

Feinstein (D-CA)

Franken (D-MN)

Gillibrand (D-NY)

Harris (D-CA)

Hassan (D-NH)

Heinrich (D-NM)

Heitkamp (D-ND)

Hirono (D-HI)

Kaine (D-VA)

King (I-ME)

Klobuchar (D-MN)

Leahy (D-VT)

Manchin (D-WV)

Markey (D-MA)

McCaskill (D-MO)

Menendez (D-NJ)

Merkley (D-OR)

Murphy (D-CT)

Murray (D-WA)

Nelson (D-FL)

Peters (D-MI)

Reed (D-RI)

Sanders (I-VT)

Schatz (D-HI)

Schumer (D-NY)

Shaheen (D-NH)

Stabenow (D-MI)

Tester (D-MT)

Udall (D-NM)

Van Hollen (D-MD)

Warner (D-VA)

Warren (D-MA)

Whitehouse (D-RI)

Wyden (D-OR)

Not Voting — 1

McCain (R-AZ)

House of Representatives*

*Minority party (Democrats) in italics

YEAs — 224

Abraham

Aderholt

Allen

Amash

Amodei

Arrington

Babin

Bacon

Banks (IN)

Barletta

Barr

Barton

Bergman

Biggs

Bilirakis

Bishop (MI)

Bishop (UT)

Black

Blackburn

Blum

Bost

Brady (TX)

Brat

Bridenstine

Brooks (IN)

Buchanan

Buck

Bucshon

Budd

Burgess

Byrne

Calvert

Carter (GA)

Carter (TX)

Chabot

Cheney

Coffman

Cole

Collins (GA)

Collins (NY)

Comer

Comstock

Conaway

Cook

Costello (PA)

Cramer

Crawford

Culberson

Curbelo (FL)

Curtis

Davidson

Davis, Rodney

Denham

Dent

DeSantis

DesJarlais

Diaz-Balart

Duffy

Duncan (SC)

Duncan (TN)

Dunn

Emmer

Estes (KS)

Farenthold

Ferguson

Fitzpatrick

Fleischmann

Flores

Fortenberry

Foxx

Gaetz

Gallagher

Garrett

Gianforte

Gibbs

Gohmert

Goodlatte

Gosar

Gowdy

Granger

Graves (GA)

Graves (LA)

Graves (MO)

Griffith

Grothman

Guthrie

Handel

Harper

Harris

Hartzler

Hensarling

Herrera Beutler

Hice, Jody B.

Higgins (LA)

Hill

Holding

Hollingsworth

Hudson

Huizenga

Hultgren

Hunter

Hurd

Jenkins (KS)

Jenkins (WV)

Johnson (LA)

Johnson (OH)

Johnson, Sam

Jordan

Joyce (OH)

Katko

Kelly (MS)

Kelly (PA)

King (IA)

Kinzinger

Knight

Kustoff (TN)

Labrador

LaHood

LaMalfa

Lamborn

Latta

Lewis (MN)

Long

Loudermilk

Love

Lucas

Luetkemeyer

MacArthur

Marchant

Marino

Marshall

Massie

Mast

McCarthy

McCaul

McClintock

McHenry

McKinley

McMorris Rodgers

McSally

Meadows

Meehan

Messer

Mitchell

Moolenaar

Mooney (WV)

Mullin

Newhouse

Noem

Norman

Nunes

Olson

Palazzo

Palmer

Paulsen

Pearce

Perry

Pittenger

Poe (TX)

Poliquin

Posey

Ratcliffe

Reed

Reichert

Rice (SC)

Roby

Roe (TN)

Rogers (AL)

Rogers (KY)

Rokita

Rooney, Francis

Rooney, Thomas J.

Ros-Lehtinen

Roskam

Ross

Rothfus

Rouzer

Royce (CA)

Russell

Rutherford

Ryan (WI)

Sanford

Scalise

Schweikert

Scott, Austin

Sensenbrenner

Sessions

Shimkus

Shuster

Simpson

Smith (MO)

Smith (NE)

Smucker

Stewart

Stivers

Taylor

Tenney

Thompson (PA)

Thornberry

Tiberi

Tipton

Trott

Turner

Upton

Valadao

Wagner

Walberg

Walden

Walker

Walorski

Walters, Mimi

Weber (TX)

Webster (FL)

Wenstrup

Westerman

Williams

Wilson (SC)

Wittman

Womack

Woodall

Yoder

Yoho

Young (AK)

Young (IA)

NAYs — 201

Adams

Aguilar

Barragán

Bass

Beatty

Bera

Beyer

Bishop (GA)

Blumenauer

Blunt Rochester

Bonamici

Boyle, Brendan F.

Brady (PA)

Brown (MD)

Brownley (CA)

Bustos

Butterfield

Capuano

Carbajal

Cárdenas

Carson (IN)

Cartwright

Castor (FL)

Castro (TX)

Chu, Judy

Cicilline

Clark (MA)

Clarke (NY)

Clay

Cleaver

Clyburn

Cohen

Connolly

Cooper

Correa

Costa

Courtney

Crist

Crowley

Cuellar

Cummings

Davis (CA)

Davis, Danny

DeFazio

DeGette

Delaney

DeLauro

DelBene

Demings

DeSaulnier

Deutch

Dingell

Doggett

Donovan

Doyle, Michael F.

Ellison

Engel

Eshoo

Espaillat

Esty (CT)

Evans

Faso

Foster

Frankel (FL)

Frelinghuysen

Fudge

Gabbard

Gallego

Garamendi

Gomez

Gonzalez (TX)

Gottheimer

Green, Al

Green, Gene

Grijalva

Gutiérrez

Hanabusa

Hastings

Heck

Higgins (NY)

Himes

Hoyer

Huffman

Issa

Jackson Lee

Jayapal

Jeffries

Johnson (GA)

Johnson, E. B.

Jones

Kaptur

Keating

Kelly (IL)

Khanna

Kihuen

Kildee

Kilmer

Kind

King (NY)

Krishnamoorthi

Kuster (NH)

Lance

Langevin

Larsen (WA)

Larson (CT)

Lawrence

Lawson (FL)

Lee

Levin

Lewis (GA)

Lieu, Ted

Lipinski

LoBiondo

Loebsack

Lofgren

Lowenthal

Lowey

Lujan Grisham, M.

Luján, Ben Ray

Lynch

Maloney, Carolyn B.

Maloney, Sean

Matsui

McCollum

McEachin

McGovern

McNerney

Meeks

Meng

Moore

Moulton

Murphy (FL)

Nadler

Neal

Nolan

Norcross

O'Halleran

O'Rourke

Pallone

Panetta

Pascrell

Payne

Pelosi

Perlmutter

Peters

Peterson

Pingree

Polis

Price (NC)

Quigley

Raskin

Rice (NY)

Richmond

Rohrabacher

Rosen

Roybal-Allard

Ruiz

Ruppersberger

Rush

Ryan (OH)

Sánchez

Sarbanes

Schakowsky

Schiff

Schneider

Schrader

Scott (VA)

Scott, David

Serrano

Sewell (AL)

Shea-Porter

Sherman

Sinema

Sires

Slaughter

Smith (NJ)

Smith (WA)

Soto

Speier

Stefanik

Suozzi

Swalwell (CA)

Takano

Thompson (CA)

Titus

Tonko

Torres

Tsongas

Vargas

Veasey

Vela

Velázquez

Visclosky

Walz

Wasserman Schultz

Waters, Maxine

Watson Coleman

Welch

Wilson (FL)

Yarmuth

Zeldin

Not Voting — 7

Brooks (AL)

Kennedy

Napolitano

Pocan

Renacci

Smith (TX)

Thompson (MS)

*Minority party (Democrats) in italics

One last thing…
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