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Sen. Corker says he won’t let feud with Trump influence his tax reform vote

Sen. Bob Corker said Tuesday that he hoped the White House would "step aside" and allow Congress to go through the normal processes of writing the tax bill. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said on Thursday that he wouldn't let his public feud with President Donald Trump influence his vote on the Republican-led tax reform plan. Corker's vote had been the subject of heavy speculation since Tuesday when Corker tweeted that the White House should "step aside" and let Congress work on the bill.

So, what did Corker say about his support of tax reform legislation?

"This tax reform is our agenda, it's the Republican Senate agenda," Corker said on CNBC Thursday morning. "It would be like somebody in your listening audience representing their company, sitting across the table from someone they may have a low regard for, but are they going do something that's going to damage their company because of that? Absolutely not."

"Look, I'm all in on closing $4 trillion of loopholes. And I'm all in for locking arms and having the intestinal fortitude to do it. ... If we do it right, and we do the corporate things we're talking about, I'll believe we'll get the dynamic score that is necessary to close that trillion dollars that I was talking about on the front end," he said. "I believe we'll get it. It's got to be proven, we've got to have appropriate scoring."

What were Trump and Corker feuding over?

Corker, who has already announced he will not be seeking re-election, told reporters Tuesday that he hoped the White House would "step aside" and allow Congress to go through the normal processes of writing the tax bill.

"I think that's the best way for us to have success," Corker said, adding that Trump's scheduled appearance at the Senate GOP lunch later that afternoon was merely a "photo op."

Trump was quick to lash out at Corker on Twitter for the comment, accusing him of fighting against tax cuts.

"Bob Corker, who helped President O give us the bad Iran Deal & couldn't get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, is now fighting Tax Cuts," Trump wrote.

"Corker dropped out of the race in Tennesse when I refused to endorse him, and now is only negative on anything Trump. Look at his record," he added several minutes later.

Corker responded, accusing Trump of being untruthful.

"Same untruths from an utterly untruthful president," he said.

What's the latest on tax reform?

The House of Representatives passed a budget resolution Thursday by a vote of 216-212 that will allow the Senate to operate under reconciliation rules and pass tax reform with a simple majority instead of the usual 60 votes needed. Twenty House Republicans voted against the measure.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Calif.) announced after the vote that a tax reform bill would be introduced on Wednesday, and that the committee is slated to begin reviewing it Nov. 6. Republicans currently hold 52 seats in the Senate, which means they can only afford two defections from their own party.

 

One last thing…
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