Senate Republicans worked hard over the past several weeks to do their best to have a united front to pass the Trump tax reform unanimously seeing as how it’s such a close vote in the Senate.
However, House Republicans were not able to convince 12 Republicans to go for the Trump tax reform legislation regardless. Among those 12 Republicans was House Appropriation Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.).
Frelinghuysen released this statement:
‘The people of New Jersey already carry an extremely heavy tax burden. They need and deserve tax cuts. Unfortunately, H.R. 1 caps the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) which will lead to tax increases for far too many hardworking New Jersey families.
‘This legislation will also damage our state’s housing market and business environment.
‘I had hoped to be able to vote for a pro-growth tax bill. However, H.R. 1 forces New Jersey residents to pay for tax cuts for residents in other states. I voted “No”!’
Those other Republicans who voted against the bill in the House were also from states that would have been affected by the state and local tax deduction cap.
‘Nearly all the Republicans who voted against the tax bill are from high-tax states, such as New Jersey, New York and California. Many New Jersey homeowners appreciate being able to deduct New Jersey’s remarkably high property taxes. Trump’s tax overhaul would limit how much people can now deduct. Fellow New Jersey Republican Congressman Chris Smith, who represents wealthy parts of Monmouth County, as well as Ocean and Mercer, also voted against the bill’
Rumor has it that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was so displeased with Frelinghuysen that he considered removing him from his chairmanship on the Appropriations Committee. Also, Frelinghuysen had voted no on the previous version. One source told POLITICO:
‘Committee chairmen are expected to support the team. How does he expect to win support for his own bills when he’s unwilling to support the President and Speaker’s number one priority?’
It’s not the first time he’s clashed with Speaker Ryan. He voted against a bill that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks and was originally a no vote on the Obamacare repeal.
Frelinghuysen will face reelection in 2018 and is being challenged by Democratic contender Mikie Sherrill.
Regardless of the defectors, the House still passed the tax bill. The real clincher will be the Senate vote. Problem is Republicans have promised they have the votes to pull it off, and all we can hope for are defectors who kept it on the down low.
Trump can say what he wants, but he doesn’t inspire all Republicans especially when his legislation will affect their own states negatively. More and more it seems Republican congresspeople realize this. However, it will never come soon enough.
Featured image by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images.