GOP Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona conceded his support for the Senate tax reform bill Friday, giving GOP leadership their 50th vote hours before the upper chamber is scheduled to vote on the legislation.
NEWS: Jeff Flake is a YES on tax reform. Full statement >> pic.twitter.com/T47o01BavD
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) December 1, 2017
“I am pleased to announce I will vote in support the tax reform bill,” Flake said in a statement.
Flake, a consummate critic of President Donald Trump, agreed to vote for the bill after securing a “firm commitment” from GOP leadership that they would work with him to develop legislative protections for so called Dreamers. Flake’s statement suggests leadership is open to extending legal status to illegal immigrants in danger of deportation due to Trump’s September decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“The second was to obtain a firm commitment from the Senate Leadership and the administration to work with me on a growth-oriented legislative solution to enact fair and permanent protections for DACA recipients,” the statement reads.
The commitment to negotiating protections for Dreamers reportedly came directly from Vice President Mike Pence.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) December 1, 2017
Flake, along with GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, had also expressed concerns about the tax bill’s budgetary impact. The pair argued the dramatic tax cuts included in the legislation would expand the nation’s already ballooning deficit.
Corker remains the only Republican in opposition to the bill as his fellow would be defectors, GOP Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Steve Daines of Montana, agreed to support the bill in the eleventh hour.
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