The sole Republican to vote against the Senate's original tax bill has changed his tune, but coincidentally only after the addition of a provision reducing taxes on income from real-estate LLCs that will benefit him personally - not to mention the president. Senator Bob Corker (TN) said the provision did not sway his opinion, because he has not read the bill and was unaware of its addition.
“I had like a two-page summary I went through with leadership,” said Corker. “I never saw the actual text.” Despite not reading the bill -- and having time to read it before the final vote scheduled for this week -- he reiterated his support for the bill to IBT, support he announced hours before [the] bill’s full text was publicly released on Friday.
After receiving an explanation of the provision from IBT, Corker was not impressed with its addition to the bill.
“If I understand what [the provision] does, it sounds totally unnecessary and borderline ridiculous.”
But a short time later he indicated he would need to know more about its affects:
“I don’t really know what the provision does to be honest. I would need an accountant to explain it,” Corker said. “I had no knowledge of this and would have no knowledge of it except for you guys are calling me about it. I have no idea whatsoever whether it impacts me or doesn’t impact me.”
To recap, Corker has said he will vote yes for major tax reform legislation that he has not read and to which he could not respond intelligently regarding the effects of its contents.
Corker’s vote is considered pivotal in the closely divided Senate and he could be in a position to make or break the landmark legislation.
As for the real estate provision itself, Democrats have said it is simply another giveaway to the wealthy.
“This new real estate carve out was airdropped in at K Street’s bidding, widens the proposed passthrough loophole and gives away an even bigger tax cut to Trump and his wealthy friends," Wyden said. "Combined with tax cuts for the one percent, these breaks create a bonanza for the politically powerful and well-connected at the expense of the middle class.”