death and taxes and more taxes
Twelve House Republicans broke with their party to vote with the Democrats against the tax overhaul plan on Tuesday. The plan nevertheless passed 227-203.
In opposition were Republican Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.), Darrell Issa (Calif.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), Christopher Smith (N.J.), Leonard Lance (N.J.), Rodney Frelinghuysen (N.J.), Lee Zeldin (N.Y.), Peter King (NY.), Dan Donovan (N.Y.), John Faso (N.Y.), and Elise Stefanik (N.Y.).
With one exception — Jones — all the dissenting Republicans are from high-tax states. The GOP reform is expected to hit those states the hardest because "the change to the state and local tax deduction would reduce disposable income for many taxpayers, likely outweighing the positive effect of lower federal rates on consumption in many communities and states," Nick Samuels, a vice president at Moody's Investor Service, explained to CNBC.
Additionally, almost all of the "no" voting GOP lawmakers are targets for the Democrats in 2018 because they serve in districts with razor-thin Republican preferences, per the Cook Partisan Voting Index:
Jones sits comfortably with his district performing an average of 12 points more Republican than the nation as a whole, but Issa and LoBiondo have just a sliver of a lean at plus-one percent.
What explains Jones' odd-man-out vote, then? The projected $1.46 trillion that is expected to be added to the deficit over the next decade. "I'm all for tax reform, but it must grow the economy, not the debt," he argued after the House's initial vote in November.