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House Republican: my donors told me to pass the tax bill “or don’t ever call me again”

Chris Collins is saying the quiet part loud.

Rep. Chris Collins CQ/Roll Call/Bill Clark
Dylan Scott covers health care for Vox. He has reported on health policy for more than 10 years, writing for Governing magazine, Talking Points Memo and STAT before joining Vox in 2017.

The House Republican tax overhaul has already made a lot of enemies.

Moderate Republicans from New York and New Jersey worry their constituents would lose big if they can no longer deduct their state and local taxes from their federal tax bill — one of the key ways Republicans are hoping to pay for the corporate tax cut at the center of the plan. Outside groups on the right, like Club for Growth, also object to the bill, saying that taxes for millionaires should be cut even more. Outside estimates project that millions of middle-class Americans could end up paying higher taxes.

Yet the bill is still expected to pass the House.

Why? Consider this comment from Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), one of those New York Republicans who theoretically might be upset that his constituents would be expected to lose under the GOP bill.

The Republican donor class — i.e., corporate and wealthy America — expects Republican lawmakers to pass a Republican tax bill. It’s as simple as that.

We know donor pressure is a big reason that Republicans kept trying to repeal Obamacare. But they still failed. Tax reform is their next — and maybe last — chance to deliver a big legislative victory. Republicans know it.

“We haven’t repealed Obamacare, so if we don’t get tax reform done, we are in trouble,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said back in September. “We might as well flip up our tent and go home.”

So House Republicans aren’t going to sweat the details. Their donors put them in office to cut their taxes.

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