Twelve House Republicans, including 11 who hail from districts in states won by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, voted against the GOP’s ambitious $1.5 trillion measure that rewrites the nation’s tax code.
The 11 blue state Republicans who voted no are all from California, New York or New Jersey, and represent mostly suburban districts that Democrats are targeting in their quest to retake the House in the 2018 midterm elections.
Representatives Dan Donovan, R-NY, John Faso, R-NY, Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-NJ, Darrell Issa, R-CA, Peter King, R-NY, Leonard Lance, R-NJ, Frank LoBiondo, R-NJ, Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, Chris Smith, R-NJ, Elise Stefanik, R-NY and Lee Zeldin, R-NY all voted against H.R. 1, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Rep. Walter Jones, R-NC, was the only Republican from a state that Donald Trump won in 2016 to vote against the bill.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), immediately pounced on news of the bill’s passage, painting the legislation as a giveaway to wealthy Americans and promising to use it as an issue in the upcoming midterms.
“Democratic candidates are already running against this tax scam and winning the debate in their communities, and passing this historically unpopular bill will have far-reaching electoral consequences for House Republicans next year,” DCCC Communications Director Meredith Kelly said in a statement Tuesday.
Recent polling on the GOP tax plan indicates that many believe the bill benefits wealthy Americans over the poor and middle class. In a CNN/SSRS poll released Tuesday, 66% of respondents said the bill will do more for wealthy Americans than the middle class or the poor, and 65% of respondents in a Quinnipiac poll released on December 13 said the wealthy will benefit the most from the plan.
In defending their votes, the House Republicans who voted no cited a new limit on a deduction key to their constituents, and pointed to the already high tax burden they faced as another reason for their vote.
“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,” New Jersey Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement released Tuesday. “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’!”
Rep. John Faso of New York said the bill did not fit his criteria of helping “increase economic growth, increase worker paychecks, incentivize small business investment and ensure New York families are better off.”
Others, including Zeldin, Stefanik and Rohrabacher had already announced their opposition to the bill earlier this week.