House Republicans narrowly approved the Senate-passed budget resolution Thursday, clearing a procedural hurdle and allowing the House of Representatives to take up a tax overhaul.
The bill passed 216–212, with all Democrats and some Republicans opposing the measure. Speaker Paul Ryan cast a rare vote in favor of the measure, highlighting the significance of the vote.
A group of New York and New Jersey Republicans opposed the bill out of concerns about possible changes to state and local tax deductions in the GOP tax plan to be formally proposed down the line.
While the nonbinding budget plan would add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next decade, all but the most strident deficit hawks voted for the measure, abandoning GOP orthodoxy for their once-in-a-generation effort to rewrite the tax code using reconciliation, which allows for a simple majority vote in the Senate, in lieu of the usual 60-vote threshold, for passage.
President Donald Trump has made that argument, pitching the possibility of a tax overhaul to members this week as he rallied support for the budget resolution.
“He said, ‘Tom, just hold your nose, close your eyes and vote yes,’” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said of Trump’s message in a phone call last Sunday. “I think that’s how a lot of guys are approaching it.”
After their failed efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act this year, political considerations also trumped longstanding policy concerns for some members of the party.
“There wasn’t a win in health care, and the base is frustrated,” Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., who voted against the measure, told ABC News. “If there isn’t some sort of win, I think there will be repercussions in 2018.”
Republicans will release the details of their tax plan next week, and hope to send the measure to the Senate by Thanksgiving.