Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has been a thorn in President Trump’s side, even voting against Republican “Trumpcare” reforms earlier this year.
But in a shocking turn of events, Murkowski is now backing the Republican tax-cut bill…complete with the repeal of Obamacare taxes and mandated health-insurance purchases.
“I believe that the federal government should not force anyone to buy something they do not wish to buy in order to avoid being taxed,” Murkowski wrote in an editorial on Tuesday.
Murkowski is now more likely to vote yes on the GOP’s bill as it is currently written…not a watered-down version to appease liberal Senators.
More from Bloomberg:
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s decision to agree to smash Obamacare’s individual mandate may remove one obstacle to passing the Senate Republican tax bill next week.
“I believe that the federal government should not force anyone to buy something they do not wish to buy in order to avoid being taxed,” she wrote in an op-ed in Alaska’s Daily News-Miner newspaper posted online Tuesday.
Murkowski didn’t mention the tax bill in the article. But she previously said she preferred not to mix it with health care, and she was one of three mavericks who killed the GOP’s Obamacare repeal efforts earlier this year.
Her announcement came after she said last week that Congress should act to stabilize health-insurance markets in conjunction with eliminating the individual mandate — a requirement that individuals get health insurance or pay a federal penalty — in the tax legislation.
In the op-ed, Murkowski reiterated her support for proposed legislation to do just that but didn’t indicate it was a precondition for her to support the tax bill.
The mandate repeal now appears much more likely to stay in the tax bill, where it helps offset more than $300 billion in other tax cuts — revenue needed to bring the bill into compliance with Senate budget rules.
It’s also crucial to President Donald Trump’s goal of making corporate tax cuts permanent under those rules.
Will this finally tip the scales toward lower taxes for the American people?