Support from Conservative Freedom Caucus boosts tax bill

Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus said Thursday they support a sweeping tax package speeding toward votes in Congress next week, giving GOP leaders a boost from a key faction as they work to deliver a major legislative victory to President Donald Trump.

“I think it’s going to pass. I think you’re going to see the vast majority of the Freedom Caucus people vote for it,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.

The leader of the caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said, “I know enough (about the agreement) to know that at this point, I don’t have any alarm bells going off.”

The Freedom Caucus is a key constituency for House GOP leaders because, with more than 30 members, a united caucus could kill any bill that lacks support from Democrats. Congressional Democrats, who were excluded from crafting the tax package, have been united against it.

House and Senate Republican leaders forged an agreement Wednesday on the most sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax laws in more than 30 years. The package would give generous tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and more modest tax cuts to low- and middle-income families.

The agreement also calls for scrapping a major tax requirement of the “Obamacare” health law, a step toward the ultimate GOP goal of unraveling the law.

The tax package is polling badly among the public, but Republicans say that will turn around after Americans see the benefits.

“What comforts me greatly is the fact that the results are going to produce,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. “I’m convinced this is going to help repatriate capital. I’m convinced this is going to launch more investment in businesses and workers. I’m convinced this is going to give bigger paychecks, a simpler system.”

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