Post: AZ senators crucial to passing GOP tax bill

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Washington Post reported that Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake will be thrust into a starring role in the GOP tax bill drama unfolding this week in the Senate, as leaders race to salvage the party's legislative agenda.

The tax bill represents the top priority of a new president. But McCain and Flake now stand shoulder to shoulder among the handful of Republican holdouts who could yet sink the Senate tax bill.

McCain has said encouraging things about the process to date but reportedly harbors a range of reservations.

Flake is focusing more narrowly on the deficit implications of the package. So are Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., James Lankford, R-Okla., and Jerry Moran, R-Kan., who are agitating for a guarantee, potentially in the form of an added trigger mechanism, that the bill won't increase the debt after a decade.

"They're both immune from any kind of feedback, so I don't think pressure is a factor here," says David Berman, professor (emeritus of political science and senior research fellow at Morrison Institute for Public Policy) at Arizona State University. And Trump has gone out of his way to antagonize both, privately and publicly.

Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, acknowledges the situation remains fluid and he "couldn't say at this point what either senator will do."

But, Hamer stated, "both have been great advocates on behalf of job creators in Arizona and very popular with the business community. . . I'm optimistic they'll play a positive role in bridging some of the remaining issues so this can move forward."

READ: The Finance 202: Trump antagonists and Arizona senators are key to tax plan's success