Republicans again face defections on a top priority. This time, tax cuts.

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Republicans are once again struggling to get the votes they need to pass one of their own top priorities—in this case, tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. The House needs to pass the Senate’s budget resolution to allow Senate Republicans to use reconciliation to pass the tax cuts with 51 rather than 60 votes. But there’s a sticking point in the House: Republicans from higher-taxed states are worried about the elimination of a provision that currently allows people to deduct their state and local taxes from their federal taxes.

“I need to know what the endgame is going to look like if I’m going to vote on it,” said Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., a leader of the bloc of concerned Republicans. MacArthur attended a White House meeting on the issue Tuesday where he said he “didn’t make the progress I had hoped for.” […]


House Republicans also told The Washington Post Tuesday they had concerns about the state- and local-tax deduction, commonly referred to as “SALT,” and could vote against the budget if they are not addressed. They cited language in the Senate budget that references “reducing federal deductions, such as the state and local tax deduction which disproportionally favors high-income individuals, to ensure relief for middle-income taxpayers.”

“That language shouldn’t have been added to the Senate budget,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y. “Unless I get more concrete information on a reasonable agreement, then I will be a no on Thursday.”

While Republicans scramble to lockdown votes, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is looking past this bill to what a bipartisan tax bill might look like:

“If this bill fails, what we saw in health care in a small way, we could see in a bigger way and actually come up with some kind of bipartisan compromise,” he said. That compromise would have to include no tax breaks for the top 1 percent and deficit neutrality. If that happens, Schumer said, “there are a lot of Democrats who would be willing to reduce the corporate rate.”

This one could be close. It could be another Republican failure on one of their top priorities. But as we saw with health care, never underestimate their determination to hurt working people. Speaking of close votes, breaking the GOP’s stranglehold on Congress starts with ending gerrymandering in the states.

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