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After being on fence, Flake votes for Republican tax reform bill

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

PHOENIX — After reportedly saying he was on the fence about it, U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) voted for a Republican tax reform bill on Tuesday.

Flake’s eventual support of the bill likely came as little surprise. He voted for an earlier version of the bill after being promised a seat at the negotiating table to work toward a solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients.

Flake reportedly held out his support for a time this week because of the same issue. He said in a Wednesday statement that a DACA bill could be coming as soon as next month.

“While I would have written a much different bill, this bill lowers the corporate tax rate in a manner that makes us globally competitive,” he said. “I am also pleased that the majority leader has committed to bring the bipartisan DACA bill we are currently negotiating to the Senate floor in January.”

Had he gone against the plan, Flake would have been the only Republican senator to do so.

His “no” vote, along with the absence of Arizona’s other senator, John McCain, would have forced Vice President Mike Pence to cast his tie-breaking vote.

Pence postponed his trip to Egypt and Israel until mid-January if he would need to cast his vote.

The bill passed in the Senate by a margin of 51-48, and now will head back to the House for a re-vote on Wednesday after Senate rules forced some tweaks to be made.

The bill was expected to pass the House again as it was earlier Tuesday. Should it pass again, it will be passed to President Donald Trump to sign into law.

There was some doubt about the passage of the GOP plan over the weekend, but the party solidified as the vote neared.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), two of the other senators who were waffling on the bill, voted in support of it on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  

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