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McCain says he will vote for Senate tax reform bill

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., delivers remarks at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. McCain, who graduated from the Academy in 1958, returned to his alma mater to address the Brigade of Midshipmen on leadership and service to the nation. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that he would support the Senate tax reform bill when it comes to a vote.

“I believe this legislation, though far from perfect, would enhance American competitiveness, boost the economy, and provide long overdue tax relief for middle class families,” he said in a statement.

The press release was the first inkling of where McCain stood on the bill. His previous silence — along with several other senators — could have been enough to sink the Republican plan, as it was when the Senate voted on health care reform.

However, the longtime senator said the bill earned his support because it would benefit every American.

“This bill would directly benefit all Americans, allowing them to keep a higher percentage of what they earn,” he said. “According to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, every income bracket would see tax relief under this bill.”

McCain also said he was able to support the bill because it went through a traditional approval process unlike the so-called skinny repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which the Senate was forced to vote on after a series of closed-door meetings.

“I am pleased that this important bill was considered through the normal legislative processes, with several hearings and a thorough mark-up in the Senate Finance Committee during which more than 350 amendments were filed and 69 received a vote,” he said.

Arizona’s other senator, Jeff Flake, was undecided on the bill earlier this week. He told CNN he was concerned the bill may raise the federal deficit, but did not definitively say he would vote against it.

The tax reform bill could be voted on as early as Friday.

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