Republican Whip John Cornyn suggested Friday that the Senate will pass the final tax overhaul bill with all Republicans voting for it, eliminating the need for Vice President Mike Pence to step in and vote.
"I'm betting we won’t need him," Cornyn said of Pence, speaking on Texas radio.
Although a few Republicans in the upper chamber seemed uncertain as of Thursday night, Cornyn's remarks indicated confidence that the bill will advance to President Trump's desk within a week.
The Texas senator said that, with the final House-Senate conference bill, Republicans could even pick up the vote of Tennessee Republican Bob Corker, who voted against the $1.4 trillion tax cut during Senate passage.
Corker "is encouraged by the direction this House-Senate conference is going," he said.
Cornyn also downplayed the potential for other GOP senators to vote against the bill or fail to show up.
As late as Friday morning, as Cornyn was being interviewed, Florida Republican Marco Rubio was tweeting that he could support the bill only if the portion of the child tax credit that is refundable against payroll taxes was "meaningfully" increased to provide greater tax cuts to the working class.
And two Republicans, John McCain of Arizona and Thad Cochran of Mississippi, had been sidelined by poor health this week.
Cornyn said he was "pretty confident" that McCain and Cochran would be back to vote next week.
Of Rubio, he said: "We are working with him, and I think he’ll eventually get there."
Conferees were due to sign the conference report later Friday morning.