Sen. Rand Paul called for repealing Obamacare's individual mandate in the Senate's tax reform package.
The Kentucky Republican, back in Washington as he recovers from injuries after being assaulted by a neighbor, tweeted on Tuesday that he will seek an amendment to the tax bill to repeal the requirement that everyone buy insurance, which President Trump has also pushed for. He also called for "bigger tax cuts" for middle-class earners.
Paul's request ramps up pressure on the Senate to include mandate repeal in the bill, which some have been reticent to do.
"The mandate repeal is a promise we all made and we should keep. It also allows an additional $300 billion+ in tax cuts," he tweeted.
Today I am announcing my intention to amend the Senate tax bill to repeal the individual mandate and provide bigger tax cuts for middle income taxpayers.
The mandate repeal is a promise we all made and we should keep. It also allows an additional $300 billion+ in tax cuts.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) November 14, 2017
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated last week that repealing the individual mandate would save more than $300 billion over a decade but lead to 13 million people going without insurance.
Trump and many House and Senate conservatives have called for adding mandate repeal. However, it is not included in either the House or Senate tax reform legislation.
The House bill, which will be considered this week, is not expected to include a repeal of the individual mandate. However, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, told the Washington Examiner Monday that repeal could be added later.
Paul also called for restoration of state and local tax deductions that are eliminated in the Senate bill.
“My amendment will fix a problem in the Senate bill where many taxpayers would see a tax increase because of the loss of state and local deductions,” Paul tweeted. “I will introduce a similar deduction as the House plan, making the tax reform plan more fair for everyone.”
My amendment will fix a problem in the Senate bill where many taxpayers would see a tax increase because of the loss of state and local deductions.
I will introduce a similar deduction as the House plan, making the tax reform plan more fair for everyone.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) November 14, 2017
The proposed cuts to the state and local tax deduction have caused outrage among Republicans from high-tax blue states such as New York and New Jersey who are worried that the cuts would lead to higher taxes for their residents.
Paul tweeted that including the state and local deduction will help ease passage in the House. "This will help ensure House acceptance of the Senate plan as leaders there have stated they will not accept a plan with no state and local deductibility," he said.