Murkowski, Sullivan planning to vote yes on controversial tax bill

Published: Nov. 29, 2017 at 10:50 AM AKST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The Senate has voted to move forward on the long-awaited Republican tax overhaul, and Alaska's senators are planning on approving the proposed bill.

Both of Alaska's senators voted to move forward to debate in the 52-48 vote Wednesday evening.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Murkowski said she intends to support the legislation that's now before the senate. She says she and Budget Chairman Sen. Mike Enzi and Finance Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch would co-manage the bill, due to the provisions from the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which she chairs.

That part of the bill is regarding ANWR, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and would open a portion of the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy production.

Murkowski also said the bill lowers tax rates, doubles the child tax credit and doubles the standard deduction, and promotes economic growth, employment and investment by improving the tax code for corporations and small businesses.

Sen. Dan Sullivan had

but Tuesday, Sullivan said he would be voting yes. "There's a lot in there that's going to benefit our state," Sullivan said.

Sullivan supports including the development of ANWR in the tax plan. "There's the energy component, there's the reduction of the rate for small businesses," he said in a phone interview Tuesday. Doubling the standard deduction, Sullivan said, will simplify filing personal income taxes. He also said increasing the child tax credit will help working families with children.

President Donald Trump, who has been pushing hard for the tax reform bill, is planning to travel to Missouri for the second time on Wednesday to promote the bill. Trump says the plan will benefit middle-income Americans and small businesses. However, critics of the bill say it will

The healthcare component comes in with the proposed removal of the so-called individual mandate, which requires people to get health insurance. Sullivan mentioned this as another positive aspect of the tax bill.

Murkowski in a social media post said stabilizing an individual market "may be particularly [important] if the individual mandate is repealed as included in the draft reported by the Senate Finance Committee." Murkowski said

that she opposed the Affordable Care Act "from its inception" and that she did not support individual mandate.

The progressive Center for American Progress

in yearly health care premiums by $2,900, as more Americans are expected to gamble on going without having health care if they are not required to do so.