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Rand Paul to vote for tax bill

Paul says it’s not a perfect tax bill, but it has changed for the better. Photo: AP file

Sen. Rand Paul is one Republican the GOP leadership and the White House won’t have to worry about when the Senate votes on the tax bill later this week. "I'm not getting everything I want — far from it,” Paul wrote in an opinion piece for Fox News. “[But] I've fought for and received major changes for the better — and I plan to vote for this bill as it stands right now.”

Why this matters: The piece shows a pragmatic side to Paul that many in leadership and the administration have been hoping for. Paul was never on the list of senators that Republican leaders were most worried about. But, as a source close to leadership told me on the weekend: "You never know with Rand.”

What he meant by that is that Paul has voted against the president on major items this year, including the attempt to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Behind the scenes: Even though Paul has stymied parts of the GOP agenda, President Trump regards him as one of his closest friends in the Senate. They talk regularly by the phone and golf together. Trump has always insisted to sometimes skeptical associates that "Rand will be with us" on tax cuts.

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