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Sen. Chuck Grassley arrives at the Capitol in Washington. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Republicans are starting to argue against the fiscal trigger being added to the Senate GOP tax plan to appease concerns from members — including Sens. Bob Corker, James Lankford and Todd Young — who don't want to blow up the deficit as a result of overhauling America's tax code.

Why it matters: An effort to win over some holdouts on the tax plan is alienating other lawmakers on both the House and Senate side, potentially jeopardizing plans for a vote tomorrow in the upper chamber. The GOP can only afford to lose two votes, but it's still unclear whether concerned members would actually vote against a bill that includes the trigger.

The concern: Although details on the "trigger" haven't been released yet, some Republicans are raising questions about whether it would eventually lead to a hike in taxes, which could spook business' outlook for economic growth. And that's part of the impetus behind overhauling the tax code in the first place.

The Republicans opposing the trigger:

  • Sen Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who called it bad for economic growth, per Bloomberg.
  • Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, per NBC.
  • Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, who said "I'm not too keen on automatic tax increases," per NYT.
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who said "I don't think it would look very good to have a bill to cut taxes that also signals to the world that we're just automatically going to increase taxes," per Talking Points Memo.
  • Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and drafted the House tax plan, per NYT.
  • Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity called it "antithetical to the principles of the unified tax framework," per NYT.
  • Americans for Tax Reform called it "a self-fulfilling threat to kill jobs."
  • American Conservative Union Foundation called it "bad policy and bad for the economy."

Republican Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch told reporters, "I'd prefer not having it there. We're probably going to have one. But I'd prefer not having it," per Reuters.

Go deeper

27 mins ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.

Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty to Parkland school shooting

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at the defense table during jury selection at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 6, 2021. Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Nikolas Cruz on Wednesday pleaded guilty on all counts for carrying out the 2018 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead, including 14 students and three staff members.

Driving the news: Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty at a hearing on Wednesday to 17 murder counts and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for carrying out the deadly shooting.