Alaska Rep. Don Young joined 226 of his fellow Republicans to vote in favor of the final version of the Republican bill to overhaul the U.S. tax code, giving the wealthy and big corporations massive tax breaks while also taking a step forward to opening part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development.
The bill passed the House on 227-203 vote. Not a single Democrat supported the bill, and 12 Republicans voted against the bill. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill tonight (with the support of Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan), and President Donald Trump is expected to sign the legislation into law by Christmas.
Alaska’s congressional delegation has been almost singularly focused on the prospect of opening the 1002-area of ANWR throughout the tax bill fight. It’s a long-sought-after accomplishment for Alaska’s congressional delegation that’s spanned decades, and other representatives were spotted giving Young a fist bumps after the vote.
House members shook hands and fist-bumped with @repdonyoung on the floor after the tax vote, congratulating him for winning on ANWR. After 44 years, one of his biggest victories.
— Liz Ruskin (@lruskin) December 19, 2017
The passage of the tax plan will be heralded as a big “win” for Trump and congressional Republicans, who’ve fallen short on other big legislative promises. They’ve promised, without a lot of evidence, that the bill will spur a massive boom in the economy that will result in more, better-paying jobs.
Hover, it could come to bite Republicans in 2018 because the bill, which heavily favors big corporations and the rich, stands to be a centerpiece of 2018 campaigns against Republican legislators. Any shortcomings from the legislation will provide opponents with even more ammunition. Young even said as much during the only conference committee hearing Congress held on the bill.
“If we’re wrong, you ought to be happier than the devil. You ought to be real happy, you can say, ‘Look what the Republicans did. Look what they did. They hurt you. They hurt your economy,'” he said. “If you’re right, then you can brag about it.”