The Senate passed a nearly $1.5 trillion Republican tax bill, an urgent political priority for President Donald Trump and the GOP, with support from both Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).
The vote was 51-49, largely along party lines. Not a single Democrat voted in favor of the legislation, which was crafted behind closed doors by Senate Republican leaders. Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, who calls the growing debt a national security threat, joined Democrats in opposing the bill.
Despite his final support of the bill, Lankford criticized the legislation's proposed tax cuts earlier this week, then calling for a "backstop" to halt cuts if federal revenue began to suffer. In a Dec. 2 press release, Lankford said the bill "tries to strike the middle ground," and provides "much-needed relief to Oklahomans" through tax cuts and higher deductions.
"We cannot cut enough spending to balance our budget, we must have a growing economy as well," Lankford said in the release. "But, as I have often stated, we must continue to find ways to cut spending and identify greater government efficiency, and ultimately follow through with it."
The bill lays the bulk of its tax cuts on businesses and higher-earning individuals and gives more modest breaks to others.
Inhofe said in a press release the bill will "cause dramatic economic growth for years to come," and the legislation will help struggling Oklahoma families through tax credits and cuts.