FOX19 - Sen. Rand Paul on Monday threw in last-minute support for his party's tax bill as Republicans in the Senate scramble to win over key holdouts before a critical vote.
"This tax bill is a true test for my colleagues. I'm not getting everything I want — far from it. I've fought for and received major changes for the better — and I plan to vote for this bill as it stands right now," Paul wrote in a Fox News op-ed.
Right now is do-or-die for Senate Republicans.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can only lose two votes to pass the bill and the Senate is still making last-minute changes to appeal to a handful of Republican holdouts.
The tax bill is heavily tilting the United States tax code in favor of the rich, giving goodies to the wealthiest Americans while increasing taxes for the poor and all income groups under $75,000 as individual tax reductions expire over a 10-year period. The GOP plan would also increase the deficit by $1.4 trillion over the same time period, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office analysis.
Paul's decision to support the tax measure comes after he was one of the largest barriers to Senate Republican leadership repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.
However, Paul added he wishes the bill included a larger tax cut but was happy it included a repeal of the ACA's individual mandate.
"I'm also pleased to note that, in part by my urging, the Senate tax-plan writers have included repeal of the ObamaCare individual mandate in the tax plan. ... I was pleased to work directly with President Trump to push this important change that lets us keep multiple promises in one bill," Paul wrote.
The stakes couldn't be higher for Republican to get the bill to the floor quickly. Congress has until Dec. 8 to pass a spending bill or the federal government will shut down. Just four days after the shutdown deadline, Alabama could potentially elect Democrat Doug Jones — sharply reducing McConnell's chances of squeaking the bill through.