Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn) on Friday admitted that he has not read the final tax bill he announced he will support, and denied knowing about a controversial last-minute provision slipped into the Republican tax bill that would personally enrich him before he changed his vote to “yes.”
Corker’s vote is considered pivotal in the closely divided Senate and he could be in a position to make or break the landmark legislation. He declared his support for the final reconciled version of the bill on Friday after GOP lawmakers added a provision that could benefit his vast real estate holdings — a provision that Corker denied having any knowledge of, according to IBT.
“I don’t really know what the provision does, to be honest. I would need an accountant to explain it,” Corker told the International Business Times during an interview. “I had no knowledge of this and would have no knowledge of it except for you guys are calling me about it. I have no idea whatsoever whether it impacts me or doesn’t impact me.”
Corker called the publication to respond to a series of IBT investigative reports showing that he switched his vote to “yes” on the tax legislation, only after Republican leaders added in a provision reducing taxes on income from real-estate LLCs. Federal records reviewed by IBT show Corker, a commercial real estate mogul, made up to $7 million last year from such income. President Donald Trump’s financial disclosures listed between $41 million and $68 million of the same income.
Democratic Senators, meanwhile, slammed the provision, which was first reported on by the International Business Times.
The provision was not included in the bills that originally passed the House and Senate. The massive tax break, which will benefit both Donald Trump and Bob Corker, was inserted into the Republicans’ tax legislation at the last minute before being released Friday, according to federal records obtained by IBT.
Corker previously said he opposed the legislation because he was concerned about it increasing the deficit, but on Friday he announced he would support it — even though Congress’s own Joint Committee on Taxation projects that the legislation will increase the deficit by $1.4 trillion.
You can read the entire report here.