House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), who oversees government spending, joined 11 other Republicans in voting against the GOP tax bill on Tuesday, saying the legislation will hurt New Jersey families and damage the state’s housing market and business environment.
All but one of the 12 Republican defectors, including Frelinghuysen, represent districts in high-tax blue states that are expected to be negatively impacted by the GOP tax bill, most notably the legislation’s limits on the state and local tax deduction.
“The people of New Jersey already carry an extremely heavy tax burden. They need and deserve tax cuts. Unfortunately, H.R. 1 caps the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) which will lead to tax increases for far too many hardworking New Jersey families,” Frelinghuysen said in a statement.
“This legislation will also damage our state’s housing market and business environment,” he added.
The Hill added:
Frelinghuysen also voted against the original House version of the GOP tax plan last month. That vote rubbed colleagues the wrong way because committee chairmen are generally expected to support leadership’s initiatives.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his leadership team discussed removing Frelinghuysen as chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee after he broke the party line last month on the tax bill.
Frelinghuysen is a top Democratic target in 2018, given that President Trump won his district only narrowly.
Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, told The Hill last month that he had “real problems” with Frelinghuysen opposing the tax plan.
“This is a committee chairman who’s going to be pitching some kind of spending thing, and if you can’t get on board and support one of the promises we’ve made to the American people, I have real problems with that,” Walker said.
Rep. Walter Jones (N.C.) was the only Republican congressman who does not represent a district in a high-tax blue state to vote against the GOP tax bill.
“I’m all for tax reform, but it must grow the economy, not the debt,” Jones said in a statement.
The legislation is expected to add more than $1 trillion to the deficit over 10 years, at the very least.