Senate Republicans will add the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate to the tax bill, Senate leaders said Tuesday afternoon.
President Donald Trump urged the Senate in a tweet Monday to add the repeal. Sen. Rand Paul said on Tuesday morning that he would push for the move. Sen. Tom Cotton also indicated that he supported putting the repeal in the bill.
Now, Republican leaders are confirming that the repeal will indeed be part of the bill and that they have enough votes for it to pass through the Senate.
“We’re optimistic that inserting the individual mandate will be helpful,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn and Sen. John Thune also told reporters that the repeal would be included.
The savings from the repeal would “be distributed in the form of middle-income tax relief,” Thune said.
Thune also said that the bill had 50 votes in the Senate, enough to pass with a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence if done under rules that allow for the passage of certain bills by a bare majority.
A repeal of the individual mandate would save $338 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis.
“Repealing the mandate pays for more tax cuts for working families and protects them from being fined by the IRS for not being able to afford insurance that Obamacare made unaffordable in the first place,” Sen. Cotton said in a statement, according to the Hill.