U.S. Sen. Bob Corker claimed in recent interview that he wasn’t aware of a last-minute provision in the reconciled Republican tax bill that could potentially benefit him financially.
In speaking to International Business Times, the Tennessee Republican said he hadn’t read the reconciled bill, just “a two-page summary.”
IBT reported that Corker, the lone Republican to oppose the original Senate version of the $1.4 trillion bill — which the Senate approved Dec. 2 — had reached out to address a previous IBT report claiming he decided to back the reconciled version only after a certain provision was added.
According to IBT, that provision would allow owners of large commercial real estate holdings — such as Corker — to deduct a percentage of their “pass through” income from their taxes.
Corker, a commercial real estate mogul who made $7 million last year from such income, vehemently denied that he reversed his position because of the added tax provision, IBT reported.
In a phone conversation with IBT, he said he had read only a short summary of the bill and wasn’t aware the provision had been added.
“I had like a two-page summary I went through with leadership,” Corker told IBT. “I never saw the actual text.”
“I had like a two-page summary I went through with leadership. I never saw the actual text.”
“I don’t really know what the provision does, to be honest. I would need an accountant to explain it,” Corker said.
“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,” he told IBT.
Corker said he opposed the original Senate bill because he believed it would increase the federal deficit. However, he backed the reconciled bill Friday.
“After many conversations over the past several days with individuals from both sides of the aisle across Tennessee and around the county – including business owners, farmers, chambers of commerce and economic development leaders – I have decided to support the tax reform we will vote on next week,” Corker said in a statement.
The House and Senate had passed different versions of the tax bill but were able to reconcile the two versions Friday. Final votes are expected next week.