Rand Paul wants to repeal ObamaCare individual mandate, amend SALT provision in Senate tax bill

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who returned to Capitol Hill on Monday, said on Twitter that he planned to introduce an amendment to the Senate’s tax bill that would repeal the ObamaCare individual mandate and remedy some of the losses incurred from eliminating state and local tax (SALT) deductions.

The individual mandate is a piece of the Affordable Care Act that requires certain qualified individuals to obtain health care coverage or pay a penalty. Paul claims its repeal would save at least $300 billion.

Additionally, Paul suggested his amendment would bring the Senate’s plan further in line with the House plan where SALT deductions are concerned. In the plan put forward by the House of Representatives, Republicans allowed for state and local property tax deductions up to $10,000. The Senate plan calls for the complete elimination of the provision, which has been a point of contention for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in high-tax states.

On Monday, President Donald Trump, who is wrapping up a five-country tour in Asia, tweeted similar sentiments, suggesting that the individual mandate should be repealed and that taxes should be reduced further across-the-board, including setting the top rate at 35%, to maximize benefits for middle-class Americans.

Sen. Paul was welcomed back to D.C. on Monday, after being attacked by his neighbor at his home in Kentucky earlier this month.

The House is working towards a chamber-wide vote on its legislation, while the Senate is undergoing the markup process, which allows for the introduction of amendments like Paul’s.

The Trump administration is hoping to have a finalized version of the tax bill on the president’s desk by the end of December.