Sen. James Lankford supportive of a GOP tax bill with "backstops"

Sen. Lankford on GOP tax bill

As the Senate prepares to conduct a procedural vote on the Republican-led tax plan, Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, says he's been working with Republican leadership to craft language for what he calls a "backstop." Lankford says he wants to build in protections against adding too much to the national debt in case tax cuts do not result in the optimal economic growth rate that Republicans are aiming for.

"What I've done is ask for a backstop to be in place to say, in case the economic numbers aren't reached, there will be a way to recover some of those revenues. So yes, I am on board with this bill," Lankford told "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday.

"I want to see the good economic growth that's coming with it, but also want to make sure were protecting future taxpayers, as well, in debt and deficit."

Lankford had previously said he would vote against any tax reform package that would increase the debt too much. His new proposed language offers an option that some wavering Republicans might find desirable. 

Asked to explain how that trigger would operate should a recession hit following the proposed tax cuts, Lankford says he's got a plan to address that issue as well.  

"We're writing in a protection from recession so that way if there is a recession the trigger turns off. But the second part of that is if we do this large tax cut and we broaden the base of what's happening economically, we better not have a recession at that point, this should actually charge up the economy," said Lankford.

He called any concerns about a pending recession as a result of tax cuts "unfounded."

"We are building language in to make sure we're protecting it either way, because obviously I don't want to have that either," he said.

Should a recession hit, Lankford suggests tax increases would be small in nature to be able to "guard against future increases in deficits."

If Republican senators are successful in passing their bill, the House and Senate will then move to conference and hash out any remaining differences between the two plans before handing off a final version to the president to sign. 

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital