"We're going to find some really stinky stuff" in tax bill, Sen. Angus King predicts

Sen. King on tax reform

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said Sunday he predicts "some really stinky stuff" will be found in tax bill the Senate passed overnight Friday into Saturday.

"We're going to find some really stinky stuff in here that we didn't know," said King of the legislation, adding "anything good that happens in America in the next year, including good weather at the Super Bowl, is going to be attributed to this bill."

"This is the bill that we got at about 6:00 at night that we were going to vote on that night," he said of the 477-page document. 

"There were no hearings. There were some general hearings about tax reform. There were zero hearings on the bill. And even the bill that was reported out by the Finance Committee was different than what we were handed that we had to vote on a few hours later," King said.   

King said that he managed to read the bill all the way through on the floor of the Senate Friday night, but that he "can't say" he "understood all of it."

"There's a lot of stuff in here that I don't think, that I don't think anybody knows what it's all about. I just happened to pick up, I marked in the margin on page 409, 'domestic oil and gas extraction income.' What's that all about? There's a later provision about income on oil and gas from foreign countries. What's that all about?" he said.

"The point is nobody knew what was going on here," he added. "And there was a moment when we could have fixed it. Chuck Schumer moved to recess Friday night about 9:00 until Monday. Give people a chance to go through this and dig through it. Party line vote, denied, we end up voting at 3:00 AM."

Asked what tax payers can expect now as the bill now moves to conference where both the House and Senate are expected to work out any differences between their legislation, King said he gives it a 50-50 chance of not getting to conference.

"I think there's a chance. Because I don't think that either side, either the House or Senate, wants to bring this back to the floor, the House just may take the Senate bill and send it to the president," said King.

King said the vote "may be the most important vote any of us take in our career."

"We've now made a 30-year decision," said King. "This isn't the reauthorization of the FAA, or even the Farm Bill. This is something that's going to affect every American, every business, the whole economy -- for decades."