GOP lawmakers made sure the tax reform bill could pass on a majority vote in the U.S. Senate, with no Democratic votes necessary.
The Senate passed the bill with a 51-49 vote, and the measure heads to the conference committee, where lawmakers will merge it with the House-passed measure. After that, it will land on President Donald Trump’s desk for signing.
Thank you Donald Trump for the desperately needed tax cuts. I have now ordered 1 new work truck and have 2 openings at my business.
— cℓιηтση мιcнαεℓ (@ClintonM614) December 4, 2017
The Senate’s version of the bill retains the seven tax brackets but reduces the rates, whereas the House version reduces the brackets to four. Both versions lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, among other changes.
Perhaps the most important difference between the versions is the Senate’s reduces the Obamacare individual mandate penalty to zero, while the House version retains it. If the conference committee adopts the Senate’s version, the “Affordable” Care Act is effectively finished.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The bill’s ultimate passage would mark a legislative victory for President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans. Mr. Trump has made the tax overhaul a centerpiece of his economic policy goals, focusing on a rewrite of business taxes, which he has argued make the U.S. uncompetitive internationally. The bill could also give lawmakers something to campaign on in the 2018 midterm elections.
Democrats blasted the bill, calling it an unacceptable giveaway to corporations and the wealthy. They also criticized last-minute Republican adjustments and waved handwritten amendments around the Senate floor to show how hastily the changes were being made.
The House and Senate still need to reconcile competing versions of the tax plan, something GOP leaders hope to do by Christmas. The House and Senate bills overlap in many ways, and lawmakers expressed optimism about getting a final deal done.
— Trump Presidency (@DonaldDynasty) December 2, 2017
Winning is Great !
The Senate passed tax reform 51-49. #MAGA 🇺🇸
— Antonio Sabáto Jr (@AntonioSabatoJr) December 2, 2017