Senate Passes Tax Bill, Sends Back To House
WASHINGTON, DC -- The Republican tax bill is headed back to the House after passage by the Senate overnight by a vote of 51-48.
The House already passed the final bill but it's coming back because the Senate had to fix a couple of procedural snags. The House is expected to vote again today. The Republican bill slashes corporate tax rates from 35 to 21 percent. Republicans say tax cuts will benefit all income classes. Democrats insist the bill is aimed at boosting the wealthiest Americans and corporations.
Protesters in the Senate visitors' gallery interrupted the final Senate vote several times. They were removed by Capitol Police. It is estimated that the GOP tax bill will add more than one-trillion dollars to the federal deficit over a decade. In a Capitol briefing, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called the tax measure a scam that will hurt families. President Trump is very anxious to sign the bill. The sweeping package of reforms and tax cuts will be Trump's first major legislative accomplishment.
Republican House Speaker Paul Speaker Ryan was asked about polls showing the tax bill is deeply unpopular. He predicted that skeptical people will change their minds once they start seeing more money in their paychecks. The GOP bill also repeals the individual mandate penalty in Obamacare. Republicans consider it to be an unfair tax. Democrats said the repeal will drive up premiums and will cause roughly 13 million people to lose health insurance coverage over ten years.
Here is what Indiana Senator Todd Young had to say about why he voted for the tax bill:
Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly voted against it and he explains why.
Joe voted against Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan’s tax bill because it overwhelming benefits the wealthiest instead of middle class families and does not protect American jobs. pic.twitter.com/SNMbRTogYD
— Senator Joe Donnelly (@SenDonnelly) December 20, 2017