After weeks of tense deliberation, the United States Senate voted to pass a vast tax overhaul over the weekend, which slimly passed 51 to 49.
The measure is the boldest rewrite of the United States tax system since changes made back in 1986 during the Reagan administration. It took a lot of wrangling and a frantic round of negotiations to get the bill passed. There were some handwritten revisions made on the 478-page document. However, Republicans banded together to pass the legislation finally.
Bob Corker of Tennessee was the only Republican to oppose the tax changes. All of the Democrats opposed the legislation. To have the bill passed without a single “yes” from any of the 48 Democrat Senate members is a huge win for Republicans.
Overhauling the current tax system has been a top priority for Republicans this year, following their failure to enact healthcare reform. Trump has been pushing for Congress to complete the tax changes before the end of this year. The White House administration is anxious to begin working with Congress to deliver the historic tax cuts that were promised to the American people by the end of the year.
Democrats quickly took to social media to criticize the tax reform bill. California Democrat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the legislation a “betrayal of the American middle class.” She claims that the law was written for the wealthiest members of society, not middle-class families just trying to get ahead. Democrats also claimed that they did not get enough time to look at the legislation. However, Senator McConnell said that “everybody had plenty of opportunities to see the measure,” going as far to say that the Democrats are just complaining because they lost the vote.
Republicans maintain that the victory puts many Americans closer to a tax cut, and assert that the tax package would benefit taxpayers of all incomes — especially the middle class. GOP leaders also argue that tax changes will be beneficial for the economy.
Not too long after the victory, President Trump affirmed this, tweeting that lawmakers are close to delivering “MASSIVE” cuts in taxes for working-class families in the United States. Trump also said the bill represents the largest tax decrease in the history of the country, and that the American people will be “very, very happy,” with the changes asserting that there will be “tremendous, tremendous tax cuts” and that this is precisely what the United States needs.
Changes to the current tax system include the following:
Despite this crucial victory for the conservative movement, the bill is still a couple of steps away from becoming law. It must first be reconciled with a House version before it is sent to President Trump for him to sign. Both chambers must still agree on compromises to property tax deductions and other items. Republican Senators will meet with House members to negotiate an agreement.
Trump took to Twitter to express his confidence in the bill coming to him for approval very shortly. The president gave “special thanks” to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Utah Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, saying on Twitter that he looks forward to “signing a final bill before Christmas!”
Congress suspends its session for Christmas break beginning on December 15th, but House Speaker Paul Ryan says that he will keep the House in session longer if needed to meet the president’s deadline.
~ Liberty Planet