Senate has just approved the massive tax code overhaul, and the House has scheduled a quick vote to get it to President Trump’s desk later this week.
The GOP is tantalizingly close to its first major legislative win since Trump took office, even as public consternation grows around the new code favoring the ultra-rich.
Though the sweeping changes will reduce tax bills for a vast majority of households, it is expected to benefit the wealthy far more than the lower or middle economic strata.
Senate passed the bill a few minutes before 1 am on Wednesday with a 51 to 48 vote cleanly along party lines, with predictably no backing from the Democrats.
Ahead of the vote on Tuesday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said:
“Congress is standing at the doorstep of a historic opportunity. Here’s what we set out to do: Take money out of Washington’s pockets and put it back in the pockets of middle-class Americans.”
But for a moment on Tuesday afternoon there was a delay that could have become a major snag, right after House Republicans passed a version of the bill 227 to 203.
That delay was because of the Senate’s Byrd Rule, and three provisions of the bill violated the rule, which would disallow a simple 50-vote majority to clear it through.
The minor changes made by the Senate to make sure the bill complies with the Byrd Rule means it goes back to the House – both chambers must necessarily pass the exact same versions of the bill.
The House’s re-vote has been scheduled for Wednesday at midday, but none of the changes are expected to swing votes either way.
After that the House will speed the bill’s way to Trump’s desk, where it will be signed into law – the first major legislative coup for the Trump administration.
Despite rising discontent with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act among various segments of the nation, it looks like Trump is finally within touching distance of keeping his promise of making sure the tax bill passes before Christmas.
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