Senate Passes GOP Tax Reform Bill 51-48, Headed Back To House For Final Vote

The Senate voted 51-48 along party lines to pass the sweeping $1.5 trillion GOP tax bill a little after midnight Tuesday, leaving only the House to re-vote, likely on Wednesday morning, after it was discovered that several minor provisions in the legislation were in violation of Senate rules - requiring they be stripped from the bill. As Senator John Kennedy notably said on Tuesday "somebody screwed up." 

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In addition to lowering the corporate tax rate to 21% to 35%, Town Hall's Guy Benson noted yesterday that over 80% of Americans will see their taxes reduced under the bill according to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, and the "losers" are limited to just 5% (largely upper income filers from high-tax blue states). "And no," Benson writes, "the "one-percenter" rich do not disproportionately benefit from the cuts." Furthermore, the bill eliminates the Affordable Care Act's penalty for Americans who don't purchase insurance. 

The average tax cut will be $1,600, according to TPC's data (Republicans cite a different statistic: A tax cut of more than $2,000 for a median income family of four).  Let those numbers marinate for a moment.  We've been caught in a blizzard of misinformation claiming that this bill hurts the middle class.  But even the Republican-hostile Tax Policy Center couldn't escape the empirical conclusion that 80 percent of all Americans will see their taxes reduced under the bill. -Town Hall

As previously discussed, several minor provisions in the bill were stripped ahead of the Senate vote. According to NBC, One of those provisions would allow 529 savings accounts, which are now used for college tuition, to help finance home schooling. Another would exempt a small tuition-free college in Kentucky from a new tax on endowments.

Democrats roundly opposed bill, calling it a boon to the wealthy while offering little for the middle class. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called it "the worst bill to ever come to the floor of the House." Moreover, several protesters showed up to Congress on Tuesday at both the House and the Senate votes - shouting "Kill the bill. Don't kill us!"

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was in a good mood Tuesday night, telling the press "The president will have delivered the most significant tax cut in the history of the nation," adding "We will look forward to signing it, hopefully in the next couple of days." Sanders also hit back at claims that the bill would personally benefit President Trump, stating "certainly, on the personal side, could cost the president a lot of money.