Senate Republicans have passed the biggest overhaul of the US tax system in almost 30 years, sparking widespread condemnation from Democrats who say the new law will benefit the rich at the expense of the middle class.
The Senate approved Trump’s tax bill 51-48 in a midnight showdown. McCain was absent from the vote.The GOP tax bill passed the House on a 227-203 vote.
Prior to the House passing the Republican’s tax plan, a female protester crashed the House gallery and removed her top. McCain was absent due to health complications from radiation. Vice President Mike Pence was on deck just in case there needed to be a ‘tie breaker’ vote,Fox News’ Chad Pergram reported.
Although the bill’s passage was expected, tensions boiled to a surface as the final vote was held, as Democrats sharply criticized Republicans for a bill independent analysts have projected will disproportionately benefit the wealthy and corporations. Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat House minority leader, called it “the worst bill in history” at a press conference on Tuesday night. “It’s a disgusting smash-and-grab. It’s an all-out looting of America, a wholesale robbery of the middle class,” she said.
The bill lowers the top individual tax rate from 39.6% to 37% and slashes the corporate tax rate to 21%, a dramatic fall from its current rate of 35%. After the bill passed, Republicans celebrated the moment in a late-night press conference where Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell hit back against criticism that the tax overhaul was unpopular among the public.
“If we can’t sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work,” McConnell said.
More on the tax bill via NBC:
The Senate voted along party lines after midnight Tuesday to pass a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax bill that slashes tax rates for corporations, provides new breaks for private businesses and reorganizes the individual tax code.
The GOP bill lowers individual tax rates, including the top bracket to 37 percent from 39.6, while doubling the standard deduction and replacing personal exemptions with a $2,000 partly refundable child tax credit. It eliminates various deductions while limiting others on state and local taxes and mortgage interest. It also exempts larger inheritances from the estate tax, doubling the thresholds to $11 million for individuals and $22 million for married couples.
The bill also has significant implications for health care, where it abolishes the Affordable Care Act’s penalty for Americans who don’t purchase insurance.
BREAKING: Senate votes 51-48 along strict party lines to pass a $1.5 trillion tax bill, sending the updated bill back to the House to re-vote on the measure Wednesday morning. pic.twitter.com/C2KDQecUyc
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 20, 2017