The GOP has inched one step closer to enacting monumental tax reform.
By a vote of 227 to 203, House Republicans passed an updated version of their comprehensive tax legislation, also known as the the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
BREAKING NEWS→ the House just passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, cutting taxes for middle-income families across America. pic.twitter.com/9PUipuPsm2
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 19, 2017
Bucking their party, 12 Republicans voted against the bill. These GOP members mostly hailed from high-tax states and are concerned with rollbacks of state and local tax deductions.
As predicted, no Democrat voted in favor of the legislation.
Tuesday’s vote marks the second time in a month House Republicans passed tax reform — the lower chamber approved a tax bill in November, but their version was markedly different than the Senate’s version that was passed in early December.
Because a uniform bill was needed, Republican House and Senate leaders met in conference committee and reached a compromise on identical measures to be passed in both chambers of Congress.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a sweeping reform of the U.S. tax code, calling for slashes in rates for the majority of Americans and a simplification of the system.
The bill will deliver $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over a span of ten years, cut the corporate rate to from 35 percent to 21 percent and lower individual tax rates.
Multinational companies would also see a completely revamped tax system — including a one-time tax on foreign profits that have been earned, but kept overseas to avoid U.S. taxes, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Notably, the bill repeals the individual mandate to purchase health care, an unpopular provision in Obamacare that requires every American to purchase health insurance or else pay a fine.
With the House vote out of the way, the Senate is expected to act on the bill later in the evening, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
While most are certain Senate Republicans have the numbers to send the bill to President Donald Trump’s desk, the vote is expected to be razor thin.
Currently, the Senate Republicans hold a slim 52-48 majority in the Senate. During the last tax vote, the GOP only endured one defector, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who joined Democrats in voting against the bill.
While Corker has now announced support for the updated bill, Senate Republicans are still in a somewhat precarious situation. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, who is battling brain cancer, revealed he will be in his home state to seek medical care and be with his family during the tax vote, leaving Republicans with one less body.
The other Republican senator from Arizona, Jeff Flake, has yet to say if he will vote for the bill or not.
Nevertheless, Senate Republicans appeared to be good position after Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a very moderate member of the GOP, announced her support. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — who had previously said he was against the bill, citing a desire to see child tax credits expanded — switched to a “yes” after negotiators met him halfway.
For far too long, Washington has ignored and left behind the American working class. Increasing the refundability of the Child Tax Credit from 55% to 70% is a solid step toward broader reforms which are both Pro-Growth and Pro-Worker.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 15, 2017
Vice President Mike Pence postponed a scheduled trip to the Middle East in case he is needed in the Senate to cast a tie-breaking vote.
President Donald Trump has asked that the bill be passed in both chambers and sent to his desk for signature by Christmas — a goal that looks very likely to come to fruition. (For more from the author of “The House Just Gave Trump a Big Win on Tax Reform the House Just Gave Trump a Big Win on Tax Reform” please click HERE)