The Senate did its thing Tuesday. And now it’s the House’s turn — again.
The votes are expected to be a formality Wednesday to make the sweeping overhaul of America’s tax system a reality. A minor technicality canceled the House’s initial vote on Tuesday, forcing a second take.
The measure, which will provide a windfall to corporations and the country’s wealthiest citizens while also giving the majority of taxpayers a smaller savings, passed the Senate on a strictly party line vote, 51-48. Once the House completes its vote, assuming no unexpected snags arise, the bill will head to President Trump’s desk.
The president has called the measure a great “Christmas gift” for the American people.
Trump wrote his own headlines on Twitter on Tuesday, saying, “The United States Senate just passed the biggest in history Tax Cut and Reform Bill,” Trump tweeted early Wednesday. “Terrible Individual Mandate (ObamaCare) Repealed. Goes to the House tomorrow morning for final vote. If approved, there will be a News Conference at The White House at approximately 1:00 P.M.”
Republicans have sold the tax bill as a boon for working-class families which will further benefit an economy that is already doing well. Detractors argue that the concept of trickle-down economics — that corporations will use the windfall to add jobs and increase workers’ pay — has never worked in the past.
The corporate tax rate will drop from 35 percent to 21 percent, and Democrats have decried this as a handout to big GOP donors and the richest members of the country, who will see the largest tax cuts along with corporations.
If it’s signed into law, the measure will take effect in January, and workers will start to see changes in the amount of taxes taken out of their paychecks in February.
New York Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, of Queens, whose citizens may see their tax rates remain constant or even increase due to how the bill is written, spoke on the floor of the House ahead of Tuesday’s vote. He called the measure a “scam” and derided Republicans, asking them how they could pass this bill with a “clear conscience.”
“Is this bill going to make life better for cops, firefighters, nurses, truck drivers, students, veterans, teachers and shift workers? Hell no!” Crowley yelled.
His Republican colleague from upstate New York Tom Reed responded by saying, “All the people you referenced in the middle class, I say hell yes!” Reed said. “They are going to be helped by this bill.”
Several polls indicate that a majority of Americans are opposed to this bill. However, House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed that data.
“This is the greatest example of a promise being made and a promise being kept,” Ryan said, while forecasting that once Americans understand the measure, the “results are going to make this popular.”