President Donald Trump signaled a strong show of support for Senate Republicans after they passed the enormous tax overhaul that the party has been promising for months overnight, marking a moment of triumph for the administration as it finishes out its first year and giving the GOP a major accomplishment to point to in next year’s midterms.
“Biggest Tax Bill and Tax Cuts in history just passed in the Senate,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Now these great Republicans will be going for final passage. Thank you to House and Senate Republicans for your hard work and commitment!”
Biggest Tax Bill and Tax Cuts in history just passed in the Senate. Now these great Republicans will be going for final passage. Thank you to House and Senate Republicans for your hard work and commitment!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2017
Senate Republicans narrowly passed the bill 51-49 after a party line vote that saw only Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) break ranks amid concerns over the bill’s impact on the federal budget deficit. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell heralded the bill’s passage as “a great day for the country.”
The bill now heads to conference, where the House and the Senate will reconcile the differences between their two bills. This process could prove difficult, as the Senate’s eleventh-hour passage saw lawmakers scramble to make revisions, with some even adding hand-written provisions into the margins.
Democrats uniformly rejected the bill on fiscal grounds, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) blasting the Republicans for “a process and product that no one can be proud of and everyone should be ashamed of.
“[The bill would] stuff even more money into the pockets of the wealthy and the biggest corporations while raising taxes on millions in the middle class,” Schumer warned, blaming the changes made “under the cover of darkness” for containing some of the more objectionable provisions.
Republicans claim that the bill will cut taxes for the large majority of middle-class families by shrinking the number of tax brackets from seven to four, increasing the standard deduction, and eliminating the unwieldy Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). They also maintain that the tax cuts would eventually pay for themselves by growing the economy and generating additional revenue.
“I’m totally confident this is a revenue-neutral bill,” McConnell declared. “I think it’s going to be a revenue producer.”