GOP Tax Package Enters Final Stretch With Senate Passage

Date posted: December 3, 2017

After days of debate, the chamber passed the bill in the wee hours Saturday

The Senate early Saturday voted 51-49 to pass the GOP tax code overhaul, setting up the last stage of the tax debate: high-stakes talks between House and Senate Republicans to write a compromise measure they can place on President Donald Trump’s desk.

After more than 24 hours of deal-making and arm-twisting by Senate GOP leaders, a number of major policy changes were made to the tax bill in the form of a broad manager’s amendment from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., adopted by unanimous consent before the legislation was passed.

McConnell hailed passage of the bill as an important milestone in the GOP’s long quest to get more money into the pockets of taxpayers and boost the economy. More important, he said the legislation as amended will help ease conference negotiations with the House.

“We’ve moved our initial thinking on this in the direction of the House bill, for example the property tax deduction, in order to get the bills closer together than they were,” McConnell said in an interview Friday night with CQ.

The bill as amended would cost $1.45 trillion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The deficit impact is likely somewhat smaller after taking economic growth impacts into account — a Joint Committee on Taxation “dynamic” analysis of the pre-managers’ amendment version found the cost had shrunk from about $1.41 trillion to $1 trillion over a decade.

All 46 Democrats, two independent senators and one Republican  — Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee — voted against the legislation.

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