Vastavam web: US Senate Republicans narrowly passed landmark tax reform today, a critical step toward delivering a monumental legislative victory for President Donald Trump in his first year in office.After a marathon session that stretched overnight, the chamber voted 51 to 49 in favour of the nation’s largest tax overhaul in 31 years, overcoming stubborn internal Republican resistance and dismissing Democrats angry over the last-minute revisions to the bill.The Senate vote amounts to a reversal of fortune for Trump and Republican leaders, whose bill just 24 hours earlier was on the brink of collapse when a handful of Republican deficit hawks balked at the controversial plan’s USD 1.5 trillion price tag for 10 years.
After extensive negotiations, the bill was salvaged. Tax writers tweaked the 479-page measure deep into the night, leaving Democrats furious over the last-minute, handwritten changes to the legislation.Democrats fumed that they received the text — peppered with extensive handwritten modifications that earned scorn from opposition lawmakers — only a few hours before the vote.”We understand they have the votes to pass their bill despite a process and a product that no one can be proud of and everyone should be ashamed of,” top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer told colleagues.
Mindful of the historic nature of the vote, Vice President Mike Pence presided over the chamber during final passage.Several Republicans who had voiced concerns about the bill were ultimately lured by McConnell’s agreement to make changes.Senators Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, a pair of Trump critics, worried about the impact of the tax cuts on the country’s massive deficit.Corker hoped to offset the cost of the tax cuts by including a rise in the corporate tax rate in later years, but the effort failed.
He was the lone Republican no vote on the bill, but his opposition was not enough to derail it.Lawmakers said a deal was reached to raise tax deductions for certain small businesses, a move that got two more wavering senators on board.As an offset, the bill’s tax rate for US corporations repatriating profits from abroad would rise, from 10 per cent to possibly 14 per cent.Senator Susan Collins had voiced deep skepticism about the bill but ultimately gave her backing after securing changes, including on health care and local taxes.
The Senate and House must negotiate a compromise bill, and contentious votes are likely in the weeks ahead.”Now, we will move quickly to a conference committee so we can get a final bill to President Trump’s desk,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement.Democrats argue that the plan is too expensive and will accommodate only the rich, and that it could ultimately impact cherished US entitlement programs like Medicare.