Senate Passes Massive Tax Reform Bill, Trump Predicts Final Version by Christmas

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Senate Republicans spent most of last week debating the merits of a trillion-dollar tax reform bill. The House version has already passed, which means the two will governing bodies will meet to form a compromise version that should be on President Trump’s desk by the end of the year. Signing this would be a major legislative victory for the Trump administration.

The vote happened in the early hours of Saturday morning. “This is a great day for the country,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced at 2 a.m. “We have an opportunity to make America more competitive and provide relief to the middle class.”

The final vote was 51-49. All of the Democratic senators voted no, as did Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker.

Just what the bill contains is still a mystery. “The eleventh-hour vote-wrangling and related, last-minute changes were highlighted by hand-written, barely legible changes in the margin of one page of the 478-page document, which Democrats criticized on social media,” Fox reports.

Yet there has been much discussion about the general aims of the tax bill. Foremost on the agenda is lowering the corporate tax rate to help prevent companies from relocating their headquarters in countries with lower tax burdens.

Republicans, though, keep highlighting more ambiguous tax advantages for the middle class.

“We are one step closer to delivering MASSIVE tax cuts for working families across America,” the president tweeted soon after the vote. “Special thanks to @SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell and Chairman @SenOrrinHatch for shepherding our bill through the Senate. Look forward to signing a final bill before Christmas!”

“Biggest Tax Bill and Tax Cuts in history just passed in the Senate,” he wrote. “Now these great Republicans will be going for final passage. Thank you to House and Senate Republicans for your hard work and commitment!”

Now both bills head to committee in advance of the President’s signature.

“I applaud my friends and colleagues in the Senate for completing step 2 of 3 in the process,” said North Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. “This job is not done. …  Now is the moment in which both chambers must come together, work out our differences, and finish what we’ve begun.”