51-48: Senate Passes Tax Bill, House to Re-Vote Wednesday; Trump Plans News Conference

By Susan Jones | December 20, 2017 | 5:31 AM EST

Senate Republicans gather after passage of their tax bill early on Dec. 20, 2017. (Photo: Screen grab/C-SPAN)

(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. Senate voted 51-48 to pass the Republican tax bill early Wednesday morning, and after passing the bill on Tuesday, the House will take a second vote on the bill today, because of a technicality.

President Trump was waiting to tweet around 1 a.m. Wednesday after the Senate completed its vote along party lines:

"The United States Senate just passed the biggest in history Tax Cut and Reform Bill. Terrible Individual Mandate (ObamaCare) Repealed.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.," Trump wrote.

And in a second tweet on Tuesday afternoon, the president tweeted: "Congratulations to Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Kevin Brady, Steve Scalise, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and all great House Republicans who voted in favor of cutting your taxes!"

House Republican leaders were jubilant after the first vote on Tuesday:

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said Republicans have delivered on their promise to create a tax code "built for growth," including the growth of jobs, paychecks, and the economy.

"As we go forward, I want American taxpayers to think of three dates and keep them in mind," Brady said.

"New Year’s Day, America will have a new tax code for a new era of American prosperity. In February -- on February 1, look at your paychecks, because you'll see the tax relief we delivered today.

"And on April 15, you will for the last time file your taxes under this horrible, terrible tax code that we're putting behind us for the American people."

Democrats are furious, warning that "we believe you're messing up America," as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer put it in his speech on Senate floor.

Democrats view the bill as a giveaway to wealthy Republican donors, and they say it will raise taxes on middle class people who live in high-tax states. Democrats also oppose the bill's repeal of Obamacare's individual mandate, and they expect the tax cuts to add more than a trillion dollars to the national debt. They're also furious that they were left out of the bill-writing process.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was asked early Wednesday morning if Republicans need to "go out and sell this bill" now that they've passed it. Polls show that a majority of Americans are not happy about this version of tax reform.

"Absolutely," McConnell said. "My view of this is, if we can't sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work."

McConnell added that he sees the bill "as an important accomplishment for the country."


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