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GOP Lawmakers Pass Tax Reform Bill

GOP Lawmakers Pass Tax Reform Bill Promo Image

Republicans in the House and Senate voted Dec. 20 in favor of tax reform, securing the first major legislative victory for President Donald Trump.

The Senate passed the bill 51 to 48 before the House voted for the second time on the bill to iron out technical difficulties, NBC News reported.

No Democrats in either the House or Senate backed the measure, which permanently cuts corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 21 percent. The bill also includes temporary tax cuts for individual taxpayers.

Trump described the tax bill as an "historic victory for the American people," NBC reported.

"This is a case where the results will speak for themselves, starting very soon," Trump tweeted. "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!"

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Owners of pass-through businesses, whose profits are taxed on the individual tax code, will receive a tax cut. In addition, the top tax rate will fall from 39.6 percent to 37 percent.

As Vice President Mike Pence presided during the Senate vote, protesters challenged the reform, shouting: "Kill the bill, don't kill us."

Leading GOP lawmakers in both chambers welcomed passage of the legislation.

"It's not a question of if, it's a question of how much they benefit," Republican House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin stated, referring to the impact on U.S. companies.

He argued that workers would also benefit because businesses would have more cash to hire new employees.

"This is a big tax cut for families as well," added Ryan.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky celebrated what he framed as a boost to economic growth.

"After eight straight years of slow growth and underperformance, America is ready to take off," said McConnell.

On the other side of the aisle, opinions were different. Democratic House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California denounced the tax reform as "the worst bill to ever come to the floor of the House."

Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas added: "We will be cleaning up this mess and the blunders in this bill all of next year," according to The New York Times.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Sen. Charles Schumer of New York added criticism as well.

"Republicans will rue the day that they pass this tax bill because it's so unfair to the middle class," stated Schumer, NBC News reported. "It so blows a hole in our deficit, it so threatens Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They will rue the day."

The tax bill also includes a provision abolishing the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, which required all Americans to purchase health insurance or face a fine.

The Congressional Budget Office predicts the provision will result in 13 million people losing health coverage and premiums on ACA markets rising by 10 percent per year.

Sources: NBC News, The New York Times / Featured Image: Joyce Boghosian/ via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons, Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons

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