Senate Passes Tax Reform Bill, McCain Praises Process

Shortly before 2:00 a.m., the U.S. Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The sweeping overhaul of the tax code passed on a 51-49 vote.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would cut taxes by $1.4 trillion over 10 years. The bill reduces the number of tax brackets and cuts the tax rate in each bracket. The bill includes a limit on the amount of state and local taxes that can be deducted from federal income, and eliminates the “individual mandate,” a penalty enacted under Obamacare.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley, of Oregon, succeeded in eliminating the controversial tax break for Hillsdale College.

The bill passed along party lines except for a “no” vote from Republican Bob Corker.

The House is expected to vote on Monday to send it to conference committee. There negotiators from both chambers will hammer out a cohesive piece of legislation that will be voted on by both chambers. It will then be sent to President Donald Trump for his signature.

Prior to the vote, Arizona Senator John McCain said the bill was “far from perfect,” but believed it “would enhance American competitiveness, boost the economy, and provide long overdue tax relief for middle class families.”

McCain also praised the process. “For months, I have called for a return to regular order, and I am pleased that this important bill was considered through the normal legislative processes, with several hearings and a thorough mark-up in the Senate Finance Committee during which more than 350 amendments were filed and 69 received a vote.”

“I take seriously the concerns some of my Senate colleagues have raised about the impact of this bill on the deficit,” said McCain in a press release. “However, it’s clear this bill’s net effect on our economy would be positive.”

On Friday, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake said that he supported the corporate tax reductions in the bill.

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