Senate passes final GOP tax bill, leaving vote to House
The Senate passed the final version of the GOP tax bill early Wednesday morning (late Tuesday night, Alaska time), after hours of floor speeches in which Democrats lambasted the legislation as bad for the middle class, while Republicans insisted the exact opposite was the case.
The legislation passed along party lines, 51-48, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding over the vote. The Senate's vote Tuesday night was supposed to be the final one. But the House will again have to vote on the bill it passed to much fanfare Tuesday afternoon, after discovering certain provisions in the bill likely constituted procedural violations. That subsequent House vote will likely take place Wednesday, and the legislation is expected to pass. President Trump has said he wants to sign the legislation before Christmas.
The bill's passage in the Senate was briefly disrupted and delayed by people chanting, "kill the bill!" from the Senate gallery.
The House will once again vote on the bill it passed to much fanfare Tuesday afternoon, after discovering that certain provisions in the bill likely constituted procedural violations. Several provisions in the House-passed overhaul appeared to violate the procedural rules of the Senate, Democrats suggested. Republicans struck the contested provisions from the bill and changed the language of the legislation. One possible violation involved the use of 529 savings accounts for home-schooling. Another possible violation exempted colleges from a new endowment tax if they have fewer than 500 students paying tuition. Another objection appeared technical in nature, as the bill repeals a section by its number, instead of the title of the section. Republicans allowed those provisions to be struck from the bill.
The news of a revote came after much fanfare upon the bill's passage in the House. House members approved the bill in a 227-203 vote. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin sat in the Speaker's box inside the chamber, observing the vote.
"This is the greatest example of a promise being made and promise being kept," Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said at a press conference a few hours before the vote.
GOP lawmakers from both chambers struck a deal last week on the tax plan and released the legislative text on Friday. The tax plan also includes a repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate.
Here are the details of the final tax agreement, according to highlights from the conference committee:
Eliminates penalty under the Affordable Care Act for failing to have health insurance
Lowers corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent (higher than the original 20 percent in the House and Senate bills)
Reduces top effective marginal tax rate for S corporations to a top rate of 29.6 percent, allowing for a 20 percent tax deduction that applies to the first $315,000 of joint income earned by all S-corporations
Eliminates corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT); increases the exemption amount from the AMT for individuals
Keeps seven individual tax brackets, although those brackets would change.
Continues to exempt the value of tuition waivers from taxes (the GOP had considered counting tuition waivers as income, and thus, taxable.)
Increases the refundable portion of the child tax credit to $1,400, thanks to Sen. Marco Rubio's insistence.
The overall child tax credit will increase from $1,000 to $2,000.
Roughly doubles the standard deduction, from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals, and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples filing jointly
Preserves the child adoption tax credit
Allows filers to write off the cost of state and local taxes, but only up to $10,000. Filers must choose from among sales, income and property taxes for the deduction, instead of being able to deduct all local taxes.
Preserves the mortgage interest deduction for all homeowners with existing mortgages, and for homeowners with new mortgages, the home mortgage interest deduction will be available up to $750,000
Preserves the charitable deduction as it is
The GOP claims the bill will mean a $2,059 tax cut for a family of four earning the median family income of $73,000.
CBS News' Catherine Reynolds, Rebecca Shabad and Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.
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