Senate Passes Tax Bill Overnight, House to Vote Again

By the Web Editors 12-20-2017
FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Capitol building is lit at dusk ahead of planned votes on tax reform on Dec. 18, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

In the early morning hours, the Senate on Wednesday passed the Republican tax bill by a party-line vote of 51-48, with holdout Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) ultimately falling in line.

The bill now heads back to the House, which had passed it on Tuesday, for a re-vote due to a procedural foul-up, expected to take place before noon in the House on Wednesday.. But the confusion was not expected to change the outcome.

Sojourners president and founder Jim Wallis said, in part:

The bill suffers from deeply immoral logic: To blow a hole in the deficit by giving huge tax cuts to the rich and corporations, that will ultimately be paid for by the poor — literally on the backs of their children and their future — is indefensible. This is a shameful hypocrisy, callous calculation, and immoral act. It is an offense to God who hears the cry of the poor. 

No public hearings were held on the measure. Numerous narrow amendments favored by lobbyists were added late in the process, tilting the package more toward businesses and the wealthy.

"When future generations look back at the short and messy history of the Republican tax bill, its most enduring lesson will be what it has taught us about how not to legislate," said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on the Senate floor on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill as early as Wednesday.

Reuters reporting contributed to this story.

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