The US Senate has narrowly passed a tax overhaul bill, the most sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax laws in over three decades.
The Republican-led Senate, in the early hours of Wednesday, approved the $1.5-trillion tax legislation, which includes permanent tax breaks for corporations and temporary tax cuts for individuals.
With all Democrats united in opposition, the Senate passed the bill by a 51-48 party line vote, bringing President Donald Trump to the verge of his first major legislative victory almost a year after he took office.
The House of Representatives, which approved a nearly identical bill earlier on Tuesday, now wants to pass the new legislation before it is signed into law by Trump.
In a tweet, Trump cheered the bill’s passage, saying, “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 Terrible Individual Mandate (ObamaCare) Repealed.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.”
Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, said Republicans would “rue the day” by passing the bill he blasted as a “disgrace.”
“This is serious stuff. We believe you’re messing up America,” Schumer, Democrat from New York, told Republicans. “You could pay attention for a couple of minutes.”
In addition, Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen said the legislation will have harmful effects on millions of middle-class families.
“It contains huge, permanent giveaways for big banks and corporations, and asks our children, millions of working Americans and senior citizens, and future generations to pay the price,” Hollen said.
Meanwhile, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said, the tax plan would help with the economic growth.
“We’ve had two quarters in a row of 3 percent growth. The stock market is up. Optimism is high. Coupled with this tax reform, America is ready to start performing as it should have for a number of years.”