The House passed the tax bill by a vote of 227-203 Tuesday with 12 Republicans voting no. Meanwhile, debate is already taking place in the Senate and Sen. Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote tonight. From the Associated Press:
Gleeful Republicans on Tuesday muscled the most sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax laws in more than three decades through the House. House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed criticism of the widely unpopular package and insisted “results are what’s going to make this popular.”
The vote, largely along party lines, was 227-203 and capped a GOP sprint to deliver a major legislative accomplishment to President Donald Trump after a year of congressional stumbles and non-starters.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate would vote Tuesday evening, sending the legislation to Trump for his signature.
President Trump tweeted his congratulations to Paul Ryan and House Republicans:
Congratulations to Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Kevin Brady, Steve Scalise, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and all great House Republicans who voted in favor of cutting your taxes!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2017
Here are Paul Ryan and House GOP leadership announcing the passage of the bill as a “promise kept.” “This is going to grow the economy, it’s going to increase paychecks, it’s going to increase takehome pay and that, I believe, is going to be very popular,” Ryan said.
The coverage of the passage from MSNBC was exactly what you’d expect. Apparently, this bill is only going to benefit the very wealthy and corporations.
Meanwhile, Rep. Nancy Pelosi was predicting Republicans would die at the hands of Frankenstein’s monster…or something:
The bill is unpopular among the public, and Democrats plan to campaign against it in next year’s congressional elections. Senate Democrats posted poll numbers on the bill on a video screen at their Tuesday luncheon.
“This bill will come back to haunt them, as Frankenstein did,” said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
However, there is a hitch with the House vote which doesn’t involve armageddon or fictional monsters. Democrats say some technical elements of the House bill violate Senate rules. In order to comply with those rules, the Senate will have to remove those elements from the bill. That will make it necessary for the House to vote again Wednesday on the final final-version of the bill. From CBS News:
Several provisions in the House-passed overhaul appear to violate the procedural rules of the Senate, according to Democrats, and the Senate will need to vote on whether to waive the rules and keep those provisions in the bill, which takes 60 votes. Republicans will most likely lose those votes, striking the contested provisions from the bill and changing the language of the legislation. After the bill gets a final stamp of approval in the Senate, the bill will return to the house for a revote, likely Wednesday morning.
One possible violation involves the use of 529 savings accounts for home-schooling. Another possible violation exempts colleges from a new endowment tax if they have fewer than 500 students paying tuition. Another objection appears technical in nature, as the bill repeals a section by its number, instead of the title of the section.
So it looks like the drama won’t end tonight. The White House was reportedly planning for a signing ceremony tomorrow. It’s not clear if that will now be postponed because of the House re-vote.