227 - 203, House passes GOP tax bill, goes to vote in Senate
The House of Representatives approved the final version of the first overhaul of the US tax code in more than 30 years, handing President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans their most significant legislative victory of 2017.
The bill passed along sharp partisan lines, 227 - 203, with 12 House GOP members opposing the legislation, and no Democrats voting for it.
The Senate is expected to clear the bill later Tuesday, with Vice President Mike Pence presiding over the vote. The measure then heads to the President's desk for his signature before the Christmas holiday, making good on the Republican Party's promise to enact tax relief by the end of the year.
As Republicans prepared to vote on the House tax bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan was seated next to the conservative House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican. The two men have clearly had to go head to head at certain points on health care and spending bills, but on tax reform, the House Freedom Caucus has worked hand in glove with leadership.
Ryan spoke from the floor and said that this vote on the tax bill is a "generational defining moment."
"This is without question the single most important thing we can do to once again make America the best place to do business," Ryan said.
Protesters were repeatedly removed from the chamber for shouting "kill the bill, don't kill us," in the minute before the House vote.
Now, Republicans are just hours away from officially collecting their first major legislative win this year, one that not only delivers on a campaign promise to overhaul the US tax system, but also nets another GOP pledge to repeal at least part of the Affordable Care Act in ending the penalty tied to Obamacare's mandate to have health insurance.
But the victory is also at least in part a gamble Republicans are making ahead of next year's midterm elections, as the party will vote for the legislation amid tough poll numbers for what it's proposing to do as well as critical analyses that say the plan will add billions to the national debt and eventually raise taxes on some key groups.
But in the end, no bad analysis, no bad poll, no bad headline has dissuaded Republicans from moving forward on this bill. Nothing at this point is going to change that.
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Copyright The Gayly – December 19, 2017 @ 1:50 p.m. CST.