WASHINGTON – Republicans in Congress have delivered an epic overhaul of U.S. tax laws to President Donald Trump, bringing generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and billions to be added to the national debt.
The $1.5 trillion package, billed as a huge boon for the middle class and a spark to economic growth, provides smaller tax cuts for middle- and low-income families.
The GOP-dominated House voted -- a second time -- along party lines on Wednesday to approve the complex legislation, following a narrow vote after midnight in the Senate.
The measure slashes the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The tax cuts for business are permanent, but reductions for individuals and families expire after a decade. The standard deduction used by around two-thirds of Americans will nearly double to $24,000 for married couples.
Here's why the House had to vote again on the tax bill
House Republicans applauded and cheered after they voted for their long-anticipated tax reform plan Tuesday.
But just hours later, it was revealed they'd have to do the vote all over again Wednesday.
That's because of an arcane Senate procedure known as a "Byrd Bath," where legislation undergoes a review to make sure it complies with the so-called Byrd rule.
The Senate parliamentarian ruled Tuesday afternoon that some changes will need to be made to the House version to make it comply with the Byrd rule, so the Senate will vote on the amended bill Tuesday night, then send it back to the House for a vote Wednesday morning.
This isn't a huge surprise. It was expected that some changes might have to be made, and the House vote Wednesday won't be considered a big deal.