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Republicans Score Major Victory With Tax Reform Bill

by Sanders Jett-Folk

On Wednesday, Congressional Republicans passed a significant tax bill that will reform the nation’s tax code. [1]

Since the 2016 elections where Republicans sustained a majority in both the House and the Senate, they’ve attempted to pass several major pieces of legislation, most prominently their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. This legislative failure, in where several Republicans such as John McCain of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine voted against their own party, caused the Republican Party to lose some credibility with its base. [2]

The House first voted on the GOP-backed bill on Tuesday, successfully passing the bill with 227 Republican votes and zero Democratic votes. The Senate voted that night to send the bill to President Donald Trump’s desk, passing it with 51 Republican votes and zero Democratic votes. [3]

However, the Senate parliamentarian ruled soon before the Senate vote that some minor provisions within the bill went against Senate budget rules. As a result, the Senate had to remove those provisions, approve of the changes and send it back to the House for another vote. The Senate approved the final bill with 224 Republican votes and, once again, zero Democratic votes. [3]

The bill, called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, creates new tax brackets designed to lower taxes on the middle class. A new doubled child tax credit is included as well. Health insurance requirements are also eased, and the corporate tax rate is significantly lowered to try and make the American economy more competitive on a global scale. [4]

Junior Kevin Fletcher said “I think the tax bill will hurt the middle class. Tax cuts can’t always be upheld unless there are spending cuts to go with them. We’ll have to see how it plays out though.”

Junior Danny Morris said “The tax bill is great. Lower taxes are good for the economy. The lowered corporate tax rate is really good too. Our economy will be far stronger than before.”

Sophomore Matthew Conway said “I think we’ll have to wait to see what happens with the tax bill. It could go either way. I do think Republicans rushed the bill though. There’s some sketchy provisions in it.”

President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law before Christmas, possibly as soon as today. [5]

 

Sources:

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/19/us/politics/republican-tax-bill.html

[2] https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/heres-republicans-redrawing-legislative-agenda

[3] https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/19/congress-tax-bill-votes-304908

[4] http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-tax-bill-meaning-1219-story.html