- The Senate Finance Comittee reported the GOP tax plan, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, on Thursday.
- The approval came after a tense four-day markup of the bill.
- The TCJA will be considered by the full Senate after the weeklong Thanksgiving recess.
The Senate Finance Committee moved the massive GOP tax plan forward another step on Thursday by reporting the Republican bill to the full chamber in a party line vote.
The bill, named the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), moved forward on a vote of 14 to 12, with every member voting on party lines.
The TCJA will next move to the Senate floor, likely the week after the Thanksgiving recess, to be considered by the full body.
Reporting the bill out concludes a four-day markup for the Finance Committee that was at times contentious as Democrats accused Republicans of favouring the rich and corporations, and Republicans arguing they were focused on helping the middle class.
The tension came to a boil late Thursday when Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown suggested that Republicans were passing the TCJA only to help the rich. Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, the chair of the committee and long-time GOP member, took issue with Brown’s insistence.
“I come from the poor people. And I’ve been here working my whole stinking career for people who don’t have a chance. And I really resent anybody saying I’m just doing this for the rich. Give me a break,” Hatch said, per The Wall Street Journal. “This bull crap that you guys throw out here really gets old after a while.”
The passage was divisive, as GOP leaders praised the legislation while Democrats decried it.
“The committee, under the leadership of Chairman Hatch, considered hundreds of amendments, heard arguments from all sides and debated in an open and transparent manner,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “I commend my colleagues and the legislation they put forward.”
Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware on the Finace Committee, took an opposing view.
“It’s not surprising that a flawed process has produced a flawed product, but we can change course,” Carper said in a statement. “I implore Chairman Hatch and our colleagues on the other side of the aisle: Let’s go back to the drawing board and start anew on a real bipartisan basis.”
The House also passed their version of the TCJA on Thursday. If the Senate approves the bill (which is no guarantee) after Thanksgiving, the TCJA would move to a conference committee next.
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