- The US Senate passed the Republican tax bill in a 51-48 vote early Wednesday morning.
- Democrats railed against the bill, which received support from every Republican senator who voted.
After the Senate passed Republicans’ tax bill in a 51-48 vote along party lines early Wednesday morning, Democratic lawmakers lambasted their GOP colleagues.
“When the story of this tax plan is written, congressional Republicans will be remembered for never wavering in their determination to give a massive tax cut to corporations,” Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey said in a statement. “It’s foolhardy at best and deceitful at worst.
“This bill will exacerbate inequality, not ameliorate it,” Booker continued. “It’s irresponsible, reckless, unjust, and just plain cruel – and for these reasons and more, today is one of my most disappointing days as a US senator.”
“We are witnessing highway robbery in broad daylight and a looting of the Federal Treasury,” Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont, said in a passionate speech Wednesday.
The bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, received support from every Republican senator who voted; Sen. John McCain did not vote, having returned home to Arizona to rest after receiving treatment for brain cancer last week. The bill is scheduled to go back to the House for a technical vote before it lands on President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature.
“It was a farce,” Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware said in a statement. “From the start, Republicans’ race to get partisan tax reform across the finish line has made a mockery of our legislative process.
“My Republican colleagues are desperate for a win and clearly willing to call anything a win,” Carper continued.
Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia issued a terse statement: “This is the worst piece of legislation we have passed since I arrived in the Senate.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said on Twitter: “The bill that the Republicans jammed through the Senate tonight isn’t tax reform. It’s a heist. Let’s call this out for what it is: Government for sale.”
“Sooner or later, a reckoning is coming,” Warren warned. “And I will promise you this: When it does, the politicians who lead this Congress & voted for this tax heist will be held accountable for turning their backs on the American people.”
The bill, which would make sweeping changes to the tax code including tax cuts for businesses and most individual taxpayers, managed to pass the House by a comfortable margin with its 227-203 vote Tuesday afternoon.
The bill is generally expected to give a modest boost to the US economy, but by less of a margin than what Republican lawmakers have promised. At the same time, however, independent analyses estimate that the bill’s final version will add $US448 billion to over $US1 trillion to the federal deficit over a decade, which contradicts the GOP’s message that the legislation will pay for itself.
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