House Passes Republican Tax Plan for the Rich, Senate Passage Uncertain
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Republican tax plan aimed at wealthy Americans Thursday, moving forward a plan President Donald Trump hopes will give him the first major legislative victory of his administration.
Since becoming president about eleven months ago, Trump is yet to pass a major legislation through both chambers of congress.
The tax plan passed along party lines 227-205 with 13 Republicans joining all Democrats to oppose the bill which slashes corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, lowers individual tax brackets, increases standard deduction while eliminating a bunch of deductions that favor middle class Americans.
“I think all the members also realize that this is very crucial, that we need a tax bill out of here, and I think that’s why there’s not a lot of angst over whether we have the votes tomorrow. I think we’ll be right on target.”
Of the 13 Republican lawmakers who voted to oppose passage, five represent districts in New York, four in New Jersey, three in California, and one, Rep. Walter Jones Jr., comes from North Carolina.
Other Republicans who voted against passage are: Reps. Dan Donovan (N.Y.), John Faso (N.Y.), Darrell Issa (Calif.), Peter King (N.Y.), Leonard Lance (N.J.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), Tom McClintock (Calif.), Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.), Chris Smith (N.J.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Lee Zeldin (N.Y.) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (N.J.), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
Republican lawmakers began cheering as the bill passed the mark on the House floor. Democrats cheered as well while waving goodbye to GOP reps. Both sides believe the bill whether it becomes law or not, will be a hot topic during upcoming elections in 2018 and 2020.
While the Republican tax plan passed the House essentially drama free as expected, the story may be different in the Senate where the GOP holds a slim majority and cannot afford to lose many votes.
This week, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican, announced that he is opposed to the current version of the bill and other Senators including Tennessee’s Bob Coker, Arizona’s John McCain and Jeff Flake, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins of Maine have already indicated they have issues with the bill. If they lose two of these Senators, the tax plan will be dead.
Americans are not enamored with the Republican tax plan either. According to a recent poll, only 30 percent of Americans support the GOP tax plan with the remaining 70 percent either strongly opposed or not sure.
47 percent of Americans believe it’s people like President Donald Trump who will enjoy most of the benefits of the Republican tax plan with majority of Americans not seeing any benefits at all. Meanwhile, only 25 percent of Republicans say they believe the tax plan will lower their tax bill going forward.
“I think the health care debacle helped us prepare for this one,” a jubilant Florida GOP Rep. Dennis Ross said, “I think all the members also realize that this is very crucial, that we need a tax bill out of here, and I think that’s why there’s not a lot of angst over whether we have the votes tomorrow. I think we’ll be right on target.”
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