US congress approves epic tax Bill
The House Bill is estimated to increase the federal deficit by nearly $1.5 trillion over 10 years
Congressional Republicans took important steps last week Thursday toward the biggest US tax-code overhaul since the 1980s, with the House of Representatives approving a broad package of tax cuts, and a Senate panel advancing its own version of the legislation sought by senior lawmakers and President Donald Trump.
The House vote shifted the tax debate to the Senate, where a tax-writing panel finished debating and approved a Bill late Thursday evening. That measure has already encountered resistance from some within the Republicans ranks. Full Senate action is expected after next week’s Thanksgiving holiday.
Four Republican senators, enough to derail the legislation, have been talking privately about opposing the bill because it would balloon the federal deficit, according to a popular magazine’s report.
Trump, who is still seeking his first major legislative win since taking office in January, went to the US Capitol just before the House vote to urge Republicans to pass the tax Bill, which Democrats call a giveaway to the wealthy and businesses.
“A simple, fair and competitive tax code will be rocket fuel for our economy, and it’s within our reach. Now is the time to deliver,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said after the largely party line House vote of 227-205.
Congress has not thoroughly overhauled the sprawling US tax code since Republican Ronald Reagan was president. The House measure is not as comprehensive as Reagan’s 1986 package, but it is more ambitious than anything since then.
The path forward for the tax plan in the Senate, where Republicans have a narrow majority, is fraught with obstacles about concerns over the deficit, health care and the distribution of tax benefits. Republicans can lose no more than two Senate votes if Democrats remain united in opposition.
Senate Republican tax-writers earlier this week made the risky decision of tying their plan to a repeal of the requirement for people to get health care insurance under former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. That exposed the tax initiative to the same political forces that wrecked Republicans’ anti-Obamacare push earlier in July.
The House Bill, estimated to increase the federal deficit by nearly $1.5 trillion over 10 years, would consolidate individual and family tax brackets to four from seven and reduce the corporate tax rate to 20 per cent from 35 per cent.