16, December 2017
US Republicans have unveiled the final draft of their dramatic tax bill which they are racing to send to President Donald Trump’s desk by Christmas.
The bill picked up crucial support Friday from two wavering senators, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), ahead of planned votes by lawmakers early next week.
The House is expected to vote on the bill on Tuesday and then the Senate will vote. If passed, the measure would deliver a major legislative victory to Trump and his Republican allies.
“I believe that this once-in-a-generation opportunity to make US businesses domestically more productive and internationally more competitive is one we should not miss,” Corker said in a statement.
The legislation by the House-Senate conference committee would massively change the tax system, cut rates for many individuals and businesses and place new limitations on tax breaks.
The bill also includes a targeted change to the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, Republicans have long sought to dismantle.
“I’m very excited about this moment. It’s been 31 years in the making and took a lot of hard work by a lot of people to make this day happen. I’m proud of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” said Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
“I know everyone’s lives will be better off under tax reform,” added Brady, who played a lead role in crafting the bill.
Under the final bill, the top individual rate would be reduced from 39.6 percent to 37 percent, which is lower than the top rate in the original bills the House and Senate passed.
In addition, the corporate tax rate would be lowered from 35 percent to 21 percent, up from 20 percent in the original bills.
While GOP lawmakers and the White House assert the economic growth from the bill will offset the revenue losses, most analysts disagree.
Also, Democrats, who are expected to stay united in opposing the measure, argue the bill would benefit wealthy individuals and corporations more and would wind up raising taxes on some middle-class families.