Senate Passes Tax Overhaul Bill With Last-Minute Changes and Hand-Written Scribbles

2017.12.2.TaxBill mainSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) walks to the Senate floor after saying to the media that Republicans have enough votes to pass the tax reform bill on December 1, 2017. (Photo by Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call)

Following weeks of uncertainty and months of legislative setbacks, Senate Republicans mustered up 51 votes in the early hours of Saturday morning to pass the most extensive tax rewrite in recent decades. The bill marks the party’s first major policy achievement under President Donald Trump.

The legislation was drawn up by Senate Republicans through an almost entirely secretive process, and despite concerns from a few Republicans over the bill’s potential impact, they were swayed with a series of last-minute changes. The massive tax overhaul passed along a 51-49 vote margin with no Democrats voting for the bill, and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., as the lone Republican opposition vote.

Just hours prior to the vote senators were given the 479-page bill which was filled with changes and differed from the original version that passed through two Senate panels in recent weeks. Democrats sharply criticized the secretive legislative process, as well as the last-minute changes and the fact that they had been expected to vote on a sweeping piece of legislation that impacts the entire country mere hours after seeing the bill for the first time.

Democrats also slammed the Republicans for one specific page of the bill that contained practically illegible hand-written changes.

While the plan has been pitched by both Trump and Republicans as a tax break for middle and low-income families, economists and nonpartisan analyses have indicated that’s hardly what will happen under the bill. 

“By 2027, all that’s really left is a big corporate tax cut,” Joseph Rosenberg, a senior research associate at the Tax Policy Center explained, Salon previously reported. “This primarily benefits high-income people — people with a lot of capital income — shareholders, people who have…

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