On Tuesday, the House passed the GOP tax reform bill by a vote of 227-203. Then, around midnight, the Senate passed a very similar bill, 51-48. The Senate voted strictly along party lines, with John McCain unable to participate.
The Senate bill differs slightly from the House version because the Senate parliamentarian ruled that three provisions of the House version violate the Senate’s Byrd Rule, which governs what types of legislation that can pass with a simple majority. Those three provisions, all very minor, could not gain the support of 60 Senators, so they had to be dropped.
Consequently, the House will vote again, this time on the version passed by the Senate. It is expected to pass the legislation tomorrow morning.
The tax reform legislation will do away with Obamacare’s individual mandate. Thus, the Republicans have succeeded not only in enacting tax reform, but also in repealing a key provision of Obamacare.
The Democrats and their media boosters argue that the tax bill is a gift to the wealthy and a blow to the middle class. However, Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute makes a persuasive case that the biggest tax cuts will go to the middle class.
By April 15, members of the middle class should know whether, and to what extent, the legislation benefits them.