The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed a $4.1 trillion budget plan that promises deep cuts to social programs while paving the way for a GOP drive to rewrite the tax code later this year, without a single Democratic vote.
According to Western Journalism, Republicans in the Senate will now have the opportunity to pass the tax reform legislation and give President Donald Trump the chance to sign it into law.
The legislation passed in a 219-206 vote, with lawmakers essentially voting across party lines. Eighteen Republicans and every single Democrat voted against the bill.
Several Republicans touched on the significance of the vote given how meaningful it is for tax reform.
GOP lawmakers hailed the vote as meaningful because of the tax measure.
“We haven’t reformed this tax system since 1986. We need to pass this budget so we can help bring more jobs, fairer taxes and bigger paychecks for people across this country,” Speaker Paul Ryan, R, Wisc., said during House floor debate.
During a debate on the House floor, House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black, R-Tenn., said the measure will grow the middle class and American businesses.
“Our budget specifically paves the way for pro-growth tax reform that will reduce taxes for middle class Americans and free up American businesses to grow and hire,” said Black, according to PBS.
Republicans argue the bill will jump start economic growth while cancelling out revenue loss and any deficits added to the $20 trillion national debt, according to the Washington Post.
The Post also notes that Republicans contend cutting regulations from the financial industry, welfare benefits, and more will free up more than $203 billion.
Democrats weren’t thrilled to see the bill pass in the House.
This budget isn’t about conservative policy or reducing the size of our debt and deficits. It’s not even about American families. This budget is about one thing — using budget reconciliation to ram through giant tax giveaways to the wealthy and big corporations — and to do it without bipartisan support,” said Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., the ranking member on the House Budget Committee, according to The Hill.
Budget reconciliation rules will allow Senate Republicans to pass tax reform legislation without a single Democrat vote and shield it from a filibuster in the Senate by Democrats.
Republicans can only afford two detractors from its own party in order to pass the measure. Republicans control a 52-seat majority in the Senate, meaning they will need 50 votes to pass the measure.
The GOP tax reform will reduce the individual tax brackets from seven to three. The three tax brackets will have taxable rates of 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent.
Currently, the highest tax rate for individuals is 39.6 percent. The committee has not indicated whether it will add a fourth tax bracket to keep the rate that high or allow it to be part of the 35 percent tax bracket.
Republicans said the tax plan will cut more than $5 trillion in spending over the next decade, with Medicaid spending reduced by roughly $1 trillion in the next 10 years.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., one of his party’s budget hawks, warned that while he’s supporting deficit-financed tax cuts for now as a way to deal with arcane Senate rules, he won’t vote for the subsequent tax legislation if it blows a hole in the deficit.
“Unless it reduces deficits and does not add to deficits with reasonable and responsible growth models, and unless we can make it permanent, I don’t have any interest in it,” Corker said.
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