Donald Trump's tax reform bill passed

Updated: Dec 21, 2017, 12:11 IST | Agencies

For final approval, it must go back to the House for a procedural issue before it can be sent to the White House for the President to sign it into law

Senate Republicans yesterday passed a sweeping overhaul of the US tax code in more than 30 years, bringing President Donald Trump closer to scoring his first major legislative victory amid criticism that the package disproportionately benefit the wealthy and corporations. The Senate-approved $1.5-trillion tax bill, which includes permanent tax breaks for corporations and temporary tax cuts for individuals, by a final vote of 51-48. The House of Representatives had earlier approved the bill comfortably. In the House, it was passed by 227 to 203 votes. Republicans have majorities in both houses of Congress.

The bill is set to return to the House of Representatives for final approval; (right) Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell  (R-KY) speaks to the press after the passing of the bill. pics/afpThe bill is set to return to the House of Representatives for final approval; (right) Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to the press after the passing of the bill. Pics/AFP

For final approval, the legislation must go back to the House for a procedural issue before it can be sent to the White House for the President to sign it into law. Once enacted, the legislation will represent the most drastic changes to the US tax code since 1986. The bill was passed along party lines, with every Senate Republican present voting in its favour and all Democrats voting against it. "After years of work, we are going to enact the most sweeping, pro-growth overhaul of our tax code in a generation. Americans are going to see relief almost immediately in the form of bigger paychecks and lower taxes," said Congressman Paul Ryan, Speaker of the US House of Representatives.

USD1.5TN Amount of the tax bill
51 Number of pro votes

A new low

Trump's approval rating sank to a new low in a new CNN poll, earning the approval of just 35 per cent of Americans less than a year into his first term. The poll's revelations on Tuesday showed a significant drop from the 45 per cent approval rating that Trump had in March, shortly after taking office. It marks the worst approval rating in a December of any elected president's first year in the White House by a wide margin.

Media reports
The Washing post
The wealthy would see more relief than the middle class and working poor. The plan would revise nearly every part of the tax system by lowering income tax rates and restructuring deductions.

The Wall Street Journal
The plan offers deep tax cuts for businesses, lower rates for many individuals and a narrower estate tax. Corporate shareholders, business owners and most households will win... "But there will be losers, too, including some households living in regions where state and local taxes are high."

Critics tear into bill
Wealthy business owners, such as President Donald Trump, stand to gain from a provision in the Republican tax bill that creates a valuable deduction for owners of pass-through businesses, Democrats and some tax experts say. The provision creates a 20% business income deduction for sole proprietors and owners in partnerships and other non-corporate enterprises. It was sold by Republicans as a way to help small businesses and create jobs. But the final formula for determining types of businesses benefiting has widened to take in firms with few, if any, workers, critics said.

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