UPDATE: Congress passes Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, president to sign

UPDATE — 3:58 p.m. EST: The House voted by a count of 224–201 Wednesday agreeing to changes made last night by the Senate to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in order to comply with the so-called “Byrd rule” of 1990.

President Trump celebrated the legislative victory with congressional Republicans on the White House lawn just after 3 p.m. local time.

 

The GOP inched closer to passing the first major federal tax reform since 1986 Tuesday as Republican majorities in both houses of Congress approved the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Pending a revote in the House Wednesday morning, President Trump hopes to sign the measure into law before Christmas.

“After eight straight years of slow growth and under-performance, America is ready to take off.  We’ve had two quarters in a row of three percent growth. The stock market is up. Optimism is high. Coupled with this tax reform, America is ready to start performing as it should have for a number of years,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters after the Senate vote.

The bill was approved in the House 227–203, with no Democratic support and 12 GOP defectors from high-tax states.  Similarly in the Senate, the bill passed along party lines; the final tally was 51–48.

Although the House passed the bill Tuesday morning, the motion arrived in the Senate where the Senate parliamentarian ruled language in the House version approved earlier in the day violated the “Byrd rule” for reconciliation bills.

Under a reconciliation procedure harnessed by the GOP, a filibuster is avoided.  However, use of the reconciliation method requires a bill’s provisions to be directly related to the federal budget.

An embarrassing delay, the House of Representatives must revote after the title of the legislation is changed to match the Senate version; the House must adjust the proposed changes to 529 savings plans; and a change must be made to an exemption to an excise tax for small, private colleges.

Elated with the victory, President Trump tweeted late Tuesday his satisfaction with the bill’s passage and his first major legislative victory.

 

[Reuters] [Business Insider] [Photo courtesy Getty Images via Daily Wire]