After more than six weeks of frenzied negotiations, the House of Representatives has passed the reconciled version of President Donald Trump's tax plan, leaving only one major hurdle between Republicans and their biggest legislative accomplishment of the Trump era.
In a 227-203 vote, the House passed the tax plan over united Democratic opposition, as well as a flurry of 'no' votes from blue-state Republicans who spoke out against provisions in the bill that eliminate deductions for state and local taxesthat will disproportionately impact taxpayers in high-tax states like California and New York. Ultimately, 12 Republicans joined 191 Democrats in voting against the bill.
The vote followed an empassioned debate with Democrats – who labeled the bill the White House "tax scam" – slamming the bill as an attempt to establish a "permanent plutocracy." Republicans countered that it would benefit all Americans, and evidence of its sanguine impact on the economy would emerge over the next year.
The contentious debate that preceded the vote was interrupted several times by protesters, including people who shouted "kill the bill, don't kill us!" The Hill pointed out that one of the protesters was a woman in a wheelchair who said she relies on Medicaid and warned that the bill would "starve" the public.
One protester even interrupted Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as he delivered a floor speech that he's wanted to give for decades in support of the tax overhaul.
"The opponents of this bill – they're not worried about tax cuts for the rich. They're worried about tax cuts for you," Ryan said. "Today we're giving the people of this country their money back. Because it's your money," Ryan said.
In a tweet earlier in the day, Speaker Paul Ryan underscored the historical significance of the vote by tweeting a montage of him advocating for tax reform.
Today has been a moment decades in the making. Let's get it done. pic.twitter.com/abuqrCEMPb
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 19, 2017
Here's a list of Republican Congressmen who voted against the bill…
Here are the House Republicans who voted against the tax bill, which of course raises the question: With his NO vote, what secret message was Rohrabacher sending to Putin & Assange? pic.twitter.com/B66BY0uIZC
— Ira Goldman ???????????? (@KDbyProxy) December 19, 2017
Now, the Senate must approve the reconciled version of the bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he expects to hold the vote Tuesday night, which would sent it to the president's desk.
As a reminder, here’s a summary of the bill’s most important provisions.
* * *
CORPORATE TAX RATE: Falls to 21 percent from 35 percent. The House and Senate bills, as well as Trump, had earlier proposed 20 percent. Going to 21 percent gave tax writers more federal revenue needed to make the tax cut immediate. U.S. corporations have been seeking a large tax cut like this for many years.
PASS-THROUGH BUSINESSES: Creates a 20 percent business income deduction for owners of pass-through businesses, such as sole proprietorships and partnerships. The House had proposed a 25 percent tax rate; the Senate, a 23 percent deduction.
CORPORATE MINIMUM: Repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax, which was set up to ensure profitable companies pay at least some federal tax.
TOP INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX RATE: Falls to 37 percent from 39.6 percent. The House had proposed maintaining the 39.6 percent top rate and condensing the current seven tax brackets to four. The Senate had proposed cutting the top rate to 38.5 percent and maintaining the seven brackets.
PERMANENCE: The expectation is individual tax rates will snap back to current levels in less than 10 years. The individual tax rates in the House bill were permanent. The individual tax rates in the Senate bill would have expired after 10 years.
STATE AND LOCAL TAX (SALT): Both the House and Senate had proposed scaling back a popular individual deduction for state and local tax payments by limiting it to property-tax payments and capping it at $10,000. The compromise bill is expected to keep that cap, but also allow for continued deduction of state and local income tax payments.
MORTGAGE INTEREST: Caps the mortgage interest deduction at $750,000 in home loan value, down from the current $1 million. The House had proposed a $500,000 cap. The Senate bill left it at $1 million.
ESTATE TAX: Roughly doubles the exemption from the federal estate tax on inherited assets to about $11 million, but leaves the tax in place, mirroring the Senate proposal. The House bill had raised the deduction, but also entirely phased out the tax.
OBAMACARE MANDATE: Repeals a federal fine imposed on Americans under Obamacare for not obtaining health insurance coverage. The House bill did not repeal the Obamacare individual mandate.
ANWR DRILLING: Allows oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The provision was sponsored by Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.