More Details Emerging in Senate Tax Reform Bill

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WASHINGTON — More is being learned about the tax overhaul passed by Senate Republicans over the weekend. President Trump is expected to get the final bill by Christmas.

Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee was the lone Republican who voted against the legislation. Some Democrats say the only good thing about the bill is that it’s not law yet. That could change soon.

Republicans hailed their one and a half trillion dollar tax bill as a victory for the middle class.
“What people want is, am I going to get some relief myself? Answer, overwhelmingly likely to,” said Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Majority Leader.

The bills cut to the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%.  
But individuals and families would get a temporary tax-cut.

On average, a family of four earning $75,000 would see its $2,200 benefit, disappear by 2025.

“Millions of Americans must be watching in stunned disbelief tonight,” said Ron Wyden (D-OR).

The bill could hurt people living in higher taxed states-many of them Democratic-leaning-because state income tax will no longer be deductible.
The Senate legislation also kills Obamacare’s individual mandate. 

Democrats criticized its hasty final drafting.  “Some of the pages were completely crossed off and text has been replaced by handwritten notes,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Last minute adds include: An amendment that spares cruise lines from paying higher taxes.  And another that opens up part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling – something environmentalists have long opposed. 

Now the Senate and House bills need to be combined, a final step that could test the very narrow senate majority.
Senator Susan Collins is among those waiting to see.

“You’re comfortable with your vote on this tax bill and is it there really no matter what comes out of conference?” a reporter asks.
“No, obviously I want to see what comes out.” Collins said.

Congress will begin setting up that conference committee later today.

An amendment added to the bill by Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas will allow funds from 529 college savings accounts to be used towards tuition for K-12 school. The amendment was adopted after Vice President Pence broke a 50-50 tie. 

Some economists project the tax reform plan will add at least $1-trillion  to the national debt. Republicans dispute that claim.

Brook Silva-Braga, CBS News

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