Senate Republicans have passed a sweeping rewrite of the U.S. tax code that will dramatically impact not only household income, but also healthcare, domestic spending and even oil and gas drilling. The plan would slash taxes by nearly $1.5 trillion, with most of the cuts benefiting major corporations and the richest Americans, including President Trump’s own family. The bill passed the Senate in the early morning hours of Saturday on a vote of 51 to 49, with every Democrat voting against the bill and all Republicans voting for it except for Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee. Democrats blasted Republican leaders for only making the final text of the nearly 500-page bill available a few hours before the vote. The final draft had handwritten notes scribbled in the margin. Among those condemning the bill was Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “The legislation passed last night gives incredibly large tax breaks to the very, very wealthy. It raises taxes on millions of middle-class families. It leaves 13 million more Americans without health insurance. It raises health insurance premiums by 10 percent a year. And it raises the deficit by $1.4 trillion.”
The bill would also roll back the estate tax on inherited wealth—which currently applies to about 5,000 of the wealthiest U.S. families. According to a report in Public Citizen, more than half of all registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C., worked on the tax bill. Republican leaders are preparing to form a conference committee to hash out differences between bills passed by the House and Senate. We’ll have more on Saturday’s historic tax bill after headlines, with Minnesota Democratic Congressmember Keith Ellison.