The sweeping, debt-financed tax legislation has managed to pass through the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives by a vote of 227-203.
The bill was passed on Tuesday, sending the bill to the Senate. The tax overhaul is the biggest in more than 30 years. Once both the chambers of Congress approve the bill, U.S. President Donald Trump would sign it as early as Wednesday.
The House passed the bill by a vote of 227-203 despite a united opposition from Democrats and 12 Republicans who voted against it. Passage was all but certain in the Republican-controlled Senate, as well.
According to the proposal of the tax overhaul, there will be temporary tax cuts for some individuals as well as families while permanent cuts have been proposed for corporations and wealthy taxpayers. Further the bill also repeals a section of the Obamacare health system and allows oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, just two of many narrow changes added to the bill to secure sufficient to win its passage.
For those in the middle-income group, there will be an average tax cut of $900 next year, while the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans would see an average cut of $51,000. The tax cuts will boost U.S. economy as well as the jobs market, Republicans believe. They also see the measure as key to retaining their majorities in the House and Senate in elections next November.
Democrats on the other hand are of the opinion that the income gap between rich and poor Americans will widen further while adding $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years to the mounting $20 trillion US national debt.
Some 52 per cent of adults oppose the tax plan, while 27 per cent support it, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.
The end-of-year sprint represents a remarkable recovery of Republican fortunes since the middle of this year when the party’s drive to dismantle former Democratic President Barack Obama’s Obamacare healthcare law crumbled in the Senate and prospects for a tax overhaul seemed doomed by party infighting.