How to overhaul the nation’s tax code in 7 easy steps.
Senate Republicans have entered a frantic rush to put a tax overhaul on the Senate floor in the next few days. Republicans are readying a bevy of last-minute changes that could redirect billions of dollars in the US economy over the next decade, changes that senators hadn’t even seen in writing mere hours before they voted to start debate on the tax bill.
But the bill has cleared its first important hurdle. The Senate voted on Wednesday evening, 52 to 48, to start debate on the Republican tax plan.
But that’s really just the opening act. Over the next two days, the fate of the nation’s tax code will be adjudicated on the Senate floor.
The centerpiece of the Republican tax plan is a huge corporate tax cut, at a time when most Americans think businesses should be taxed more, not less. It also slashes taxes on “pass-through” businesses disproportionately used by rich people (like President Trump) to lower their tax burden. The top tax rate for the richest Americans would also be cut, and the estate tax for wealthy inheritances would be rolled back.
More changes could be made on the Senate floor, where a process colloquially called “vote-a-rama” could force some tough votes for lawmakers on both sides and, maybe, change the substance of the final plan that the Senate passes. How this all shakes out could determine whether — and, more importantly, how — Republicans overhaul the nation’s tax code for the next generation.
The path forward is complex. Here’s what happens next.
1) McConnell technically made a motion to start debate on the House tax bill. That step — known as the motion to proceed — required 51 votes.
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