House approves final version of Republican Tax Bill, voting moves to Senate

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House lawmakers voted to approve the Republican Tax Bill today, moving the vote to the Senate, where they should have a final vote later today.  Senate is predicted to approve the bill, making it the largest tax upheaval since the Regan presidency.  This, coming after a House approval of 227 to 203.

The bill slashes the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent, a win for big business.  For the wealthy, it lowers the top tax rate from 39 to 37 percent and for middle-class Americans, the plan doubles the standard deduction, but it caps combined state and local income and property tax deductions at $10,000.  

Previous analysis of the Senate plan found Americans earning $75,000 or less would pay more in taxes within 10 years.  The package also eliminates the Affordable Care Act mandate requiring individuals to purchase insurance.  

The final legislation also nearly doubles the standard tax deduction, taking it to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for couples and this has some non-profits worried.  A higher standard deduction could mean fewer taxpayers will itemize their deductions on their returns.  Currently, only taxpayers who itemize may deduct contributions.

According to Heather Long at the Washington Post, Sen. Pat Toomey (R) “was one of the main authors of the Senate tax bill and he defended it vigorously on the floor of the U.S. Senate. As Democrat after Democrat slammed the bill, Toomey calmly stood up and sold the bill as a way to make American companies more competitive and profitable so they will invest more in the United States and hire more workers, hopefully raising wages as well. Toomey played an especially large role in crafting the tax changes for small and large businesses, a very complex tax.”

Senator Bob Casey (D) swings the other way, posting on Twitter yesterday, “…How about we put children and families ahead of the super-rich & big corporations by reauthorizing CHIP instead of taking up the GOP tax scheme?”

Well, it looks like House lawmakers sided with Toomey today…  Time to see what the Senate will do with it.  The bill could be headed to the president’s desk by the end of the day.

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