GOP Tax Bill Vote in House, Senate On Tuesday

CNN/ Newswire | 12/19/2017, 9:59 a.m.
When it comes to the GOP tax plan, Republicans have the votes. Period. They have them in the House, which ...
Donald Trump

By Phil Mattingly, CNN

(CNN) -- When it comes to the GOP tax plan, Republicans have the votes. Period.

They have them in the House, which is expected to vote in the early afternoon Tuesday. They have them in the Senate, which votes later this evening. This bill is going to pass both chambers and be on President Donald Trump's desk by Wednesday, no small feat given the extremely fast timeline GOP leaders gave themselves when they unveiled their tax plans last month.

Now, Republicans are just hours away from collecting their first major legislative win this year, one that not only delivers on a campaign promise to overhaul the US tax system, but also nets another GOP pledge to repeal at least part of the Affordable Care Act in ending the penalty tied to Obamacare's mandate to have health insurance.

But the victory is also at least in part a gamble Republicans are making ahead of next year's midterm elections, as the party will vote for the legislation amid tough poll numbers for what it's proposing to do as well as critical analyses that say the plan will add billions to the national debt and eventually raise taxes on some key groups.

But in the end, no bad analysis, no bad poll, no bad headline has dissuaded Republicans from moving forward on this bill. Nothing at this point is going to change that.

The House is expected to vote sometime in the early afternoon Tuesday -- the quicker the better in the Senate's view, where GOP leaders would also like to not just get it done, but get it done before it's very late at night.

The Senate is also expected to vote Tuesday after the House. The chamber will take the bill up as soon as it can (there's some time that needs to pass as the House officially sends it over to the Senate), then there are 10 hours of debate on the bill. That said, Republicans can yield back their time if they want to quicken the process.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, on the Senate floor, made the announcement that the Senate plans on voting Tuesday on the tax bill.

"After the House votes this afternoon, the Senate will begin debate and will proceed to a vote on passage later this evening," McConnell said.

The policy

CNN has covered what's in the final bill extensively, but here are just a few of the highlights: The plan -- which critics say is heavily weighted to ease the tax burden of businesses rather than the middle class -- drops the corporate tax rate down from 35% to 21%, repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax, nearly doubles the standard deduction for individuals and restructures the way pass-through businesses are taxed. The bill keeps seven personal income tax brackets, and lowers that tax rates for most brackets, including dropping the top rate to 37% from 39.6%.

For more on what exactly is in the bill's policy, check out CNN Money's in-depth coverage since the final bill's release last Friday.