New details about what’s in the Senate tax bill


Photo: U.S. Capitol Visitor Center via CNN Wire

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WASHINGTON — Republicans hailed their $1.5 trillion tax bill as a victory for the middle class.

“What people want is, am I going to get some relief myself? Answer, overwhelmingly likely to,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The bill’s cut to the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, but individuals and families would get a temporary tax-cut.

An average, a family of four earning $75,000 would see its $2,200 benefit disappear by 2025.

“Millions of Americans must be watching in stunned disbelief tonight,” said Oregon Senator Ron Wyden.

The bill could hurt people living in higher taxed states —many of them democratic-leaning — because state income tax will no longer be deductible.

The Senate legislation also kills Obamacare’s individual mandate.

Democrats criticized its hasty final drafting.

“Some of the pages were completely crossed off and text has been replaced by handwritten notes,” said Senator Chuck Schumer.

Last minute adds include an amendment that spares cruise lines from paying higher taxes and another that opens up part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. That’s something environmentalists have long opposed.

An amendment added to the bill by Senator Ted Cruz from Texas will allow funds from 529 college savings accounts to be used towards tuition for k-12 school. The amendment was adopted after Vice President Mike Pence broke a 50-50 tie.

Some economists project the tax reform plan will add at least $1 trillion to the national debt.

Republicans dispute that claim.

Now the Senate and House bills need to be combined — a final step that could test the very narrow senate majority.

Congress will begin setting up a conference committee on Monday. A final bill is expected to be on President Donald Trump’s desk by Christmas.

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