Republicans Confident Congress Will Pass Tax Bill

Top Republicans expressed confidence on Sunday that the Congress will pass a tax overhaul this week, with the Senate voting as early as Tuesday.

Republican Representative Kevin Brady pointed out that he believed they have the necessary votes to pass the legislation, while John Cornyn said he believed the Senate vote would take place on Tuesday.

“I think we are headed – the American people are headed – for a big win on Tuesday. We’ve worked hard to make sure that those strange Senate rules don’t hang this up in any way,” Brady said.

Should the bill be passed it would be the biggest tax overhaul in over three decades and would provide President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers with their first major legislative victory since entering the White House.

However, due to their narrow 52-48 Senate majority, Republicans cannot lose more than two votes if they are to pass tax legislation. Democrats will most likely unanimously vote against the bill, which they say is a giveaway to big corporations and the wealthy.

Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Bob Corker said last week they would support the bill, whereas Senators Susan Collins and Mike Lee did not exactly say whether they would vote yes, but indicated that they might do so. Collins’ office said on Sunday that “she’s still reviewing the bill,” Reuters reports.

According to Senator Jeff Flake’s office, he is still undecided on the legislation. Senators Thad Cochran and John McCain have missed votes in recent weeks due to illness. While Cochran may vote on the tax bill, McCain is not expected to return before January.

President Trump hailed the tax overhaul as “one of the great gifts to the middle-income people of this country that they’ve ever gotten for Christmas.”

Senator Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, said the Republican bill was a “massive attack” on the middle class while benefiting the “wealthiest people in this country.” He added that the GOP plan will cut “Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid” to offset upwards of $1 trillion in lost revenue, which he noted would only hurt the middle class.

“The way this bill is written is the tax breaks for corporations are now permanent. Why weren’t the tax breaks for the middle class made permanent? Because it has to do with the priorities of the folks who wrote that legislation. And their job is to represent multinational corporations and not working families,” Sanders said.

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