>> The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as amended, is passed.>> President Trump's massive tax cut package takes a big step forward as his Republicans push it through the Senate after a flurry of last minute changes. I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington, where Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief.
They've cleared a major hurdle as they try to get their top priorities done before the end of the year. Republicans are eager to show voters that they can deliver on their promises and this is a big one. The most ambitious rewrite of the US Tax Code since the 1980s, affecting every citizen and every business in the world's largest economy.
The bill would slash taxes on corporations and other businesses and temporarily lower rates for individuals as well. Though many middle-class people could actually end up paying more because the bill eliminates several widely-used tax breaks. Republicans say their tax cuts will serve as rocket fuel for the economy. Encouraging businesses to invest in the United States rather than overseas, and putting money in the pockets of ordinary Americans.
>> You have more money in your paycheck.>> Democrats blasted the bill as a giveaway to the rich, complaining that nobody's actually had time to read it.>> Republicans are reaching heretofore unreached heights of hypocracy. And the Senate is descending to a new low of chicanery.>> Congressional analysts say that the tax cuts would not pay for themselves through higher economic growth, as the Trump Administration promised, instead adding one trillion dollars to the national debt.
The bill covers more than just taxes. It would eliminate a key pillar of the Obamacare law, open up an Alaska wilderness to oil and gas drilling, and make it easier for churches to get involved in elections. Republicans added dozens of last-minute handwritten changes to win votes. Democratic Senator, John Tester, of Montana.
>> Now, let's take a look at this, folks. This is your government at work. Here's the bill as it's written. Here's the modifications that are in it. I can read one word, it's called add this language. Can you tell me what that word is?>> Democrats all voted no, along with one Republican, Bob Corker of Tennessee.
>> McConnell->> The bill passed by a vote of 51 to 49, shortly before 2 in the morning. Republicans still have a lot of work to do. They've gotta negotiate the final version with the House of Representatives before President Trump can sign it into law. But they've cleared the Senate, where a lot of their other priorities have fallen apart this year.
Now they could be in trouble of these tax cuts don't live up to their billing. But for now, at least, Republicans are getting closer and closer to a major victory.