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>> The yays are 51, the nays are 49.>> Senate Republicans clear a crucial hurdle with a vote allowing them to cut taxes without Democratic support. Now comes the hard part. I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington, where Senate Republicans are breathing easy after taking a first step in what's likely to be a month's long effort to overhaul the nation's 70,000 page tax code.
The bill allowing them to pass tax related legislation with just 50 votes, rather than the 60 they usually need to get legislation through the Senate. But that's no guarantee of success, as we've seen with their failure to roll back Obamacare. Senate Republicans this year have had a hard time agreeing just amongst themselves.
And the debate over taxes is shaping up to be every bit as contentious as the debate over health care. The bill passing Thursday night after Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was able to scrape together a majority.>> We have a once in a lifetime opportunity.>> President Trump tweeting out his approval Friday morning, promising the Senate vote will lead to the biggest tax cuts in US history.
Now the real debate begins. President Trump and Republican leaders are hoping to simplify the tax code by lowering rates. But they're already at odds over whether wealthy families should get a tax cut, and whether popular tax breaks should be preserved. And there are budget hawks like Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, who say they'll refuse to vote for any tax plan that would increase the national debt.
The White House and Republican leaders saying that tax cuts will pay for themselves through faster economic growth. But independent tax experts say that's not likely. The debate is certain to heat up as interest groups of all stripes mobilize to protect their perks. The House of Representatives now expected to take the lead, Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan on Friday saying the plan will include a higher tax bracket for top earners.
>> So that high incomers do not see a big rate cut, and that those resources go to the middle class.>> After the Obamacare fiasco Republicans are under tremendous pressure to deliver. But this time they have a fallback option, if a tax overhaul proves too complex, Republicans could try to pass a simple tax cut that would expire after ten years.
That would probably widen budget deficits opening them up to charges of fiscal irresponsibility. But at least they wouldn't be headed into next year's mid term elections empty handed.>> Trying to deregulate.