The first step was taken in getting tax reform pushed through on Thursday, as Republicans in the House passed the tax reform legislation that promises to make tax reporting so simple it can be done on a postcard.
The bill was passed in a 227-205 vote, despite 13 House Republicans voting against it. The GOP received more votes than necessary; they could have lost up to 22 votes from their own party and still passed the bill.
Republicans have promised that the new tax bill will reduce rates for individuals, corporations and small businesses.
Representative Devin Nunes, R-Calif., a member of the Ways and Means Committee who helped write the plan, said, “For the first time in 31 years, we are wiping the tax code clean and replacing it with one that is fairer and simpler for everyone.”
The bill now faces an uphill battle in the Senate, as three Republican senators have already said they might oppose it, which would effectively kill the bill.
Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) have both stated they might not support it, and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has said with certainty he will not be voting for it.
“We’ve got a long road ahead of us, and we’ve got a timeline to get this done before the end of the year,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday.
The contents of the bill are expected to change, however. The Senate is in the process of writing its own tax bill, which lawmakers will vote on after the Thanksgiving recess, GOP leaders said. If that can pass, a House-Senate conference would meet to sort out the differences.
House Republican leaders on Thursday touted their bill as one that would boost the middle class. A family of four earning $59,000 annually would receive a tax cut of nearly $1,200, they calculated.
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