US Senate passes Republican tax reform bill
Washington: The US Senate on Saturday passed the Republican tax reform bill that incorporates a number of changes.
The vote was split 51 to 49. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee voted no, joining all 48 Democrats, reports CNN.
"The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as amended, is passed," Vice President Mike Pence announced, prompting Republicans to break out into applause.
The bill will now go to Senate/House negotiations.
The changes in the "substitute amendment" released by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch on Friday night included an increase in the deduction for pass-through business income from 17.4 per cent to 23 per cent, reports The Hill magazine.
These changes are paid for in several ways, including the restoration of the alternative minimum tax, which was initially repealed in the bill.
The new version of the bill, which stands at 479 pages, was panned by Democrats for being released close to the final vote, without much time to review.
The Democrats received a copy earlier on Friday and noted that it includes some hand-written changes.
Republican leaders were racing on Thursday night and Friday morning to find support for the bill, hoping to avoid a repeat of the health care bill debacle earlier this year that left them empty handed.