Senate panel OKs tax bill, drawing Trump, GOP closer to major legislative win

The Senate Finance Committee voted late Thursday in favor of its version of the tax bill, paving the way for the first major legislative victory for the Trump administration.

The panel's 14-12 vote means the bill will likely reach the Senate floor sometime after Thanksgiving.

Earlier Thursday, the House passed its bill in a 227-205 vote.

"For the millions of hard-working Americans who need more money in their pockets and the chance of a better future, help is on the way," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement.

"For the millions of hard-working Americans who need more money in their pockets and the chance of a better future, help is on the way."

— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

“When the Senate returns after Thanksgiving, I will bring this must-pass legislation to the floor for further debate and open consideration," he added.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), slightly altered by Finance Committee Chairman and U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, during the four-day markup, would temporarily cut taxes for individuals and ax the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.

It would also include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, adding an estimated $338 billion in revenue over 10 years. Earlier this year, Republicans failed to repeal the ACA, the 2010 health care measure commonly called ObamaCare.

“This is a good bill that delivers on our promise to provide middle-class tax relief and grow our economy,” Hatch told reporters before the Senate panel's vote, according to the Hill.

The earlier House vote drew praise on Twitter from President Donald Trump. “Big win today in the House for GOP Tax Cuts and Reform, 227-205. Zero Dems, they want to raise taxes much higher, but not for our military!” Trump tweeted.

Republicans celebrated the potential tax overhaul, claiming it would support the middle class in America, and denied Democratic Party lawmakers' accusations that the bill favors the wealthy and big corporations and will potentially leave millions of Americans without health insurance.

“I come from the poor people," said Hatch, 83, who was the first member of his family to attend college. "And I’ve been working my whole stinking career for people who don’t have a chance. And I really resent anybody saying I’m just doing this for the rich. Give me a break.”

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., meanwhile, called the bill “indefensible, partisan legislation," the Hill reported. Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said the bill was “flawed.”

"It’s not surprising that a flawed process has produced a flawed product, but we can change course," Carper said in a statement, according to Business Insider. "I implore Chairman Hatch and our colleagues on the other side of the aisle: Let’s go back to the drawing board and start anew on a real bipartisan basis."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.