Jubilant Republicans pushed on early Wednesday to the verge of the most sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax laws in more than three decades.
The sweeping package of tax cuts will move its way back to the House for a second vote on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill soon after.
Trump cheered the lawmakers on Tuesday, eager to claim his first major legislative victory.
After midnight, the Senate passed the legislation on a party-line 51-48 vote.
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Protesters interrupted with chants of “kill the bill, don’t kill us” and Vice President Mike Pence repeatedly called for order. Upon passage, Republicans cheered, with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin among them.
Trump hailed the vote in an early morning tweet and promised a White House news conference, likely Wednesday, when the House completes legislative action on the measure.
The United States Senate just passed the biggest in history Tax Cut and Reform Bill. Terrible Individual Mandate (ObamaCare)Repealed. Goes to the House tomorrow morning for final vote. If approved, there will be a News Conference at The White House at approximately 1:00 P.M.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2017
The early morning vote came hours after the GOP rammed the bill through the House, 227-203. But it wasn’t the final word in Congress because of one last hiccup.
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Three provisions in the bill, including its title, violated Senate rules, forcing the Senate to vote to strip them out. So the massive bill was hauled back across the Capitol for the House to vote again on Wednesday, and Republicans have a chance to celebrate again.
Hours earlier, House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has worked years toward the goal of revamping the tax code, gleefully pounded the gavel on the House vote. GOP House members roared and applauded as they passed the $1.5 trillion package that will touch every American taxpayer and every corner of the U.S. economy, providing steep tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy, and more modest help for middle- and low-income families.
“This was a promise made. This is a promise kept,” Ryan and other GOP leaders said at a victory news conference.
Ryan, appearing on a nationally broadcast news show Wednesday morning, said the GOP is willing to risk running up deficits to jump-start the economy with the aim of getting a higher annual growth rate.
The Wisconsin Republican, who has been a deficit hawk over the years, embraced arguments by other Republican leaders that the boost to the economy will go a long way toward offsetting a ballooning debt.
“What we’re trying to do here is give relief to hard-working families,” Ryan said on NBC’s “Today” show.
After the delay for a second House vote Wednesday, the measure then heads to Trump, who is aching for a big political victory after 11 months of legislative failures and nonstarters. The president tweeted his congratulations to GOP leaders and to “all great House Republicans who voted in favor of cutting your taxes!”
Congratulations to Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Kevin Brady, Steve Scalise, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and all great House Republicans who voted in favor of cutting your taxes!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2017
Congressional Republicans, who faltered in trying to dismantle Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, see passage of the tax bill as crucial to proving to Americans they can govern — and imperative for holding onto House and Senate majorities in next year’s midterm elections.
“The proof will be in the paychecks,” Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said during the Senate’s nighttime debate. “This is real tax relief, and it’s needed.”
The GOP has repeatedly argued the bill will spur economic growth as corporations, flush with cash, increase wages and hire more workers. But they acknowledge they have work to do in convincing everyday Americans. Many voters in surveys see the legislation as a boost to the wealthy, such as Trump and his family, and a minor gain at best for the middle class.
“I don’t think we’ve done a good job messaging,” said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore. “Now, you’re able to look at the final product.”
Ryan was positive, even insistent. He declared, “Results are what’s going to make this popular.”
Tax cuts for corporations would be permanent while the cuts for individuals would expire in 2026 to comply with Senate budget rules. The tax cuts would take effect in January, and workers would start to see changes in the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks in February.
The bill would slash the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The top tax rate for individuals would be lowered from 39.6 percent to 37 percent.
The legislation repeals an important part of the 2010 health care law — the requirement that all Americans carry health insurance or face a penalty — as the GOP looks to unravel the law it failed to repeal and replace this past summer. It also allows oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The $1,000-per-child tax credit doubles to $2,000, with up to $1,400 available in IRS refunds for families that owe little or no taxes.
The bill is projected to add $1.46 trillion to the nation’s debt over a decade. GOP lawmakers say they expect a future Congress to continue the tax cuts so they won’t expire. That would drive up deficits even further.
The bill would initially provide tax cuts for Americans of all incomes. But if the cuts for individuals expire, most Americans — those making less than $75,000 — would see tax increases in 2027, according to congressional estimates.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.