In what has been a difficult week for Donald Trump, it does appear that he may have won his first major legislative victory.
So far, Donald Trump’s legislative plans have been largely thwarted. Most notably, twice his attempts to ‘repeal and replace’ Obamacare have been voted down in the Senate. However, it now looks increasingly likely that the Tax Cuts and Reform Act, his tax reform plan, will pass into law. Yesterday, the Senate passed the bill by 51-49 in the Senate. This will be the first major tax reform since 1986.
One major difference with this tax reform to that passed in 1986 was that Reagan’s Act was bipartisan, with Democratic Senators and Congressman co-sponsoring the bills and working to win their party other to the reforms. The bill passed in the Senate yesterday does not have the quality of bi-partisanship, not a single Democrat voted for the bill and only one Republican Senator, Bob Corker, voted against it. A Senate Committee has warned that the tax reform could see a rise in the US budget deficit by over $1 Trillion Dollars. This was why Bob Corker justified his vote against the bill. Democrats are concerned that the tax bill will only benefit those who are already wealthy and big business. A major part of the bill is that corporation tax will be reduced from 35% to 20%.
A version of the bill has now passed both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. The task of legislators now will be to amalgamate the two bills. This can either happen informally through back-channels, or, more likely, by a Conference Committee. Trump has said that he wants the bill enacted by the end of December. Given the recent problems suffered, this is a major victory for the Trump Administration.