MNA Business Desk: The US Senate has approved the most sweeping overhaul of the US tax system in more than three decades. The House of Representatives earlier approved the bill comfortably. Republicans have majorities in both houses of Congress.
The Senate approved the $1.5 trillion tax bill, which includes permanent tax breaks for corporations and temporary tax cuts for individuals, by a final vote of 51-48. Once enacted, the legislation will represent the most drastic changes to the US tax code since 1986.
For final approval the legislation must go back to the House on Wednesday for a procedural issue. If it passes, as expected, it will be President Donald Trump’s first major legislative triumph.
Vice-President Mike Pence presided over the vote and announced the result.
Critics say the package is a deficit-bloating giveaway to the super-rich. But Republicans argue the tax cuts for corporations, small businesses and individuals will boost economic growth.
Although the bill’s passage was expected, tensions boiled to a surface as the final vote was held, as Democrats sharply criticized Republicans for bill independent analysts have projected will disproportionately benefit the wealthy and corporations.
The bill lowers the top individual tax rate from 39.6% to 37% and slashes the corporate tax rate to 21%, a dramatic fall from its current rate of 35%.
After the House vote, Trump praised House Republican leadership for delivering the $1.5tn tax cut plan.