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    WASHINGTON – The US Senate on Wednesday approved a reform of the tax reform bill with a majority of Republicans waiting for a final and necessary technical vote in the House of Representatives.

    The Senate approved the most significant overhaul of the tax code in three decades early Wednesday, but Republicans will have to clear one more legislative hurdle before they can claim their first major legislative win and deliver the $1.5 trillion package to President Trump before Christmas, as he requested. 
    The GOP’s sweeping tax measure hit a glitch late Tuesday afternoon in the Senate when the parliamentarian ruled that three minor provisions included in the House-passed bill did not comply with the Senate’s strict budget rules. It was a momentary but onerous setback that forced Senate Republicans to strip the three provisions out of the bill and send it back to the House for yet another vote — putting a damper the GOP’s jubilation as they rush to finish other year-end business.
    President Trump quickly declared victory in a tweet early Wednesday,  calling it the “biggest in (tax cut) in history” and promising to discuss the measure at a Wednesday news conference at the White House.
    The House is expected to vote on the tweaked tax package Wednesday morning — with the outcome likely to mirror Tuesday’s 227-to-203 House vote. That tally split mostly along party lines and came after a brief but heated debate, which was interrupted several times by protesters chanting “Kill the bill! Kill the bill!” before being escorted from the House gallery.  
    Another round of protests erupted when the Senate began voting on the measure just after midnight on Wednesday. With Vice President Pence presiding, the tax bill squeaked through the Senate near 1 a.m., on a 51-48 vote, after the offending provisions were dropped. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was absent; he has been diagnosed with brain cancer and is at home recovering from treatment.
     
    “America is ready to take off” after eight years of slow growth, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters at a post-vote news conference Wednesday morning. The GOP bill will deliver “major middle-class tax relief” and make American businesses “competitive around the world.”
    “This is a historic night,” declared Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which helped craft the bill.
    It was also a years-in-the-making moment for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who has spent nearly 20 years advocating for tax reform. Ryan took the rare opportunity to preside over the chamber for the vote, banging the gavel and joyfully reading the final vote total, as his Republican colleagues erupted in cheers. 
    “This is one of the most important pieces of legislation that Congress has passed in decades to help the American worker, to help grow the American economy,” Ryan said at a news conference after the House vote. “This is profound change … On January 1, Americans are going to wake up with a new tax code.”
    usatoday.com

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