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Senate passes tax reform bill; local lawmakers react

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The U.S. Senate approved a final version of the GOP tax reform bill early Wednesday morning, putting the party one step closer to a major tax code change.

But the legislation isn’t ready for the president’s signature yet. The House will have to vote a second time Wednesday morning after the Senate took out three provisions in violation to Senate budget rules.

After those provisions were removed, the bill passed in the Senate along party lines 51-48.

Indiana senators are divided on what this means for Hoosiers.

“Instead of closing tax loopholes like the shameful one that allows Wall Street hedge fund managers to pay a lower tax rate than a Hoosier firefighter, than a Hoosier teacher, than a Hoosier policeman, or a Hoosier steelworker… This bill preserves those giveaways,” said Sen. Joe Donnelly. “This is outrageous.”

Sen. Todd Young disagreed, calling the legislation “needed relief.”

“By passing this tax reform legislation and repealing Obamacare Individual Mandate Tax, we’re getting rid of a major burden for Hoosier families,” said Young.

U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita released a statement Wednesday in reaction to the vote. 

“Joe Donnelly failed Indiana again by putting the agenda of Pelosi, Schumer, and the liberal elites ahead of President Trump’s promise of tax cuts for Hoosiers,” Rokita said.

The bill drops the corporate tax rate, nearly doubles the standard deduction for individuals, and repeals the Obamacare mandate that people must have insurance.

A recent study by the Joint Committee on Taxation shows a tax rise in within the next decade for all Americans making $75,000 or less.

The Senate’s final version is expected to pass through the House Wednesday. If it passes, it will then go to the president’s desk for him to sign into law.

Republicans want the new tax code changes by the start of 2018. 


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