(National Sentinel) Legislative Branch: The House on Thursday got closer to passing Donald J. Trump’s tax reform plan that contains cuts to the top rates for millions of Americans, small businesses and corporations.

On a 216-212 vote, the House passed what was the Senate’s budget resolution, meaning the Republican majority can now fast-track tax reform.

Twenty Republicans joined every Democrat in the House to oppose the legislation, but the GOP majority was large enough to sustain the defections. Many Republicans who voted against the bill cited issues with a key provision in the tax plan.

The successful vote was the last procedural step before Republicans can begin to move on fast-track tax reform, which is expected to be unveiled next week.

Thursday’s resolution was critical for the GOP in getting tax reform through the near-impossible hurdles of Congress, Politico reported.

After the vote the GOP opened up procedures that will permit the Senate to pass tax reform legislation with just 51 votes, blocking a sure Democratic filibuster. The GOP has a 52-seat majority in the 100-seat Senate, but there have been so-called “moderate” Republicans who have, in the past, thwarted the president’s agenda and may yet still do so.

A number of Republicans from high-tax states threatened a “no” vote if GOP leaders did not remove provisions to curb state and local tax deductions that were in the legislation.


House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., however, believed that enough Republicans would be excited about tax reform in general to support the measure, even if they weren’t thrilled about the local tax provision.

“A ‘no’ vote, as we heard from our Democrat colleagues, is to block tax reform and defend the status quo,” Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) warned on the floor before the vote.

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