Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The GOP Tax Bill Passed Congress, So Here We Are

By
Share
Ad failed to load

After much back and forth, just after midnight on Wednesday, Dec. 20, Congress finally passed its first piece of major legislation under President Donald Trump. After midnight, the Senate passed the Republican tax reform bill by a vote of 51 to 48. The vote came after weeks of intense discussion about the effects the bill would have on the American economy.

The bill was passed more or less along party lines. As a group, Democrats voted against the bill, and Arizona Senator John McCain, who returned home to Arizona to recover from treatment for a brain tumor earlier this week, missed the vote. The bill squeaked through with 51 votes, coming from Republicans. No Republican voted against the bill, and no Democrat voted for it.

Earlier on Tuesday night, the bill also passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 227-203, sending it to the Senate for what appeared to be a final vote. But the GOP encountered a snafu when Senate Democrats said that three pieces of the bill were in violation of Senate rules, meaning that after the bill passed the Senate it would have to go back through the House for a second vote, as both chambers of Congress must pass identical versions of the bill. The House is expected to vote on the bill again on Wednesday, but it's mostly a formality at this point.

Ad failed to load
Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Before the bill passed, it was heavily criticized for both how haphazard it was and its predicted effects.

The plan was discovered to be full of loopholes and errors due to the speed of its drafting, including one mistake that would have cost over $250 billion and undermined the whole point of the bill, according to Slate. And when the bill first made it to the Senate, lawmakers (and social media users) were dismayed to find that the version of the tax bill they had been given was covered in scribbles in the margins, and impossible to read.

Ad failed to load

The bill also came under fire for who it is projected to help and harm, respectively. The tax bill is overwhelmingly predicted to help the wealthy — corporations and those earning more than $200,000 a year are the top beneficiaries, according to The Los Angeles Times, with about 70 percent of the benefits of the tax bill going to corporations. And the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that though low and middle class earners could see benefits in the short term, over the next ten years, workers making less than $100,000 a year would actually see increases in their taxes. Moreover, the tax bill's repeal of the individual mandate requiring that people buy health care would result in higher premiums and almost 13 million fewer people with health insurance, according to the same CBO report.

There's also the fact that it is predicted to add a staggering $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit. And that's best-case scenarios — so let's not even think about worst-case.

Ad failed to load

It's Donald Trump's first major legislative victory since he took office on Jan. 20 of this year. Despite his campaign promises, an attempted repeal of the Afforable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare) fizzled out back in July, when Sen. John McCain dramatically broke ranks with Republicans to vote "no" on the repeal, joining Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. (Both Collins and Murkowski voted "yes" on tax reform, while McCain missed the vote.) Meanwhile, Trump's attempts to put a Muslim travel ban in place have been met with fierce opposition, and despite a recent ruling that a ban can temporarily go into effect, the verdict is literally still out on that. And for all Trump's talk of building a border wall with Mexico, it seems easier said than done.

So what now? The bill is going back to the House for a vote on Wednesday morning, and then heading to the president's desk for a signature in the next few days. And then, tax reform will be law.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

5 Trends From The '90s Are Making A Serious Comeback, So Somebody Page Cher Horowitz

I was born in the '90s and my childhood was one Caboodles train case packed with scrunchies and butterfly clips after another. If you could believe it, early '90s fashion is already considered vintage (I officially feel old AF) and according to sprin…
By Stephanie Montes

This New Snapchat Feature Is Going To Make Your Stories Look Even Better

Giphy is officially taking over social media, and I'm not upset about it. After invading Instagram stories with funny animated stickers, the company partnered with Snapchat — and now, we're finally able to fill our Snaps with hilarious GIFs. In other…
By Amanda Fama

Your Weekly Horoscope Is Here & Luckily, It's All Good Things

Pat yourself on the back because you survived not only one but two major eclipses. The last few weeks have been one obstacle after another but you made it. You dealt with the pain, held it together, and prevailed. Now, your February 19, 2018 weekly h…
By Roya Backlund

6 Subtle Red Flags That Could Mean You’re Sleeping Way Too Much

Have you ever woken up after an unusually long night of sleep and felt, well, kind of awful? Whether you roll out of bed feeling super dehydrated, nursing a throbbing a headache, or you simply feel stiff as a board, there are reasons why your body mi…
By Annakeara Stinson

These 6 Workouts Can Be Done Right On Your Couch, & Yes, They Do Count As Exercise

Ever have that feeling when you're watching the Olympics like you should be working out, or at least stretching, but in reality you're just laying around eating chips? Yeah, me neither. But if you do ever feel that pull to work out when you're just l…
By Annakeara Stinson

10 Things You Should Say To Your Partner Every Day To Keep The Love Alive

When it coms to love, falling into it is a lot easier than maintaining it. There’s a reason, after all, that it's called "falling" in love, because it's mostly out of your control — the heart just takes over. Because those emotions come so easily and…
By Rachel Shatto

Science Says These 8 Foods Can Help You Live Longer, So Eat Up

If you're looking to live forever, or at least for an appropriately long amount of time, then the best way to get started on your journey toward immortality is to think about what you're putting into your body for fuel. Think of your diet as the batt…
By Caroline Burke

I Live In London & When Guys Find Out I'm American, They Only See Me As A Fling

I first entered the world of dating apps during a semester abroad in London, and I had zero idea what I was getting myself into. I was 21, had only ever dated boys I'd met through work, school, or mutual friends, and my appreciation for romantic come…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Here's Exactly How You'll Fall In Love, Based On Your Astrological Sign

One of my favorite things about learning about my zodiac sign and others' is learning patterns about my behavior that I can acknowledge and use to my advantage. As a Scorpio sun sign, I know I'm typically described as mysterious, drawn to loyal peopl…
By Elana Rubin

These 8 Red Flags Might Mean You're Pushing Yourself Too Hard In Your Workouts

If you live by the motto "no pain, no gain," or you frequently exclaim that your HIIT circuits "hurt so good," you're probably the type of person who challenges yourself to the max during your workouts. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, i…
By Georgina Berbari

I Tried Vegan "Spacepaste" & It Looks Like Straight-Up LED Lights On Your Face

As you might have noticed, 2018 is the year for glitter. So many brands have been releasing shining, shimmering formulations like they're going out of style. We're not even halfway through February, and Lemonhead LA has already launched the best glit…
By Kim Carpluk

These "Awkward" Proposal Stories Show There's No One Perfect Way To Get Engaged

There are a few adjectives people use to describe proposal stories that tend to be a bit more common than the rest. You know what I mean. How many times have you heard someone describe their marriage proposal as "magical" or "romantic" or — my person…
By Candice Jalili

This $20 Toy Simulates Pimple Popping, So You Can Save Your Face (But Still Lose Your Dignity)

As a self-proclaimed popaholic, I am not ashamed to admit that I love watching pimple popping and blackhead extraction videos. Call me gross, but I find it immensely therapeutic and satisfying. To all of my fellow weirdos, we’ve been blessed with a n…
By Ariana Marsh

Everyone Is So Thirsty Over This “Photo” Of Obama With Facial Hair

It's been a hot minute since President Barack Obama left the Oval office (though it feels like ages), and a lot of us miss him dearly. After leaving the White House, the 44th president remained out of the public eye for a little while, decompressing …
By Daniella Bondar

Meghan Markle Uses This $13 Natural Wonder To Grow Her Eyebrows Back & You Can Too

Meghan Markle is the world's new go-to celebrity for all things fashion and beauty — she's marrying a prince after all, so she must have some tricks up her sleeve. Meghan Markle's beauty routine is just as intricate as mine, because that's how real s…
By Alison Turka

7 Foolproof Things To Do Every Day If You're Tired Of Being Lazy AF

Being lazy can be oh-so-lovely. Until you start letting life pass you by, and not living to your full potential, then suddenly, it's not so good anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my weekends when I can stay snuggled up in bed just a bit longer. Hit…
By Marisa Casciano

This Is How Long Most People Wait To Say "I Love You," Science Says

If I had to choose one word to describe saying "I love you" to your partner for the first time, I'd have to go with... hmm, exciting? Nope. Thrilling? Hardly. Terrifying? YES. Exactly. Saying "I love you" for the first time is terrifying. What makes …
By Candice Jalili

6 Reasons To Travel Abroad With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend In Your 20s

Traveling can be many things: hectic, expensive, and definitely stressful. But with the right people or person beside you, all those troubles kind of just melt away. That's why there are some solid reasons to travel abroad with your boyfriend or girl…
By Alani Vargas