While you were fast asleep Friday night, the United States Senate managed to squeeze together enough Republican votes to pass a tax reform bill. The process was long, down to the wire, and very, very messy (both literally and figuratively). Tweets about scribbles on the tax reform bill prove that people are both disappointed and really angry about this last minute, haphazard passage.
On the evening of Dec. 1, Democratic senators started tweeting out pictures of the final version of the tax reform bill that they received. Not only were they expected to quickly look over a 479-page long bill right before voting, but the thick stack of papers contained a ton of handwritten notes in the margins, many of which were completely illegible.
"Does anyone think this is how the United States Senate should be changing our entire tax code?" Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) tweeted on Dec. 1. "Last minute, hand written edits on a bill that was just released on a Friday night?Me neither."
Senator Elizabeth Warren took to Facebook Live the night of the vote, and held up parts of the bill that contained handwritten notes, crammed into the margins.
"No, I haven’t had time to read the 500-page #GOPTaxScam bill that we’re voting on tonight. I couldn’t read it if I tried – and I did," she wrote alongside the video.
Twitter quickly caught onto the whole last minute, handwritten mess, and there was a lot of anger going around.
The handwritten scribbles are just the tip of the iceberg with this tax reform bill. Democratic senators also critiqued their Republican colleagues for supporting a bill that gives large tax cuts to the wealthy, adds at least $1 trillion to the national debt, and repeals the individual mandate provision in the ACA. The latter ensured that every American who didn't sign up for health insurance faced a penalty.
"I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the Republicans voted unanimously to proceed with a disastrous tax bill," Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VA) wrote on Facebook. "This bill will provide 62 percent of the benefits to the top 1 percent and, at the end of 10 years, increase taxes on 87 million middle class households – half of the families making $200,000 a year or less. Together the American people must rally to defeat the Republican tax bill."
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) expressed disappointment that his Republican colleagues shut down his suggestion to help those living below the 1 percent, writing on Facebook,
Senate Republicans just voted down my amendment to try to make this bad bill better by making middle-class tax relief permanent and cutting a big giveaway to the rich that explodes the deficit. Shows where their priorities lie.
So, who was the one person who was really, really over the moon about the bill passing? That would have to be Donald Trump, who has been waiting —ever so impatiently — for a win. The president took to Twitter to applaud his Republican colleagues, writing,
Biggest Tax Bill and Tax Cuts in history just passed in the Senate. Now these great Republicans will be going for final passage. Thank you to House and Senate Republicans for your hard work and commitment!
So, what happens next with this very controversial tax reform situation? The bill will move forward to the House of Representatives, where it will either be approved as is or sent to conference with the Senate, where it will be combined with legislation Republicans have already passed.
It looks like this will be a big win for Republican senators, and a big win for Donald Trump. Just maybe a not so big win for the vast majority of Americans.