"Look forward to signing a final bill before Christmas!" he added. After extensive negotiations, the bill was salvaged. Tax writers tweaked the 479-page measure deep into the night, leaving Democrats furious over the last-minute, handwritten changes to the legislation. Trump, desperate for a congressional win, has been more active in the legislation's navigation through Congress than he was with the Obamacare repeal bill that failed earlier this year. He has repeatedly stressed he wants the tax bill on his desk by year's end. Democrats fumed that they received the text -- peppered with extensive handwritten modifications that earned scorn from opposition lawmakers -- only a few hours before the vote. "We understand they have the votes to pass their bill despite a process -- and a product -- that no one can be proud of and everyone should be ashamed of," top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer told colleagues. Haste and the darkness of night were Trump's allies in the process, Schumer said. [caption id="attachment_231603" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell walks to the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill on Saturday, December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC AFP[/caption] As the final vote was tallied, grinning Republicans congratulated one another with handshakes, backslaps and hugs. Mindful of the historic nature of the vote, Vice President Mike Pence presided over the chamber during final passage. Several Republicans who had voiced concerns about the bill were ultimately lured by McConnell's agreement to make changes. Senators Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, a pair of Trump critics, worried about the impact of the tax cuts on the country's massive deficit. A nonpartisan congressional tax scorekeeper had projected the tax overhaul would add $1 trillion to the deficit, even after accounting for expected economic growth from the plan. The analysis complicated Trump's argument that the tax cuts would pay for themselves through additional economic growth. Flake eventually agreed to back the legislation, after receiving assurances from the White House that action would be taken to shield thousands of young "Dreamer" immigrants from deportation. Corker hoped to offset the cost of the tax cuts by including a rise in the corporate tax rate in later years, but the effort failed. He was the lone Republican no vote on the bill, but his opposition was not enough to derail it.
We are one step closer to delivering MASSIVE tax cuts for working families across America. Special thanks to @SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell and Chairman @SenOrrinHatch for shepherding our bill through the Senate. Look forward to signing a final bill before Christmas! pic.twitter.com/gmWTny3SfS— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2017
"It's like the Rubik's Cube trying to fit everybody's concerns in. But I think we've ended up with a better bill," Senator Rob Portman said. Republicans hold a narrow 52-48 Senate majority. With all Democrats opposing the tax plan, just three Republican defectors would have killed it. Senator Susan Collins had voiced deep scepticism about the bill but ultimately gave her backing after securing changes, including on healthcare and local taxes. The Senate and the House must negotiate a compromise bill, and contentious votes are likely in the weeks ahead. "Now, we will move quickly to a conference committee so we can get a final bill to President Trump's desk," House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. Democrats argue that the plan is too expensive and will accommodate only the rich, and that it could ultimately impact cherished US entitlement programmes like Medicare. "The federal treasury is being looted tonight!" leftist Senator Bernie Sanders roared in the chamber.
Tonight the @SenateGOP gave a giant tax break to the rich & left everyone else holding the bag. This is about more than economics – it’s about our values. The Republicans just proved they are morally bankrupt. #GOPTaxScam— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 2, 2017