Donald Trump will remember this day. Hours after his former National Security Adviser pleaded guilty in the Russia probe and said he is cooperating with investigators, the GOP-controlled Senate passed its sweeping tax-reform bill. It’s the president’s first major legislative victory after more than 10 months in office.
The Senate voted 51-49 along party lines — GOP Sen. Bob Corker joined the Democrats — to approve the legislation that will affect every American and every American business. Lawmakers were voting on the bill within hours of first seeing it, which led many Democrats to cry foul over last-minute amendments:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted this about an hour later:
The GOP says the new reforms are designed to benefit the middle class, but their friends on the other side of the aisle say it’s aimed at tax relief for corporations and the mega-rich. Either way, the political importance of this legislation to the GOP can’t be overstated. Trump had all but decreed that a tax bill be passed before Christmas, after he’d campaigned on tax reform.
Republican leaders had been scrambling to secure the votes needed to pass the bill. Earlier on Friday — amid the news frenzy over Michael Flynn’s indictment — Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, told reporters they had the votes.
The GOP-led House passed its tax-reform bill two weeks ago. The congressional leadership next will work on making the twain meet.