Vice President Mike Pence's tiebreaking vote wasn't needed. After midnight on Wednesday, the Senate passed the GOP's $1.5 trillion tax plan along party lines, 51-48, sending the legislation back to the House for final approval. The House had passed the bill Tuesday, 227-203 — with 12 Republicans and all Democrats voting no — but because the bill violated arcane parliamentary rules in place due to Senate Republicans using a special veto-proof process, House Republicans will have to approve it again Wednesday.
Overall, the sweeping tax law slashes the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, lowers the top rate for the richest Americans, and gives more modest tax cuts to everyone else. The corporate tax rates don't expire, but the individual cuts sunset in 2026. There are lots of other provisions that collectively will affect every American. It is projected to add $1.46 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. Republicans cheered on the Senate floor after the vote, while a man with an eye patch in the Senate gallery shouted, "You have sentenced me to die!" Peter Weber