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Senate Passes Motion To Proceed On Tax Reform

The Senate passed the motion to proceed on the GOP’s tax reform legislation Wednesday along party lines, allowing the upper chamber to bring the bill to the floor as soon as Thursday.

Senators can now officially start debate on the reconciliation measure, which allows Republicans to pass the bill with just a simple majority.

The bill includes steep tax cuts for both the individual and corporate rates and repeals the Obamacare individual mandate.

While Senate Republicans unanimously voted to advance the measure, its final passage is not guaranteed. A number of lawmakers — including Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Steve Daines of Montana and Bob Corker of Tennessee — have cited concerns about the bill ranging from its potential to increase the deficit to problems with its language on pass-throughs.

While hesitations remain, the measure is open to unlimited amendments, several of which are expected to be adopted.

The lower chamber passed its measure in a 227 to 205 vote earlier this month.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he advised members to keep their schedules flexible as the House is hopeful the Senate will pass its bill which is expected to be conferenced between the two chambers.

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