Dem: House tax bill 'dead on arrival' in Senate

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Thursday that the House-passed GOP tax-reform bill is "dead on arrival" in the Senate, saying it would likely not pass the upper chamber in its current form.

"There is a long and very bumpy road ahead. In fact, I’m inclined to say that the House bill is dead on arrival because the Senate Republican leadership wants to turn this tax bill, in effect, into a health-care bill," Blumenthal told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

The House passed its version of the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" on Thursday, a major win for congressional Republicans hoping to secure their first major legislative victory this year.

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Senate Republicans have their own tax bill that is currently being considered by the chamber's tax-writing committee.

The Senate bill, unlike the House version, fully repeals the state and local tax deduction, delays the corporate tax cut until 2019 and repeal's ObamaCare's individual mandate that most people buy health insurance or face a tax penalty.

Blumenthal specifically took issue with the Senate bill's elimination of the individual mandate, saying of the tax plan, "I think in its present form it will not pass, but — and here's a big but — only if there is activism and energy from the opponents."

The House bill passed by a 227-205 vote, with 13 Republicans joining Democrats to oppose the measure. Republicans hold a slimmer 52-seat majority in the Senate, and can only afford two defections, assuming that Vice President Pence casts the tie-breaking vote.