Live coverage: Senate Republicans pass tax bill

Greg Nash
The Hill will be providing live updates on Friday night as Senate Republicans seek to pass their tax plan.
Before they can get to a final passage vote, Republicans need to go through a marathon voting session known as a “vote-a-rama,” where any senator can force a vote on any amendment.
Senate passes tax bill
1:51 a.m.
After hours of debate, Senate Republicans passed the tax bill by a vote of 51-49.
Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), who has concerns about the bill’s impact on the debt, was the only Republican to vote no. All Democrats voted against the bill.
The Senate bill will now need to be reconciled with the House-passed bill in a conference committee. Differences between the two bills include the number of individual tax brackets and the timing of when the corporate tax cut takes effect.
Senate nixes measure boosting conservative college after uproar
1:45 a.m.
Senators agreed to nix a provision in the Senate tax bill early Saturday morning that would exempt Hillsdale College, a leading conservative college in Michigan, from an excise tax on schools with more than 500 students or large endowments.
Though several colleges do not accept federal funding, Democrats quickly seized on the section of the tax bill, arguing that Hillsdale College would be the only school that would qualify according to the guidelines set out under the legislation.
GOP defeats effort to nix ANWR drilling provision 
1:25 a.m.
Senate Republicans shot down a Democratic attempt to prevent oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
The amendment from Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) failed to overcome a procedural hurdle. GOP Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) supported the amendment and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) voted against it. 
Included in the Senate tax plan is a provision that would pave the way for drilling in a section of ANWR. 
Democrats have fought for years to block Republicans from trying to open up the land to drilling. 
“This bill undermines the purpose of having a refuge,” Cantwell said on Saturday morning. 
But GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) argued that including the provision would create jobs and revenues as well as “protect an environment that as Alaskans we know how to protect.” 
Major nonprofit opposes tax bill
12:45 a.m.
United Way Worldwide, the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit, came out against the Senate’s tax bill, arguing it wouldn’t provide much benefit low-income families and would hurt charities.
“On behalf of those who will be impacted in nearly every community we serve, I am deeply troubled by many aspects of the tax reform bill the Senate is now considering,” said United Way Worldwide President and CEO Brian Gallagher. “Congress is gambling with the lives of millions of people who rely on charitable and government social services by increasing the federal deficit to fund tax cuts.”
He added that, “the elimination of the charitable deduction for 31 million middle and upper-middle income taxpayers causes such damage to our ability to help people, we have no choice but to oppose the bill.”
Because the bill increases the standard deduction, fewer people would take the itemized deduction for charitable contributions. The nonprofit sector has argued that this change would lead to a decline in charitable giving.
Charities had pushed for people to be able to deduct their donations regardless of whether they itemize. While some GOP lawmakers took up their cause, a universal charitable deduction was not included in the bill.
CBO: Tax bill increases deficit by $1.4 trillion
12:22 a.m.
The Senate GOP tax plan will increase the deficit by more than $1.4 trillion over a decade, according to a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The CBO score was released as senators were already voting on amendments to the legislation and were expected to pass the bill in the early morning hours of Saturday.

The legislation, according to CBO, would have the largest deficits between the 2019 fiscal year and the 2022 fiscal year.

Pence breaks tie on 529 plan amendment
12:12 a.m.
Vice President Pence cast a tie-breaking vote to pass an amendment from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to allow taxpayers to use funds from 529 plans for K-12 education, including home schooling.
A similar provision was also included in the House-passed bill. But Democrats expressed concerns that the measure could hurt public education.
GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) joined with Democrats in voting against the amendment.
GOP rejects effort to send tax bill back to committee

11:33 p.m.
Senate Republicans rejected an effort by Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.) to send the tax plan back to the Senate Finance Committee. 
Menendez wanted to send the legislation back to the panel for at least three days, and require Republicans to remove a provision targeting the state and local tax deduction. 
The Senate bill scraps state and local tax deduction aside from the $10,000 property tax deduction GOP Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) got added into the bill. 

But the elimination hurts taxpayers in states — such as New Jersey, New York and California — and cities with higher local taxes and higher property values. 
Rubio-Lee child tax credit expansion defeated
11:10 p.m.
A closely watched amendment from Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) to expand the child tax credit was defeated, after receiving criticism both from other Republicans and Democrats.
The amendment would make the child tax credit refundable to payroll taxes, and would be paid for by raising the bill’s corporate tax rate from 20 percent to 20.94 percent.
Rubio and Lee have been pushing for a more robust child tax credit for years, and their efforts have been supported by first daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump.
A number of conservative groups, as well as the National Association for Manufacturers, opposed the amendment because it would increase the corporate rate compared to the current version of the bill.
Rubio pushed back on the criticisms of his amendment, saying it was “ridiculous” to argue that a slightly higher corporate rate would be problematic.
Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) argued that Rubio and Lee “stop far short of meaningful relief” for many Americans with their amendment and criticized the temporary nature of their proposed expansion of the credit.
The amendment went down on a procedural vote of 29-71, with several lawmakers from both sides of the aisle siding with Rubio and Lee.
Dem amendment expanding child tax credit defeated
10:51 p.m.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) offered the first of two amendments expected to expand the child tax credit, but it was defeated on a procedural vote.
The amendment would increase the credit to $2,500 for children under the age of 6 and index the credit to inflation.
The amendment would be paid for by increasing the bill’s corporate tax rate to 25 percent, terminating the corporate rate cut after 2027 and adjusting the top individual tax bracket. Under the current version of the bill, the corporate rate would be permanently cut from 35 percent to 20 percent.
Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) were expected to follow Brown in offering a separate amendment on the child tax credit. Their amendment would make the child tax credit refundable against payroll taxes and would be paid for by increasing the corporate rate to 20.94 percent.
Brown said his amendment is preferable to the Rubio-Lee amendment because it’s permanent and provides more tax relief for children at “the most important time in their young lives.”
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said Brown’s amendment would diminish the economic growth the bill would produce, and he raised a budget point of order on it. A motion to waive Enzi’s point of order failed on a vote of 48-52.
Senate GOP defeats effort to delay bill until Monday

10:11 p.m.
Senate Republicans defeated a push by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to delay consideration of the GOP tax bill until Monday. 
Senators voted 48-52 on the motion to adjourn, falling short of the simple majority needed to stall the legislation. 
Democrats are blasting Republicans arguing they are trying to rush the legislation through the Senate without giving lawmakers a chance to read it. 
“Because the bill was given to lobbyists to read and change before senators saw it, and because the bill was given to us on a few hours’ notice and has not been read fully or considered fully by a single senator, I move we adjourn until Monday so we can first read and then clean up this awful piece of legislation,” Schumer said. 
Heritage Action to key vote
10:05 p.m.
An influential conservative group is throwing its weight behind the Senate GOP’s sweeping tax plan. 

Heritage Action announced Friday that it would “key vote” in favor of the legislation, urging lawmakers to vote for the overhaul. 
“The Senate GOP tax reform bill would unleash economic growth, increase wages for American workers, create new jobs, and provide tax relief to all Americans including the middle and working classes, main street businesses, and U.S. corporations,” the group said in a statement.

Schumer: GOP tax bill a “monstrosity” and “danger to the country” 

9:42 p.m.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) blasted Senate Republicans as they head toward passing their tax plan on Friday. 
“In just a short time we’ll proceed to a final vote on the Republican tax bill. We understand they have the votes to pass their bill despite a process and a product that no one can be proud of,” Schumer said. 
He added that passage of the tax bill — which he called a “monstrosity” and “danger to the country” — will “mark today as one of the darkest … days in the long history of this Senate.” 
Democrats are expected to oppose the legislation, though Republicans are holding out hope that they will be able to win over at least one red-state Democrat. 
Schumer also praised Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.), the only Republican senator expected to vote against the legislation, saying he is “standing fast by his principles and having the courage of his convictions.” 
Dems hammer Toomey over proposed college provision

9:20 p.m.
On the Senate floor ahead of the release of the full bill, Senate Democrats hammered Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) over a proposed amendment to the tax bill that they argued would specifically benefit conservative Hillsdale College in Michigan.

Under a draft of the amendment Senate GOP leaders plan to offer, colleges that don’t take certain federal funds would be exempt from an excise tax on the endowments of private colleges. Democrats argued that Hillsdale, which has connections to Education Secretary Betsy Devos’s family, would be the only school that would benefit from the change.
“It feels like this is a very limited provision written for a very special person,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).
Toomey defended the provision, saying it would broadly apply to schools that don’t take federal funds.
“My view is, if a college chooses to forego federal money and the students that attend have to find their own way to get in, it is diminishing the burden that that college would otherwise impose on the taxpayers,” he said. “And so it’s perfectly reasonable in my view to exempt such a college from the tax on endowments that we’re applying generally.”
Senate Republicans prepare for tax vote
9 p.m.
Senate Republicans are holding a rare Friday night session as they try to make good on their promise to pass a tax plan.
Republicans were scrambling to finalize their legislation throughout the day Friday, forcing senators to keep asking for an additional 30 minutes of debate while they awaited Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky).
– Naomi Jagoda, Jordain Carney and Max Greenwood contributed
Tags Bob Corker Bob Menendez Charles Schumer Claire McCaskill GOP tax reform Joe Manchin Lisa Murkowski Marco Rubio Maria Cantwell Mike Enzi Mike Lee Mitch McConnell Pat Toomey Ron Wyden Sherrod Brown Susan Collins Ted Cruz

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