The U.S. Senate passed a $4 trillion budget plan Thursday that would allow President Donald Trump’s tax reforms to be passed by the “reconciliation” process.
What does it mean?
Reconciliation means the Democrats won’t be able to mount a filibuster challenge to the plan.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) praised the action, saying, “Tonight we completed the first step towards replacing our broken tax code by passing a comprehensive, fiscally responsible budget that will help put the federal government on a path to balance.”
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to replace a failing tax code that holds Americans back with one that works for them,” he added.
Did any Republicans vote against the bill?
Yes. Only Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) joined all 46 Democrats and 2 Independents in voting against the bill.
“We can’t spend our way to prosperity,” Paul explained. “I will fight for the biggest, boldest tax cut we can pass, but I could not in good conscience vote for a budget that ignores spending caps that have been the law of the land for years and simply pretend it didn’t matter.”
The final vote tally was 51-49.
How did Democrats react?
Not surprisingly, Democrats were displeased with the vote.
“It shifts the burden from the wealthy and puts it squarely on the back of the middle class, and blows a hole in the deficit to boot,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “I think it will go down in history as one of the worst budgets Congress has ever passed.”