U.S. Senate Republicans rammed forward President Donald Trump's tax-cut bill on Tuesday in an abrupt, partisan committee vote that set up a full vote by the Senate as soon as Thursday, although some details of the measure remained unsettled.
As disabled protesters shouted: "Kill the bill, don't kill us," in a Capitol Hill hearing room, the Senate Budget Committee, with no discussion, quickly approved the legislation on a 12-11 party-line vote that left Democrats fuming.
Republican committee members quickly left the room after the vote as Democrats complained about a lack of discussion on a bill that would overhaul the U.S. tax code and add an estimated $1.4 trillion to the $20 trillion national debt over 10 years.
After the vote, Trump told reporters: "I think we're going to get it passed," adding that it would have some adjustments.
Republicans are hurrying to move their complex tax legislation forward, hoping to avoid the protracted infighting that doomed their effort to repeal Obamacare four months ago.
Since Trump took office in January, he and fellow Republicans in command of both chambers of Congress have approved no major legislation, a fact they want to change before facing voters in the 2018 congressional elections.
If the Senate approves its tax measure later this week, it would need to be reconciled with a version already approved by the House of Representatives before anything could be sent to the White House for Trump to sign into law.
Republican leaders conceded that they had yet to round up the votes needed for passage in the Senate, where they hold a narrow 52-48 majority. "It's a challenging exercise," Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said at a news conference.
Democrats have called the Republican tax plan a giveaway to corporations and the rich.
The Senate bill would slash the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent after a one-year delay. It would impose a onetime, cut-rate tax on corporations' foreign profits, while exempting future foreign profits from U.S. taxation.
Tax rates for many individuals and families would also be cut temporarily before rising back to their previous levels in 2025. Key tax breaks would also be curbed or eliminated, making the bill a mixed bag for some middle-class families. Some taxes paid by wealthy Americans would be repealed.
Wall Street moved higher on the news that the bill would move to a full Senate vote, with the benchmark S&P 500 index closing up a little over 1 percent.