House Republicans set to pass massive tax overhaul

Key Points
  • Republicans are set to pass an overhaul of the American tax code on Tuesday.
  • They aim to reach their year-end goal of passing a tax bill despite the GOP plan's broad unpopularity.
  • One Republican senator remains undecided on the bill, while at least seven House GOP lawmakers are set to vote against it.
GOP tax bill heads to a vote

Republicans are poised to approve the first major overhaul of the American tax code in decades on Tuesday.

The GOP is rushing toward its year-end target to pass a tax bill, despite the measure's broad unpopularity in recent polls. The House aims to approve the legislation Tuesday afternoon, followed by the Senate in the evening.

If passed by both chambers, the bill will go to President Donald Trump's desk for him to sign it into law.

Republicans, who have long sought changes to the U.S. tax system, contend that their plan will spur an economic boom, encouraging businesses to create more jobs and boost workers' wages. Democrats warn of a gift to corporations and wealthy Americans that would cause more income inequality and balloon federal budget deficits.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, accompanied by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), speaks at a news conference following a closed House Republican conference meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 19, 2017.
Aaron P. Bernstein | Reuters

The plan would chop the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, while giving more tax breaks to so-called pass-through businesses and including provisions to encourage more domestic business investment. It would trim most household tax rates and either expand or limit several popular deductions for individuals. Most individual cuts would expire, while corporate tax reductions would not.

Here are some of the factors at play in Tuesday's votes: