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The report, combined with a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian that a "revenue trigger" sought by deficit hawks failed to comply with budget rules, raised fresh doubts about whether Republicans could muster the 50 votes they need to pass their tax bill.

She said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had pledged to help mitigate the effect of the repeal by supporting passage of two other healthcare bills before the end of the year.

"After careful thought and consideration, I have chose to support the Senate tax reform bill", he said in a statement on November 30.

Corker had stalled momentum on the tax bill on Thursday by demanding Republicans look for more ways to keep the bill from causing the US deficit to balloon. Republicans have a 52-48 majority in the Senate. Three defections from their ranks would torpedo the bill, given unified Democratic opposition. After holding out for almost an hour during the vote, Corker, Flake and Johnson eventually joined fellow Republicans to scuttle the Democratic proposal. It would slash the corporate tax rate, offer more modest cuts for families and individuals and eliminate several popular deductions.

Oklahoma's Lankford came aboard on Friday after having questioned whether tax revenues from economic growth would compensate for an expected increase in the national debt. "The Republican party will never again be the party of tax cuts for middle-class people", he warned. Trump has said he wants to sign the tax package into law before Christmas.

On the other hand, Democrats decried changes to the Affordable Care Act and cuts for corporations.

"Trickle-down economics did not work under Ronald Reagan, did not work under George W. Bush", independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who caucuses with Democrats, said. "If 5-year-olds knew what we were doing and could vote, none of us would have a job".

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the corporate tax rate would be permanently lowered from 35% to 20%, while future foreign profits of US-based firms would be mainly exempt from tax.

Throughout the House and Senate debates, the USA bishops have maintained that any tax reform must prioritize "care for the most vulnerable among us". "That disparity between the USA tax code and foreign tax rates has literally chased jobs and wages out of this country".

The Maine Republican said she won an agreement to add a deduction for local property taxes.

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey accused Republicans of mounting a "con game" in which they tout tax breaks but gloss over "their brutal, vicious cuts to programs for the poorest, the sickest, the elderly, neediest in our country".

Following the U.S. Senate's vote to move forward with a major overhaul of the tax system, the U.S. bishops labeled both the House and Senate bills as "fundamentally flawed" and urged congress to make major changes during the reconciliation process.

On Friday evening, the text of the Senate tax bill was finally released to the public: almost 500 pages with multiple sections ambiguously crossed out or subject to modifications written in largely illegible handwriting.


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