Senate passes tax bill, sending it back to House

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks at the press conference after the senate vote of the tax reform bill on December 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Senate has passed the tax reform bill and it will return to the House of Representatives for final approval. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans have passed the most sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax laws in more than three decades, setting the stage for a final House vote Wednesday.

The House passed the bill earlier Tuesday. But the Senate had to make minor changes so the bill would comply with Senate budget rules.  The Senate vote was 51-48 on early Wednesday, with all Republicans in favor and all Democrats opposed.

Rewriting the tax code has been a longtime goal of Republicans and an effort championed by President Donald Trump.

Democrats complain that the package is a giveaway to corporations and the rich.

The tax cuts total nearly $1.5 trillion over the next decade and would take effect in January. Workers would start to see changes in the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks in February.