Trump gets massive tax victory

In a vote in the early Wednesday morning hours, the Senate approved the final version of the first overhaul of the US tax code in more than 30 years, handing President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans their most significant legislative victory of 2017.

The bill passed along party lines, 51-48 with the final result announced by Vice President Mike Pence who presided over the vote. Sen. Jeff Flake, the last undeclared Republican, voted yes.

The House passed the bill earlier Tuesday, but technical changes were made to it in the Senate, and the bill will go back to the House on Wednesday for a revote, where it is expected to pass again. It will then head to the President's desk for his signature before the Christmas holiday, making good on the Republican Party's promise to enact tax relief by the end of the year.

At around midnight, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made his final pitch to his colleagues to vote against the tax bill. It was the same kind of impassioned speech Democrats made all evening, but Schumer looked directly at his colleagues and said that this is "some bill for the middle class," noting the heftiest provisions will help corporations.

As the vote unfolded, Sen. Tim Scott, a key negotiator in the tax bill and someone who was tapped to lead part of the effort, went up to Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch and Hatch put his arm around them. On the floor, senators cheered when the bill was passed.

Protesters also could be heard during the final vote Wednesday morning. A group of onlookers above the Senate floor in the chamber begin yelling "kill the bill, don't kill us" before they were escorted out by law enforcement shortly before the start of the final vote.

House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke earlier from the floor of the House in advance of their first vote and said that this was a "generational defining moment."

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