MERRY CHRISTMAS: The U.S. Senate passed the biggest tax cut and reform in history


The House voted 227-203 in favor of the tax bill Tuesday afternoon, but the package ran into trouble in the Senate because of two provisions that Democrats said ran afoul of the Senate’s strict budget reconciliation rules.

In order to avoid a filibuster according to Senate rules, the tax overhaul must directly address fiscal issues, not policy matters. Matters that are considered extraneous to budget are subject to potential filibustering, meaning they would require 60 votes for passage, instead of a 51-vote majority.

Senate Democrats, including Vermont independent Bernie Sanders and Oregon’s Ron Wyden, specifically objected to two provisions in the House bill: one providing for the use of 529 savings accounts for home schooling expenses; and the other establishing criteria to determine whether endowments of private universities are subject to the legislation’s new excise tax.