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The Senate has passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill, paving the way for President Donald Trump’s first big legislative victory.

The package would mark the biggest tax cuts since the 1980s. The bill was passed by 51 votes to 49, after a series of amendments in a marathon session.

Democrats complained the bill only benefited the wealthy and big business.

The plan sees a sharp cut in corporation tax, but a Senate committee finding has warned it would add $1trillion to the budget deficit.

Donald Trump wants the measures enacted by the end of the year and congratulated Republicans for taking the US “one step closer to delivering massive tax cuts for working families”.

The Senate will now have to merge its legislation with that passed last month by the House of Representatives, before it can be signed into law by the president.

Donald Trump Tax Plan Proposal: Sharp Reduction in Business Tax Rate

Presiding over the Senate, VP Mike Pence declared the 51-49 victory to applause from Republicans in the early hours of December 2.

The new tax plan would see the corporate tax rate lowered from 35% to 20%, and include more modest tax cuts for individuals across income levels.

Following the vote, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said his opponents would pay the price at the ballot box in mid-term elections next year.

He said the measures would endanger social security and medical provision.

Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said the legislation would prove to be “just what the country needs to get growing again”.

The final draft of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill went through several changes on December 1 in order to bring reluctant Republicans on board. Republicans have a 52-48 majority in the Senate.

Democrats were angry about the last-minute revisions, complaining that they had not been given enough time to digest the nearly 500-page document, with handwritten changes to the legislation.


Senate Democrats have blocked the $1.1 billion plan to fight the Zika virus for a third time after Republicans sought to stop funding for pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood.

Lawmakers say they hope the issue will be resolved later this month as part of a bipartisan spending package.

The 52-46 vote came as Florida health officials announced seven more locally transmitted cases of Zika.

Florida has now reported 56 locally transmitted cases of Zika, which is often spread by mosquitoes.Zika outbreak Brazil 2016

Florida officials have called on lawmakers to release funds to help fight the spread of the disease, which is linked to severe birth defects in pregnant women.

The Republican-backed Senate bill included a provision that would have prevented Planned Parenthood in Puerto Rico from receiving new funding to fight the spread of the Zika virus, which can be s**ually transmitted.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, said Republicans were “more interested in attacking Planned Parenthood” than “protecting women and babies from this awful virus”.

Democrats blocked similar funding measures in June and July before Congress left for the summer recess.

Before the vote, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed his Democratic counterparts: “It’s hard to explain why, despite their own calls for funding, Democrats would block plans to keep women and babes safe from Zika.”

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has indicated that lawmakers will work to include funding for Zika in a budget deal or a continuing resolution that Congress must pass to avoid a government shutdown at the end of September.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it had spent nearly all of the $22 million allocated to the agency in the fight against Zika.

As of late August, there were more than 2,700 cases in United States and more than 14,000 in US territories, most of which were reported in Puerto Rico.