Texas lawmakers react to passage of Senate’s tax bill

Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, listens to a question from a reporter as he leaves the Senate chamber, Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, listens to a question from a reporter as he leaves the Senate chamber, Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas lawmakers are responding after the U.S. Senate passed a tax bill in the early hours of Saturday morning.

It passed mostly along party lines with 51 for and 49 against. The final vote came after hours of voting on amendments, including one from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that would allow parents to use the 529 College Savings Fund to pay for private school tuition.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said simplifying the tax code is the jump-start the economy needs.

“This is a big moment for American families and small businesses who are ready to turn the page on an Obama-era recovery that has been far too sluggish,” he said.

Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, released a statement saying the Senate raced to push through the bill, putting millions of Americans in harm’s way, while giving billionaires another tax break.

“Like the House GOP tax bill, this bill would add more than $1 trillion to the deficit over 10 years, create massive tax hikes on the middle class, and dismantle vital health care benefits for millions of Americans,” he said.

The next step is for the House and Senate to hammer out some of the big differences remaining between their bills, including:

  • How many tax brackets there should be
  • When corporate tax cuts should take effect
  • How generous to make the child care tax credit

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