Senate Republicans were on course to pass the tax bill on Tuesday evening when the Senate parliamentarian announced that three provisions in the bill violate the Byrd rule for budget lawmaking. Senators Bernie Sanders and Ron Wyden issued a joint statement calling on Congress to “remove the provisions from the conference report and require the House to vote on this bill again.”
Sanders also tweeted:
In the mad dash to provide tax breaks for their billionaire campaign contributors, my Republican colleagues forgot to comply with the rules of the Senate. https://t.co/6FRpAlCh3R
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 19, 2017
The troublesome provisions included the allowance of 529 savings accounts for home-schooling expenses and the criteria used to determine whether the endowments of private universities are subject to the legislation’s new excise tax. These sections will have to be struck from the bill in order for the legislation to move forward.
This error will slow the timelines for the bill’s passage, which was expected late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.
Polls have shown that less than 30 percent of Americans approve of the tax bill, which has been widely criticized for rewarding tax cuts to the wealthy and to corporations.
After failing on their seven-year promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans have been relying on the tax bill as a critical mark of success in the lead-up to 2018 midterm elections.