Tax bill: Florida Congress members voted down party lines

Gov. Scott says tax cuts will help Florida citrus industry 'fully recover'

(House TV via CNN)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida representatives voted down party lines Wednesday afternoon as the U.S. House voted to approve the GOP-backed $1.5 trillion tax bill that will now move on to the Senate, where it is also expected to pass.

The bill passed with 227 votes for and 203 votes against.

Not a single one of Florida's 16 Republican Congress members voted against the bill. All 11 Democratic members voted against the bill. Twelve GOP members from other states voted against the tax bill.

Florida lawmakers, Gov. Scott reacts

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Florida), whose district includes Seminole and Orange counties tweeted after voting against the legislation.

“Reform should simplify the tax code and empower middle-class families and small businesses to the greatest extent possible,” her tweet read in part. “This tax bill fails to achieve these objectives. Making matters worse: it adds over $1 trillion to our debt.”

In a series of tweets, Rep. Val Demings (D-Florida), called out republican lawmakers for approving a bill that would benefit “the obscenely wealthy.”

“Call me old school, but if we’re going to spend trillions of dollars, it should be on something that helps working families and the middle class. If it worked for FDR, it can work for us,” Demings tweeted.

Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Florida), called the vote “an early Christmas gift for our nation.”

Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement that the action in Washington was "great news" and highlighted some of the bills features which he said would help people affected by Hurricane Irma including Florida citrus growers.

"In Florida, we have cut taxes more than 80 times saving families over $7.5 billion, and today is an important step to return money back to Americans," Scott said. "It is also great news that the U.S. House of Representatives included Congressman Vern Buchanan’s proposal for tax relief for Florida’s citrus growers. Hurricane Irma decimated this iconic Florida industry and I have continued to advocate for months for funding to help Florida’s citrus industry fully recover."

The $1.5 trillion package would provide steep tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy and more modest cuts for middle- and low-income families. The business tax cuts would take effect in January. Workers would start to see changes in the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks in February.

The bill would nearly double the standard deduction used by most taxpayers, while those who itemize would lose some deductions.

Senate members are expected to vote on the bill Wednesday night. If it passes, as is expected, the legislation will be handed to President Donald Trump to sign into law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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