Late Thursday, Senate Republicans took the first step toward passing tax reform and fulfilling a longstanding campaign promise. After an hours-long debate on the Senate floor, they voted 51-49 to pass the Senate version of the fiscal 2018 budget. Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky joined every Democrat and independent voting against the bill.
Passage was key to Republicans' efforts on tax reform because it includes instructions that will allow the plan to avoid a Democratic filibuster. The budget still requires final approval by the House of Representatives.