Senate moves tax cut legislation to brink of final passage

The Senate has passed the tax reform bill and it will return to the House of Representatives for final approval. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Jubilant Republicans have pushed to the verge of the most sweeping rewrite of the nation's tax laws in more than three decades, a deeply unpopular bill they insist Americans will learn to love when they see their paychecks in the new year.

President Donald Trump cheered the lawmakers on, eager to claim his first major legislative victory. The Senate narrowly passed the legislation on a party-line 51-48 vote early Wednesday.

Protesters interrupted with chants of "kill the bill, don't kill us" and Vice President Mike Pence repeatedly called for order. Upon passage, Republicans cheered, with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin among them.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told his colleagues, "If we can't sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work," he said