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tax bill protestors

Demonstrators protest the GOP tax bill in front of Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s office in the United Bank Building on Virginia Street Wednesday.

West Virginia’s two senators split on a procedural vote regarding an overhaul of the nation’s tax code.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., voted to proceed on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, while Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., voted against it.

The vote passed with a 52-48 split. All 52 Senate Republicans voted to proceed, and all 48 Senators who caucus as Democrats voted against it.

In an emailed statement, Manchin said while he supports the prospect of tax reform in general, he voted to stop the bill because he does not yet know what’s in it.

“Today I voted against the motion to proceed on the Republican tax plan because I haven’t seen a final bill,” he said. “I haven’t been able to review any legislation or see a Congressional Budget Office score to consider its impacts on West Virginia. I am still trying to work with my Republican colleagues and the Trump administration to find a bipartisan way forward.”

A spokeswoman for Capito did not immediately return a request for comment.

The passing vote triggers a procedure that includes a marathon session of floor debate, amendments, leading up to a passage vote.

If the Senate approves the legislation in a final vote, it will need to align its differences with the House version before being sent to President Donald Trump for a signature.

All three West Virginians in the House of Representatives voted to pass the House version of the bill.

Reach Jake Zuckerman at, 304-348-4814 or follow @jake_zuckerman on Twitter.

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