Republican tax bill clears procedural hurdle in House

WASHINGTON -- A sweeping tax package speeding its way through Congress has cleared a key procedural vote in the House.

The House approved the rule to begin debating the bill by a mostly party line vote of 233-193. The House is on track to pass the bill Tuesday afternoon, sending it to the Senate for an expected vote Tuesday evening.

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, where those who itemize would lose some deductions.