WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Senate Thursday passed a budget resolution for fiscal year 2018, taking a big step to push forward tax reform without support from Democrats.
In a 51-49 vote primarily along party lines, the Senate Republicans approved the budget which would allow their tax plan to add up to 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars to the deficit over a decade.
The budget resolution also helps unlock a procedure that could allow the passage of the Republican tax reform plan without support from Democrats.
"Passing this budget is critical to getting tax reform done, so we can strengthen our economy after years of stagnation under the previous administration," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday.
The budget maintains spending levels set at the fiscal 2017, but it will require cuts in non-defense spending in subsequent years till 2027. It will increase defense spending over the next decade.
The House of Representatives passed its own budget plan earlier this month. An amendment passed late Thursday allows the House to take up the Senate's budget version and avoids the need for a conference in order to speed up the passage of a unified budget plan.
The Republicans have yet to release tax legislation. Senator Orrin Hatch, chairman of the tax writing Finance Committee at the Senate, said that he hoped to release his tax plan by early November.
President Donald Trump and McConnell have said recently that they hoped to pass the tax bill by the end of this year, but added that it would take time to go through the legislative procedures.
The Trump administration, together with congressional Republicans, last month released a unified framework for tax reform, which will cut tax rates for businesses and individuals but lacks details about how to consolidate the fiscal position in face of big tax cuts.