Republicans also settled some scores with the bill, including freeing churches from rules that prevent them from taking a stand in political elections and halting illegal immigrants' ability to claim several major tax credits.
The changes produce tens of billions of dollars in savings a year — money that Republicans poured back into the tax code to reduce rates for lower-income Americans and to cut business taxes.
Axed from the tax code are breaks for electric car owners and big-time college donors looking to score better seats at football games. Also gone is the ability of divorcees to deduct some alimony payments.
All told, budget-cutters said, it's a major step toward the flattening that Republicans had promised.
"Taxes should not be determined by who has access to the best accountants, lobbyists and politicians. The tax code should be simple enough that everyone — including members of Congress — is capable of filing their own returns," said former Sen. Tom Coburn, Congress' onetime top waste-watcher. "The House bill, while not perfect, reduces and eliminates numerous special interest and duplicates of tax breaks, and moves in the direction of a simpler code."