WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate early Wednesday passed the GOP tax plan, with Florida Republican Marco Rubio joining the majority and Democrat Bill Nelson in opposition.

The final vote was 51-48.

The House already approved the $1.5 trillion deal but must take a final vote later today, handing the GOP and President Trump a major victory, even as the bill in unpopular with the public.

Rubio statement:

"My priority for tax reform has always been to provide meaningful tax relief to working American families and ensure our nation is economically competitive. A tax code that is more pro-growth and pro-family is long overdue, and that is why I am proud to support the tax reform bill today.

"More than 8.6 million families making less than $50,000 a year will see a larger tax cut due to the changes made to the child tax credit in the conference committee. For an Army Private and a waitress with three kids, that's worth nearly $1,300 more of their own money. That is money for diapers, a crib, kids' sports equipment, school supplies, after-school care, or new shoes. This is real money for real families.

"If you work hard, pay your taxes, and start a family, you are doing immense good for our country in a time when we need stable families more than ever. Including more of the working class in the child tax credit will make the difficult, but deeply important, job of raising kids on a limited budget just a little bit easier. And that is worth doing.

"It is my hope that by increasing access to the child tax credit I have helped lay the groundwork for an agenda that reconciles conservative goals with the realities faced by working class American families. Today was the first step in a long journey ahead toward that end. And by voting in favor of this bill, I believe we are taking that step."