The House for the second time voted swiftly Wednesday afternoon to pass the final version of the $1.5 trillion bill, paving the way for President Trump to sign ”into law just in time for Christmas.
The revision bill was approved 224 to 201, with a few representatives not taking part in the second vote. Before the House voted, Trump on Twitter cheered the tax cuts, while attacking “the Fake News” and “their friends, the defeated Dems.”
The Tax Cuts are so large and so meaningful, and yet the Fake News is working overtime to follow the lead of their friends, the defeated Dems, and only demean. This is truly a case where the results will speak for themselves, starting very soon. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2017
After the vote, Republican lawmakers joined President Trump on the White House lawn to celebrate the most sweeping overhaul of the US tax code.
“It’s always a lot of fun when you win,” Trump said. “It’s the largest, I always say the most massive, but it’s the largest tax cut in the history of our country and reform. Something special.”
In a statement, Trump thanked House members for supporting the “historic bill.”
”I promised the American people a big, beautiful tax cut for Christmas,” the statement reads. ”With final passage of this legislation, that is exactly what they are getting. I would like to thank the members of Congress who supported this historic bill, which represents an extraordinary victory for American families, workers, and businesses. Unemployment continues to fall, the stock market is at a record high, and wages will soon be on the rise. By cutting taxes and reforming the broken system, we are now pouring rocket fuel into the engine of our economy. America is back to winning again, and we’re growing like never before. There is a great spirit of optimism sweeping across our land. Americans can once again rest assured that our brightest days are still to come.”
Early Wednesday morning, Senate Republicans passed the tax bill. The bill passed 51 to 48, along party lines. Vice President Mike Pence and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin presided over the votes. Only one Republican, Senator John McCain missed the vote due to recovering from chemo therapy for brain tumor
“After eight straight years of slow growth and underperformance, America is ready to take over,” Senator Mitch McConnell said after the vote passed.“
The House voted for the $1.5 trillion tax cut Tuesday morning before sending the bill to the Senate to be voted on. The Senate had to make three small provisions to the bill before voting to allow it to pass under a simple majority vote known as reconciliation rules. The last-minute parliamentary stumble involved three small components of the bill, including a provision that would have allowed the use of 529 savings accounts for homeschooling expenses and part of the criteria to be used to determine whether colleges and universities are subject to an excise tax imposed on their investment income.
The name of the bill’s name, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was also ruled against by the parliamentarian, since the name didn’t influence spending or revenue. The new long and bland name was changed to “To provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018.”
“If there is anything better than voting for tax cuts once, it’s doing it twice,” Rep. Kevin Brady, who Chairs the House Ways and Means Committee. “So this is not a problem.”
The House on Tuesday voted 227 to 203 to pass the bill. Every single Democrat and 12 Republicans from California, New Jersey and New York all voted against the bill, citing a provision in the bill that will limit the deduction for state and local taxes to just $10,000. Republicans who voted against the bill were Reps. Darrell Issa and Dana Rohrabacher of California; Rodney Frelinghuysen, Leonard Lance, Frank LoBiondo and Christopher Smith of New Jersey; Dan Donovan, John Faso, Peter King, Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin of New York; and Walter Jones of North Carolina.
“Today, we are giving the people of this country their money back,” Speaker Paul Ryan said. “New Year’s Day, America will have a new tax code for a new era of American prosperity. When House Republicans began this journey, we had two goals in mind. We believed Americans deserved a tax code bill of growth. We believed America could leapfrog back to the lead of the pack as a best place on the planet for the next new jobs and next new business. Today we achieved those goals.”
After the House vote, Trump tweeted congratulations to House Republican leader and those who voted in favor of the bill “of cutting your taxes!”
Congratulations to Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Kevin Brady, Steve Scalise, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and all great House Republicans who voted in favor of cutting your taxes!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2017
Republicans emphasized the bill reforms will provide big wage, increases for workers, create jobs that will kick the U.S. economy into high gear. An analysis by the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan group, found that over 80% of households would receive a tax break in 2018 with only 5% seeing a tax increase. Over half the bill’s total benefits would go to the top 10 percent of earners.
After the Senate vote, President Trump tweeted that a news conference event would occur in the White House Wednesday afternoon if the House approved the final bill.
The United States Senate just passed the biggest in history Tax Cut and Reform Bill. Terrible Individual Mandate (ObamaCare)Repealed. Goes to the House tomorrow morning for final vote. If approved, there will be a News Conference at The White House at approximately 1:00 P.M.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2017
Known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the legislation is seen to be the biggest tax overhaul since 1986. It also gives President Trump his first signature accomplishment during his first year of his presidency.
The bill will have a broad effect on the economy with cuts to corporate taxes. The main emphasis of the bill was corporate tax rate cut of 35% to 21%, while creating a new tax break for businesses that file through the individual side of the code. With individuals, the tax rate would temporarily fall from 39.6% to 37%. However, the individual tax cuts would expire in 2025, due to Republicans complying with the budget rules that prevents the package from adding to the deficit after a decade.
Besides a tax overhaul, the bill abolishes Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty for Americans who don’t purchase insurance and open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas drilling.
As Republicans cheered in victory the passing of the legislation, Democrats, on the other hand criticized the bill, even from moderate Democrats who Trump had courted on to vote for the bill. Democrats heavily focused on criticizing the bill tax reductions for high income earners and corporations, as well as driving up the federal debt.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, called the tax bill a “scam,” and a “simple theft” to Americans
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warned that Republicans would regret rushing the tax bill.
“This tax bill will be an anchor around the ankles of every Republican,” Schumer said. “Given the bill’s substance, it’s no surprise they’re in such a rush. Eleventh-hour backroom deals have managed to only make their bill even worse. They don’t want people — folks, they don’t want to discuss it, they don’t want to have it, have some light shed on it. They don’t want anyone to know what’s in it because it is so, so bad. And the public knows it.”
President Trump promised to sign the bill after passage by Christmas, but it is unclear now if Trump will sign the tax cuts into law in 2017 to avoid voting on spending cuts, according to an aide.