It’s a done deal: Congress wraps up massive tax package
In a re-vote due to a last-minute hiccup, the House passed the massive $1.5 trillion tax package that affects everyone’s taxes.
The vote was 224-201 and came hours after the Senate’s early morning passage along party-lines.
It is the first major overhaul of the nation’s tax laws since 1986.
On Twitter and in White House remarks, Trump hailed the outcome, his own efforts and the work of GOP allies, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who had drawn the president’s wrath for the Senate’s inability this past summer to dismantle the health care law.
“This is the first major tax overhaul since the Reagan years, and it will be a big boost for the American people and American businesses. The bad news is that the left-wing media have convinced many Americans that they will see no benefit from this plan. Many Americans have been convinced their taxes will go up. The good news is that the left cannot repeal reality. The great bulk of Americans will get a tax cut.”
“Tax reform is a welcome move that will allow American families to earn more, save more and perhaps give more to the churches, charities and organizations close to their hearts. We applaud Congress for putting the American people first and for giving American businesses the tools to grow and hire more workers, which will benefit the economy for years to come. President Donald Trump promised a stronger economy through tax reform from the beginning, and he is delivering on that promise.”
“… Even though Americans won’t see the effects on their tax returns until next year, the results will be felt immediately. First, we can expect to see a major bump in the markets through the end of the year. We’ve already seen positive influences solely based on the possibility of tax reform, such as numerous Dow records, higher consumer confidence and a strong holiday shopping season. Additionally, business owners, both large and small, will feel confident in growing their companies, hiring more workers and raising wages right away.”
“We applaud Congress for taking action to zero out the Affordable Care Act penalty for Americans who cannot afford private insurance or do not want public coverage. That said, Americans must understand three things. First, neither the individual mandate nor the penalty language is repealed in this tax bill. They would remain in law. Second, because the penalty on individuals is simply zeroed out, another Congress could easily restore the penalty to the same level or even higher. Third, the bill does not zero out the penalty until January 1, 2019 – so Americans are still on the hook for penalties for going without coverage in 2017 and 2018.”
“Our team will go onto many more VICTORIES!” Trump tweeted.
Congressional Republicans have cast the bill as a blessing for the middle class, an argument they will stress in their drive to hold onto their congressional majorities in next year’s midterm elections.
The Senate used a post-midnight vote Wednesday morning to approve the measure on a party-line 51-48 tally. Protesters interrupted with chants of, “Kill the bill, don’t kill us” and Vice President Mike Pence repeatedly called for order. Upon passage, Republicans cheered, with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin among them.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., insisted Americans would respond positively to the tax bill.
“If we can’t sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work,” he said.
In an eleventh-hour hiccup Tuesday, the Senate parliamentarian found that three minor provisions violated Senate rules, forcing lawmakers to strip them out.
House Republicans had passed the bill Tuesday with all voting Democrats in opposition. Because of the language the Senate removed, the House had to revisit the measure Wednesday because each chamber must approve identical legislation before it can be signed into law.
“People have been hit by the media and the Democrats on their TV screen that everyone is getting a big tax increase, and that’s just not the case,” Ryan said Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Congressional Republicans, who faltered badly in trying to dismantle Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, see passage of the tax bill as crucial to proving to Americans they can govern — and imperative for holding onto House and Senate majorities in next year’s midterm elections.
“The proof will be in the paychecks,” Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said during the Senate’s nighttime debate. “This is real tax relief, and it’s needed.”
Not so, said the top Senate Democrat as the long, late hours led to testy moments Tuesday night.
“We believe you are messing up America,” New York Sen. Chuck Schumer told Republicans, chiding them for not listening to his remarks.
The GOP has repeatedly argued the bill will spur economic growth as corporations, flush with cash, increase wages and hire more workers
The legislation repeals an important part of the 2010 health care law — the requirement that all Americans carry health insurance or face a penalty — as the GOP looks to unravel the law it failed to repeal and replace this past summer. It also allows oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The $1,000-per-child tax credit doubles to $2,000, with up to $1,400 available in IRS refunds for families that owe little or no taxes.