Trump celebrates after Congress wraps up massive tax package

President Donald Trump cheered a massive overhaul of U.S. tax laws Wednesday, saying “we broke every record.”

Posted: Dec 20, 2017 4:27 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump cheered a massive overhaul of U.S. tax laws Wednesday, saying “we broke every record.”

Flanked by Republican lawmakers, the president took a bow outside the White House shortly after the House finished its last-minute re-vote to pass the $1.5 trillion bill that provides generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans while providing smaller cuts for middle- and low-income families.

Democrats call the legislation a boon to the rich that leaves middle-class and working Americans behind.

Trump said the effort had “been an amazing experience” and claimed it resulted in “the largest tax cut in the history of our country.”

Actually, Trump’s cuts are nowhere near the largest in U.S. history

The vote was 224-201 and came hours after the Senate’s early morning passage along party-lines.

Republicans cheered when the vote tally hit the magic number for passage, and again when the final vote was announced. One Democrat yelled, “Do over!”

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.

President Trump is celebrating the final passage of the Republican tax bill, calling it a “historic victory for the American people.” At a Cabinet meeting, he also applauded the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate requirement. (Dec. 20)

“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. But one comment by Trump could complicate their messaging.

In praising the bill, Trump cited the deep cut in the corporate tax rate, from 35 percent to 21 percent.

“That’s probably the biggest factor in our plan,” the president said at the White House.

Within minutes, during House debate at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., jumped on Trump’s remarks, calling it proof that Republicans were never interested in passing meaningful tax cuts for the middle class.

In a statement, Trump said: “By cutting taxes and reforming the broken system, we are now pouring rocket fuel into the engine of our economy.”

The Senate used a post-midnight vote Wednesday morning to approve the measure on a party-line 51-48 tally. 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.”

Starting next year, families making between $50,000 and $75,000 will get average tax cuts of $890, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Families making between $100,000 and $200,000 would get average tax cuts of $2,260, while families making more than $1 million would get average tax cuts of nearly $70,000, according to the analysis.

But if the cuts for individuals are allowed to expire, most Americans — those making less than $75,000 — would see tax increases in 2027, according to congressional estimates.

Ryan said Wednesday the GOP is willing to risk running up deficits with the aim of getting a higher annual economic growth rate.

Trump is aching for a big political victory after 11 months of legislative failures and nonstarters. The president tweeted his congratulations to GOP leaders and to “all great House Republicans who voted in favor of cutting your taxes!”

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. But many voters in surveys see the legislation as a boost to the wealthy, such as Trump and his family, and a minor gain at best for the middle class.

Tax cuts for corporations would be permanent while the cuts for individuals would expire in 2026 to comply with Senate budget rules. The tax cuts would take effect in January, and workers would start to see changes in the amount of taxes withheld from their paychecks in February.

The top tax rate for well-off individuals would be lowered from 39.6 percent to 37 percent.

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.

The bill is projected to add $1.46 trillion to the nation’s debt over a decade. GOP lawmakers say they expect a future Congress to continue the tax cuts so they won’t expire. That would drive up deficits even further.

___

Associated Press writers Matthew Daly, Kevin Freking and Alan Fram contributed to this report.

West Lafayette
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 79°
Kokomo
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 71°
Rensselaer
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 72°
Fowler
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 72°
Williamsport
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 74°
Crawfordsville
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Delphi
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 74°
Monticello
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 74°
Logansport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 70°
Warm Weekend Continues Sunday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 72254

Reported Deaths: 3023
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15503725
Lake7447274
Elkhart476082
Allen3789161
St. Joseph337381
Hamilton2668105
Vanderburgh188813
Hendricks1833106
Cass17749
Johnson1719118
Porter126639
Clark117846
Tippecanoe117711
Madison91565
LaPorte88330
Howard87265
Kosciusko84012
Marshall77122
Bartholomew76647
Floyd76045
Monroe72230
Delaware70152
Dubois67612
Boone66246
Noble65929
Hancock64138
Vigo58610
Jackson5725
Warrick57030
LaGrange55610
Shelby54227
Grant52130
Dearborn49328
Morgan45934
Clinton4093
Henry37320
Wayne35410
White35410
Montgomery34821
Lawrence33627
Decatur33232
Harrison32123
Putnam2868
Miami2672
Daviess26320
Scott26310
Greene24634
Franklin23813
Jasper2272
DeKalb2264
Jennings22012
Gibson2144
Steuben2063
Ripley1977
Fayette1837
Perry18112
Carroll1772
Starke1767
Posey1670
Orange16624
Wabash1633
Wells1622
Fulton1612
Jefferson1552
Whitley1506
Knox1490
Tipton1336
Spencer1313
Washington1311
Huntington1213
Newton11510
Randolph1154
Clay1095
Sullivan1031
Adams952
Jay860
Owen841
Pulaski761
Rush744
Brown731
Fountain682
Blackford622
Ohio624
Benton600
Pike520
Parke511
Vermillion500
Switzerland450
Crawford440
Martin430
Union370
Warren221
Unassigned0202

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events