Republicans in Congress are celebrating after the House narrowly passed a historic tax overhaul that President Donald Trump has hailed as a cornerstone of his economic agenda, one that supporters claim will cut taxes for the middle class and stimulate growth by giving breaks to corporations and small businesses.
“Congratulations to Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Kevin Brady, Steve Scalise, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and all the great House Republicans who voted in favor of cutting your taxes!” Trump wrote in Twitter, singling out several lawmakers who championed the tax reform proposal as a gift to American taxpayers.
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
The final vote came in 227-203, with not a single Democrat voting in support of the bill. Twelve Republicans also voted against it, nearly all of whom represent high-tax states where the overhaul has been met with less enthusiasm.
The package, dubbed the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act, could be signed into law before the end of the week and mark a significant feather in the cap of the Trump administration. Included in the bill is a controversial cut to the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent that Republicans believe will encourage American corporations to remain stateside but Democrats argue is unfair to the working class.
On the House floor moments before the vote, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) declared that the bill will “help hard-working Americans who have been left behind for too long” and claimed that the average family would see their taxes fall by $2,059 next year.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) offered up a very different interpretation, blasting it as “the worst bill to ever come to the floor of the House,” while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) ominously intoned that the GOP would “rue the day they passed this bill.”
The House will have to vote on the bill again on Wednesday after Democrats convinced the Senate’s parliamentarian that the bill violated the chamber’s budget rules. Once it gets reapproved by the House, it will head to Trump’s desk for the final signature.