Tax Reform passes
Gleeful Republicans on Tuesday muscled the most sweeping rewrite of the nation's tax laws in more than three decades through the House. House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed criticism of the widely unpopular package and insisted "results are what's going to make this popular."
The vote, largely along party lines, was 227-203 and capped a GOP sprint to deliver a major legislative accomplishment to President Donald Trump after a year of congressional stumbles and non-starters.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate would vote Tuesday evening, sending the legislation to Trump for his signature.
The massive $1.5 trillion package would touch every American taxpayer and every corner of the U.S. economy, providing steep tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy, and more modest tax cuts for middle- and low-income families. It would push the national debt ever higher.
The standard deduction used by most families would be nearly doubled, to $24,000 for a married couple, while those who itemize would lose some deductions.
"We're delivering a tax code that provides more jobs, fairer taxes and bigger paychecks to Americans across the country," said Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, Republican chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. "Our local job creators will see the lowest rates in modern history so they can invest more in their workers and in their future."
Democrats called the bill a giveaway to corporations and the wealthy, providing little if any tax help to the less-than-well-to-do and no likelihood that business owners will use their gains to hire more workers or raise wages.