(2nd row, l-r): Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump and House speaker Paul Ryan listen as Republican Senator Tim Scott (foreground) speaks about the passage of tax reform legislation on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., Dec. 20. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump celebrated with senior administration officials and Republican lawmakers the passage of the most sweeping tax overhaul in over 30 years by the Congress, which now heads to the White House for the president to sign into law, writes Lalit K. Jha.
Trump, gathered on the South Lawns of the White House along with Vice President Mike Pence, senior members of his administration and top Republican leadership. Scores of lawmakers stood on either side of the stairs to celebrate the occasion.
“We can say “Merry Christmas” again. People are saying “Merry Christmas” again, and we like the sound,” Trump said during the bill passage event on the South Lawns of the White House, which wore a festive look on a chilly Wednesday afternoon with marine band playing “Joy to the World” and “Jingle Bells.”
The bill now heads to the White House for President Trump to sign into law.
The House of Representatives passed the $1.5 trillion tax reform bill, Dec. 20, for the second time by 224 to 201 votes to clear the technical snag in the passage of the bill, which was passed by the Senate and House earlier.
“It’s been an amazing experience, I have to tell you.
Hasn’t been done in 34 years, but actually, really hasn’t been done, because we broke every record. It’s the largest—I always say, the most massive—but it’s the largest tax cut in the history of our country. Really something special,” Trump said amidst applause from his fellow Republican lawmakers and members of his administration.
As a result of the tax bill, he said AT&T has announced its plans to increase U.S. capital spending $1 billion and provide $1,000 special bonus to more than 200,000 U.S. employees.
Trump said, as a result of the passage of the tax reform bill, companies are coming back.
“I campaigned on the fact that we’re not going to lose our companies anymore. They’re going to stay in our country.
They have tremendous enthusiasm right now in this country. And we have companies pouring back into our country. That means jobs, and it means really, the formation of new young, beautiful strong, companies. So that’s going to be very, very important,” he said.
Trump said this will also result in bringing at least $4 trillion money that was frozen overseas and in parts of the world back to the country.
“Some of them don’t even like us, and they had the money.
Well they’re not going to have the money long,” he said.
Pence said Trump will be remembered as a pivotal moment in the life of U.S., a day when the Congress answered his call and made history.
“From the first day of this administration, this President championed free and fair trade; he rolled back federal red tape at record levels; we’ve unleashed American energy,” he said.
Trump fulfilled the promise he made to millions of Americans struggling in this economy, to cut taxes across the board for working families and businesses large and small.
America is going to start growing again said Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader.
Such a generation reform could not have been done without the leadership of Trump, said House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Earlier, a senior administration official told reporters that in addition to tax cuts to the middle class and reduction in tax of businesses, one of the significant highlight of the bill is bringing money back from overseas.
“If you look at probably the biggest reforms that are in this bill, it is on the international side. It’s kind of changing our international tax system and, for the first time, really putting rules in place that will really stop companies from shifting profits overseas and gaming the system the way they do today,” the official said, adding that it is really tax cuts and tax reform.
“If you look at it, there are $5.5 trillion of tax cuts in this bill. Of that amount, $3.2 trillion go to families and individuals, and then $1.8 trillion go to businesses. And there’s some for pass through, and then the rest of it estate tax $83 billion, the official said.
“On top of that, $4 trillion of reforms, and by reforms, that means eliminating deductions, eliminating loopholes and, again, a lot of the reforms on the tax treatment of multinationals. That’s how you get to the 1.5% net number,” the official said.
Earlier, Trump told his Cabinet members that the heart of this bill is a tremendous amount of relief for the middle class, including a doubling of the child tax credit and a nearly doubling of the standard deduction.
“That’s going to be tremendous for people. They’re going to start seeing the results in February. This bill means more take-home pay. It will be an incredible Christmas gift for hardworking Americans. I said I wanted to have it done before Christmas; we got it done,” Trump said.