Republicans in the House of Representatives, after a second round of voting Wednesday, joined the Senate to deliver an epic overhaul of U.S. tax laws to President Donald Trump.
The $1.5 trillion tax cut was opposed by Democrats for its embedded generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans and because it will add billions to the national debt, which is now at a record $24 trillion.
Although Republicans touted it as a huge boon for the middle class and a spark to economic growth, the opposition said in reality, it provides smaller tax cuts for middle- and low-income families.
The bill slashes the corporate income tax rate from 35 per cent to 21 per cent.
The tax cuts for business are permanent, but reductions for individuals and families expire after a decade. The standard deduction used by around two-thirds of Americans will nearly double to $24,000 for married couples.
President Donald Trump in earlier tweets celebrated the passage of the bill and praised the Senate for approving it, though narrowly.
In another tweet after the passage by the House of Representatives, Trump also took to Twitter to celebrate as a ‘Tax Cut for Christmas’ that also promises more jobs for Americans.
Also on Wednesday, Trump claimed the tax bill had fulfilled his campaign promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
He told a Cabinet meeting: “Obamacare has been repealed in this bill.”
But the critics said the bill only repeals the individual mandate, which imposes a tax penalty for failing to purchase health insurance — a significant, but small part of the law — rather than the extensive legislation passed by his predecessor.
Trump-backed GOP efforts to undo the health care legislation failed repeatedly earlier this year, and congressional lawmakers are debating needed fixes to the bill to stabilise the individual marketplace.
While Trump casts the reform as a “gift” for ordinary families, it appears unpopular: a CNN poll shows that 55 percent of Americans oppose the tax plan, widely criticised as favouring wealthy people over the middle class.
Republicans have pushed back at that notion, and the president assailed the bill’s critics ahead of the House vote.
“The Tax Cuts are so large and so meaningful, and yet the Fake News is working overtime to follow the lead of their friends, the defeated Dems, and only demean,” he tweeted.
“This is truly a case where the results will speak for themselves, starting very soon. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!”