House Passes Trump Tax Plan For Second Time

Update: In a vote that almost exactly mirrored yesterday's results, the House once again passed the final Trump tax bill - formerly known as the conference agreement on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act - by a vote of 224-201.

As the Financial Times pointed out, "the vote gives the president a longed-for legislative victory to carry into his second year, one whose scope matches the radical reforms of healthcare and Wall Street regulation achieved by his predecessor Barack Obama."

But the tax bill is already as divisive as Mr Obama’s achievements, ensuring 2018 will be dominated by electoral sparring over whether it will help middle-class families, as Republicans claim, or will deliver further riches to the wealthy and powerful, as Democrats say.

 

Mr Trump said at a “celebration” cabinet meeting that people would begin seeing the results of the tax bill in February when adjustments to their after-tax income started appearing in pay checks. “We got it done,” he said, thanking congressional leaders.

The bill will now head to President Donald Trump's desk. However, the president is reportedly considering waiting to sign the bill until the new year, unless Congressional Republicans can successfully add a waiver to certain Medicare-related spending cuts to their continuing resolution to keep the government funded.

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The House of Representatives is voting for the second time on the final version of the Republican tax-reform plan. If the bill passes and is signed into law by President Donald Trump, it would be the first piece of comprehensive tax reform in 31 years.

Watch it live below:

Democrats, who have nicknamed the bill the "tax scam", repeated many of their complaints about the bill - that it favors the rich at the poor's expense, and will help establish a "plutocracy" in the US. Meanwhile, Republicans defended the bill, arguing that it would help make US corporations more competitive and encourage companies to repatriate money held abroad.

For what its worth, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center suggested in its analysis that the bill would lead to tax cuts across the income spectrum - though wealthy tax owners and companies would see the greatest benefit. According to an overview of the TPC's analysis, in general, high-income households will receive larger average tax cuts as a percentage of after-tax income, with the largest cuts as a share of income going to taxpayers in the 95th to 99th percentiles of the income distribution. On average, in 2027 taxes would change little for lower- and middle-income groups and decrease for higher-income groups. Compared to current law, 5 percent of taxpayers would pay more tax in 2018, 9 percent in 2025, and 53 percent in 2027.

After the House passed the bill yesterday, the Senate Parliamentarian ruled that the final version of the law included three violations of the Byrd Rule - meaning that the House would need to vote again on a version of the bill with the offending provisions removed. The Senate managed to pass the final bill early this morning 51-48 with no Republicans voting against.

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