Trump Signs Tax Overhaul, Stopgap Spending Bills In First Major Legislative Victory

Update: as previewed moments ago, President Trump on Friday morning signed into law legislation funding the government through Jan. 19 and more importantly, the $1.4 trillion Tax Cut and Jobs Act, i.e. the Tax Reform bill, overhauling the U.S. tax code. Trump is now set to depart for Florida.

The bill’s signing ends the president’s first year in office on a high note. As the Hill adds, the president has had some other successes as well, in areas such as rolling back regulations and getting a new Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch, confirmed. But Republicans were unable to repeal and replace ObamaCare, and the headlines over the past year have also at times been dominated by the Russia election meddling investigations and palace intrigue stories about disagreements among Trump's staff.

Trump publicly made efforts to try to get Democrats to vote for the measure as well — particularly senators facing 2018 reelection bids in states the president carried in 2016. But while the president gave speeches on the tax plan in states with vulnerable Democratic senators such as Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana and Pennsylvania, no Democrat in either chamber of Congress ultimately backed the package.

Democrats have focused on the fact that some taxpayers would get tax increases and have argued that the largest benefits will go to wealthy people like the president. They think attacking Republicans on the plan will help them in the midterms since polls show the measure is unpopular with the public.

 

But Republicans are brushing off the polls, arguing that public opinion will change in February when people start to see higher take-home pay. They argue that the bill will be a winner because it will boost job creation, wages and the economy.

The irony will be if the tax bill - slammed by Democrats - actually ends up being popular and succeeds in reducing prevailing tax rates. Such an outcome would result in an even greater lock on Congress by the GOP after the 2018 midterm elections, forcing the Democrats to truly scramble what Russian collusion scandal they will trot out next. 

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After days of speculation over whether Trump would sign his new tax reform bill this year or wait until January to avoid certain spending cuts (something we covered here), Trump has just announced that the tax bill, along with the missile defense bill, will be signed in the Oval Office later today before he heads off to Mar-A-Lago for Christmas. 

"Will be signing the biggest ever Tax Cut and Reform Bill in 30 minutes in Oval Office. Will also be signing a much needed 4 billion dollar missile defense bill."

Oddly, at least for Trump, the bill signing will be conducted in private rather than as part of a massive media event.

And just like that, the White House just delivered a $1,000 Christmas bonus to AT&T employees around the country...something that we're almost certain will result in another Trump tweet at some point today.