Portman praises, Brown rips tax bill passage


Flanked by Republican lawmakers, President Trump on Wednesday took a bow outside the White House shortly after the House finished its last-minute re-vote to pass the $1.5 trillion bill that provides generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans while also providing cuts for middle- and low-income families.

In a statement, Trump said: “By cutting taxes and reforming the broken system, we are now pouring rocket fuel into the engine of our economy.”

Passage of the bill was praised by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, the Republican from Ohio.

“For years, Republicans and Democrats alike have called for middle-class tax cuts and a more competitive tax code for American workers and businesses, and today Republicans are delivering on that promise,” said Portman. “This bill will cut taxes for middle-class families, reform our business tax code to create more jobs and higher wages for Ohio workers, and update our international tax code to encourage jobs and investments in America.”

Portman said the bill represented the first comprehensive tax reform legislation in 31 years.

“I’d like to thank Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker Paul Ryan, Chairman Orrin Hatch, Chairman Kevin Brady, and all of my colleagues who were united by the desire to help the middle class and re-open the American economy as the best place in the world to do business,” said Portman. “This plan is made in America, for America. By passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Congress is making good on its promise to help create a better economy and a brighter future.”

But Portman’s Ohio counterpart, Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, said the legislation will take away health care from millions of Americans and cut taxes for millionaires.

“Tax reform should have been an opportunity to work together to cut taxes for working people. I offered to work with the president and Republicans, and I introduced multiple amendments that could have put real money in the pockets of Ohioans,” said Brown.

“Instead, Washington chose to cut taxes for millionaires and corporations and pay for it by cutting Medicare and kicking people off their health insurance,” said Brown. “And it won’t stop there – congressional Republicans are already planning to steal the money Ohioans have paid into Medicare and Social Security to pay for the hole they are blowing in the deficit.”

The Senate used a post-midnight vote Wednesday morning to approve the measure on a party-line 51-48 tally. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., insisted Americans would respond positively to the tax bill.

“If we can’t sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work,” he said.

In an eleventh-hour hiccup Tuesday, the Senate parliamentarian found that three minor provisions violated Senate rules, forcing lawmakers to strip them out.

House Republicans had passed the bill Tuesday with all voting Democrats in opposition. Because of the language the Senate removed, the House had to revisit the measure Wednesday because each chamber must approve identical legislation before it can be signed into law.

“People have been hit by the media and the Democrats on their TV screen that everyone is getting a big tax increase, and that’s just not the case,” Ryan said Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Starting next year, families making between $50,000 and $75,000 will get average tax cuts of $890, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. Families making between $100,000 and $200,000 would get average tax cuts of $2,260, while families making more than $1 million would get average tax cuts of nearly $70,000, according to the analysis.

The legislation repeals an important part of the 2010 health care law — the requirement that all Americans carry health insurance or face a penalty — as the GOP looks to unravel the law it failed to repeal and replace this past summer. It also allows oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The $1,000-per-child tax credit doubles to $2,000, with up to $1,400 available in IRS refunds for families that owe little or no taxes.


Trump: Reform ‘pouring rocket fuel’ into economy

Staff and wire reports

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