Republicans Just Passed the Least Popular Bill of Trump’s Presidency

After seven weeks of “will they/won’t they” back and forth, The GOP managed to squeeze in one legislative accomplishment before the end of the year.

President Trump has been promising the American people a “big, beautiful tax cut for Christmas” for weeks now, and since he’s also been talking non stop about ending the War on Christmas, he had to deliver on both.

The bill, called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in a flurry of at the buzzer drama. The $1.5 trillion tax cut for the wealthy and connected was sent back to the House for a second vote on Tuesday after the Senate deemed it in violation of the Byrd Rule. Republicans removed three minor details in order to make it conform.

The bill is set to go to the President’s for Trump’s signature, which will codify it into law. Timing for that signing has not yet been confirmed.

Vice President Pence presided over the Senate vote and announced its passage.

The bill passed in the Senate along party lines, 51-48.

The bill passed in the second House vote 224-201, with no Democratic support and 12 Republicans voting against.

The three violations that forced the re-vote were:

  1. The name. The short name of the bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, appears to be placed incorrectly in the legislation.
  2. Changes to the so-called 529 savings plan. The bill would have allowed money in the college-savings accounts to be used for homeschooling supplies.
  3. The exemption for small colleges from a new excise tax. The bill had proposed a tax on college and university endowments exceeding $500,000 for every student enrolled, but it included a provision that would have exempted those with fewer than 500 tuition-paying students. The words “tuition-paying” were removed.

The GOP purports that the tax bill will provide a tax cut for the middle class in addition to the massive tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.

The bill brings the corporate tax rate down from 35% to 21%.

It repeals the corporate alternative minimum tax.

The bill almost doubles the standard deduction for individuals.

And it restructures the way pass-through businesses are taxed, which is something critics say President Trump will personally benefit from as many of his personal businesses collect pass-through income.

Though the Joint Committee on Taxation reported that everyone, regardless of income will see a tax cut in 2019, the projects get grim further out. By 2027, those earning $75,000 or less would see their taxes increase, due to the end of individual rate cuts and the repeal of the Obamacare individual Mandate.

The bill was widely criticized for being rushed, without adhering to proper procedure. At one point, House Representatives were voting late into the night on a 479-page tax bill with illegible handwritten changes most had not even read.

As to whether the tax bill will pay for itself, rather than add $1.7 trillion to the deficit as the CBO reported, Paul Ryan addressed that on the Morning Shows.

Nobody knows the answer to that question, because that’s in the future, but what we do know is that this will increase economic growth,” Ryan said.

Critics, including Sen. Bernie Sanders began attacking Ryan for going after programs middle and lower income Americans rely on in order to offset costs.

55% of Americans oppose the plan and only 33% say they support the GOP’s reform, according to a CNN poll.

Sen. Cory Booker tweeted evidence his office had gathered to that effect.

Elizabeth Warren fumed on Twitter over the bill.

Sen. Warren also tweeted to illustrate the vast chasm of opinion between the GOP and voters. The image speaks for itself.

The outcome remains to be seen. It’s unclear whether or not Paul Ryan’s promise will come true that the GOP’s proposals for tax reform will stimulate the economy so much as to revive trickle-down economics from a cold grave.

But if the complicated and oftentimes shady process to get this bill to pass is any indication, the GOP has a lot to hide and will have even more to answer for when the American people find out just how bad they’ve been screwed.

Add your name to millions demanding Congress take action on the President’s crimes. IMPEACH TRUMP & PENCE!

Joelle Grande

Joelle Grande is a writer with a background in political science and journalism from Rutgers. She has written for the web, print, and screen. Grande competed in pro-am archery through college. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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