House approves Republican tax overhaul; Senate vote next

December 19, 2017 GMT

House approves Republican tax overhaul; Senate vote next

WASHINGTON D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday signed off on a $1.5 trillion tax overhaul that Republican advocates say will cut taxes for individuals and companies, and boost job creation, investments and economic growth.

Touted as a centerpiece of President Donald Trump’s election agenda, the measure now goes to the U.S. Senate, which is expected to approve it along party lines much as the House of Representatives did.

Raising children can be expensive. The #TaxCutsandJobsAct expands the Child Tax Credit to help. Working families don’t deserve the status quo of a complex tax codes. We’re making it fair and simple for all Americans. pic.twitter.com/9CERRUnC7q— Rep. Bob Gibbs (@RepBobGibbs) December 19, 2017

The measure passed in a 227 to 203 vote with backing from all of Ohio’s Republicans and opposition from all the state’s Democrats.

Bill opponents argued it will give an inordinate amount of money to the wealthy at the expense of poor Americans. They claimed it will raise taxes on millions of middle-class households, force future taxpayers to pay for deficits it creates and reduce the number of people with health insurance by repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

Wall Street gets its payout while many workers and middle-class Americans are left behind. #GOPTaxScam https://t.co/CGqB6diRdS— Marcy Kaptur (@RepMarcyKaptur) December 18, 2017

The top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, which drafted the bill, said Republicans falsely promised their revision would simplify taxes so much that it would allow people to file taxes on a postcard. In reality, Richard Neal of Massachusetts said, “You’re going to need to carry a billboard around with you” to understand what’s in the bill.

“Future generations will remember who cast votes to raise taxes on 86 million middle class households and heap $1.5 trillion in deficits on our children and grandchildren,” added House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

Republicans said the bill will create the lowest tax rate for job creators in modern history, and reduce taxes for working class Americans. House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said it would cut a typical, median-income family’s taxes by more than $2,000 each year and provide “real relief” for those struggling to make ends meet.

“Today, we are giving the people of this country their money back,” said Ryan whose remarks were interrupted by protestors shouting from overhead viewing galleries.

Columbus-area GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi, a member of the tax writing House Ways and Means Committee, said the bill will return more money to “Bob and Betty Buckeye.”

“This will help those communities that have been left behind with more money in working families’ pockets,” Tiberi said.

″ ¯\_(?)_/¯ ” -- @HouseGOP, @SenateGOP, @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/sdCXoInD2Z— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) December 18, 2017

The bill includes the following changes:

Cuts the corporate tax rate to 21 percent, down for the current 35 percent.Increases the standard deduction to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples, indexed for inflation after 2018. The change expires at the end of 2025.Reduces the top tax rate for the wealthiest Americans to 37 percent from 39.6 percent. All individual tax breaks expire at the end of 2025, while the corporate tax reductions will remain.

Final tax bill keeps deductions for medical expenses, college and historic rehabilitation

Limits the amount of state and local tax deductions to $10,000.Doubles the exempted amount for estate and gift taxes through the end of 2025.Repeals the oil and gas exploration ban in “1002 Area” of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge