Trump’s pep talk pulls Paul Ryan's toxic tax bill over the finish line

House Republicans pass tax reform bill after a visit from President Trump

By Matthew Rozsa
Published November 16, 2017 8:39PM (UTC)
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(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump's desire to have some kind of legislative achievement — any victory at all, no matter how bad it might be for the people — has just moved one step closer to being a reality. Even though many Republicans have expressed concern that the GOP's tax cut plan would raise taxes on the middle class, Republicans in the House passed the bill on Thursday.

The House of Representatives, led by Republican Speaker Paul Ryan, passed its controversial tax reform bill with no Democratic votes and 13 Republican defections, according to The Washington Post. The final margin of victory for the bill was 227 votes in favor of it and 205 against it, after President Trump paid a last-minute visit to a closed-door meeting of House Republicans.


Their bill would reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, eliminate three of the seven current tax brackets and either get rid of or reduce various tax deductions, such as those for state and local taxes. Its overall goal would be to cut taxes by more than $1.4 trillion by 2027.

Despite this first victory, the tax reform bill still has a hard route toward being passed, especially if it is to meet the GOP's self-imposed deadline of being signed into law before the end of the year.

The next step is for Senate Republicans to pass their own version of a tax reform bill, even though that measure has already run into trouble due to its repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate, which would rip health insurance away from roughly 13 million Americans. Because Republicans only have a 52-to-48 majority over Democrats in the Senate, they do not have many votes they can afford to lose in order for the Senate bill to pass. Making things even tougher for them, the Senate and House of Representatives would then have to meet in a joint committee to align their two bills into a final law before it can be sent to President Trump's desk for official passage.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Devin Nunes Gop Gop Tax Cuts House Republicans Lee Zeldin Paul Ryan Tax Reform Bill