House passes historically unpopular GOP tax bill

More than a dozen congressmen reportedly couldn't name the different brackets in the tax bill

Published December 19, 2017 3:58PM (EST)

Paul Ryan   (Jeffrey Malet,
Paul Ryan (Jeffrey Malet,

The Republican House of Representatives passed a historic $1.5 trillion tax reform bill on Tuesday — even though it is full of glitches and many of its members admittedly still don't know crucial details about it.

As The Huffington Post's Matt Fuller noted in a series of tweets, several GOP congressmen could not name all of the bill's new tax brackets hours before overwhelmingly voting to pass it. Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, eventually did— but it took him 18 tries.

Meanwhile, a reporter from Politico detailed the raucous protests that occurred in the House of Representatives as the bill was about to pass.

Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy also got a taste of protesters' wrath when a woman interrupted his live report from Capitol Hill to denounce the tax bill as a scam that injures Americans with disabilities:


An analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation found that the bill will overwhelmingly help the wealthy. Only 10 percent of the tax cut will go directly to the middle class (roughly $144 billion), or individuals who earn between $20,000 and $100,000 each year. By contrast, slightly less than half of the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts will go to corporations, thanks to the reduction of the corporate tax rate to 21 percent. The estimate is that financial firms will save $250 billion in taxes over the next decade as a result of the bill. The bill also contains a number of glitches due to the rushed process in which it was written, with Republicans saying they will try to fix that with a second bill after the first one passes.

The bill is also opposed by an overwhelming majority of Americans. A Monmouth University Poll found that 47 percent of Americans disapprove of the tax bill, with only 26 percent approving of it. Similarly, a CNN poll found that 33 percent of Americans favor the tax bill and 55 percent oppose it. According to FiveThirtyEight, "the GOP bill is one of the least popular tax plans since Ronald Reagan’s day."

By 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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