In a significant step toward achieving a key portion of President Donald Trump's legislative agenda, House Republicans narrowly passed their version of tax reform on Thursday.
The legislation — titled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — passed with 205 votes opposed and 227 in favor, according to The Washington Post. While the bill would reform the tax code and deliver cuts to corporate and individual taxpayers, Democrats complained that it disproportionately benefited the wealthy and burdened the middle class.
The Post outlined the bill's provisions:
The House bill delivers more than 80 percent of its overall cuts to corporations, business owners and wealthy families who are subject to the federal estate tax, according to estimates released by the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ nonpartisan tax analyst. Most middle-class Americans would see an immediate tax cut, however, due to a lowering of individual tax rates, the near-doubling of the standard deduction, and a larger Child Tax Credit.
But many households who currently itemize their deductions — taking advantage of write-offs for state income taxes, medical expenses, and more — could see immediate tax increases. In future years the benefits of the bill for individuals wane due to the phaseout of a key tax credit and the use of a slower measure of inflation to recalibrate bracket levels.
Leading Republicans touted tax reform for its impact on economic growth, something they said would help mitigate the overall cost.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the GOP's plan would raise the deficit by $1.7 trillion over the course of 10 years, and potentially trigger $25 billion in cuts to Medicare.
While the CBO has yet to score the Senate's version of tax reform, senators on both sides of the aisle cautioned against its potentially high cost. As was previously reported, the Senate appeared to try and limit its version's cost by including a repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate.
Before Republicans cast their vote on Thursday, Trump reportedly told them he loved them. “I love you. Now go vote," he said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) praised the bill's passage as a “very, very big milestone” in a “long road” toward lifting the American economy. Thursday's vote, Ryan said, was “one of the greatest things” Republicans could have done to fulfill their promise to better American lives.
Watch Ryan's comments below, via C-SPAN3.