Congressional Republicans reach deal to pass tax cuts before Christmas
14 December 2017
President Donald Trump announced at a White House event Wednesday afternoon that a deal had been reached between Republicans in the Senate and the House of Representatives on a $1.5 trillion tax cut bill by next week. The bill will transfer hundreds of billions of dollars into the pockets of the rich and large corporations.
Trump promised that he would sign the bill by Christmas and that some provisions contained in it will go into effect as soon as February. Republican leaders, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, have already made clear that they will use the resulting deficits to justify far-reaching attacks on social programs, including Medicare and Social Security.
The deal comes after less than two weeks of backroom negotiations between leading Republican members of the House and Senate to reconcile differences between the bills passed in the two chambers of Congress.
Trump’s announcement also comes a day after Democrat Doug Jones beat Republican Roy Moore in the special election called to fill the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Republicans will be left with a razor-thin one-vote majority in the Senate when Jones takes his seat in January.
At a press conference Wednesday morning, Democratic Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi responded to the announced deal by putting forward the entirely impotent demand that the Republicans “hit pause” on a vote until Jones takes his seat. There is no rule in the Senate that mandates any such action by the Republicans.
While Democratic Senators postured as opponents, their pro forma response makes clear that they will do nothing to stop the tax cuts from…