Embattled Trump scores first legislative victory with tax bill

Embattled Trump scores first legislative victory with tax bill

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2017 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at an event celebrating the passage of the tax bill on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on Dec. 20, 2017. The U.S. Congress on Wednesday finally passed the Republican bill to overhaul the U.S. tax code over three decades, sending it to President Donald Trump
WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2017 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at an event celebrating the passage of the tax bill on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on Dec. 20, 2017. The U.S. Congress on Wednesday finally passed the Republican bill to overhaul the U.S. tax code over three decades, sending it to President Donald Trump

By Arul LouisNew York, Dec 21 (IANS) The United States Congress passed a mammoth tax reform bill on Wednesday giving embattled President Donald Trump his first major legislative victory enabling him to redeem at least one of his election campaign promises in a year of political turmoil.In the highly polarised political atmosphere, the tax overhaul did not get a single vote from the Democratic Party, which has denounced it as a give away to corporations and the rich at the expense of the poor.The bill will now go to Trump for his signature to become law.The highlight of the tax reform is cutting the corporate tax to 21 per cent from 35 per cent, which Trump and the Republicans say would stimulate the economy through more investments.The legislative victory is a breath of fresh air for Trump, who had so far not been able to fulfill his campaign promises, which include a wall to prevent illegal immigration through Mexico.Trump is also under pressure from an investigation into Russia's alleged interference in last year's election that brought him to power.He called the passage of the bill "a historic victory for the American people" and "an incredible Christmas gift for hardworking Americans."However, Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democratic Party member of the House of Representatives, criticised it as "a bad deal for working families and our country" that "will squeeze middle class families."After weeks of bargaining among Republican Party members of the Congress, the bill was passed on Wednesday night in the Senate and by a second vote for procedural reasons in the House Representative on Thursday with no input from the Democratic Party legislators.It would also cut income taxes for most people, although the reductions would end in 2025, at which time it could be renewed.The bill also simplifies some aspects of tax filing, although it does not fulfill the promise of simplifying it to the extent that the tax form would shrink to the size of a postcard.The bill also gives Trump and the Republicans a partial victory on their promise to repeal the health insurance programmed introduced by former President Barack Obama. It ends a provision that penalises those who do not have insurance coverage, which is expected to lead to higher health insurance premiums when healthy people opt out.(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in)--IANSal/sku/

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