House Passes Tax Bill (Again), Sends To Trump To Sign Into Law

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., flanked by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., left, and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., updates reporters on the GOP tax bill following their weekly policy meeting, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Second time’s the charm.

The House passed a sweeping tax bill once again on Wednesday, taking a mulligan one day after Senate rules forced the other chamber to make minor changes to the law and sending the package of massive corporate tax cuts to President Trump for his signature after an embarrassing misstep.

The House passed the bill by a 224-201 margin on a mostly party-line vote, after the Senate passed it by a 51-48 margin along party lines in the predawn hours Wednesday.

Trump will hold a “bill passage event” later Wednesday afternoon to celebrate it clearing Congress, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday, rather than the normal bill signing ceremony, because of the congressional glitch.

Trump called the bill “historic” and described it as and “incredible Christmas gift for hardworking Americans” while touting the corporate tax cuts at a White House event earlier on Wednesday.

The revote became necessary when Republicans were forced to remove a few provisions of the law Wednesday afternoon that didn’t comply with reconciliation rules that allowed Republicans to pass it with a simple majority in the Senate, shortly after it initially passed the House. The do-over was the latest sign of how rushed Republicans were in ramming through a plan with massive corporate tax cuts and individual cuts that analysis shows will disproportionately benefit wealthier Americans while adding almost $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade.

“A revote within less than 24 hours of original passage — this proves that this bill is rotten to its core,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY) said during House floor debate before the vote.

House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) celebrated the bill as the first “real tax reform” in decades as the House went to revote, a move that sent the bill to the president’s desk after the Senate passed the latest version late Tuesday night.

According to the Tax Policy Center, a left-leaning think tank, fully 83 percent of the bill’s benefits will accrue to the top 1 percent of Americans in the next decade.

The bill also repeals the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate and opens up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling — two long sought-after achievements for Republicans, who saw their broader Obamacare repeal efforts fall short this summer.