WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Donald Trump celebrated a major victory on Wednesday.
He was joined by GOP lawmakers on the south lawn of the White House after Congress delivered an epic overhaul of U.S. tax laws.
The overhaul will bring generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and billions to be added to the national debt.
A band played as Republicans gathered on Wednesday, celebrating Trump’s first big legislative win. He touted the slashing of the corporate tax rate down from 35 percent to 21 percent.
“And ultimately what does it mean? It means jobs – jobs, jobs, jobs,” Trump said. “So it’s going to be a very special period of time, we’re in a special period of time, and it’s going to be even more so.”
The GOP-dominated House voted a second time along party lines on Wednesday to approve the complex legislation, following a narrow vote after midnight in the Senate.
“It’s always a lot of fun when you win,” the president said.
The overhaul is the largest since 1986.
“It’s the largest, I always say ‘the most massive,’ but it’s the largest tax cut in the history of our country, and reform, but tax cut, and it’s really something special,” Trump said.
The president was quick to point out that the legislation was already having an impact.
“I notice, this just came out two minutes ago, they handed it to me. AT&T plans to increase U.S. capital spending $1-billion and provide $1,000 special bonus to more than 200,000 U.S. employees, and that’s because of what we did. So that’s pretty good,” he said.
Trump said he expected other companies to come forward with similar announcements.
“Ultimately, what does it mean? It means jobs, jobs, jobs,” he said.
As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, there was no sharing credit on this one. Not a single Democrat voted for the tax reform bill that now becomes law.
The Senate vote was 51-48 with all Republicans in favor and all Democrats opposed. The House passed the bill earlier Tuesday, but the Senate had to make minor changes so the bill would comply with Senate budget rules.
“Our companies won’t be leaving our country any longer because our tax burden is so high because now we’re down toward the lower end of the spectrum as opposed to being the highest,” Trump continued.
“We’re very excited about this,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said. “It’s gonna give people a big tax cut before Christmas and most importantly, this is gonna help people get more jobs at better wages and simplify the tax code. So we’re very excited about this.”
Soon after the Senate vote, Trump tweeted in part: “The United States Senate just passed the biggest in history Tax Cut and Reform Bill.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) was surprised that the Senate version of the bill did not get the support of any Democrats.
“I’m a little surprised Democrats all decided to voting against middle-class tax relief and making American businesses more competitive,” McConnell said.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) described the bill as hasty and reckless.
“After only a few months of frantic, backroom negotiations by only one party, we are left with a product as sloppy and as partisan as the process used to draft it,” he said.
Schumer added, “Republicans will rue the day they pass this bill, and you can bet Democrats will make sure of that.”
The $1.5 trillion package, billed as a huge boon for the middle class and a spark to economic growth, provides smaller tax cuts for middle and low-income families.
The tax cuts for business are permanent, but reductions for individuals and families expire after a decade. The standard deduction used by around two-thirds of Americans will nearly double to $24,000 for married couples.
While Republicans fell short of their promise to deliver reform that allows taxpayers to file on a postcard, independent studies find the bill will save most filers anywhere from $60 to $51,000 next year, depending on their income.
But by 2027, 53 percent of taxpayers will pay more than before while savings for the very wealthy will continue to rise, CBS2’s Aiello reported.
“The far right architects of this tax plan are going to be coming for your social security and Medicare before you take your Christmas tree down,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon).
The bill has some taxpayers hopeful and others worried. Many are doing the math to assess how they are impacted.
“I’m pretty sure I’m kind of neutral on how it impacts me,” said taxpayer Tim Burley.
“I did some research a little bit — it doesn’t look favorable,” said taxpayer Kimberly Weaver.
For many middle-income single people who do not itemize, the tax bill’s lower rates and increased standard deduction will put money in their pockets.
When asked if he would like having more money, Lior Beyderman said, “Yeah, why not – yeah, absolutely, yeah.
But taxpayer Jose Amaro said, “It could be good for me and bad for someone else.”
One couple with a six-figure income said the tax bill will benefit them nicely. But they still don’t support it.
“I’ll just give that (extra money) to somebody that can – charities that we already believe in, and folks that are having a tougher time than we are,” said Michael Lissauer.
Pilar Atterberry of New Rochelle was resigned to the bill being law, but was not happy about it.
“It passed – we have to deal with it,” she said. “It’s horrible.”
But Doreen Hamilton of Pauling told CBS2’s Dick Brennan the bill was a good deal for her.
“I think it’s going to benefit myself and my family. I have four children and worked for 27 years, and I think it’s actually going to benefit,” she said.
Meanwhile, the provision to cap state and local property tax deductions at $10,000 is a big worry in the suburbs. Barbara Greenberg of Lawrenceville, New Jersey thinks it will cost her.
“My concern is very much for property tax issue for us — hugely concerned about that,” she said. “I don’t feel that that was fair or well thought out at all.”
The limiting of state and local tax deductions is a big reason why four New Jersey and five New York Republicans in the House bucked the president and voted no.
The no votes came from Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen, Leonard Lance, Frank LoBiondo, and Chris Smith in New Jersey, and Reps. Dan Donovan, John Faso, Peter King, Elise Stefanik, and Lee Zeldin in New York.
Home owners in the Tri-State area will take a hit as the deduction for state and local income taxes or property taxes is capped at $10,000 and the mortgage interest deduction is lowered to $750,000 for new home purchases, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
“This is having a dangerous effect on Long Island it’s going to cost Long Islanders money,” Rep. King said. “It’s going to increase their taxes and devalue their homes.”
New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy said his administration will look at possible court challenges to the provision capping property tax deductions.
“There are some who would say it’s an unconstitutional double taxation,” Murphy said. “I’m not smart enough to know if it is or not, but there are people that are smart enough.”
The man whom Murphy will soon replace, Gov. Chris Christie, has proposed his own solution for the limit on property tax deductions.
“We should make property taxes on our state income tax returns completely deductible, because if we don’t, it will have an effect on property values in the state,” he said.
So who benefits most from the bill?
“The big winners are the corporations and the shareholders in the corporations,” said Crain’s New York Business Assistant Managing Editor Erik Engquist.
Engquist said with unemployment down, don’t look for corporate movement on jobs.
“The big question is not will we add jobs. The big question is what will happen to wages,” he said. “Will new companies pass it along to their workers? And the answer is only if they have to.”
As for your taxes, charitable deductions are still in – so get your receipts in order. But alimony is going to be cut.
“For people unlucky enough to pay alimony, they will no longer be able to deduct that from their adjusted gross income,” said tax expert David Selig. “Ironically, the big winner is the people receiving the income that will be treated as tax deductible income.”
For technical reasons related to the 2010 budget deal, President Trump probably will not sign the bill until January.
The new IRS withholding tables take effect in February, which is when many will see a boost in their paychecks because of lower tax rates.
The bill also ends the Obamacare requirement that requires people to pay a fine if they do not get insurance. And while Obamacare has not been “essentially repealed,” as Trump said Wednesday, the GOP tax bill is certainly trying to undermine it.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)