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In signing sweeping tax Bill, Trump asks if he is getting enough credit

"We did a rush job today," Trump said at the bill signing

Eileen Sullivan & Michael Tacket | NYT  |  Washington 

Donald Trump

President signed the most consequential tax legislation in three decades on Friday, even as he complained that he has not been given credit for his administration’s accomplishments during a turbulent first year. decided against doing a formal signing ceremony early next year because television news networks questioned whether he would keep his promise to sign the legislation before Christmas. said he saw the coverage Friday morning and hastily called his staff to say that the legislation needed to be signed “now,” prompting a last-minute Oval Office ceremony for the president’s greatest achievement in his first year in office. “We did a rush job today,” said at the signing. “It’s not fancy, but it’s the Oval Office. It’s the great Oval Office.” It marked another improvisational moment in a presidency already known for abandoning the norms The was the most significant legislative victory for Trump, who has struggled during his first year in office to pass major bills that would deliver on campaign promises, even with Republicans having the majority in both chambers of Congress. Republicans promise the new will benefit the middle class, but Democrats have warned that the law could be harmful to many lower-income taxpayers and to the nation’s fiscal health. “It’s going to be a tremendous thing for the American people,” said. Before signing the legislation on Friday, said in a post that companies were celebrating the bill’s passage with bonuses for workers. During the signing ceremony, said, “Corporations are literally going wild over this.” A handful of companies, including AT&T, which is seeking government approval of a major acquisition of Time Warner, have announced that they would give bonuses to workers. There was some discussion in Congress and at the that should consider delaying the signing until early 2018 as a way to delay automatic spending cuts that could have been triggered by the tax cuts. In addition, some companies said that delay would give them more time to adjust to the major changes that the new tax code will mean for their businesses. However, once Congress reached a deal this week to avoid the possibility of the spending cuts, officials signaled that wanted to sign the into law as soon as possible. often reacts to television news, and Friday was no different. The president delayed his travel to for the holidays by an hour to stave off potential criticism. “Every one of the networks was saying, ‘Will he keep his promise?’" the president said. Shortly after 10 am, announced in a post that the would be signed “in 30 minutes.” Earlier in the morning, the president suggested that he would not get credit for what he said were extraordinary accomplishments for a first year. Under the new tax law, individual rates will be lowered, but those cuts are set to expire in 2025.

The standard deduction, which will almost double, is likely to become more popular. The tax credit for children will also double, which Republicans have said will benefit lower-income families. The largest cut by far in the new — which will not expire — benefits corporations. The new law has been criticised by lawmakers representing states with high taxes, because the caps state and local tax deductions at $10,000. The law also eliminates the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that most people have or pay a penalty. has said that amounted to repealing President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, but 8.8 million Americans signed up for coverage, according to figures his administration announced on Thursday. The law is not repealed, but the mandate had been considered an important feature of it. also signed a stopgap spending in order to avoid a government shutdown. In addition to extending government funding, the includes $4 billion for missile defence, among other provisions.


© 2017 The New York Times News Service

First Published: Sun, December 24 2017. 00:27 IST
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