— President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed legislation to slash taxes for the wealthiest Americans, while also boosting the top tax rate for those making over $250,000.
The $1.5 trillion package passed the Senate on a vote of 70-27, with Republicans united in opposition to the legislation.
“The President believes that a strong economy and a fair tax system are more important than ever,” Trump said in a statement Tuesday night.
“We are not going to have another election where millions of families are denied a fair and just outcome.”
In a press conference Tuesday night, Trump described the legislation as “historic” and said he would sign it “as soon as we get it through the Senate.”
But Democrats and the business community blasted the legislation, saying it will hurt the economy.
“This tax bill is a massive giveaway to billionaires,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in his statement Tuesday evening.
“For the wealthiest in this country, it’s a slap in the face, and it’s just another slap in their face.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D,Calif., called the tax cuts a “gift to the rich,” saying they will benefit a handful of wealthy individuals and companies.
“I’m outraged and saddened by the fact that this tax plan benefits just one wealthy corporation, which is Donald Trump,” Pelosi said.
“Tax reform should be about creating jobs, not enriching the rich.
It’s clear that the president’s tax cuts will help the very wealthiest Americans and corporations at the expense of working families across America.”
The bill will also make some of the most regressive tax cuts permanent, with the top rate on high earners rising to 39.6 percent.
That will mean that for people making more than $200,000, the tax bill will only raise their tax bills by $8,000 per year.
The bill also makes some tax breaks permanent, including the so-called estate tax and a $1,000 credit for taxpayers who file their taxes with the IRS.
The credits will expire at the end of 2018.
Democrats have been pushing for a permanent increase in the top income tax rate, which currently stands at 35 percent.
Republicans are also calling for the repeal of the estate tax, which they say will be a disaster for the country.
The House approved a bill to eliminate the tax this week.
“If the Senate passes this tax bill, the wealthy will be able to continue to pay a lower tax rate on their vast fortunes than anyone else in this nation, because we’re going to keep the middle class and low-income families in the shadows,” Schumer said in the statement.
“Our tax code is broken, and the president needs to fix it, but the only way to fix this is to eliminate this unfair tax breaks for the rich.”
The president will sign the tax cut bill into law as soon as he gets it through Congress, he said in an interview Tuesday night with CBS News.
Trump signed the tax reform legislation into law Tuesday night after an hourlong Oval Office meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Democrats are urging the president to extend the tax breaks, including a $2,000 tax credit for families making over the age of $250 million.
Republicans say that tax relief will give the wealthy an unfair advantage over the middle-class, who will see their tax bill fall, while many middle- and low:earning Americans will see tax increases.
“It is unacceptable that the tax code has become so complex that it takes an average of nearly a decade to get a refund, and that this bill would make it that much harder for the middle and low class to get ahead,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R -Utah, said in statement Tuesday.
“This tax plan will not increase the economy and it will not grow the economy.”