Trump signs tax reform, stopgap spending measure to end 2017

President Trump ended the year Friday by affixing his signature to two pieces of legislation, the $1.5 trillion Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and a temporary spending bill to keep the government operating.

His first major legislative accomplishment, Mr. Trump told reporters he chose to avid fanfare and sign the tax bill in the Oval Office to coincide with approving the stopgap funding measure.

“I didn’t want you folks to say I wasn’t keeping my promise. I‘m keeping my promise,” Trump remarked as he signed the bills.

The continuing resolution will keep government agencies open for business until Jan. 19, 2018.

Under the new tax law, corporate rates will be reduced from 35 percent to 21 percent and individual rates will be temporarily reduced for most American taxpayers.

The temporary spending bill, however, leaves many major issues, particularly the sticky matter of immigration, for the next Congress to contend with.

Despite GOP plans to attach defense spending and Democratic plans to fasten the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to the temporary spending bill, leaders in both parties quietly retreated and concluded a bill to keep government open.

Eager to avoid a government shutdown, the stopgap bill passed in the House 231–188 and moved relatively easily through the Senate, 66–32.

Under the temporary spending bill, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, community health centers and medical care for veterans were fully funded.  Disaster aid was left out of the bill.

The signing of both pieces of legislation wraps up year one of the Trump White House.  Over the course of 2017, the administration has moved aggressively to dismantle Obama-era regulation, restructure trade agreements, expand domestic oil exploration, enforce immigration law, improve health care for veterans and withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Following the signing, Mr. Trump left the White House for an 11-day vacation to his winter home at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla.

 

[Roll Call] [Washington Examiner] [Photo courtesy AP via Washington Times]