US President Donald Trump [official profile] signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act [HR 1 materials] into law on Friday, making sweeping changes to US tax rates, exemptions and deductions.
At the signing ceremony, Trump touted [text] what he sees as the law’s promise, including providing incentives to business to invest in capital projects, increasing take-home pay for American workers and protecting “the family farmers and small-business owners who lost their business because of the estate tax.” Regarding the provision reducing the individual mandate penalty of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [materials] from $695 to $0, Trump said
Essentially, I think it ultimately leads to the end of Obamacare. Essentially, I think Obamacare is over because of that, and we’re going to come up with something that’s really going to be very good.But the individual mandate was very unfair because you’re basically saying, pay for something in order not to have to get healthcare. So you’re paying — you’re paying not to have to have healthcare. It was very unfair. Many people thought it should have been overturned in the Supreme Court. It didn’t quite make it. Almost — but didn’t quite make it. But now we’re overturning the individual mandate, the most unpopular thing in Obamacare. Very, very unfair.
Trump’s conclusion on the effect of the law is that it is “going to be a tremendous thing for the American people. It’s going to be fantastic for the economy.”
The bill was approved [JURIST report] first by the House of Representatives [official website] on Tuesday. The Senate [official website] followed suit in the very early morning hours on Wednesday, although the version that passed the Senate was slightly different from the House version thanks to the removal [JURIST reports] of three provisions by the Senate Parliamentarian. This procedural hurdle meant that the bill once again needed approval from the House, which it gave Wednesday afternoon [JURIST report].
For a summary of the bill’s provisions, please see our earlier coverage [JURIST report].