A New Tax Law

January 12, 2018
BIG CHANGES President Trump announces the passage of the tax bill on December 20, 2017.
ALEX EDELMAN—PICTURE-ALLIANCE/DPA/AP IMAGES

On December 22, President Donald Trump signed a new $1.5 trillion tax bill into law. The law went into effect on January 1. It is the biggest change to U.S. tax law since 1986. At a signing ceremony in the Oval Office, Trump called the bill “something I’m very proud of.”

The tax plan is Trump’s first major legislative achievement since taking office in January 2017. On December 20, the Senate approved the bill in a vote of 51 to 48. The House of Representatives passed the bill 224 to 201. No Democratic members of Congress voted to approve the bill.

“This is change that is going to put our country on the right path,” said Paul Ryan. He is the Speaker of the House.

The new tax plan delivers big tax cuts for corporations. Republicans say businesses that pay less in taxes will invest in new equipment and hire more workers. This will make businesses more competitive and improve the nation’s economy.

Critics say the law gives the greatest benefits to the wealthy. It is “simply theft—monumental, brazen theft from the American middle class and from every person who aspires to reach 
[the middle class],” said Nancy Pelosi. She is the House minority leader.

But the president is hopeful about the plan. “A lot of things are going to be happening in the U.S.A.,” he said before signing the bill. “It’s going to be a tremendous thing for the American people.”