President Trump signed into law a $1.5 trillion tax overhaul package he called a "bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs" on Friday.
Corporations, Trump said, "are literally going wild" about the reductions in the business tax rate.
Trump said media coverage spurred him to move up a signing ceremony planned for early next year.
"I didn't want you folks to say I wasn't keeping my promise" to sign the bill by the holidays, he said. "Every one of the networks was saying 'Will he keep his promise? Will he sign it by Christmas?'"
So Trump said he told his staff: "Get it ready, we have to sign it now."
Trump touted the $4 billion in spending for missile defense that is included in a separate stopgap measure to keep the government open until January 19. "Our military's been doing a fantastic job in so many ways," he said.
Trump also challenged Democrats to work with him on an infrastructure package after his first major legislative achievement for the year, a massive tax package, passed along party lines.
"The Democrats very much regret it. They wanted to be a part of it," Trump said. "But I really do believe we're going to have a lot of bipartisan work done... I really believe infrastructure can be bipartisan."
He predicted infrastructure would pass easily with support on the left. "People want it, Republicans and Democrats," he said. "I actually wanted to save the easy one for the one down the road."
At some point, and for the good of the country, I predict we will start working with the Democrats in a Bipartisan fashion. Infrastructure would be a perfect place to start. After having foolishly spent $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is time to start rebuilding our country!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2017
On Wednesday, Trump declared victory after Republicans in Congress passed a tax bill that will affect almost every American household. Republicans are predicting the package – consisting of a permanent rate reduction for corporations and temporary tax cuts for individuals – will spur further growth and business investment.
He is departing to his Mar-a-Lago Florida estate for the holiday season.
Democrats say the bill, estimated to add to the national debt by more than a $1 trillion over the next decade, leaves the U.S. with few options for addressing major priorities, including struggling public schools, increasing mortality due to an opioid crisis and social safety net programs– let alone a major infrastructure package.
Previously, Democrats and some Republicans had floated the idea of using repatriated corporate profits, or earnings brought back from overseas, to upgrade the nation's crumbling roads and dilapidated mass transit systems. Yet the tax package Trump is about to sign allows corporations to repatriate an estimated $3 trillion in overseas cash – but applied that expected windfall to offset lower tax rates.
According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the largest cuts as a share of income in the overall tax plan will go to taxpayers in the 95th to 99th percentiles of all earners. In 2018, taxes would be reduced by about $1,600 on average.
Further straining the national purse, Congress just approved emergency disaster aid bills totaling $15 billion in September, $36.5 billion in October, and this week is arguing over adding another $81 billion to address California wildfires and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Barring any last minute decision to pay for it, that spending will be added to the 2018 deficit.
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