By Anthony Jackson
WASHINGTON – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slammed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act minutes before the House was called to vote.
“House Republicans will have to decide whether they will chain themselves to this poisonous middle-class tax hike … that is dead-on-arrival in the Senate,” she said at a Thursday news conference.
“The American people are watching, and the American people will hold the Republicans accountable for their decisions, for this tax scam.”
But later the lower chamber approved the measure in a 227-205 vote. All the House Democrats as well as 13 Republicans voted against it.
Earlier in the day, Republican and Democrat representatives scrambled to rally opposition to the legislation..
New York Republican Reps. Peter King, Lee Zeldin, Dan Donovan and John Faso held a news conference opposing the bill. Their reason: the elimination of the state and local tax deduction.
Donovan told reporters Thursday morning that Republicans are voting “no” for different reasons.
“You may have some conservative members who are looking at this and say, ‘this doesn’t affect my state, but this is wrong,’ ” he said.
Later in the day, President Donald Trump visited Capitol Hill to rally House Republicans to back the tax reform bill.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-Penn.) told TMN that he expects to see “220 votes or more in the House” in favor of the bill. He added that getting it through the Senate will be the hardest part, but that the legislation will bring jobs and companies back to the U.S.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that he is “optimistic that inserting the individual mandate repeal would be helpful” in passing the Senate tax reform bill. Repealing the mandate will leave 13 million Americans uninsured but save more than $300 billion in ten-years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan research and policy institute, found that the Republican tax plan would add almost $1.5 trillion to the deficit and is expected to “drive the ultimate cost even higher.”
The House version of the bill would permanently lower the corporate tax rate from 39 percent to 20 percent.
The estate tax would be eliminated, and state and local tax deductions would be capped at $10,000.
The bill would consolidate seven tax brackets into four, end the alternative minimum tax and double the standard deduction and child tax credit in addition to slashing mortgage interest deductions by half.
The Senate version of the tax reform bill would eliminate the state and local tax deductions, and include language that would repeal the Obamacare individual mandate.
Andres Del Aguila contributed to this report.