- Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
- President Donald Trump signed the Republican tax bill on Friday.
- It’s the first major legislation he has enacted.
President Donald Trump enacted the Republican tax bill on Friday before departing the White House for his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
The signing marked the culmination of Trump’s first major legislative achievement as president nearly one year into his first term. The bill overhauls the tax code for individuals and businesses, eliminates the Affordable Care Act’s so-called individual mandate, and opens parts of Alaska up to oil drilling.
Trump praised companies such as Boeing, Wells Fargo, and Comcast, which have pledged to offer employees bonuses and, in some cases, increased wages after the tax bill passed – though Trump also noted that Comcast contains NBC, which he complained had not provided him favorable coverage.
The president wanted the press to note that he signed the bill before Christmas, which he had pledged to do.
“I didn’t want you folks to say I wasn’t keeping my promise,” he said. “We did a rush job today, and it wasn’t fancy.”
Trump also mentioned a phone call he had with Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, who, Trump said, was thrilled about the legislation and pledged to open a new manufacturing plant in North Carolina.
Trump expressed dismay with the news media for saying the tax package was his first legislative achievement, nothing that he enacted laws related to veterans earlier this year.
But he described the tax bill as “the capper” and “the biggest reform of all time.” He also offered to give the pens he used to sign the legislation to members of the media assembled in the Oval Office.
Many have criticized the bill, which only Republicans voted for in each chamber, as being overwhelmingly a tax break for the wealthy. Polling has found that the legislation is unpopular with the majority of Americans.