President Trump on Friday signed the Republican tax bill that passed through Congress earlier in the week, just before leaving to spend the Christmas holiday at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
The signing cements the first major legislative accomplishment of his administration, after a tumultuous year that was dominated by coverage of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. And it sets the stage for a major political battle over the tax law that will dominate the 2018 midterm elections.
The law's most significant features are a drastic and permanent reduction in the corporate tax rate and an overhaul of the individual code through 2025 that will reduce rates, double the per child tax credit, nearly double the standard deduction, and limit a number of tax deductions, such as on mortgage interest and state and local taxes.
"Everything in here is really tremendous things for businesses, for people, for the middle class, for workers," Trump said from the Oval Office just before the signing. "And I consider this very much a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs. Corporations are literally going wild over this."
“It will be an incredible Christmas gift for hardworking Americans,” Trump added.
Trump said New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft called him and said that because of the tax bill he's building "a tremendous paper mill."
Given his p also remarked about the lack of formal signing ceremony, suggesting that he wanted to be able to deliver on his promise of signing it before Christmas. "I didn't want you folks to say I wasn't keeping my promise," he told reporters assembled to watch the signing. "We did a rush job today and it wasn't fancy," he admitted, saying his team "expected a formal ceremony in two weeks."
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., also applauded the legislative victory.
“The biggest tax reform in a generation is now the law of the land,” Ryan said in a statement after Trump signed the bill. “As promised, the American people will begin the new year with a new tax code.”
Earlier on Friday, Trump praised large companies and corporations who have announced they will reward employees with higher bonuses and wages, following the passage of the legislation.
“Our big and very popular Tax Cut and Reform Bill has taken on an unexpected new source of “love” - that is big companies and corporations showering their workers with bonuses,” Trump tweeted Friday morning. “This is a phenomenon that nobody even thought of, and now it is the rage. Merry Christmas!”
Our big and very popular Tax Cut and Reform Bill has taken on an unexpected new source of “love” - that is big companies and corporations showering their workers with bonuses. This is a phenomenon that nobody even thought of, and now it is the rage. Merry Christmas!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2017
Companies such as Wells Fargo, Boeing, Fifth Third Bancorp, Comcast, among others, revealed they would grant additional investments to their employees because of the tax reform legislation.
Trump also signed a short-term funding measure to keep the government open until Jan. 19.
Trump departed the White House after the signing and is expected to arrive in Palm Beach, Fla. in the early afternoon.
The Town of Palm Beach announced road closures would begin tentatively at 4 a.m. on Friday, according to the Palm Beach Post. Additionally, the Federal Aviation Administration sent out an alert to pilots concerning VIP travel surrounding Palm Beach, starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Trump spent the Thanksgiving holiday at the Mar-a-Lago.