Lawmakers offer opposing views as ‘historic’ tax cut plan moves through Congress

House Republicans overwhelmingly voted Tuesday to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a historic and sweeping tax cut bill that promises to bring tax relief to Americans.

The House passed the bill on a 227-203 vote. It will be the biggest overhaul of the tax code in more than 30 years.

“Today, I voted to end the era of Washington’s broken tax code punishing taxpayers. This bill allows Americans to keep more money in their pockets, ends lobbyist loopholes and special-interest exemptions, and makes everyone play by the same rules,” said U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, a Republican who represents The Villages.

Webster said the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will double the standard deduction to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married couples, increase the child tax credit to $2000, preserve the mortgage interest deduction, and expands the medical expense deduction and the savings vehicles for education.

“More than 80 percent of filers in Florida’s congressional district 11 claim the standard deduction each year, thus the vast majority of my constituents will keep twice as much money without doing anything different. Combined with lower tax rates for income above the newly raised standard deduction, Florida’s 11th District stands to be among the biggest winners in the nation,” Webster said.

However, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, had a very different take on the legislation.

“There are many reasons to vote against the tax bill,” Nelson said. “It ought to be enough that $1.5 trillion are borrowed in order to finance a huge tax cut for multinational corporations … And it ought to be enough that there are just crumbs for the hardworking middle-class families. But there’s more.”

Nelson says a provision in the GOP tax bill that doubles the child tax credit for Americans living on the mainland, but not for families living in Puerto Rico, is just one more reason why the Senate should vote against the GOP plan.  

“What was given to American mainlanders, an increase in the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per child … to help poor working families with children, was not given to Puerto Rico,” Nelson said. “That doesn’t make sense. And it’s just another reason of why we should vote against the tax bill.”

Here’s a link to vide of Nelson’s remarks on the Senate floor: https://youtu.be/7xyML-Gdz8Q

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