WASHINGTON (CN) – Republicans celebrated the passage of their $1.5 trillion tax cut at the White House on Wednesday, hours after the House approved the final version of the agreement.
“It’s always a lot of fun when you win,” President Donald Trump said at the White House Wednesday. “If you work hard and lose, that’s not acceptable.”
The tax bill is the first major piece of legislation Republicans have passed since Trump took office, though the president has not yet signed the bill into law. Unlike a celebration Republicans held at the White House following the House passage of the GOP’s repeal of the federal health care law, Wednesday’s meeting comes as Republicans accomplish a major campaign promise.
“What this represents is a promise that each and every one of us made to the American people last year is a promise that is kept today,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday.
The bill has polled poorly, with a CNN poll released Tuesday finding 55 percent of adults oppose the plan. This unpopularity has led Democrats to warn Republicans that the bill could sink their electoral chances in November much as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act did to Democrats in 2010.
“Let me be clear, this tax bill will be an anchor around the ankles of every Republican,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters on Tuesday. “They haven’t learned it yet, they’re going to learn it this November. Republicans will rue the day they passed this bill, the American people will never let them forget it.”
But Republicans remain outwardly confident that public opinion on the bill will swing back in their favor and began the effort to building up the bill’s popularity at the White House on Wednesday.
“This is a plan that we can all be proud of because it speaks to the hearts of everyday Americans,” Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. said at the White House.
The Tax Policy Center on Monday released an analysis that found 80 percent of people, including 90 percent of the middle class, would pay less in taxes in 2018 under the plan. The report also found that though the average person would see a $1,600 tax cut, people in the top 1 percent of earners would get a $50,000 tax break, with middle-income earners receiving $900.