President Donald Trump has called his fellow Republicans “unbeatable” as he revels in the passage through the Senate of a sweeping tax reform bill which should secure his first major legislative victory since entering office.
In a 51-49 pre-dawn vote, Republicans approved a measure that Mr Trump claimed was “the largest tax cut in the history of our country”, but will seemingly benefit the wealthiest Americans most and would also add $1 trillion to the national debt over 10 years.
Calling it “one of the big nights”, Mr Trump swept into New York for a number of political fundraising events delighted at the thought of the largest changes to tax laws since the 1980s. As he left the White House he praised the Senate for passing “tremendous tax reform” and said that “people are going to be very, very happy”.
The legislation now goes to the House-Senate committee to reconcile the differing bills the House and the Senate passed, before landing on the president’s desk to sign – but Mr Trump appeared unfazed. “Something beautiful is going to come out of that mixer,” he said.
“Right now unless they have somebody that we don’t know about, right now we’re unbeatable. We’re unbeatable,” Mr Trump said. “And one of the reasons is what’s happening with the markets, what’s happening with business, what’s happening with jobs.”
He made clear that voting against tax cuts would create a problem for Democrats in next year’s mid-term elections.
Speaking at a fundraising event at New York restaurant Cipriani, Mr Trump said: “We got no Democrat help and I think that’s going to cost them very big in the election because basically they voted against tax cuts. And I don’t think politically it’s good to vote against tax cuts.”
On the way to the event, Mr Trump’s motorcade drove past several hundred protesters decrying the make-up of the tax bill.
Over the previous 24 hours, multiple last-minute alterations were made to the legislation to win support from sceptical Republicans.
“There are changes apparently worth billions and billions of dollars…” said Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, who took to the Senate floor several times throughout the day to criticise the bill and the process being used to pass it.
The final text of the bill was not released until a few hours before the vote, with Democrats angry at the speed of the passage of the bill.
“The American people have a right to know the tax policy being made in the dark,” Mr…