Donald Trump hails 'historic victory' on tax reform

President Donald Trump speaks during an event marking the passage of the Republican tax bill at the White House in Washington, Dec 20, 2017. PHOTO: NYTIMES
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WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Donald Trump on Wednesday (Dec 20) hailed the imminent adoption of a sweeping Republican tax cut plan as a "historic victory" for the American people.

The US leader stood on Wednesday on the brink of his first major legislative win, with lawmakers poised to give final approval to the most sweeping tax cuts in a generation.

"We had a historic victory for the American people," Trump told reporters in a celebratory address from the White House Cabinet Room.

"We got it done," he added, thanking the Republican leaders in Congress, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, by name. "We have a tremendous amount of talent."

After concluding his remarks, Trump invited his Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to say a prayer for the assembled reporters and Cabinet members - during which Carson notably cited concerns about the national debt.

Eyeing the most important legislative victory in the 11 months since his inauguration - after the stinging failure to repeal his predecessor's health-care law - Trump has demanded the Bill reach his desk by Christmas.

The Senate passed the Republican Bill in the wee hours and the House - which already approved it on Tuesday - was scheduled for a technical re-vote on the US$1.5 trillion (S$2 trillion) due to a procedural snag.

The deepest rewrite of the US tax code in three decades provides dramatic tax breaks to corporations, and families at all income levels will see their tax drop - in what Republicans hope will play to their advantage in next year's mid-term elections.

The tax plan also takes a key step towards dismantling Barack Obama's health reforms, by scrapping the individual mandate that requires nearly all Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine.

"We have essentially repealed Obamacare and we will come up with something much better," Trump declared.

Earlier, Trump had tweeted out his praise for Senate Majority leader McConnell, congratulating him on a "fantastic job both strategically & politically on the passing in the Senate of the MASSIVE TAX CUT & Reform Bill."

"I could have not asked for a better or more talented partner. Our team will go onto many more VICTORIES!"

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