SALT LAKE CITY — President Donald Trump tweeted congratulations to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, after the passage of the Republican tax bill early Saturday.
The Republican leaders touted the hard-fought battle, saying it would boost America's prosperity.
"This is a great achievement of something that will literally help millions and millions of young people in our society and our society as a whole," Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said during a 2 a.m. press conference. He called the passage of the bill "historic."
Tax cuts — a move that hasn't been accomplished by Congress in about 30 years — were vigorously opposed by Democrats. Critics claim the tax cuts favor the wealthy, though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, refutes that. He said the stimulus to the economy will help offset the tax law's $1.5-trillion increase to the deficit.
"I do believe this is a revenue-neutral bill," McConnell said, adding that he's "confident it will be revenue-producing."
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, nodded in agreement.
"Utah families are the biggest winners tonight, thanks to doubling of the child tax credit to $2,000," Lee said. "I wish we could have done more for working families by making that credit refundable, but we did lay the groundwork for future pro-family tax reform and I am confident we will get there soon."
Hatch said Senate Republicans made history by passing the bill that "will deliver more income, more jobs, higher wages and more opportunity for all Americans."
"The measure also takes a critical step forward in improving our nation's flawed and unworkable health care system," he said. "By effectively repealing the regressive Obamacare individual mandate tax, we are putting Americans in charge of their health care and giving them the freedom to choose the best coverage for themselves and their families."
Trump tweeted a "special thanks" to Hatch and McConnell "for shepherding our bill through the Senate." He said he looks forward to signing a bill before Christmas.
The Senate will now enter into negotiations with the U.S. House to reconcile the two versions of tax reform that were passed.47 comments on this story
Hatch, who has directed multiple hearings and overseen many drafts of the bill, thanked his fellow senators for the votes and their hard work.
"It reflects a shared desire to produce a tax system that is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-family and will move our country forward to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st Century," he said.
"A vote to cut taxes is a vote to put America first," Trump said. "It is time to take care of our workers, to protect our communities and to rebuild our great country."