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House Republicans Hold Off Govt Shutdown Till Mid-January

12-22-2017
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CAPITOL HILL - House Republicans passed a temporary spending bill to avert a government shutdown Thursday. The bill will keep federal agencies running through January 19th. 

The legislation passed 231-188 and passed in the Senate on a 66-32 vote.

The bill extends funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program through March and a three-week extension of the FISA surveillance program.

Soon after passing the bill, the House also passed an $81 billion disaster aid bill to help hurricane recovery in Texas, Puerto Rico, Florida, and the US Virgin Islands. The aid bill will also help those affected by the California wildfire. 

This also falls on the heels of a historic tax reform bill. 

More take-home pay will soon hit the paychecks of millions of American workers. It's just a presidential signature away now that both houses of Congress passed the tax reform legislation.

Republican lawmakers' spirits are high after they successfully handed President Trump his biggest legislative victory to date with overhauling the tax code. 

MORE: Calculate Your Tax Cut Savings

"Hasn't been done in 34 years, but actually hasn't been done because we broke every record," Trump said.  "It's the largest I always say the most massive. The largest tax cut in the history of our country and reform but a tax cut."

After Wednesday's House approval, GOP lawmakers loaded into buses and headed to the White House for a tax reform victory party. 

"This is the kind of relief American's deserve," said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R - WI.  "This is the kind of tax reform and tax cuts that get our economy growing to reach its potential."
 
Republicans like U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, R - N.C., believe this bill will lead to historic economic growth.

"I think it will be transformational much as it was in 1986 with the Reagan tax cuts," he said.  "We saw enormous growth in jobs, as well as an increase in wages."

Many in the corporate world agree. AT&T and Boeing will give employee bonuses to celebrate the corporate tax rate falling from 35 to 21 percent. 

However, Democrats argue only the rich will benefit.  

"The naysayers are always there, they were there with the Reagan cuts," he explained.  "At the time of the Reagan cuts, only 18% of the people believed they were getting a cut. Most of the rest of them believed they were getting a tax increase. That's the kind of misinformation that's out there in the marketplace.

The congressman from North Carolina believes Americans will see the benefits starting in February.

"An average family that makes $70,000 a year, they're going to get about a $2,000 tax cut out of this directly back to their pocket," he said. 

The bill still needs President Trump's signature and the president may not sign it until early January.  Any new law that increases the deficit requires automatic spending cuts.  

Republicans hope to wave that rule before the end of the year.  If not, Trump would sign it in 2018, which would give the GOP another year to figure out how to avoid the automatic cuts.

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