The Latest: Trump defends tax cuts from ‘Fake News’

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The Latest: Trump defends tax cuts from ‘Fake News’
The Latest: Trump defends tax cuts from ‘Fake News’

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on Congress and sweeping tax cut legislation (all times local):

9:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump says the “Fake News” media is “working overtime” to “only demean” tax cuts he’s long said will be the biggest in history.

Trump tweeted Wednesday: “The Tax Cuts are so large and so meaningful, and yet the Fake News is working overtime to follow the lead of their friends, the defeated Dems, and only demean. This is truly a case where the results will speak for themselves, starting very soon. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!”

Democrats have criticized the package as a giveaway to corporations and the rich. Republicans argue it will spur economic growth and create jobs.

The Republican-controlled Senate narrowly passed the bill on a party line 51-58 vote after midnight. The House must vote a second time Wednesday due to procedural issues.

Trump plans a White House event with lawmakers following the House action.

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9:40 a.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump will hold an event with lawmakers after the expected passage of a sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax laws.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump will take part in a “bill passage event” at the White House with members of the House and Senate at 3 p.m.

Sanders said it would not be a signing event. She said “the bill would still need to be enrolled and that will happen at a later date.”

The president is eager to claim his first major legislative victory. The Senate narrowly passed the legislation on a party-line 51-48 vote after midnight. The House must vote a second time on Wednesday due to procedural issues.

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7:15 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is acknowledging “nobody knows” if the sweeping tax cuts Congress is enacting will produce enough economic growth to fend off soaring federal deficits.

Making the rounds of morning television news shows, the Wisconsin Republican known as a deficit hawk suggested it’s a risk that Republicans are willing to take. He tells NBC’s “Today” show America hasn’t had a 3 percent annual growth rate since the Great Recession of 2008.

“What we’re trying to do here is give relief to hard-working families,” Ryan says. “We need fast economic growth. We need help for people living paycheck to paycheck.”He says the aim of the $1.5 trillion tax cut is to keep businesses in the United States, saying the relocations overseas “is a trend that has to be reversed.”

Asked about estimates that the tax cut could add $1.46 trillion to the national debt over 10 years, he replied, “Nobody knows the answer to that question.”

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3:50 a.m.

Jubilant Republicans pushed on early Wednesday to the verge of the most sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax laws in more than three decades, a deeply unpopular bill they insist Americans will learn to love when they see their paychecks in the new year. President Donald Trump cheered the lawmakers on, eager to claim his first major legislative victory.

After midnight, the Senate narrowly passed the legislation on a party-line 51-48 vote. Protesters interrupted with chants of “kill the bill, don’t kill us” and Vice President Mike Pence repeatedly called for order. Upon passage, Republicans cheered, with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin among them.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., insisted Americans would respond positively to the tax bill.

“If we can’t sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work,” he said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., center, leaves the House Chamber after voting on the Republican tax bill, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republicans muscled the most sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax laws in more than three decades through the House. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., joined at right by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, meets reporters just after passing the Republican tax reform bill in the House of Representatives, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. The vote, largely along party lines, was 227-203 and capped a GOP sprint to deliver a major legislative accomplishment to President Donald Trump after a year of congressional stumbles. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
From left, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., chair of the Republican Conference, prepare to speak to reporters after passing the GOP tax reform bill in the House of Representatives, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. Republicans muscled the most sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax laws in more than three decades through the House. In a last-minute glitch, however, Democrats said three provisions in the bill, including one that would allow parents to use college savings accounts for home-schooling expenses for young children, violate Senate budget rules. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said the House would vote on the package again on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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