Trump signs sweeping tax overhaul, sealing major victory

Trump this week celebrated his first major legislative victory since taking office a year ago as the US Congress passed a massive Republican tax cut plan. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Washington, DC, United States Dec 22, 2017, 05.03 PM (IST)

US President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law a sweeping overhaul of the US tax code, two days after the Republican plan was adopted by Congress in a major political victory.

Trump signed the bill shortly before departing for a year-end break at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, pulling forward a formal signing initially planned for January.

"I watched the news this morning and they were all saying, will he keep his promise, will he sign it by Christmas?" Trump told reporters gathered in the Oval Office.

"And I called downstairs and said 'Get it ready, we have to sign it now.'"

Trump this week celebrated his first major legislative victory since taking office a year ago as the US Congress passed a massive Republican tax cut plan.

The $1.5 trillion overhaul will impact every corner of the US economy through dramatic tax cuts for corporations and temporary reductions for individuals.

"As you know, $3.2 trillion in tax cuts for American families," Trump said. "And they're going to start to see that because we're signing today."

"We're going to bring back probably $4 trillion from overseas," he said. "Corporations are literally going wild over this." 

"This is something that Republicans wanted for years and Democrats wanted for years and yet it never got done. Now it's being done."

Trump departed the White House right after the signing ceremony for what he told reporters would be a working holiday.

"We'll be working in Florida, I'll be working very hard during that Christmas because we have many things we're talking about, including North Korea, including a lot of things happening in the Middle East as you know."

The US leader also signed into law a short-term funding bill that will keep the federal government running until January 19, averting a looming shutdown.

The temporary funding extension gives more time to lawmakers from both parties to reach an agreement on funding for the remainder of the 2018 fiscal year, which ends September 30. 

The bill adopted by Congress on Thursday also unlocks four billion dollars to build a new missile base in Alaska, and to repair US Navy ships damaged in recent accidents.