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Speaker Paul Ryan hosts tax bill enrollment ceremony

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, held an enrollment ceremony for the GOP tax bill Thursday morning with other top GOP lawmakers.

This comes a day after Republicans celebrated their tax overhaul victory with President Trump at the White House but also as GOP leaders are under pressure to figure out soon how to keep the government funded.

"We know that America has better days ahead," Ryan said at the ceremony. "This bill taps that potential."

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said he was "so proud" of the leadership by Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky.

"This was a landmark day...and I'm grateful to stand here with these great leaders," Hatch said.

Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming, said, "This is an exciting day for America and for almost every single person in it that works."

Enzi said that companies will receive withholding tables by February 1 and Americans will see a "benefit" in their paychecks starting that month.

The ceremony was held as Congress faces a Friday night deadline to pass a new funding bill and to prevent a shutdown. No votes have been scheduled yet in the House for Thursday.

Here are the details of the final tax agreement, according to highlights from the conference committee:

  • Eliminates penalty under the Affordable Care Act for failing to have health insurance
  • Lowers corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent (higher than the original 20 percent in the House and Senate bills)
  • Reduces top effective marginal tax rate for S corporations to a top rate of 29.6 percent, allowing for a 20 percent tax deduction that applies to the first $315,000 of joint income earned by all S-corporations
  • Eliminates corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT); increases the exemption amount from the AMT for individuals
  • Keeps seven individual tax brackets, although those brackets would change.
  • Continues to exempt the value of tuition waivers from taxes (the GOP had considered counting tuition waivers as income, and thus, taxable.)
  • Increases the refundable portion of the child tax credit to $1,400, thanks to Sen. Marco Rubio's insistence. The overall child tax credit will increase from $1,000 to $2,000.
  • Roughly doubles the standard deduction, from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals, and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples filing jointly
  • Preserves the child adoption tax credit
  • Allows filers to write off the cost of state and local taxes, but only up to $10,000. Filers must choose from among sales, income and property taxes for the deduction, instead of being able to deduct all local taxes.
  • Preserves the mortgage interest deduction for all homeowners with existing mortgages, and for homeowners with new mortgages, the home mortgage interest deduction will be available up to $750,000
  • Preserves the charitable deduction as it is

The GOP claims the bill will mean a $2,059 tax cut for a family of four earning the median family income of $73,000.