WASHINGTON – The speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, said the tax bill his chamber released on Thursday was historic and would save the typical American family of four $1,182 a year.
“We’re making things so simple that you can do your taxes on a form the size of a postcard,” Ryan said in a press conference on Capitol Hill to unveil the House bill, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”
He said the plan, which includes significant tax cuts for businesses and workers, would allow the typical American family of four to save $1,182 per year.
That figure is far below an initial forecast by the White House, which had said the plan would enable the average family to save $4,000 annually.
The plan’s author, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, said for his part that the idea was to offer relief to workers and employers alike.
“That’s your money,” the Texas Republican told reporters. “You earned it. You deserve to keep it.”
The plan, which the White House outlined in September, will cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent and also reduce the number of individual tax brackets from six to four: 12 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent and 39.6 percent.
Among other things, the bill would double the standard deduction to $12,000 for individual filers and $24,000 for married couples.
The 25 percent rate applies to taxable income ranging from $45,000 to $200,000 in the case of single filers and $90,000 to $260,000 in case of joint married filers.
In the 12 percent bracket, the rate applies to single filers with between $12,000 and $45,000 in taxable income and to married filers with between $24,000 and $90,000 in taxable income.
Although Republican lawmakers are united in their support for tax cuts, the plan faces hurdles due to opposition from most Democrats and because GOP deficit hawks are wary about legislation that would increase the budget deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade.
On Tuesday, Trump said he wanted the tax bill on his desk by Christmas or even earlier, saying that anticipated signing ceremony would be “the biggest tax event in the history of our country.”
The president wants the House to pass a tax overhaul before Thanksgiving so the Senate has time to approve it before Christmas Day.