WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump signed a sweeping tax overhaul bill into law in the Oval Office Friday morning, as well as a spending bill to keep the government open through mid-January.
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Congress this week passed a tax bill that represents the most far-reaching overhaul of the U.S. tax system in decades, reducing the corporate tax rate to its lowest point since 1939 and cutting individual taxes for most households next year.
"This is the bill right here, we're very proud of it... I consider this very much a bill for the middle class, and for jobs. Corporations are literally going wild for his," Mr. Trump added. He held up a page of the bill to show off his signature.
The White House on Wednesday had staged a larger event to mark the passage of the tax bill on the South Portico, where Republican lawmakers and the president congratulated each other on their victory.
On Friday, Mr. Trump was watched by a small group of reporters and photographers. He had been initially scheduled to leave for his Florida vacation at 10 a.m., but that was pushed back to 11 a.m. to make time for the bill signings.
"I was going to wait for a formal signing in early January," Mr. Trump said. But he had seen television network coverage Friday morning suggesting he might not keep his promise of signing the tax bill before Christmas.
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As a result, "I called downstairs and said 'get it ready,' " he said. "We did a rush job today... it's not fancy, but it's the Oval Office."
Mr. Trump also signed the spending bill that cleared the House and Senate Thursday night. In his tweet announcing the bill signing he said he would "also be signing a much needed 4 billion dollar missile defense bill," which appears to be a reference to an item included in that spending bill. He made similar remarks as he signed it, focusing primarily on the continuing resolution's defense portions.
The spending bill included $4.7 billion in emergency funding requested by the administration for missile defense, including $700 million to repair two damaged antimissile-capable U.S. Navy warships. The funds are intended to help pay for the repairs of the USS John S. McCain and USS Fitzgerald, two ships that were damaged in collisions this year.
That spending bill extends government funding into mid-January and averts a shutdown this weekend.
--Kristina Peterson contributed to this article.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 22, 2017 11:37 ET (16:37 GMT)