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It’s Official: The Tax Bill Has Passed Congress

Paul Ryan at the Capitol on Tuesday.
Paul Ryan at the Capitol on Tuesday. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

After passing the House on Tuesday, the Republican tax bill had to be slightly altered before passing the Senate in order to conform with budget reconciliation rules. That means it had to then go back to the House in its new form, and on Wednesday at about 1 p.m. the House officially passed the final bill. How quickly Donald Trump signs it is still up in the air because of another technical detail: The bill increases the federal deficit, which means it will automatically trigger “pay-as-you-go” spending cuts in 2018 if it’s signed before Jan. 1. Republican leaders in Congress will attempt to waive those rules; if they’re unsuccessful, Trump will wait until after the new year to sign the bill so that the automatic cuts don’t take place until 2019.

And then, once that’s done, the GOP’s daunting job of trying to convince the American public not to hate the bill will really get underway in earnest. (One thing working in Republicans’ favor: Its cuts are front-loaded, so people will start seeing more money in their paychecks as soon as February. You can see how your household is likely be affected using the New York Times’ calculator here.)

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