Republicans were lighting cigars and popping champagne corks (metaphorically, of course) on the south lawn of the White House Wednesday as they celebrated the passage of their tax bill, the most significant overhaul of the tax code in 31 years and a massive political victory for a party that for much of this year seemed to be in turmoil.
Reactions to the tax bill’s passage ranged from jubilation to despair, following fairly predictable partisan lines. Here are some of the more colorful statements about the bill from across the political spectrum:
1. President Trump stuck it to his critics Thursday morning: “The Massive Tax Cuts, which the Fake News Media is desperate to write badly about so as to please their Democrat bosses, will soon be kicking in and will speak for themselves. Companies are already making big payments to workers. Dems want to raise taxes, hate these big Cuts!”
2. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed confidence this will provide an election year boost: “From a Republican point of view, this is as good as it gets and we’re more than happy to take our argument [for the tax bill] to the American people in an election contest.” After the bill passed, McConnell quipped, “If we can’t sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work.”
3. Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson said Republicans are heading for the rocks: “Calling this thing a win because Republicans finally got something done is like saying the captain of the Titanic won when he successfully found that reclusive iceberg.”
4. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the tax plan “probably the worst bill in recent time to come to the floor.”
5. HUD Secretary Ben Carson offered a prayer of thanks at the cabinet meeting Wednesday: “Our kind Father in heaven, we're so thankful for the opportunities and the freedom that you've granted us in this country. We thank you for the president and for Cabinet members who are courageous, who are willing to face the winds of controversy in order to provide a better future for those who come behind us. We're thankful for the unity in Congress, that presented an opportunity for our economy to expand, so we can fight the corrosive debt that has been destroying our future. And we hope that that unity will spread even beyond party lines, so that people recognize we have a nation that is worth saving. And nations divided against themselves cannot stand. In this time of discord, distrust and dishonesty, we ask that you will give us a spirit of gratitude, compassion and common sense. And give us the wisdom to be able to guide this great nation in the future. We ask in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.”
6. Novelist Stephen King made it clear that he is no fan of the legislation, tweeting: “The ‘tax cut bill’ is basically a little piece of candy on a long, shit-coated stick.”
7. Sen. John Tester echoed King’s earthy sentiment: “We just passed one of the shittiest bills that’s ever come in front of the Senate last night… so you know the country’s seen better days."
8. Sen. Orrin Hatch was effusive in his praise for Trump: "I have to say that you’re living up to everything I thought you would. You’re one heck of a leader, and we’re all benefitting from it. This bill could not have passed without you. ... If you stop and think about it, this president hasn’t even been in office for a year, and look at all the things that he’s been able to get done — by sheer will, in many ways. I just hope that we all get behind him every way we can, and we’ll get this country turned around in ways that will benefit the whole world, but, above all, benefit our people. … And I have to say, that this is one of the great privileges of my life to stand here on the White House lawn with the president of the United States, who I love and appreciate so much, and with these wonderful colleagues and Cabinet members who stand behind us. … And we’re going to keep fighting, and we’re going to make this the greatest presidency that we’ve seen, not only in generations, but maybe ever."