- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 20, 2017

President Trump on Wednesday celebrated Congress’ final passage of the GOP tax cut bill with a White House event, saying the political maneuvering to win historic tax cuts was “a lot of fun.”

“It is always a lot of fun when you win,” Mr. Trump said at the outdoor event, surrounded by most of the House and Senate Republicans.

“It’s the largest tax cut in the history of our country, and reform, but the tax cut — really something special,” said the president.

In a jubilant mood, Mr. Trump cracked jokes and called out a handful of lawmakers who were key players in the tax cut effort.

He singled out Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican, who is still receiving for a bad gunshot wound suffered when the House GOP baseball team was attacked at a practice in June.

“He had a rougher year than most of us. That’s a hell of a way to lose weight, Steve,” said Mr. Trump, waving to the lawmaker.

SEE ALSO: House passes $1.5 trillion tax bill — again

Mr. Scalise’s laughter could be heard louder than any others.

The president also touted the legislation for repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate and opening Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) to oil drilling.

Mr. Trump then called up a parade of GOP lawmakers to speak at the White House South Portico.

“I want them to come up and have the glamour and the glory,” he said.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who has worked on tax reform for his entire political career, said Mr. Trump deserved the lion’s share of the credit.

“Something this big, something this generational, something this profound could not have been done without exquisite presidential leadership,” said the Wisconsin Republican. “Thank you Mr. president for getting us over the finish line.”

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican, also praised Mr. Trump.

“You’re one heck of a leader. This bill could not have passed without you,” he said. “Look at all the things that he’s been able to get done, by sheer will in many ways.”

Saying he came from humble beginnings, Mr. Hatch said, “This is one of the great privileges of my life.”

Sen. Tim Scott, South Carolina Republican, whom Mr. Trump called “a friend of mine, a very, very special man,” said the plan will help distressed communities.

“This tax reform plan delivers for the average single mother a 70-percent tax cut,” Mr. Scott said.

“Merry Christmas, America,” said Vice President Mike Pence. “This will be remembered as a pivotal moment in the life of our nation. We made history today.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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