Flanked by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Rep. Kevin Brady, President Donald Trump speaks about tax reform legislation in the Cabinet Room at the White House. (Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS (CNN/KMOV) -- House Republicans unveiled their new tax bill Thursday, but it's already encountering some reservations from rank-and-file members.
House Speaker Paul Ryan described the proposal, which lowers the number of tax brackets from seven to four and increases the standard deduction, as a series of tax cuts and breaks aimed at helping most Americans.
"It's very clear and obvious that the whole purpose of this is a middle-class tax cut," Ryan said in an interview with CNN's Phil Mattingly, shortly after the bill was made public. "And more to the point, we need to get faster economic growth."
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said during the news conference that the tax bill "has President Trump's full support."
The President issued a statement applauding the bill's release but added "there is much work left to do." Trump later told reporters in the Oval Office that a tax reform bill will be done "before Christmas," calling it "one of the great Christmas presents."
However, not all Republicans were happy. Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York tweeted that he planned to vote no on the bill in its current form, citing the proposal's elimination of the deduction for state and local taxes, also known as SALT.
Below, St. Louis-area elected officials' opinions on the bill will be posted as we get them.
Rep. Lacy Clay
Sen. Dick Durbin
"This plan gives massive tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest individuals while middle class families are left behind. It is based on the mistaken belief that cutting taxes for the wealthiest will benefit everybody else—an assumption that has been proven false each and every time it’s been tested. Eliminating state and local tax deductions will hit Illinois hard—resulting in double taxation for a third of the families in our state."
Rep. Mike Bost
“Southern Illinois’ middle-class families deserve a break. We need more jobs, higher take-home pay, and greater opportunity to get ahead. That’s why we went to work on a plan that simplifies the code and gives average working families a $1,200 tax cut. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act gives you the breathing room you need to save for college, help raise a family, or prepare for a rainy day. When given the chance, I have no doubt you’ll keep a closer eye on your hard-earned dollars than any Washington bureaucrat ever will.”
Rep. Rodney Davis
“There are no two ways about it, the bill released today will allow average middle-income families to keep more of what they earn,” said Davis. “By improving areas of the tax code most utilized by the middle-class, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act turns our tax code from one that only works for a select few, to one that benefits the majority of working Americans. In the coming days and weeks, members from both chambers and both sides of the aisle will have an opportunity to give their input and ensure we end up with the best possible bill for our country’s economy and the people we represent. We have an opportunity to change the lives of working Americans for the better and I hope Democrats will help us do that.”