In a move that puts congressional Republicans one step closer to making their long-standing dream of delivering massive tax cuts to the ultra-rich a reality, the House on Tuesday voted by a margin of 227-203 to approve a GOP-crafted tax bill that one advocacy group could only describe as “morally corrupt, cruel, and barbaric.”

Republicans are “robbing the American people and showing no remorse.”
—Rep. Pramila Jayapal

“This tax giveaway to corporations and the wealthy is icing on the cake after a long, well-funded, and strategic effort to undermine democratic processes and force our nation’s institutions to represent the will of the elite few above anyone and anything else,” Alan Essig, executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, said in a statement on Tuesday. “Lawmakers will surely turn the passage of this bill into a dog and pony show, but they should be ashamed.”

If Republicans are ashamed of their support for a bill that will send the vast majority of its benefits to the wealthiest Americans and the most profitable corporations, they did a good job of concealing it. Asked if he is worried about the tax bill’s historic unpopularity in a press conference after the vote, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)—who could hardly contain his glee as he read off the final vote tally—responded that he has “no concerns whatsoever.”

This lack of concern for public opinion was on display when Ryan smiled politely as a protester shouted “liar!” during his final speech in the House chamber. Ryan was one of several members of Congress who was interrupted by demonstrators looking to register their last shouts of dissent against a bill that nonpartisan analysts have said would raise taxes on millions of low-income and middle class Americans.

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