• On December 6, Trump declared that the United States would acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He also announced that the U.S. would move its embassy to Jerusalem. The announcement reversed decades of U.S. foreign policy and threatens progress toward a two-state solution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Israelis and Palestinians have both claimed Jerusalem their capital, and previous U.S. policy has been that the status of Jerusalem should be decided by negotiation between the Israelis and the Palestinians as part of a larger two-state solution to the conflict. In response to Trump’s announcement, on December 21, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly (128 to 9) to approve a non-binding resolution calling on all nations to refrain from locating their embassies in Jerusalem.
  • On December 22, Trump signed a tax cut bill crafted by Republicans and passed in Congress on a party line vote. “It’s going to be a tremendous thing for the American people,” Trump declared. The provisions that benefit individuals, including lowering the tax rates and doubling the standard deduction, will expire in 2025, while provisions that benefit corporations, including a reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent, are permanent. The legislation also eliminated the individual mandate to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act—an action the president characterized as a “repeal of Obamacare.” He said, “We have essentially repealed Obamacare, and we will come up with something that will be much better.” The bill also opens 1.5 million acres of the Alaska National Wildlife refuge to oil drilling. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the tax bill would add $1.4 trillion to the federal deficit by 2027.

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