Announcement By The Speaker Pro Tempore
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are advised that editorial content inserted within unanimous consent requests could result in Members’ time being charged.
Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, if it weren’t bad enough, Mr. Speaker–and I come over to this side for a reason: I have got many brothers and sisters whom I love here–this is a terrible bill.
Unanimous consent here. The real price of this bill is hidden. $30 billion in interest on the debt every year. Who pays this? If it weren’t bad enough, the taxes that people have to pay today, as well as our children and our grandchildren, but beyond that, the real price of this bill is further hidden. The temporary family flexibility credit expires after 5 years. The temporary exclusion for independent care costs expires after 5 years.
Some have estimated that, if Republicans make these provisions permanent, as they claim will happen in future Congresses, the costs of the bill will increase to over $400 billion. The Senate bill cuts off relief for families in 7 years. They are hiding over $500 billion in costs. I am particularly interested in the SALT exclusion as a deduction. Folks in New Jersey, California, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, et cetera, are going to be paying the costs of this deduction being removed. You can’t make this up. In fact, the increase mostly comes from eliminating the State and Local tax deduction for individuals, but corporations can continue to deduct their State and local taxes. You can’t, Mr. and Mrs. America.
Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Walker).
Mr. WALKER. Mr. Speaker, today is not just about tax reform. Today is also about what we fundamentally believe as a nation. Today, we say working class families, not the government, are best equipped to make financial decisions.
Did we hear anything from our Democratic friends for nearly 8 years about lowering taxes on middle and lower income families? We did not. Now, for the first time since 1986, we are going to overhaul our broken Tax Code. Here is what it means for families in North Carolina. Middle-income families will see more than a $2,300 increase in their take-home pay. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act means more than 30,000 new jobs in North Carolina.
I am encouraged that our Senate colleagues have also decided to include the ObamaCare individual mandate repeal and would urge our House Conference to consider it, as well.
Last, I would like to thank Chairman Brady. There is no greater servant in the United States House. Thanks to his work and that of his team, today we keep our promise. It is time to move forward.
Mr. NEAL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Doggett), a thoughtful member of the Ways and Means Committee.
Mr. DOGGETT. Mr. Speaker, the promise of tax reform has degenerated into little more than a scam to aid tax dodgers. While public attention is diverted to the scandal in Alabama, Republicans are rushing through this sham of a bill, developed in the dark with lobbyists, before most Americans realize what is about to hit them in the face.
Instead of more jobs at home, Republicans create a giant, new gaping loophole to ship ever more jobs abroad. Even Speaker Ryan’s home State Republican Senator Ron Johnson concedes that, under this bill, “there will be a real incentive to keep manufacturing overseas.”
It is hardly a surprise since President Trump’s Wall Streeter designated to run the show has just been identified personally from leaked Bermudan documents as the past executive of not one, but 22 different island tax-paradise shell companies.
Meanwhile, another loophole, carried interest, that flows to plutocrats like Donald Trump. That is the very injustice he promised to stop last year. It will keep flowing right into their pocket. As for the deduction for student interest for those who are overwhelmed with college loans, like other middle-class tax provisions, that is part of the $65 billion that is cut out of tax incentives by Republicans in this bill.
They are totally dependent upon alternative facts. Today’s bill even authorizes those who want to pay absolutely zero in tax to do that by abolishing the alternative minimum tax (AMT). That one change that they make, in one year, would have put $31 million in Donald Trump’s pocket.
So you can certainly understand why he is coming to the Capitol today, just to say thank you: Thank you for the billion dollars-plus that is estimated to go to the Trump family under this bill. “When does my tax refund get here?” he must be saying.
Of course, we don’t know precisely how much Donald Trump is enriched because these Republicans keep colluding to hide his tax returns. Republicans want to apply a “dynamic score” to this bill. I say: create a dynamic workforce, invest in people, and don’t overwhelm us with endless debt. Develop a more competitive, healthy workforce that empowers our DREAMers and other immigrants and that gives every American access to education and skill upgrades to achieve their full, God-given potential.
As they deny one middle-class deduction after another and impose this new Alzheimer’s tax, Republicans claim that they have a patented tax miracle cure for most everything but baldness.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
Mr. NEAL. Mr. Speaker, I yield the gentleman from Texas an additional 15 seconds.
Mr. DOGGETT. We have seen this trickle-down, medicine sideshow before. It didn’t work then; it won’t work now. All they are doing is grabbing for a political life preserver after 10 months of Republican failures and leave America drowning in debt. This isn’t “tax reform.” It is a giant giveaway to Washington special interests that must be stopped.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from engaging in personalities toward the President.
Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Duncan).
Mr. DUNCAN of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, my late father was the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee when the last tax reform was passed in 1986. I know personally how difficult it was then to bring all the competing interests together. Everything looks easy from a distance.
Everyone in this Congress would write a slightly different tax bill if given the chance to do so, but we can’t have 535 different tax bills. Even Chairman Brady would probably change some things if he had complete control over it. I would favor some slight differences, but this is a great bill, overall, for middle-income people. We need to do more in the future to cut spending along with it.
Kevin Brady is the right man at the right time. I think he has done a masterful job in bringing this bill to the floor. No other bill will do more to help keep jobs in this country. No other bill we can pass in this Congress would do more to help more people than this one will. I urge the bill’s passage.
Mr. NEAL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Danny K. Davis), whose knowledge of new markets tax credits is second to none in this institution.
Mr. DANNY K. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record two letters: one from the National Education Association and one from the American Council on Education.
November 15, 2017.
On behalf of the three million members of the National Education Association (NEA), and the 50 million students they serve, we urge you to Vote No on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), a rewrite of the U.S. tax code being voted on this week. This multi-trillion dollar plan is a tax giveaway to the wealthiest and corporations paid for on the backs of working families and students, and jeopardizes the ability of states and local communities to adequately fund public schools. Votes associated with this issue may be included in NEA’s Legislative Report Card for the 115th Congress.
Tax plans reveal the priorities of a nation and in a number of respects this one tells working and middle-class families, students, and educators that they must sacrifice in order to further enrich the wealthy and corporations. We oppose the bill as currently crafted for several reasons outlined below.
A Giveaway to the Wealthy and Corporations sets up Drastic Cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Education Analysis of the Joint Committee on Taxation’s estimate of H.R. 1‘s impact shows that the bill is overwhelmingly skewed to the wealthy. Households with annual incomes over $1 million would receive 16 times the percentage increase in after-tax income as other taxpayers. In addition, 45 percent of the cost of the bill’s tax cuts would go to households with incomes above $500,000–less than one percent of filers.
Meanwhile, JCT estimates show that taxes would actually increase for filers with incomes between $20,000 and $40,000 over the life of the bill. For now, much of the tax cuts will be deficit-financed, but the budget resolution that helped pave the way for this plan previews the next phase: future legislation to cut the growing deficit caused by tax cuts by demanding cuts to critical services that help working people, children, seniors, and others–Medicaid, Medicare, education, and more.
In fact, some of this impact will be immediate. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), without enacting subsequent legislation, the tax bill will trigger automatic spending cuts to pay for the tax changes under a “paygo” law. The CBO analysis concludes that Medicare would face an FY18 reduction of $25 billion with a remaining $111 billion to be sequestered from remaining mandatory programs.
Kansas provides a window into what this approach looks like. In 2012, the state’s former governor pushed through similar massive tax cuts to individuals and businesses that allegedly would boost the economy. In reality, Kansas’ job growth was anemic and the governor and legislature starve state services. Kansas cut funding for public schools, infrastructure, and other services, and scrambled to close a $350-million budget deficit. After voters spoke at the ballot box, lawmakers reversed course, raising taxes and overriding–in a bipartisan manner–the governor’s veto.
Rather than rushing forward with a partisan bill, Congress would do well to heed the recent lesson from America’s heartland.
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 1)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 2)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 3)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 4)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 5)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 6)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 7)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 8)
(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 9)