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Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act (Part 15)



Tax Reform, Tax Code, House of Representatives

(This is a direct response to the previous post which asked to oppose the language effectively repealing the Johnson Amendment for houses of worship)

Mr. NEAL: Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Yarmuth), the ranking member of the Budget Committee, and one of the most knowledgeable Members of the House.

Mr. YARMUTH: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my friend yielding time.Mr. Speaker, this is a horror show today, this is a horror showdebate, and this is a horror show process, but it is a disaster for the American people.

The tax bill we are debating today will abandon millions of American families. It showers the wealthy and corporations with massive tax cuts, and it adds $1.5 trillion to our deficits. The top 1 percent get this massive payout in the neighborhood of $500 billion; hardworking families get pocket change.

But millions don’t even get that. In fact, 36 million middle class families will pay more in taxes because of this bill. Our Republican colleagues will be taking money out of the pockets of these families to give more tax cuts to the rich.

But it doesn’t stop there. It never does. This is part of a dangerous three-step process that we have seen, unfortunately, far too often:

The first step, Republicans enact massive tax cuts for the rich, claiming they will generate enough growth to pay for themselves. I know my Republican colleagues desperately want the American people to believe that this is what will happen. But the record is clear. It failed in the 1980s, and it failed in the 2000s. It was an epic failure in Kansas.

This is about politics, not reality, for them, which brings us to step two. Once these cuts fail to produce the growth that they promise, Republicans will shriek about the impending doom of high deficits and debt. Then they will quickly move to step three, demanding cuts in vital programs that benefit working families throughout our country.

We have seen this act before. As I said before, it is a horror show. There is a reason why a lot of people are looking at this and saying this is the great tax scam of 2017–because it is the great tax scam of 2017.

Mr. BRADY of Texas: Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Rice), one of the key leaders of the Ways and Means Committee.

Mr. RICE of South Carolina: Mr. Speaker, the American Dream is what separates us from the rest of the world. It promises that, with hard work and determination, you can improve your station in life and that your children have an opportunity for a better life than yours. But for many in the generation coming of age in the last decade, the American Dream has been a little tarnished and just out of reach.

The last time we did tax reform was 30 years ago. At that time, we were the world’s uncontested economic leader. Our economic system and Tax Code were competitive. But for decades, we have sat by as the world passed us by.

In 1990, the middle class was about 50 percent of American families; today, only 40 percent. Today, the middle class makes just about the same take-home pay as it did in 1990. When we all worry about income disparity and the gulf between the rich and the poor in this country, this is the source of the problem. The American middle class is smaller and has not had a raise in 30 years. How could this happen? It has everything to do with a bloated, overregulating, and overtaxing Federal Government, a government that sucks the life out of the economy and forces our companies, our innovators, and our job creators out of our country to survive.

Some folks say it doesn’t matter that we have the highest business tax rate in the world. That is not why our companies left. They say those jobs aren’t coming back.

Well, I say the outdated Tax Code is an anchor around the neck of our businesses, our innovators, and the American middle class. I say the American worker can compete with anyone on a level playing field if we just get government off their back.

Since January, we have been working to correct that. We have made dramatic steps in reducing regulation. You can already see the economic lift.

Today, we undertake a tax cut, which will restore economic growth, put more take-home pay into the pockets of hardworking Americans, and restore opportunity for a generation of Americans. It will bring American jobs back to America, which will grow our middle class and, finally, after 30 years, our middle class will get the pay raise it deserves.

If you really wish to grow our economy, you should vote for this bill. If you really wish to give the middle class a pay raise, you should vote for this bill. If you really wish to reduce income disparity, you should vote for this bill. If you really wish to give hope to Americans who have given up and left the workforce and wish to reduce crime and addiction in this country, you should vote for this bill. If you want America to have the economic strength to remain a force of peace and stability in the world, you should vote for this bill. And, finally, if you truly believe what Thomas Jefferson said 240 years ago, that all men are created equal and that they are entitled to pursue their own happiness, you should vote for this bill.

Mr. NEAL: Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Ben Ray Lujan).

Mr. BEN RAY LUJAN of New Mexico. Mr. Speaker, this bill put forward by congressional Republicans isn’t a tax plan; it is a tax scam.

Republicans are going to borrow money on the backs of working families to give a tax cut to corporations in the top 1 percent. This will increase taxes on the middle class. This will add to our Nation’s debt and pass the bill to our children.

This Republican tax scam hurts seniors and families with long-term medical needs by eliminating the medical expense deduction that 9 million Americans, and nearly 120,000 people in my home State of New Mexico, depend upon.

Destroying the medical expense deduction delivers a staggering blow to New Mexico families. Listen to this story sent to me by Lisa, a constituent of mine from northern New Mexico:

“My husband and I are lifelong native New Mexicans who grew up here, went to college here, and have opened and operate our two businesses in our home State. We are the proud parents of two wonderful children. New Mexico’s our home, and we’re proud to live here, contribute to our State’s economy, and realize our version of the American Dream.

“Like most families today, life isn’t always easy. The kids and I have medically complex conditions which require expensive medications, and my husband and I struggle with student loan debt, housing and transportation costs, and making a good life for our family. We incur $5,000 to $7,000 in out-of-pocket medical costs each year. Without the medical expense deductions, I am not sure we could continue to meet the demands of raising healthy, happy children while keeping our businesses going and growing.

“For us, this deduction is a lifeline, and the thought of losing that lifeline means we could drown in debt. That’s not the American Dream–that’s a nightmare.”

This is real and this is personal to people all across the country. Let’s vote this bill down today, come back, work in a bipartisan fashion, work with our ranking member, Mr. Richard Neal, and come up with real tax reform that puts American working families first.Mr. Speaker, let’s do the right thing today and put hardworking families first with our decision today.

Mr. BRADY of Texas: Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Marchant), a key leader on the Tax Policy Subcommittee.

Mr. MARCHANT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for his leadership on this issue. It is an honor for me to serve on the committee.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This is a historic opportunity to reject the status quo and provide real tax relief to the families, individuals, and businesses in my district.

America’s Tax Code is broken. It is uncompetitive for American companies, and it is unfair to American workers. The American people deserve a Tax Code that works for them, not one that works for special interests in Washington. They deserve a Tax Code that rewards their lifetime of hard work, not one that squeezes and depletes their savings.They deserve a Tax Code that prioritizes their goals, not penalizes their success.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act creates a Tax Code that is focused on growth, fairness, and a booming economy for everyone.

The reforms in this bill level the playing field for small businesses in my district in north Texas around the DFW Airport, giving them an opportunity to grow and hire more people and spend more money in our economy, and allow the hardworking taxpayers whom I represent to keep more of their paycheck and increase their family’s budget.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for allowing me to represent the views of my constituents throughout the process of the committee work. I urge my colleagues to take advantage of this very historic opportunity and vote in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Mr. NEAL: Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Sanchez), a very thoughtful member of the Ways and Means Committee.

Ms. SANCHEZ: Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 1, or better known as the GOP tax scam.

This bill provides tax cuts for corporations and multimillionaires at the expense of hardworking middle class families. Massive corporate tax cuts do not guarantee job growth or higher wages. The only thing guaranteed is the $2.3 trillion that this scam adds to the deficit.

Democrats are serious about passing comprehensive tax reform that is fair and that puts a little more money in the pockets of working Americans. This fiasco of a bill is not fair.

Corporations get a massive 15 percent tax cut, but what do working families get? They get nickeled and dimed.

Despite student loan debts surpassing $1 trillion, this bill eliminates the student loan interest deduction, which only allows those earning $80,000 or less to claim it in the first place, squarely hurting middle class Americans who are trying to pay off debt, save for a home, or buy a new car.

Teachers will no longer be able to deduct expenses for school supplies that they purchase with their own money for their classrooms, yet corporations are able to deduct the cost of those same supplies that they purchase.

Seniors and people with chronic illnesses would no longer be able to deduct some of the cost of their treatment. At a time when many families are feeling the pressures of affording care for their children and their aging parents, this bill takes money right out of their pockets.

Under this bill, 29 million households would lose their property tax deduction. Eighty percent of middle class homeowners would lose, compared with just 13 percent of high-income earners. Does that sound fair?

Finally, the elimination of the State and local income tax deduction disproportionately impacts middle-income families, especially those in California, whose residents would see an overall net tax increase of $12.1 billion.

The Tax Code is a reflection of our values. The Republicans have clearly chosen who they serve–the wealthy and corporations–but I am concerned about the 36 million Americans who will see a tax increase, teachers and their students, and people with preexisting conditions.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote “NO” on this disaster of

a bill.


(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)

(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 10)

(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 11)

(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 12)

(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 13)

(Congressional Record – Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Part 14)

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