Signers of the Community Letter
The Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship, signed by more than 5,500 organizations from every state and every segment of the charitable and foundation communities, makes a strong statement in support of nonpartisanship and urges those who have vowed to repeal or weaken this vital protection to leave existing law in place for nonprofit organizations and the people they serve.
Alabama Asian Cultures Foundation, Birmingham; Alabama Association of Nonprofits, Birmingham; Alabama Historic Ironworks Foundation, McCalla; Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Birmingham; Cahaba River Society, Birmingham; Cahaba Riverkeeper, Birmingham; Cloverdale Playhouse, Montgomery; Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, Birmingham; Community Grief Support Service, Birmingham; Coosa Riverkeeper.
Empowered to Conquer, Birmingham; Family Promise of Coastal Alabama, Mobile; First Light, Inc., Birmingham; Fraternal Order of Eagles; Friends of Shades Creek, Inc., Homewood; Gasp, Inc., Birmingham; Girls Inc. of Central Alabama, Birmingham; Global Ties, Alabama, Huntsville; Greater Birmingham Ministries, Birmingham; Heart Gallery of Alabama, Inc., Humane Society of Elmore County, Wetumpka; Huntsville Youth Orchestra; John Stallworth Foundation; KB Consulting, Hanceville; Prichard Boxing Academy, Prichard; Public Education Foundation of Anniston, Inc., Anniston; Ruff Wilson Youth Organization; Shelby Emergency Assistance, Inc.,
Montevallo; Society of Mayflower Descendants in Alabama, Alexander City; St. Vincent’s Health System, Birmingham; Swell Fundraising, Birmingham, The Arc of Shelby County, Pelham; The Dance Foundation, Birmingham; The Epilepsy Foundation of Alabama, Mobile; The Greater Huntsville Humane Society, Huntsville; The National Center for Fire and Life Safety, Calera; Theatre Tuscaloosa, Tuscaloosa; United Way of East Central Alabama, Anniston; Village Creek Society, Birmingham; Virginia Samford Theatre, Birmingham; Workshops, Inc., Birmingham.
Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, when I go to my church, South Beaver Creek Lutheran Church, Sunday mornings with my family in rural western Wisconsin by our family farm, I view that place as a sanctuary for my soul; a place for us to congregate, to commune, to spend time in fellowship with our fellow neighbors, and to check up on one another. Yes, preach values and preach moral lessons to our children, absolutely. But by repealing the Johnson amendment, you have the potential of creating conflict in the pews. You could be creating Republican and Democratic churches, mosques, and synagogues overnight. This is one of the last refuges, one of the last institutions that we still have as a country given how much we are self-segregating and deciding whom we like to hang out with, what clubs we join, what people we want to associate with, even our own family members, because of political affiliation. Our places of worship are one of the last places we can come regardless of political affiliation. This will create unnecessary strife and unnecessary conflict, and it has the potential of driving young people away from organized religion because they won’t put up with this. It could be a backdoor attempt for a lot of political contributors now to get tax-exempt contributions to these organizations for direct, partisan political campaigns. That is why the Joint Committee on Taxation viewed this as a cost of over $2 billion. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to reconsider and reject this, and let’s prevent that conflict in our communities.
Mr. BRADY of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the average family of four in the Third District of Wisconsin will see a tax cut of over $2,000. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Chabot), who is the chairman of the Small Business Committee and a champion for small businesses.
Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act. As a result of this bill, Ohio families will keep more of what they earn. Additionally, it will create tens of thousands of jobs in Ohio and in other States all across the country. As chairman of the House Small Business Committee, I want to make sure that the Tax Code works for our Nation’s job creators so that we can create jobs, not against them. Seventy percent of the new jobs created in the American economy nowadays are created by small businesses. Unfortunately, small businesses are getting killed by the existing Tax Code. This Tax Code will bring rates down from approximately 40 percent for small-business owners to, in many cases, 25 percent and, in a lot of cases, 9 percent. From 40 percent down to 9 percent. That means small businesses can keep that money, invest and create more jobs for more Americans. The naysayers around here obviously can’t say enough bad about this bill, but it is going to be good for America. I urge my colleagues to support it.
Mr. NEAL. Mr. Speaker, one-third of the gentleman’s constituents claim the State and local tax deduction,totalling $11,684 per family. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pascrell), a great friend to all of us here in this institution.
Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, before I start, I include in the Record two articles. One is a letter from the National Fraternal Order of Police, representing 330,000 police officers in this country coming out against this bill because it will affect their members in a very, very terrible way. The other is an article in The New York Times today: “Republican Tax Plans Put Corporations Over People.”
National Fraternal Order of Police, Washington, DC, November 14, 2017.
Hon. Paul D. Ryan, Speaker of the House, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Hon. Nancy P. Pelosi, Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Hon. Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
Hon. Charles E. Schumer, Minority Leader, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Speaker, Senator McConnell, Representative Pelosi and Senator Schumer:
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to urge you to protect the State and local tax (SALT) deduction in the current tax code. Our members put their lives and safety at risk to protect our homes, schools and communities. Their salaries and the equipment they use are paid for by State and local taxes on property, sales and income. These funds are then invested in our law enforcement agencies and the men and women serving in law enforcement.
The FOP is very concerned that the partial or total elimination of the SALT deductions will endanger the ability of our State and local governments to fund these agencies and recruit the men and women we need to keep us safe. In addition, our members are also citizens of these communities who work and pay these State and local taxes. The elimination of the SALT deductions, in whole or in part, will be deeply harmful to them and their families, effectively raising their taxes as much as $6,300 according to recent studies. The SALT deduction has been part of the tax code since it was originally drafted in 1913. Our members would certainly oppose any effort of the Federal government to tax their income twice by eliminating the SALT deduction.
On behalf of the more than 330,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I urge Congress to preserve the SALT deductions, to reject any effort to eliminate, in whole or in part, these deductions and oppose the final bill if these deductions are included. I thank you in advance for your consideration of our views. Please feel free to contact me or my Senior Advisor Jim Pasco if I can provide any additional information on this important issue.
Chuck Canterbury, National President.
[From the New York Times, Nov. 16, 2017]
Republican Tax Plans Put Corporations Over People (By Jim Tankersley)
Washington.–There are tough choices at the heart of the Republican tax bills speeding through Congress, and they make clear what the party values most in economic policy right now: deep and lasting tax cuts for corporations. The bill set to pass the House on Thursday chooses to take from high-tax Democratic states, particularly California and New York, and give to lower-tax Republican states that President Trump carried in 2016, particularly Florida and Texas. It allows for tax increases on millions of families several years from now, if a future Congress does not intervene, but not for similar increases on corporations. The version of the bill moving through the Senate Finance Committee chooses to give peace of mind to corporate executives planning their long-term investments. That comes at the expense of added anxiety for individual taxpayers, particularly those in the middle class, who could face stiff tax increases on Jan. 1, 2026.
A consistent conservative philosophy underpins all those decisions. So does a very large bet–economically and politically–on the power of business tax cuts to deliver rapid wage growth to United States workers. There is also the appearance, to liberal critics in particular, or Republicans seeking to reward their prized constituencies first, while leaving others to bear the consequences if their most optimistic scenarios do not play out. The tax plans have evolved rapidly since House leaders first introduced their bill at the beginning of the month.
Amendments in the Ways and Means Committee restored some cherished tax breaks that had been targeted for elimination, including those for adoptive parents, and expanded the bill’s tax breaks for owners of businesses that are not organized as traditional corporations.
The Senate bill differed from the House version when it was introduced last week, and broke further away on Tuesday night, with a package of amendments that included repealing the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that most individuals buy health insurance. To comply with procedural rules that would allow Republicans to pass the bill on a party-line vote in the Senate, the amendment also set an expiration date–Dec. 25, 2025–on all the individual tax cuts in the legislation.
The plans also differ on their treatment of state and local tax deductions. The Senate would kill them entirely. The House would maintain them only for property taxes and cap the deduction at $10,000 a year. Economists generally say that those tax breaks are inefficient. But eliminating them, in the context of the House bill, would add up to a large geographic transfer of income, according to research by Carl Davis, the research director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy in Washington.
The House bill would raise personal taxes on Californians and New Yorkers by a combined $16 billion in 2027, Mr. Davis found, while cutting personal taxes on Texans and Floridians by more than $30 billion in total. His analysis finds only one state that Mr. Trump carried in 2016 –Utah–would receive lower personal tax benefits under the bill than would be expected, given its share of national income, compared with 11 states won by his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. The average Clinton state would receive 82 percent of its expected benefits, by share of national income, under the plan. The average Trump state would receive 181 percent.
“It’s not unusual for a tax bill to have varying impacts in different parts of the country,” Mr. Davis said. But the degree to which this bill makes winners and losers out of different states is remarkable.” Curtailing state and local deductions helps finance a core feature of both the House and Senate bills, which happens to be one of the few provisions Mr. Trump has called non-negotiable in tax discussions: cutting the corporate income tax to a flat 20 percent rate, down from a top rate of 35 percent today. Republicans have kept those cuts permanent, even as the Senate applied an expiration date to the individual cuts and to a key tax credit for families in the House bill. The Senate bill also sets an expiration date on breaks for so-called pass-through businesses, whose owners pay taxes on profits through the tax code for individuals.
In Washington, Republicans have stressed that cutting corporate taxes will supercharge economic growth, accelerating job creation and raising wages in the process. By that theory, making such cuts permanent is essential. The gamble is apparent. Polls show that voters want corporations to pay higher, not lower, taxes and that they doubt corporate rate cuts will show up in their own paychecks, as the White House has claimed. Perhaps not coincidentally, Republican leaders have pitched their bills largely as middle-class tax cuts, stressing the benefits for the typical American family during television appearances and news conferences.
“The policy expects that the corporate tax cuts will do the most for growth,” said Lanhee J. Chen, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, who was the policy director for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in 2012. “On the other hand, they’re the hardest to explain.” It is an especially tricky explanation in the context of the requests Republicans are making of individual taxpayers, particularly the middle class, to trust that any benefits they see from the bills will not vanish over a decade. The Senate bill is scheduled to deliver an individual tax increases on 137 million tax filers in 2027 if Congress does not intervene first, according to calculations by Ernie Tedeschi, an economist at Evercore ISI. Liberals warn the shock would be huge for low- and middle-income families.
Republicans are “making a choice as to which elements of their plan are permanent,” said Jacob Leibenluft, a senior adviser at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and a former economic aide under President Barack Obama, “and I think it’s worth starting with taking them at face value.” Canceling those looming increases would further add to the federal budget deficit, if the move is not paired with spending cuts. Middle-class families planning ahead can imagine two possible consequences from that decision: Either an immediate increase in their taxes eight years from now, or an explosion in federal budget deficits, which could necessitate spending cuts to safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare.
“The bill reflects talking out of both sides of your mouth at the same time–neither of which is leading to good policy,” said Maya MacGuineas, the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
Republican leaders in both chambers have said that they will not allow individual tax breaks to expire–and that their corporate cuts will yield enough growth and additional tax revenue to pay for themselves, or at least come close. Ms. MacGuineas and others fear the opposite could be even more likely: that growth will fall far short of those optimistic projections, and when the expiring tax provisions come up for reauthorization, budget deficits will be swelling. The result, they say, would be more hard choices–and predictable ones.
(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)