Fighting Back: “The Republican #TaxScam will raise taxes on millions of middle-income taxpayers”

The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread.

The Weekly Democratic Party Address is being managed by the Senate side of Congress this week and is not available at publication time. So here is a video from a few weeks ago with Senator Kamala Harris throwing down the gauntlet on the DREAMers.

(10/25/2017: Speaking at a press conference alongside a group of Senate and House Democrats, and University Presidents and Chancellors in support of the Dream Act, U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris today pledged to vote against any end-of-year spending bill if it does not include a solution for the more than 700,000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.)

Senator Harris:

“I will not vote for an end-of-year spending bill until we are clear about what we are going to do to protect and take care of our DACA young people in this country”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)


Leader Nancy Pelosi’s weekly news conference on Thursday:

Transcript: Transcript of Pelosi Press Conference

Leader Pelosi. Good afternoon, everyone.

We’re all awaiting the next version of how the Republicans in the House of Representatives will rip off the middle class in our country. In the meantime, it was curious to see President Trump in China.

Candidate Trump said that what’s happening in China trade was ‘the greatest theft in the history of the world.’ And yesterday, he said our trade deficit with China, which is huge, is not China’s fault. You can almost hear the leadership of the Chinese Government laughing from China to America. Maybe you can feel it coming through the ground, because if you dig a hole here you will reach China. But the reverberation is so appalling.

And as I said yesterday, was that yesterday? While the President is there with his entourage of CEOs cutting deals, the Republicans in Congress are here giving those same corporations, those same CEOs, CEO‑led companies a tax break to ship jobs overseas.

And that’s why it’s no wonder that Gary Cohn ‑‑ and I’ll read it ‑‑ Gary Cohn today, said, ‘the most excited group out there being big CEOs, about our tax plan.’ Gary Cohn: ‘The most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan.’

Representative Chris Collins this week said, ‘my donors are basically saying, get it done or don’t ever call me again.’ Senator Lindsey Graham said ‑‑ this is really – ‘the financial contributions will stop’ if the tax scam fails. He said the tax scam fails. The GOP tax scam isn’t written for the middle class; it’s written for the wealthy donors and corporations shipping jobs overseas.

And these three, one adviser to the President, one House Member, one Senate Member, spoke truth. The people happiest about this are the CEOs. But the other truth is 38 million households, middle class households are facing a Republican tax hike. Thirty‑eight million households. So while they say this is for the middle class, it is not.

And now we understand that the Senate version of the tax plan is reported to have eliminated ‑‑ in other words, they are keeping the full SALT [state and local tax] deduction elimination in the plan. So whatever the Republicans in the House thought they were throwing a few crumbs to some of their Members to get them to walk the plank, that is not what is in the Senate bill.

So it’s really a stunning thing. If they think that this is the bill that they must pass in order to stay in power, they have it all wrong. The public is hearing the truth. The public is paying attention. You saw what happened in Virginia. They should be worried, very, very worried. And now we’re very worried about what they might have in their alternative. We’re very proud of the leadership of our Ways and Means Dems, led by [Congressman] Richie Neal of Massachusetts. I’m pleased to yield to him.

Congressman Richard Neal. Thanks.

We’re going to be asked in that room in the next two hours to vote on a piece of legislation that we’ve never seen, and it’s called the manager’s amendment. What’s significant about that is that we were presented tentatively with a proposal last Thursday, or a summary. And then just as we left on Friday, we were presented what, at the time, was alleged to be the chairman’s mark. We came in on Monday night and began the walk‑through, and we were presented with a 35‑page amendment that changed the chairman’s mark.

Today, we’re being asked to vote on a manager’s amendment which will fundamentally alter many of the precepts and the arguments we’ve had during the last three days as they attempt to change it, and I’m guessing to make for greater harmonization with the Senate. Now, at the same time, nobody knows what’s in the bill. We certainly haven’t seen it; and the Members of the Republican side, they haven’t seen it. But we’re going to that legislation, where there will be a limited opportunity for us to even ask questions.

What you want to think of, I think, as you look at the proposal that they have; we’re being asked to repeal the estate tax so that we can pay for getting rid of the tax that the sickest in America, the deduction that the sickest people in America take advantage of to pay their healthcare bills.

Yesterday, one of them said, oh, so students can have $200 worth of interest deductions a year. There’s $1 trillion worth of student debt in America, $1 trillion worth of student debt. Today, this morning, hundreds of thousands of people have benefited for the historic tax credit, gone. We’re looking at new markets tax credits, gone. Shaving back municipal tax exemption, gone. And they’re arguing that this spurs economic development.

So as you have a chance to put the magnifying glass on what they’re about to do, which we’re all anxious to see, you can see how this was bad on policy and it was bad on process. And I think that the Members in there that are about to cast their vote on this, they have no idea what is in this legislation. And they have been reacting to press accounts, I think it’s a fair statement, every day. As the press has reported what I think is the liberties that they’ve taken with accuracy, they come back and they revise it.

And last night, we were told we were going to work until midnight. We left at 7 o’clock last night, so this piece of legislation could be redrafted and presented today. We have not even seen it yet. It’s not done.

Leader Pelosi. This new draft, whenever it comes, appears to be an act of desperation by them. They clearly didn’t have the votes for what they were proposing already. An act of desperation. But it’s also an act of misrepresentation to the American people. It’s a Friday afternoon special. Why don’t we do it where there’s the least opportunity for people to review it. Let’s do it very fast, very fast, speed of light in the dark of night and back rooms, without even their own Members. And what an insult to the intelligence of their own Members, what an insult to the intelligence of the American people, as they make an assault on the middle class.

Any questions?

Press questioning followed (see transcript)


GOP Tax Scam’s Attack on America’s Students and Educators

As House Republicans finalize a GOP tax scam that will raise taxes on 38 million middle class households in order to hand massive tax breaks to the rich and corporations, Republicans are eliminating major tax deductions benefiting America’s hard-working families – including the student loan interest and teacher’s expense deductions.

The GOP tax scam will hurt millions of Americans burdened by student loan debt and prevent teachers from offsetting a small but vital portion of the cost of classroom supplies paid for out of their own pockets, while special, deficit-exploding giveaways will be preserved for the wealthiest.

Here (at link) is what the student loan interest and educator expense deductions looked like in 2015 in all 50 states. Instead of proposing what they have claimed over and over again to be a ‘middle class bill,’ Republicans are pinching these pennies to give more money to the wealthiest one percent and to corporations shipping American jobs overseas.


Nancy Pelosi met with constituents in San Francisco and addressed the Negative Impacts of the GOP Tax Scam. Excerpts:

What’s is happening this weekend, all over the country is – we were just comparing notes, Congresswoman [Barbara] Lee and I – all over the country Representatives in Congress are engaged in occasions such as this to present to their constituents, what is at stake for them in their assault against the middle class the Republicans are putting forth. It is a tax plan that the Republicans are putting forth, it is a tax scam, I’ll go more into it. But starting today and ending Monday there will be scores of events, presentations, by Members and candidates as to why this is wrong.

This is a very important debate for us. We would love to change the bill. But in order to change the bill the Republican Members of Congress have to see how destructive it is to their community – and this is very important in California because this bill – this tax scam that Republicans are forcing on the Congress very destructive to California for reasons I will go into. But it’s very hard to understand why all 14 Republicans voted against California in the Bill. […]

Particularly alarming that in Northern California, three of the members, Doug LaMalfa, over 100,000 of his constituents are affected over $10,000 dollars each. Tom McClintock, 39,000 of his constituent families are affected over $11,000 dollars. Paul Cook, nearly 60,000 [families] to the tune of nearly $9,000 each, and the list goes on. […]

It’s important to also note in relationship to fires that these for Members, all 14 of them, voted for a tax bill that says the following, ‘if you have property loss etcetera because of the Hurricanes you can deduct your losses from your taxes, but not from fires.’ Is that stunning? Is that stunning? Isn’t the mean spirited? What’s that all about? And these Members all voted for a budget that does that. And some of them are on the Ways and Means Committee that reinforced that message again.

It’s really hard to understand or explain but these Members are going to have to explain to their constituents




  1. From Leader Pelosi’s presser:

    Q: Leader Pelosi, at the press conference Speaker Ryan said that he would not support including a DACA fix in the spending bill, and that you guys have until March to deal with it. So, knowing his view on that, would you support a spending bill in December that doesn’t include a DACA fix?

    Leader Pelosi. I have to see what the spending bill is. But I fully intend that we will not leave here without the Dream Act passing, with a DACA fix, and I’ve made that very clear. I don’t even want to go into the mistake that the President made. What a disservice, a slap in the face to the DREAMers that the President gave. […]

    We’re not kicking the can down to March.

  2. An email from President Obama and on Veterans Day:

    Jan —

    Today is a day to recognize those who have honored our country with its highest form of service.

    We owe our veterans our thanks. Our respect. Our freedom.

    Today, we humbly acknowledge that we can never truly serve our veterans in quite the same way that they served us. But we can try. We can practice kindness. We can volunteer. We can serve. We can respect one another. We can have each other’s backs.

    Yesterday, I dropped by a service project in Northeast D.C., where a group of veteran volunteers were preparing for a project to help revitalize the Langston Terrace public housing project. Langston Terrace, the first federally funded housing project in D.C., was built in the 1930s as part of President Roosevelt’s Public Works Administration. Its 274 units provided affordable shelter for families trying to get back on their feet after the Great Depression. And today, a group of veterans are fixing it up, working alongside members of their Washington, D.C., community.

    Just think about that for a moment. On a day dedicated to honoring their sacrifice, these veterans chose to honor their fellow citizens. Lift up their own communities. They chose, on this day, to roll up their sleeves and ask, “Now, what else can I do?”

    That is true service. The pure and selfless personal agency that makes us who we are as Americans.

    Thousands of you are doing this every day, in your own communities. Folks like Kyle, from Germantown, Maryland. Kyle wrote Michelle and me earlier this year to tell us about Washington D.C.’s Dog Tag Bakery, where she works. Dog Tag helps support disabled veterans, military spouses, and caregivers during their transitions into civilian life by providing them with valuable work experience. (They also happen to bake, as Kyle puts it, “the most amazing brownie you’ve ever had.”) Kyle told us how inspired she was by her colleagues’ strength and commitment to service. She wrote that we should all “support this transition for those who have sacrificed so much for our country and well being” — and I couldn’t agree more.

    Notes like Kyle’s remind me that one of the many ways we contribute as citizens is by holding each other accountable — by encouraging each other to stand up and do better.

    We’ve been asking folks all around the country to share with us what they’re committed to changing in their communities in the next few months. Join them by making a commitment of your own today.

    Every day, we walk among citizens willing to lay down their lives for strangers like us.

    Today, we can show our own love for our country by loving our neighbors as ourselves. By rolling up our sleeves, and asking: “Now, what else can I do?”

    May God bless all who served, and still do.

    — Barack

  3. NPR: GOP Tax Cuts Expected To Push Up Nation’s Debt

    Both the House and Senate proposals provide overall tax cuts in the $1.5 trillion range over the next decade. But there’s no plan to offset them with cuts in government spending or new revenues. So over the next 10 years, the tax cuts are likely to add about $1.5 trillion to the national debt, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    Deficit hawkery is only operative when Democrats are in the White House. Debt in service to the policy priorities of Republicans? #JustFine

  4. Piggies found piggy bank …

    Red state lawmakers find blue state piggy bank

    On big legislative issues such as tax reform and ObamaCare repeal, Republicans in the Senate have sought to redistribute federal funds from New York, New Jersey and other blue states dominated by Democrats to the red states in the South, Midwest and Great Plains that are mostly represented by the GOP.

    The most recent example is a GOP tax plan that would limit local and state sales, income and property tax deductions — which would hurt suburban taxpayers in blue states with high property taxes. […]

    Six states claim more than half of the value of the deduction nationwide, according to the Tax Foundation, and four voted for Hillary Clinton in last year’s presidential election: California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois.

    Please proceed, Republicans. Passing this tax cut will essentially destroy what’s left of the Republican Party in those four states.

  5. Mitch McChinless to propose ending budget reconciliation rules in 3…2…1…

    GOP’s Dueling Tax Overhauls Struggle to Pass a Key Red-Ink Test

    Republican tax writers in the House and Senate scoured the U.S. tax code Thursday and shook the couch cushions for loose change, as one member put it, in an all-day struggle to find ways to pay for the deep tax cuts their leaders and President Donald Trump have promised.

    By day’s end, the House Ways and Means Committee had hammered together a bill and sent it toward the House floor for a vote promised next week, while the Senate Finance Committee revealed a proposal it intends to mark up on Monday.

    But there’s an elephant in the room. Both plans contain nearly $1.5 trillion in red ink in the first 10 years. Unless they eliminate the red ink beyond that — a tall order that would require major changes — the legislation will be subject to a 60-vote threshold under Senate rules, which could doom it to failure. An alternative is to sunset some of the provisions after a decade, but congressional leaders don’t want that.

  6. Fill-in-the-blank scam is what the Rs have been pulling for the last 20+ years whenever they’ve got enough votes in Congress to pull it off. And the more they get away with it, the bigger their scams get. Resist, block, push back – take back Congress!

Comments are closed.