Fighting Back: Rep. DelBene – “The Republican legislation is a bill of callous decisions and missed opportunities.”

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

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Suzan DelBene of Washington state.

(In this week’s Democratic Party Address, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene of Washington calls out Republicans for doling out permanent tax giveaways to the “people” who need them least – corporations.)

Rep. DelBene:

[Americans] deserve A Better Deal that invests in creating good-paying jobs, in lowering the costs of living and giving them the tools to succeed in the 21st century economy.

“But the Republican legislation is a bill of callous decisions and missed opportunities. Tax reform done right is about fairness for all Americans and giving working families the ability to plan for the future.

“Yet even the things Republicans are touting as helpful to the middle class are temporary in their plan.

“While the House tax bill gives massive permanent cuts to corporations, working families will have to live with the temporary scraps this bill throws them – and that’s hoping you’re not one of the 36 million middle class families who will pay higher taxes.

“This legislation is far from tax reform and we must stop it before it harms families across our country.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)

Transcript: Congresswoman Suzan DelBene Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene of Washington, member of the House Ways and Means Committee, delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, DelBene condemned House Republicans’ GOP Tax Scam which raise taxes for 36 million middle class families while giving tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy few.

“Hi, I’m Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, and I represent Washington State’s First Congressional District and I am a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

“This week, on a party-line vote, House Republicans passed a tax bill that will raise taxes on 36 million middle class households across America, while handing historic tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest.

“While corporations get a massive permanent 15 percent reduction in their tax rate, hardworking Americans are forced to pick up the tab.

“Teachers who buy supplies for their students, like pens, pencils, and paper, will lose the ability to deduct those costs from their tax returns, while corporations still can deduct their supply costs.

“Families will no longer be able to deduct their state and local income or sales taxes, while corporations still can.

“Homeowners will no longer be able to deduct all of their property taxes, while corporations still can.

“And if workers have to move because their employer is forcing them to relocate their families or lose their job, they will no longer be able to deduct their moving expenses, while corporations, even those offshoring jobs, still can.

“It is shameful that in this bill, middle-class families struggling to pay for health care, education, and child care will shoulder the burden of a corporate tax cut that will never benefit them. We’ve seen the trickle-down economics show before. And we know it doesn’t work.

“Tax reform done right would benefit the middle class and American businesses. As a former CEO myself, I know firsthand that what makes our economy strong are the foundational things that have always made this country great: skilled workers, innovative ideas, a stable business climate, modern infrastructure and a world-class university system that helps turn cutting edge research into successful businesses. Not indiscriminate corporate tax cuts.

“By increasing taxes on 36 million working families and blowing a hole in the deficit to slash corporate taxes, the Republican tax bill also burdens our children and grandchildren with trillions of dollars in debt and would trigger an automatic $25 billion cut to Medicare, a vital program for seniors. The Republican bill is a partisan disaster that hurts Americans from cradle to retirement.

“Tax reform should be about Democrats and Republicans coming together and making choices that reflect the values that bind us as Americans.

“That is what happened during the last major tax reform package, passed in 1986, and it should have happened again.

“I can tell you not a mother working two jobs to put food on the table, not a teacher buying school supplies, not a farmer struggling through a bad year, not a family caring for an aging parent have ever told me that tax reform means corporate cuts on the backs of them and their families.

“Since the tax reform debate began this year, I’ve met and heard from everyday heroes who are working hard but struggling to pay for long-term medical expenses, child care, college tuition, housing, retirement and sometimes even basic necessities like food.

“They deserve A Better Deal that invests in creating good-paying jobs, in lowering the costs of living and giving them the tools to succeed in the 21st century economy.

“But the Republican legislation is a bill of callous decisions and missed opportunities. Tax reform done right is about fairness for all Americans and giving working families the ability to plan for the future.

“Yet even the things Republicans are touting as helpful to the middle class are temporary in their plan.

“While the House tax bill gives massive permanent cuts to corporations, working families will have to live with the temporary scraps this bill throws them – and that’s hoping you’re not one of the 36 million middle class families who will pay higher taxes.

“This legislation is far from tax reform and we must stop it before it harms families across our country.

“Democrats want real, bipartisan tax reform that puts the middle class first with A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages and a Better Future, and we’ll continue fighting to make that a reality.”

Any bolding has been added.

~

Leader Nancy Pelosi’s weekly news conference on Thursday:

Transcript: Transcript of Pelosi Press Conference

Leader Pelosi: Good afternoon, everyone.

The House is going to be going to session in the next few minutes, and so I’m going to have to head over to close on this monstrosity of a tax bill that gives 50 percent of the benefits to the top 1 percent and 80 percent of the benefits to the top 2 percent at the expense of the middle class.

Last night, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously rejected the House Republican tax scam 26 to 0.

In a few minutes, House Republicans will have to decide whether they will chain themselves to this poisonous middle class tax hike that is dead on arrival in the Senate.

The American people are watching, and the American people will hold the Republicans accountable for their decisions, for this tax scam.

For days, Speaker [Paul] Ryan and Senator [Mitch] McConnell have told the American people that the Republicans were going to tax cut for everyone.

Oh, really? Oh, really? Tell that to the families with a family member with Alzheimer’s, or a family with a child with disabilities, or with expensive fertility treatments. The list goes on and on. Tell that to a family that is going to lose their medical deduction on their taxes.

We had a press conference in San Francisco last Friday in a firehouse talking about state and local taxes. But one of our friends who was there spoke about the medical expense tax deduction that would be lost. She’s in her eighties, her husband late eighties. He has Alzheimer’s. Their costs are enormous in terms of addressing her husband’s Alzheimer’s. They only make ends meet because of this tax deduction. And she said, ‘I can’t understand the cruelty behind this action.’ Cruel, it is.

So, again, tell that to students and graduates who can’t deduct student loans. Interest on student loans, $2500. Student loan deduction they are eliminating. Why? To give tax breaks to their rich friends.

Tell that to a teacher who buys supplies for a school and can’t deduct that. Why? It’s always about why. So they can give tax breaks to their rich friends.

And tell that to the hard-working Americans being double taxed after the state and local tax deduction is dismantled.

The GOP tax scam is a perfect reflection of the priorities of the Republican Congress, racing to raise taxes on 36 million middle class families. That is according to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center.

And the bill is only growing more monstrous in the Senate. The Republicans in the House are saying, ‘Well, I’m just voting for it. I know it doesn’t have all good things, but it is just to move the process along, this will be corrected in the Senate.’

Oh, really? Today now the Joint Committee on Taxation put forth this, just within the past 2 hours: Senate tax bill cuts taxes of the wealthy and hikes taxes on families earning under $75,000.

The Senate is going to make this better?

With Republicans adding the destruction of the Affordable Care Act to their bill in the Senate, the fight to defeat the GOP tax scam is now a life or death struggle for millions of American families. Republicans will raise taxes on tens of millions of middle class families, as I mentioned, explode the ranks of the uninsured by 13 million and spike premiums for Americans with preexisting conditions.

Thank you, Republicans in the Senate and now the House.

Republicans want you to believe that their trickle-down tax breaks for the rich will pay for themselves. Never have. They say they’re going to create jobs and pay for themselves. Neither is true. They never have.

As Bruce Bartlett, architect of Jack Kemp’s supply side economics, said: In terms of tax breaks paying for themselves, ‘it’s not true, it’s nonsense, it’s BS.’ That’s what he said, and he said the whole word.

The people deserve better, a real bipartisan, permanent tax reform. This isn’t tax reform. It’s not even a tax cut. It’s a tax scam.

Why don’t we go to the table, it has been done in the past, in a bipartisan way, sit down, listen to testimony as to what works and what doesn’t work and what really creates good paying jobs, by creating growth, and doing so reducing the deficit as we prepare our families for the 21st century jobs.

Democrats believe that the American people deserve better than the Republican tax scam; A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Pay, A Better Future. We are investing in creating good paying jobs and raising workers’ wages, lowering the cost of living for families, and giving Americans the tools to succeed for the 21st century.

Today, we revealed A Better Deal on pensions, bet some of you were there, protecting the promise of retirement security for workers who did everything right. They worked their lifetime, they’ve paid into the pension, and now there’s a threat that those promises would be broken as to their receiving their pension.

As we head into Thanksgiving, as families come together in gratitude and prayerfulness, the Congress of the United States should not be pillaging the future for big corporations and the rich.

What’s interesting to me is that [National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn said that those who are the most excited about the Republican tax bill are big corporate CEOs. Lindsey Graham said financial contributions will end if they don’t pass this bill. Chris Collins said donors say to him, ‘If you don’t pass this bill, don’t call us.’

What is this? This is about their donors? It’s not about the American people? It’s not about our future?

It’s a terrible bill, and I’ll have more to say about it on the floor of the House, but I just wanted to share some thoughts with you on it.

Any questions?

Press questioning followed (see transcript)

Some additional quotes from Leader Pelosi during the presser:

I don’t know what it takes to penetrate the brain of the California Republicans that they don’t understand that tens, if not a couple hundred thousand of their – over 100,000 of their constituents will be directly impacted with their taxes raised, in some cases over $10,000. We’ll be sure that their constituents know that between now and when the Senate does what it does.

But the Senate bill is deadly. As I say, it gives a tax hike to the middle class under $75,000 and a tax break to the wealthy while it guts the Affordable Care Act. Thirteen million people then would lose their coverage, would lose their coverage.

And, again, if they return to the state and local [tax deductions], I think that a bill that would have that returning to the House would not succeed, because right now the Republicans are hiding behind the little modification that was made and that it was all going to get better in the Senate.

~

I did a lot of reading of Pope Benedict. He was a wonderful writer, an intellectual. And in his first encyclical, ‘God is Love,’ he quotes Saint Augustine, who 17 centuries ago said, ‘Any government that does not exist to promote justice is just a bunch of thieves.’

He went on to say he, Benedict, that sometimes it’s hard to define justice. As you make those decisions, he cautioned against the dazzling blindness of money and power.

And so when I hear [National Economic Council Advisor] Gary [Cohn] saying, Who cares about this?’ or, ‘The big CEOs, they’re really excited,’ or, ‘Don’t call me if you don’t pass this bill, say our donors,’ or, ‘The financial contributions will dry up if we don’t pass this bill,’ sounds very much like what was being cautioned against in that encyclical. It’s a stunning thing.

~

Editorial Boards Agree: #GOPTaxScam Wrong for Hard-Working Americans

[This past week], the House Republicans passed a GOP tax scam that will raise taxes on millions of hard-working American families in order to hand deficit-exploding giveaways to the wealthiest few.

But don’t just take our word for it, editorial boards across the country have condemned this awful bill:

Aurora Sentinel: Coffman belies image of politically moderate fiscal conservative by backing middle-class nightmare tax bill

Chicago Sun-Times: House GOP doesn’t care about your taxes, your kids, or you

Kansas City Star: On Kansas-style tax cuts, please don’t make us say we told you so, senators

New York Times: A Tax-Cut Bill to Make Scrooge McDuck Proud

San Diego Union-Tribune: This tax ‘reform’ would harm California

San Francisco Chronicle: Tax reform — look out, Californians

Seattle Times: Tax plan shouldn’t ax affordable housing

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Ominous implications for Missouri, Illinois in tax-cut bills

The Republic [MA]: GOP tax code overhaul: Smoke, mirrors, shenanigans

Washington Post: The destructive part of the Republican tax bill you’re not paying attention to

(Full quotes and links are at the link)

~

House GOP Votes to Raise Taxes on 36 Million Middle Class Families

Today, House Republicans voted for raising taxes on 36 million middle class families in order to hand deficit-exploding giveaways to the wealthiest and corporations shipping jobs overseas. As Republicans head home for Thanksgiving to face their constituents, here’s a reminder of how many families in each state will lose vital middle class tax deductions thanks to their GOP Members of Congress:

(Click the link to see the impact on each state)

~

  3 comments for “Fighting Back: Rep. DelBene – “The Republican legislation is a bill of callous decisions and missed opportunities.”

  1. JanF
    November 18, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Nancy Pelosi gave a floor speech against the Republican’s Tax Scam. Here are some excerpts:

    This vote today is a defining moment for our country. Our votes today will decide the future of the American middle class and those who aspire to it, the future of our children and our grandchildren, the future of the United States of America as the land of opportunity. Today the Republicans have brought forth a bill that is pillaging the middle class to pad the pockets of the wealthiest and hand tax breaks to corporations shipping jobs out of America and drastically increasing the national debt.

    My colleagues, the bill Republicans have brought to the floor today is not tax reform. It’s not even a tax cut. It is a tax scam. […]

    I want to speak of Pope Benedict, his encyclical. It was his first encyclical as Pope. And in that encyclical, Pope Benedict quoted the wisdom of Saint Augustine – Saint Augustine. Seventeen centuries ago Saint Augustine said, ‘a state which is not governed according to justice would be just a bunch of thieves.’ Benedict went on to say, ‘the state must inevitably face the question of how justice can be achieved here and now.’ And he cautioned against ‘the danger of certain ethical blindness caused by the dazzling effect of power and special interests.’

    Interesting, in light of the fact that when this bill was brought forward, the Director of National Economic Council, Gary Cohn, he said, ‘the most excited group out there are the big CEO’s about our tax plan.’ Is that justice?

    Congressman [Chris] Collins said, ‘my donors are basically saying, get it done or don’t ever call me again.’

    Senator Lindsey Graham said, ‘the financial contributions will stop if this tax scam fails.’ Well, he didn’t say scam. I’m saying scam. That’s my word.

    Full transcript here.

    • November 23, 2017 at 1:34 am

      Hi.
      I’m friends with BFitz from Daily Kos. I was told to come here and post in the comments to ask for an invitation to join this fourm.
      #jtg

      • JanF
        November 23, 2017 at 6:38 am

        Hi, jtg! I set you up with a user account and a temporary password which will be emailed to you from the wordpress at motleymoose.net account. You can use that to log in and then change your password if you choose. If you need help getting logged in WordPress is a bit tweaky), look at this FAQ:
        FAQ – How To Log In

        Welcome to the Moose Pond!

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