Complete Consideration of H.R. 1 – GOP Tax Bill (Rep. Brady (TX) – Ways and Means) (Two hours of debate). Despite growing opposition from educators, small businesses, professionals, faith based organizations, the disabled, and the American people, House Republicans are moving forward with a vote on their tax bill this week.
This Republican Tax Scam would benefit the wealthiest in the country at the expense of the middle class. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that the wealthiest 1% will receive nearly 50% of the total tax cuts, while nearly 75% of benefits will go to the wealthiest fifth of the population. Meanwhile, 36 million middle class households will see a tax increase because H.R. 1 eliminates nearly all deductions that middle class families claim. Republicans will rely on the law of averages in attempting to convince members that their constituents will see an “average” tax cut – an average tax cut means nothing to American families if their own personal tax situation is going to result in their taxes going up, which will be the case for 36 million middle class families.
Among the many ways the GOP tax bill harms the middle class at all stages of life, this legislation: (1) eliminates the deduction for state and local income and sales taxes, while capping it for property taxes at $10,000; (2) limits the mortgage interest deduction used by homeowners to $500,000 worth of mortgage debt; (3) raises taxes to the tune of $65 billion on students struggling to finance their student loan cost, including through elimination of the student loan interest deduction, making it harder for graduates to pay off debt; (4) eliminates the medical expense deduction, which Americans with disabilities, long-term care needs, and high dental expenses rely on to afford care; (5) eliminates a deduction for teachers who purchase supplies for their classroom; (6) eliminates the deduction for moving expenses to take a new job and taxes employer-provided moving expenses; (7) eliminates the deduction for dependent care assistance, making it harder for families to afford day care, nursery school, or care for aging parents; (8) eliminates the Lifetime Learning Credit, which helps nontraditional students earn a degree; (9) eliminates the casualty loss deduction, which Americans use to offset repairs from damage from disasters; and (10) eliminates personal exemptions, which parents currently claim for themselves, their spouse, and dependents and which grows with the size of their family.
By contrast, the biggest beneficiaries under the Republican tax plan are big corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Corporations would see a 15 percentage point reduction in their tax rate in the first year, costing approximately $1.5 trillion over a 10-year period. 5,500 of the wealthiest families would also receive a huge bonus as the Republican bill doubles the current estate tax exemption to those estates larger than $22 million, before eventually repealing the estate tax by 2024.
This bill not only hurts the middle class now, but it also hurts future generations by burying them under even more debt. This bill explodes deficits by at least $1.5 trillion over the next decade and would add $1.7 trillion to the debt. For years Republicans talked about fiscal responsibility at a time when spending was necessary to address the Great Recession. They pushed for cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and numerous other essential programs, all in the name of getting our fiscal house in order. But now, Republicans are exposing that their belief in fiscal discipline does not extend to blowing up the deficit to give tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans.
Many Republicans argue that tax cuts pay for themselves, but that claim has no basis in reality. No economic modeling – even that produced by conservative think tanks – backs up Republican claims that this bill will grow the economy enough to pay for itself. In fact, many project it will actually harm the economy and middle class wages.
Now, less than two weeks after this legislation was made public, House Republicans are rushing this irresponsible, dangerous overhaul to our tax system to the Floor. Republicans held no hearings on this bill, spent just a few days in a partisan markup, revised it with a sweeping amendment only minutes before final passage, and received no input from the American people. They crafted their partisan giveaway to the wealthiest Americans in secret and are now rushing it through Congress. This is irresponsible and has very real consequences for the American people, but Republicans are only focused on getting a legislative win after their repeated failures to repeal the Affordable Care Act and enact any meaningful legislation. Finally, it is clear that this bill is not going to become law – the Senate has only begun its markup process and is commencing with legislation that does not eliminate many of the provisions that H.R. 1 eliminates. Members are urged to VOTE NO.
Bill Text for H.R. 1:
Background for H.R. 1:
House Report (HTML Version)
House Report (PDF Version)
Postponed Suspension (1 bill)
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