Congresswoman Bustos votes against Washington Republicans’ Tax Scam

Job-Killing Tax Bill will raise taxes on 86 million middle-class households, raise health care expenses, increase national debt by $2.2 trillion and make it easier for big corporations to ship jobs overseas…


All to give windfall tax breaks to corporate special interests and the ultra-wealthy

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos voted against Speaker Ryan’s tax scam. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center showed that this legislation will raise taxes on 86 million middle-class households while giving 83% of the benefits to the wealthiest 1% in our country. Additionally, by undermining the Affordable Care Act, this bill will lead to 13 million Americans losing their health insurance, increasing out-of-pocket expenses and premiums for working families while endangering those with pre-existing conditions. This shell game sticks our next generation with the bill for an estimated $2.2 trillion in new federal debt while providing new tax incentives for companies to ship good-paying American jobs overseas.

The bill passed by a vote of 227 – 203.

Bustos, who spoke on the floor of the House earlier today, issued the following statement:

“The very first bill I introduced in this Congress called on President Trump to develop a comprehensive plan to end the outsourcing of American jobs. Instead, today Speaker Ryan delivered a gut punch to millions of hardworking families who are already struggling by raising their taxes and making it easier for big companies to ship their jobs overseas.

 “At the beginning of this debate, I said I would be open to working on tax reform, but only if we put hardworking families first, but that’s not what this bill does. Over the last several months, I’ve heard from hundreds of men and women across rural America who are sick of getting a raw deal from Washington and frankly they are scared about how they’ll afford to pay their bills after this tax scam becomes law. On factory floors, in grocery store aisles and at kitchen tables across the heartland, families are going to have to figure out how to make ends meet after Washington Republicans raise their taxes, increase their health care expenses and raise the national debt by trillions of dollars to pay for tax breaks for billionaires and corporate special interests.

 “This is a defining moment in our nation’s history and we, as Democrats, will stay united and continue fighting to undo the damage Washington Republicans caused today. Together we will stand up and demand a Better Deal for the American people rooted in creating better jobs, ensuring better wages and delivering a better future for all of our families.”


The GOP Tax Scam will raise taxes on millions of middle class households in order to hand deficit-exploding giveaways to the wealthiest and corporations shipping jobs overseas. An analysis of the Conference Report on the GOP Tax Scam by the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, released yesterday, found the Republican legislation will raise taxes on a staggering 86 million middle class households across America.

Both the House and Senate GOP Tax Scams were very bad bills, but this Conference Report is even worse.  The non-partisan Tax Policy Center found that the Conference Report gives 83 percent of the tax cuts to the wealthiest 1 percent – a figure even higher than for both the House and Senate bills.

The Conference Report on the GOP Tax Scam shows that Republicans are dead-set on raising taxes on middle class families across America:  

  • Raises Taxes on 86 Million Middle Class Families – 86 million hard-working middle class families across a tax hike under this Republican legislation.
  • Gives 83 Percent of the Tax Cuts to the Wealthiest 1 Percent, Explodes Deficit – the GOP slashes taxes for the wealthiest and corporations, while sticking our children with the bill for exploding debt.
  • Gives New Tax Break to Corporations Shipping American Jobs Overseas – eliminating jobs, and driving down American wages & salaries.
  • Democrats Are Fighting for A Better Deal – Democrats want real, bipartisan tax reform that puts the middle class first with A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future.
  • Puts Farm Programs and Medicare at Risk – By violating “Pay as you go” rules with this deficit busting bill, several programs that support our agricultural economy and Medicaid will likely face automatic cuts.

 This bill also will increase deficits by $2.2 trillion, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.  Yet, Speaker Ryan has announced that the GOP will focus on cutting Medicare and Medicaid spending in 2018, citing the need to reduce large deficits! 

  • As the Washington Post reports, “House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Wednesday [December 6] that congressional Republicans will aim next year to reduce spending on both health care and anti-poverty programs, citing the need to reduce America’s deficit. … Ryan said, during an appearance on Ross Kaminsky’s talk radio show, ‘Frankly, it’s the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt.’”

 The final GOP Tax Scam legislation is yet another GOP attack on health care, particularly on those Americans with pre-existing conditions: 


  • The premium increase will result in Americans with pre-existing conditions losing access to affordable coverage.


The final GOP Tax Scam legislation also slashes the state and local tax deduction for families, but allows corporations to keep it: 

  • The GOP Tax Scam slashes the highly popular state and local tax (SALT) deduction by limiting the total deduction for state and local taxes (including property, income and sales taxes) to $10,000.


  • Millions of Americans live in counties where the average SALT deduction is currently worth double, triple, or even quadruple the legislation’s proposed cap of $10,000. Losing the full SALT deduction would impose enormous new costs on these families.


  • The deduction is based on the simple notion that people should not be taxed on money that is going towards paying their state and local taxes.  Taxation of this money amounts to double taxation, which is wrong and unfair. The state and local tax deduction is so common-sense that it has been part of the U.S. tax code ever since it was established in 1913.


  • The Coalition Against Double Taxation strongly opposes the final GOP Tax Scam bill, stating, “The substantial cut in the SALT deduction will raise taxes for homeowners in many states, drive down property values, and threaten funding for infrastructure and vital public services. … Independent, non-partisan analysis has shown that the minor modification [of the Senate provisions eliminating the SALT deduction] made by the conferees would provide little relief for middle-class taxpayers. … For instance, in California, the current average SALT deduction under present law is more than $23,000, exposing $13,000 to double taxation.


  • The groups that belong to the Coalition Against Double Taxation and strongly oppose this slashing of the SALT deduction include International Association of Fire Fighters, National Sheriffs’ Association, National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, National Governors Association, National Association of Counties, and U.S. Conference of Mayors.


Finally, here are several additional ways the disastrous GOP Tax Scam legislation will damage our economy.

  • Adds $2.2 Trillion to the Deficit for Giveaways Targeted at Wealthiest and Corporations: Adds $2.2 trillion to the deficit in the first ten years for tax cuts flowing overwhelmingly to the wealthy and corporations.


  • Shows Republican Priorities by Making Corporate Tax Cuts Permanent, While Making Individual Tax Cuts Temporary: Increases taxes on millions of middle-class Americans to pay for permanent tax cuts for corporations – while making the few individual tax breaks temporary.


  • Slashes The Top Rate, Benefiting Only the Wealthiest Americans: Provides huge tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, including lowering the top individual tax rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent, after many Republicans bragged they weren’t going to.


  • Provides Windfall for Wealthy with Lower Tax Rate for High-Income “Pass-Through” Business Owners: Provides a windfall for the wealthy by lowering the tax rate for high-income “pass-through” business owners like Donald Trump, who himself owns more than 500 pass-throughs.


  • Slashes Taxes for Wealthiest 0.2% of Estates: Doubles the estate tax exemption, providing a large tax cut for the heirs of the wealthiest 0.2 percent of estates.


  • Scales Back Tax Benefit of Buying A New Home: Scales back the tax benefit of buying a new home by lowering the cap on the mortgage interest deduction from $1 million to $750,000.  In higher cost areas, this will lower home values and impose burdens on new homeowners.


A wide range of organizations have also spoken out against the GOP’s Tax Scam Bill:

AARP: “We remain deeply concerned by the negative effect the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will have on the nation’s ability to fund critical priorities. The tax legislation will increase the deficit by approximately $1.5 trillion over the next ten years, and an unknown amount beyond 2027. The large increase in the deficit will inevitably lead to calls for greater spending cuts, which are likely to include dramatic cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and other important programs serving older Americans. …Such sweeping cuts would be detrimental to an already vulnerable population.” [Letter, 12/18/17]

AASA, The School Superintendents Association, Association of Educational Service Agencies, Association of School Business Officials, National Rural Education Advocacy Consortium, and National Rural Education Association: “The comprehensive tax bill includes provisions that undermine the strength of our nation’s public school systems and compromises the ability of these systems to adequately and effectively provide educational opportunities and services to the students they serve.” [Letter, 12/15/17]

AFSCME: “This unfair tax bill tilts the tax system against working families, weakens health care coverage, encourages corporations to send jobs overseas, and will lead to cuts to vital public services.  AFSCME strongly opposes this tax bill.” [Letter, 12/18/17]

Alliance for Retired Americans: “I am writing to urge you to oppose H.R. 1, a bill that will reduce taxes for corporations and wealthy Americans while harming seniors and middle class Americans. This fiscally irresponsible legislation will not be fully-paid for and will balloon the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years.” [Letter, 12/18/17]

American Thoratic Society: “The ATS is alarmed that the bill, as currently written, will increase the number of uninsured Americans, increase health insurance cost for insured Americans and result in spending cuts to the Medicare program.” [Letter, 12/15/17]

Communications Workers of America: “The conference report on H.R. 1 is clearly designed as a massive wealth transfer from working families to the wealthiest Americans. The overwhelming majority of the benefits of this bill would go to the richest 1% of Americans, while tens of millions of working families would see little to no benefit, or even face tax increases. Even worse, the bill causes 13 million people to lose their health insurance, while also jeopardizing future funding for Medicare and Medicaid.” [Letter, 12/18/17]

The FACT Coalition: “This bill would create significant new tax incentives to move U.S. jobs, profits, and operations overseas, while exploding the deficit. The bill’s complicated structure also creates multiple new loopholes to allow for expanded tax avoidance by large, multinational companies at the expense of small businesses and wholly domestic companies.” [Letter, 12/18/17]

Food Policy Action: “[The GOP Tax Scam] largely reduces taxes for the wealthiest households and corporations, while raising taxes on millions of low- and moderate-income American families and food producers. According to estimates by the Joint Committee on Taxation, the revenue generated by economic growth as a result of this bill would fall far short of offsetting its price tag. The resulting decrease in federal revenues will increase pressure for further cuts to discretionary, non-defense programs, such as food and agriculture programs for the most vulnerable.” [Letter, 12/19/17]

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers: “The GOP tax plan would bestow enormous tax cuts to U.S. multinational corporations that outsource production and American jobs…Any real tax reform plan should eliminate outsourcing incentives in order to encourage investment in domestic manufacturing, production, and employment.  Instead, the GOP plan does the opposite, and it is working families who will pay the price as their jobs move overseas.” [Letter, 12/18/17]

National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare: “The conference agreement on the tax bill will trigger an immediate $25 billion cut in Medicare spending and will inevitably lead to the unraveling of working and middle-class programs to pay for massive tax cuts for the very wealthy and profitable corporations.” [Letter, 12/18/17]

National Education Association: “[The GOP Tax Scam] permanently slashes taxes on corporations and pass-through businesses. At the same time, it lowers the top tax rate for the wealthiest individuals and increases taxes on some working families. It will also add $1 trillion to the nation’s deficit… The budget resolution that helped pave the way for this bill previews the next phase: calls to cut the growing deficit by slashing services that help our most vulnerable citizens, including Medicaid, Medicare, education, and more.” [Letter, 12/18/17]

National Farmers Union: “We are greatly concerned over the negative impact this bill could have on farming and ranching families, rural residents and our country’s fiscal condition… Our farmer and rancher members are seriously concerned with the CBO’s assessment as it relates to PAYGO and sequestration…. Lastly, individual rate changes disproportionately benefit high income earners.  NFU policy supports simplifying the tax code, and creating a more progressive tax structure.  H.R. 1 does neither.” [Letter, 12/18/17]

Twenty leading environmental & natural resources organizations, including Sierra Club, Wilderness Society, Nature Conservancy, Earth Justice, Clean Water Action:  “The GOP leadership’s plan packages this tax legislation with unrelated, controversial legislation that would open up the iconic Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. This legislation would irreversibly damage one of America’s greatest wild places and is only being included in a desperate attempt to secure enough votes in the Senate for tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans.” [Letter, 12/18/17]