Issue Report ● GOP Tax Law
For Immediate Release: 
November 7, 2017
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

House Republicans are marking up their bill to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans while raising taxes on millions of middle-class families and exploding the deficit. Already, a wide range of organizations are voicing their opposition to the bill.   
Organizations focused on fiscal responsibility oppose the bill, which would add at least $1.5 trillion to the deficit:

Peter G. Peterson Foundation: “Passing a bill to our kids is not the right way to pass a bill. This legislation is an example of fiscal irresponsibility. It is based on a presumption that it’s somehow acceptable to add $1.5 trillion to our national debt over the next ten years when we will already be adding $10 trillion as it is…Lawmakers should use the valuable opportunity presented by tax reform both to improve our fiscal outlook and strengthen the economy at the same time.” [Statement, 11/2/17]
Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: “Not only would today’s legislation cost more than $1.5 trillion over a decade, but it includes a number of gimmicks, including allowing certain provisions to expire, that could ultimately result in more than $1.5 trillion of new deficits. The bill also continues to rely on unrealistic economic growth assumptions to justify its cost.” [Statement, 11/2/17]
The business community and others oppose the bill because it would undermine small businesses, harm the middle class, and put home ownership at risk while giving massive tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy:
National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): “The National Federation of Independent Business is unable to support the House tax reform plan in its current form. …This bill leaves too many small businesses behind. We are concerned that the pass-through provision does not help most small businesses.” [Statement, 11/2/17]
Small Business Majority: “Given this terrible return on investment, it is evident lawmakers don’t understand that we need to take a bottom-up approach in order to help all small businesses, and create a level playing field so small business owners can compete… Much can be done to help small firms through tax policy changes, which is why it is so disappointing that this proposal offers virtually nothing to benefit the overwhelming majority of America’s job creators.” [Accounting Web, 11/2/17]
National Association of Home Builders: “The details that are coming out show that the House Republicans are picking large corporations and wealthy Americans over small businesses and middle-class American homeowners... Values of [Americans’] homes are at risk of declining. Baby boomers ought to think about putting off retirement for a couple of years because they may not have the equity in their homes that they thought they did.” [Business Insider, 11/2/17]
National Association of Realtors: “Eliminating or nullifying the tax incentives for homeownership puts home values and middle class homeowners at risk, and from a cursory examination this legislation appears to do just that.” [Statement, 11/2/17]’
American Institute of Architects: “The House Ways & Means Committee proposal, as drafted, will unfairly damage the thousands of small and family-owned businesses that organize as pass-through entities. This includes the majority of U.S. architecture firms. It undercuts the design and construction sector's role as a primary catalyst of job growth in the American economy. The American Institute of Architects cannot support it as drafted. …Tax reform isn't just about abstract numbers; it has real impacts on small businesses and communities throughout the country. We will campaign for tax reforms that are aligned with our values and meet the needs of the American people.” [Statement, 11/2/17]
National Farmers Union: “…[W]e adamantly oppose the overarching elements of this plan because they shift the nation’s tax burden from the top earners in our country to the backs of American family farmers, ranchers and the middle class. This plan offers significant tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. It repeals the estate tax, a significant revenue generator that affects only the wealthiest in our nation. And it does not provide adequate offsets for these cuts, translating to a $1.51 trillion increase to our federal deficit.” [Statement, 11/2/17]
American Wind Energy Association: “Despite comments to the contrary, this proposal reneges on the tax reform deal that was already agreed to, and would impose a retroactive tax hike on an entire industry… The House language would have a chilling effect on private investment in U.S. infrastructure.” [Statement, 11/3/17]
Council of Development Finance Agencies: “We understand the importance of streamlining the tax code and growing revenue; however, any tax reform legislation that eliminates Private Activity Bonds would be devastating to economic development at the state and local levels, and would undermine the purported economic gains of any tax reform. While low-cost capital access remains the primary strength of Private Activity Bonds, job creation is one of the most critical elements in the use of this important tool for economic development purposes.” [Letter, 11/3/17]
Bond Dealers of America: “If this proposal becomes law, it would severely impact state and local efforts to build affordable housing, promote home ownership, finance higher education, build critical infrastructure, and foster economic development. I am also alarmed that the bill would eliminate advance refundings of municipal bonds.  This ill-advised provision would rob state and local governments of the opportunity to save tax payer’s money by taking advantage of lower interest rates and invest in much needed infrastructure.” [Statement, 11/6/17]
Labor unions oppose the bill, citing how it would hurt working Americans: 
Service Employees International Union (SEIU): “This proposal is disastrous for working people. History has shown us that these types of tax breaks never ‘trickle down’ to working people and will result in cuts to healthcare, education and other programs our communities depend on. If passed, these tax cuts would give millionaires and corporations a reason to celebrate but would hurt working Americans who are trying put food on the table, start their first businesses, send their children to college, save for their retirement and buy homes.” [Statement, 11/3/17]
Advocates for seniors also oppose the elimination of the medical expense deduction, claimed by 8.8 million Americans on their 2015 tax returns:
AARP: “Eliminating the medical expense deduction amounts to a health tax on millions of Americans with high medical costs — especially middle-income seniors… AARP is strongly opposed to this provision… We urge Congress to maintain tax incentives that promote retirement savings, retirement security and help offset the high out-of-pocket health care costs of older Americans. The tax system should also produce sufficient revenue to pay for important priorities, including Medicare, Medicaid, other programs important to older Americans, and maintain fiscal stability.” [Blog, 11/7/17]
Education advocates are also speaking out against the GOP tax plan that makes it harder for Americans to afford higher education and increases costs for teachers:
National Education Association: “The tax plan released by House Republican leaders and backed by President Trump is a massive tax giveaway to the wealthiest individuals and corporations funded on the backs of students and working families. Expanding education tax loopholes in order for wealthy families to stash away money for private school will hurt neighborhood public schools and students. Similarly, as educators spend more and more of their own funds each year to buy basic essentials, Republican leaders chose to ignore the sacrifice made by those who work in our nation’s public schools to make sure students have adequate books, pencils, paper and art supplies.” [Statement, 11/2/17]
American Council on Education: “Taken in its entirety, the House tax reform proposal released today would discourage participation in postsecondary education, make college more expensive for those who do enroll, and undermine the financial stability of public and private, two-year and four-year colleges and universities. According to the summary of the legislation provided by the House Committee on Ways and Means, this bill would increase the cost to students of attending college by more than $65 billion between 2018 and 2027. This is not in America’s national interest.” [Statement, 11/2/17]
Association of American Universities: “However, the legislation, as currently proposed, will make higher education less affordable and less accessible to middle- and low-income Americans. This bill will have dire consequences for Americans who rely on research universities for undergraduate and graduate education, and to conduct cutting-edge research that results in life-saving medicines, and innovative technologies that bolster our national defense and economic competitiveness.” [Statement, 11/2/17]
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges: “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, released today by the House Ways & Means Committee, could prove disastrous to non-profit organizations in the United States—particularly our nation’s colleges and universities. In their zeal to find offsets to fund cuts in the corporate and personal tax rates and eliminate the estate tax, House policymakers have included provisions that will limit access to educational opportunity and quality for students, families, and communities.”  [Statement, 11/2/17]
Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities: “[A]s written, the bill would have deeply negative consequences for access to higher education, the cost of college, and efforts to develop the highly skilled workforce that is needed to propel our nation’s economy forward…” [Statement, 11/2/17]
Faith-based organizations have also spoken out against the bill:

Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty: “This tax bill will deform, not reform, the tax law that protects our houses of worship. Gutting the law that protects 501(c)(3) organizations from candidates pressing for endorsements threatens to destroy our congregations from within over disagreements on partisan campaigns. Under the current tax law, pastors speak truth to power and preach on moral issues, no matter how controversial.” [Statement, 11/2/17]
Americans United for Separation of Church and State: “[T]he leadership of the House of Representatives ignored the American people today when they released a tax-reform package that includes language that exempts houses of worship from the law. Congressional leadership should listen to all of these Americans and strip this harmful language from the tax-reform bill during its markup in the House Ways and Means Committee, which is currently scheduled for Nov. 6.” [Statement, 11/2/17]
Organizations focused on non-profits and charities oppose the bill because it would make it harder for people to invest in communities:
Independent Sector: “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act released today by the House of Representatives hurts charities, our communities, and the millions of families that we serve. Rather than unlocking more charitable giving to encourage more people to invest in their communities, this bill moves in the wrong direction and only incentivizes a small, wealthy group of people to give.” [Sector, 11/2/17] nonprofits, foundations, and corporations engaged in every kind of charitable endeavor.
National Association of Health and Educational Facilities Finance Authorities (NAHEFFA): “Non-profit hospitals and higher education institutions, and other public charities, are found in virtually every community across the nation and depend on tax-exempt private activity bonds as a financing option for a wide range of projects including general acute care hospitals, continuing care retirement communities, children’s hospitals, comprehensive cancer centers, general medical and surgical facilities, single specialty hospitals, higher education facilities, assisted living and nursing homes, and private nonprofit schools. Without access to tax-exempt private activity bonds, many of these critical facilities simply would not be built.” [Statement, 11/3/17]
Advocates for Americans with disabilities oppose the plan, speaking out against the GOP’s decision to end deductions that help Americans afford care and undermining Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security:

Fiscal Policy Task Force, Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities: “The Fiscal Policy Task Force of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) is deeply concerned about the House tax bill released yesterday. The tax bill would gut Federal revenue requiring huge cuts in Medicaid, Medicare and other programs people with disabilities rely on to live independently in the community to give huge tax cuts to millionaires and corporations…The tax proposal fails to consider the impact of the tax cuts on the independence and economic security of people with disabilities.” [Statement, 11/3/17]

Click here to read the PDF. 

Follow Whip Hoyer on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram