Statement ● GOP Tax Planfacebooktwitterbirdemail
For Immediate Release: 
November 14, 2017
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks on the House Floor today in opposition to the GOP tax scam bill that cuts taxes for the wealthiest Americans, raises taxes on 36 million middle-class families, and explodes the deficit. Below is a video and a transcript of his remarks:
 


Click here to watch a video of his remarks.
 
“Mr. Speaker, I was here when Democrats and Republicans came together to enact bipartisan tax reform in 1986. We paid for our tax overhaul and never once asked future generations to foot the bill.
 
“President Trump said in July that tax reform is ‘going to be easy.’  I’ll admit that to someone like him, who is new to government and who may not understand fully how Congress works, that what we achieved in 1986 may, in hindsight, appear to have been easy.  It wasn’t.  It was difficult because it required compromise.  It was difficult because it required trust.  And it was difficult because it required both parties to make tough choices and share the burden of taking responsibility along with the benefit of claiming victory.
 
“Somewhere along the way, Mr. Speaker, it seems that many in the Republican Party lost sight of this truth.  First on health care and now on taxes, they’ve decided that it would be far easier not to work with Democrats at all, so they’ve chosen a partisan path, where the only ones with whom they have to compromise are themselves.
 
“It’s ‘going to be easy,’ they said.  And the result?  We now expect on this Floor a bill so dangerous and so reprehensible to the taxpayers of this country that nearly every major organization representing taxpayers, small businesses, workers, farmers, seniors, home builders, realtors, teachers, and – I could go on – oppose this bill.

“There are more serious problems with the Republican tax bill than time to address them on this Floor, so I want to highlight the three that make it so utterly dangerous to our economy and to the middle class.
 
“First, most of the benefits of the tax cuts Republicans are proposing will benefit only those in the very top one percent, the 99% left behind.  According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center’s latest analysis, under the Republican plan, 47% of the tax cuts will benefit that top one percent – just 1.2 million households making more than $900,000 dollars a year.  Let me repeat: the top 1% will get nearly half of all the tax cuts in this bill – and 50% for the 99%.
 
“Second, the Republican plan raises taxes on 36 million middle-class families.  That’s not what the Speaker said it was going to do.  He said it would give everybody a tax cut.  That was not true – and is not true.  Thirty-six million middle-class American households will see their taxes go up over the next ten years as a result of the Republican plan.
 
“And third, the Republican plan will explode the debt by more than $1.7 trillion over the next decade.  This bill is the grand-daddy of all debt creators.  This means that those tax cuts, more than half of which benefit only the top 1.5% percent, will be paid for by a huge tax increase on our children and grandchildren.
 
“The late Senator Russell Long from Louisiana liked to cite an old ditty about who gets stuck with the pain of a tax increase.  He said:  ‘Don’t tax you.  Don’t tax me.  Tax that fellow behind the tree.’   Meaning, of course, that none of the voters want a tax increase.  If you raise taxes, make sure it’s someone else who’s out of sight and out of mind.  In this case, sadly, Mr. Speaker, that ‘fellow behind the tree’ is a child. This is a tax increase on all those children.  It’s a child who can’t vote and doesn’t have a voice in this debate. 

“The Republican plan asks Members to pile $1.7 trillion or more of debt onto our children and grandchildren and put the fiscal sustainability of our country further at risk.  And when confronted with this fact, we hear only the same arguments we heard in 2001 and 2003 before the last major Republican effort to cut taxes precipitated the worst recession in our memory and a period of severe budget tightening that led to disinvestment in our country under threat of sequestration.  And that argument, flawed and false, is that these tax cuts will grow the economy so much that the ensuing growth will magically erase all the deficits we know their plan will accrue.
 
“So easy, Mr. Speaker.  So easy.  The cuts will simply pay for themselves, we’re told.  We have been told that before, of course.  The cycle repeats: Republican promises that tax cuts will pay for themselves, followed by massive deficits – 189% increase in the deficit under Ronald Reagan – followed by Republicans insisting that we respond with austere cuts to investments in our people and in opportunity.  So easily they forget.
 
“But middle-class Americans will not forget who is responsible when their taxes go up, when their tax increases pay for tax cuts for the top one percent, and when – in the years ahead – more and more investments need to be cut to pay the interest on the debt under which this plan will bury the children and grandchildren of America.  And all because my colleagues across the aisle wanted to skip out on doing what they knew would be hard.  Just as they did when former Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp introduced his comprehensive tax reform that was responsibly paid-for, but they dismissed it. 
 
“He asked his colleagues to do something hard.  But they dismissed it out of hand, because it would have required hashing out a difficult compromise.  But easy is no synonym for successful.
 
“President Kennedy told us that ‘We choose these things’ – that is, tackling our greatest challenges – ‘not because they are easy, but because they are hard.’ 
 
“So I ask my Republican friends – no, I urge them: set aside this dangerous, reckless, and irresponsible bill.  Instead, let’s choose the hard path that involves hard choices and trust and all those things that made tax reform successful in 1986, which are the missing elements in this flawed bill.
 
“Democrats are ready to sit down with you and work on this challenge together.  It won’t be easy.  That’s a promise.  But if we do it together – if we do it in a way that doesn’t balloon the debt or raise taxes on the middle class – we have a chance to do it right.  Let’s take that chance.”