Early Saturday morning, in a late night vote most likely timed to try and quiet the uproar that would follow, the Senate voted 51 to 49 to pass the GOP Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Because of a decision by Republican lawmakers, Senators were not allowed to read the text of the massive bill before voting on it. They received the text of the bill just before the vote, with no time to read the 500-pages of legislation.
The GOP rushed the process so much, that even the Joint Committee on Taxes, the bipartisan body tasked with scoring this kind of legislation, couldn’t release their analysis of the bill until after it had passed.
An hour after Senate passes tax bill, its official scorekeeper is able to release how much it costs: $1.5 trillion https://t.co/Zk8PZd4Wdn
— Catherine Rampell (@crampell) December 2, 2017
Senator John Tester (D-MT) tweeted that he received the bill 25 minutes prior to the vote.
I was just handed a 479-page tax bill a few hours before the vote. One page literally has hand scribbled policy changes on it that can’t be read. This is Washington, D.C. at its worst. Montanans deserve so much better. pic.twitter.com/q6lTpXoXS0
— Senator Jon Tester (@SenatorTester) December 2, 2017
Additions were being made so last minute that they were scribbled onto paper copies of the bill as Senators scrambled to review the legislation before the vote.
Trying to review the #GOPTaxScam but they are making hand-written changes to brand new text as we speak – can anyone else read this? pic.twitter.com/JX8v1v4gyi
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) December 1, 2017
Only one Republican, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) voted against the bill. Not one Democrat voted for it.
So what’s the big deal?
The tax bill will cost $1.4 trillion dollars and will be detrimental to middle and lower class families. The bill overwhelmingly favors corporations and the 1% by offering them huge tax breaks.
All analysis shows that the bill will cost over a trillion dollars and will not deliver on any of the GOP’s promises to promote growth or raise revenue.
What’s more, the GOP snuck several additions into the legislation that have nothing to do with tax reform, but everything to do with the GOP agenda, such as:
- Eliminating Obamacare’s individual mandate, which is expected to cause 13 million people to lose insurance coverage.
- Including a provision under college savings accounts that specifies an “unborn child” as a “child in utero”, which is the GOP’s “back-door attempt to establish personhood from the moment of conception.” This would be the first use of the tax code to promote fetal personhood in history.
- Allowing for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
- Cutting funding for public schools while creating massive benefits for private and religious schools.
- Removes the limit that kept nonprofits from being able to endorse politicians. Now people like the Koch Brothers can get millions in tax breaks for their political contributions.
- Blocks people from deducting interest paid on their student loans.
In the words of Senator Bernie Sanders, “The federal treasury is being looted tonight.”
According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the tax plan will costs almost $1.5 trillion and generate around $400 billion worth of growth, leaving the net cost of the plan more than $1 trillion.
They also found that only 62 percent of Americans would get a tax cut worth $100 or more in 2019, the remaining 38 percent would pay either the same amount in taxes or see their taxes rise.
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