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McGovern: GOP Budget Shamelessly Puts Billionaires First

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Washington, October 25, 2017 | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior House Democrat and second-highest-ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee, led the floor debate against the House Republican FY 2018 Budget set for a vote this week. Click here to view video of today’s speech..

“Today, House Republicans are pushing a job-killing budget so they can use fast-track ‘reconciliation’ procedures to steamroll through their billionaires-first tax plan. We ought to have a budget that helps the millions of Americans who sent us here, not a budget that helps only the well-connected and the well-off.

“What’s particularly astonishing is the blatant hypocrisy of Republican leaders pushing this deficit-busting budget. Republicans are always telling us how much they care about the deficit, but when it comes to giving their beloved tax cuts to their billionaire friends, they suddenly develop a convenient case of amnesia. They say, ‘what deficit?’ ‘Don’t worry, these tax breaks will pay for themselves’ This is absurd.

“In this Republican-controlled Congress, we can now say with certainty that the deficit and debt no longer matter. All the talk by Republicans? They didn’t really mean it. If Republicans really cared about the deficit, they wouldn’t bring a budget as reckless as this to the floor. This shows what they truly believe. Where their values are.

“How many times have Republicans talked about the importance of a balanced budget? Let me spell this out for my Republican friends: This is not a balanced budget. Clearly Republicans desperately need a refresher on basic arithmetic.

“There is absolutely nothing balanced about hitting middle class families and millions of hardworking Americans with cuts while giving billionaires and corporations tax cuts they simply do not need. This is disgusting. This is shameful.

“In all my time in Congress, I have never seen a budget and a tax plan that harms so many just to benefit so few.

NUMBERS

• Individuals making $900,000+ a year would receive average tax cut of more than $200,000
• A person working full time at minimum wage makes $290 a week before taxes
• Under this plan, people who make over $432 an hour – $900,000 a year – get a massive tax cut
• Corporations will receive a tax cut totaling $2 trillion dollars
• 1 in 3 middle class taxpayers earning $50,000 to $150,000 would receive tax increase
• Nearly 50% of middle class families with kids will see their taxes go up

Source: Tax Policy Center

Click here to view video of today’s speech.

Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Speech Below:

“Today, House Republicans are pushing a job-killing budget so they can use fast-track ‘reconciliation’ procedures to steamroll through their billionaires-first tax plan. We are supposed to be ‘the people’s house.’ We ought to have a people’s budget. A budget that helps the millions of Americans who sent us here to Congress, not a budget that helps only a few, the well-connected and the well off.

“This is a terrible budget. This budget will devastate America’s investments in good-paying jobs. It threatens growing wages and the bedrock promise of a secure and healthy retirement. It makes cuts across the board that would hurt seniors, children, veterans, and the hard-working people across the country who are already struggling to get by.

“Why are Republicans doing this? All in the name of fast-tracking the Ryan-McConnell tax plan which explodes the deficit by 1.5 trillion dollars and then provides multi-trillion dollar tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. We Democrats think this is a horrible idea.

“What’s particularly astonishing is the blatant hypocrisy of Republican leaders pushing this deficit-busting budget. Republicans are always telling us how much they care about the deficit, but when it comes to giving their beloved tax cuts to their billionaire friends, they suddenly develop a convenient case of amnesia. They say, ‘what deficit?’ ‘Don’t worry, these tax breaks will pay for themselves’ This is absurd.

“In this Republican-controlled Congress, we can now say with certainty that the deficit and debt no longer matter. All the talk by Republicans? They didn’t really mean it. If Republicans really cared about the deficit, they wouldn’t bring a budget as reckless as this to the floor. This shows what they truly believe. Where their values are. Where their priorities are.

“How many times have Republicans talked about the importance of a balanced budget? The Speaker called for a deficit neutral tax plan in his “Better Way Agenda.” I guess this debt-creating budget is the “Somewhat Less Better Way Plan.”

“Your Budget Chair took to Twitter just two weeks ago to chastise Senate Republicans for not pursuing a balanced budget, yet now she is fully in support of their budget which adds $1.5 trillion to the deficit with no way to pay for it.

“Let me spell this out for my Republican friends: This is not a balanced budget. Clearly Republicans desperately need a refresher on basic arithmetic.

“There is absolutely nothing balanced about hitting middle class families and millions of hardworking Americans with cuts while giving billionaires and corporations tax cuts they simply do not need. Billionaires aren’t knocking down our door asking for more tax breaks. This is disgusting. This is shameful.

“This Republican budget destroys middle class jobs by stealing hundreds of billions of dollars from investments in infrastructure, job training, advanced energy, and research and development. It devastates Medicare and Medicaid. It demands deep cuts to safety-net programs like SNAP – I am talking about food for hungry children and hard working families. It makes college more expensive for working families. And it undercuts key supports for veterans and their families

“What is particularly offensive is that Republicans are using this terrible budget as a means of passing tax cuts for the wealthy as quickly as possible, regardless of the consequences and without bipartisan support.

“The tax reform framework supported by Republicans in Congress will raise taxes on the middle class and cut taxes for the wealthy. Under the Republican plan, the top 1 percent would receive 80 percent of all tax benefits. Give me a break.

“Those making more than $900,000 a year would receive an average tax cut of more than $200,000. Think about that. A person working full time at minimum wage makes $290 a week before taxes. And under this plan, people who make over $432 an hour – $900,000 a year – get a massive tax cut. Corporations will receive a tax cut totaling $2 trillion dollars!

“Who loses with this plan? According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, one in three middle class taxpayers earning between $50,000 and $150,000 would actually receive a tax increase and nearly half of middle class families with kids will see their taxes go up!

“Can you believe that? Raising taxes on the middle class to pay for tax cuts for billionaires and corporations. This is insane.

“To make matters worse, Republicans are planning to steamroll their tax plan through Congress. We’re reading in the press we might see actual text of their plan next week, with maybe a mark-up and floor consideration a week or two after that.

“Really?

“Don’t you think we owe it to our constituents to have a thoughtful, open debate on this legislation, which will impact every single one of them?

“I guess not.

“Democrats agree that our tax system needs to be updated, to be more fair, especially to be more fair to the middle class and working families. We have always been willing to engage in real bipartisan tax reform. But the Republican tax framework is not tax reform, it’s just one more GOP multi-trillion dollar giveaway to the wealthiest at the expense of the middle class and working Americans.

“In all my time in Congress, I have never seen a budget and a tax plan that harms so many just to benefit so few.

“I urge my colleagues to vote against this rule, to vote against this cruel Republican budget, and to oppose a tax plan that puts wealthy corporations and the top 1% ahead of hardworking middle-class families.”

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