(BIVN) – Hawaii’s Democratic Congressional delegation was powerless to stop the advance of the Republican tax bill in Washington overnight Tuesday.
The GOP’s the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed both the House and Senate, although the House will re-vote today due to technical changes required by the Senate parliamentarian.
“There’s no doubt the American people need and want real tax reform. But rather than passing a strong, inclusive, and bipartisan bill focused on helping hardworking middle-class families, today Republicans passed a bill filled with massive corporate giveaways and loopholes for the ultra-wealthy,” declared Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, as the bill passed the House by a vote of 227-203. “For example, the top one percent in our country will receive over 82 percent of the entire tax benefit in the bill they passed today. As long as Congress continues to pass legislation for partisan, political reasons that serve special corporate interests instead of the families that are struggling just to get by every day, where lobbyists have more input in the writing of this legislation than many Members of Congress, the American people lose. I oppose this legislation today. It’s a disappointment and a huge lost opportunity to actually help so many struggling families all across the country.”
“This bill is not sound, thoughtful tax policy, it was crafted to fulfill a campaign promise made by Donald Trump and to give the Republicans a talking point for the upcoming election cycle,” said Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. “It is truly unfortunate that the House approved a $1.5 trillion tax cut that benefits the wealthiest Americans by lowering the top individual tax rate from 39.6 to 37 percent and encourages federal tax avoidance by providing a complex legal framework and incentives.”
“The tax code is an expression of what Americans care about and what Americans value,” said Sen. Brian Schatz on the floor of the Senate, before the bill passed by a partisan vote of 51-48. “This bill foundationally changes our tax system so that it rewards wealth over work, at the expense of the middle class and our children and grandchildren. I am deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans rushed this through.”
“The Republican tax bill is a scam,” stated Sen. Mazie Hirono. “After months of empty promises to the middle class, the President has been caught in another big fat lie. This bill will not help the middle class. It is nothing more than a fulfillment of the Republican Party’s mission to eventually gut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to pay for trillions of dollars in tax cuts to the richest Americans and corporations. The American people will hold them accountable.”