House passes GOP ‘tax cuts for corporations and Plutocrats’ bill – last line of defense is the Senate

The GOP “tax cuts for corporations and Plutocrats” bill is deeply unpopular with the American people. The most recent Quinnipiac University poll found:

Asked about the tax plan, the numbers for President Trump were bleak. While a third of Americans approved of his handling of taxes, only a quarter approved of the Republican proposal. That includes only 60 percent of Republicans.

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Despite being deeply unpopular, the House Tea-Publicans today passed the GOP  “tax cuts for corporations and Plutocrats” bill on a largely party-line vote of 227-205, with all Democrats unified in opposition and only 13 Republicans voting against the measure. Roll call vote.

Arizona’s Congressional delegation voted: AYE: Biggs, Franks, Gosar, McSally, Schweikert; NAY: Gallego, Grijalva, O’Halleran, Sinema.

Those members voting in favor of this bill should be defeated next year. Democrats must run credible candidates against each of them. No seat should go uncontested next year.

Roll Call reports, House Approves GOP Tax Overhaul:

Step one complete.

House Republicans on Thursday passed their tax overhaul bill, 227-205, which will now go to the Senate and be used as a vehicle to pass its own measure. Thirteen Republicans voted against the measure; no Democrats voted for the measure.

If the Senate passes its own measure, GOP leaders say they’ll form a conference committee to reconcile the differences.

[The bill] is moving through the budget reconciliation process so that the Senate can also pass it without any Democratic votes if needed.

The GOP’s goal is to have a finalized measure to send to President Donald Trump’s desk by Christmas.

House passage of the measure may be just one step in the process, but it is significant for a number of reasons.

One is that this is the first major rewrite of the tax code to get a floor vote in recent history, setting the stage for the first tax code overhaul since 1986.

Another is that passage of the bill shows that lawmakers are not afraid to go after so-called sacred cows in the interest of larger tax changes — and that they can ignore the flood of lobbying and special interest opposition that comes with the tax-writing process. While some would argue this isn’t a good thing, it does prove that a tax overhaul is possible when many thought it was not.

Lastly, this puts the GOP closer to achieving its first major legislative victory under the unified Republican government. Trump and congressional Republicans have been clamoring for a legislative achievement, arguing they need a win as the 2018 midterm elections approach.

A “win” for whom?  Not the American people, but rather their corporate and Plutocratic masters who fund their campaigns. Republicans Admit That CEOs And Donors Really Need The Tax Cut Bill To Pass — Or Else:

The White House and congressional Republicans have sought to portray their tax plan as primarily a middle class tax cut. But lately, some of them have been admitting that big money political donors and wealthy CEOs, two groups that overlap heavily, are the ones who care about it the most.

“The most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan,” Gary Cohn, the leading White House economic adviser and former chief operating officer at Goldman Sachs, said in an interview with CNBC on Thursday.

Cohn’s statement is no doubt true ― it just isn’t exactly the message Republicans want to send as they argue that their bill isn’t just a sop for the rich and powerful. But over the past few weeks, several Republicans have indicated that the tax bill would boost the wealth of the already rich and ensure that their political donations keep flowing to help the GOP hold power in 2018.

“My donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again,’” Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), himself a millionaire, said on Tuesday.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters last Thursday that a failure to pass tax reform would fracture the Republican Party and lead to more far-right wing primary challengers. “The financial contributions will stop,” he added.

It isn’t often that politicians admit that their failure to pass legislation will impact their ability to collect money for their campaigns. They usually try to avoid an appearance that campaign contributions are linked to specific legislation.

Lawmakers aren’t the only ones talking about the connection between legislation and campaign money. Conservative donors and those running the political groups that help elect Republicans have issued similar dire warnings.

“(Donors) would be mortified if we didn’t live up to what we’ve committed to on tax reform,” Steven Law, the head of Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), told the New York Post.

Those big donors are already trying to push the tax cut legislation across the finish line by spending tens of millions of dollars on political advertising. Nonprofit groups that do not disclose their donors, like 45Committee, American Action Network, America First, Americans for Prosperity, and Freedom Partners, plan to spend at least $43 million on a campaign to pressure specific members of Congress to pass the bill, according to the The Wall Street Journal.

45Committee was founded by Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino oligarch, and Joe Ricketts, the billionaire owner of the Chicago Cubs who recently shuttered multiple news organizations he ran after the workers voted to unionize.

Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch run Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners, which are funded by a network of multi-millionaires and billionaires from across the country. American Action Network’s board of directors includes lobbyists and strategic advisers to lobbying firms hired to influence the tax legislation.

Academic studies have shown that the wealthy have both an inordinate amount of influence over policy while holding dramatically different policy priorities than the rest of the population. Cohn and Republican lawmakers’ remarks make that clear ― and happen to play directly into congressional Democrats’ line of attack against the tax cut bill.

“Their pay masters, if you will ― the hard, hard right … the Koch brothers ― all they want to do is cut taxes,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told HuffPost on Tuesday. “They don’t care about the deficit, they don’t care about the country, they don’t care about the middle class ― they just want their taxes reduced. And they run the Republican Party.”

This is the very definition of “the swamp.”

The fight now moves to the Senate where the Senate GOP “tax cuts for corporations and Plutocrats” bill is also a repeal of the individual mandate to sabotage “Obamacare.” Tea-Publicans can afford to lose only two of their members, allowing Vice President Mike Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) declared his opposition to the Senate GOP tax bill on Wednesday, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she has serious reservations about the plan the GOP is attempting to pass at high speed. Senate tax defection spells trouble ahead:

[Sen. Johnson] was a similarly difficult holdout during the attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act over the summer. Johnson ended up falling in line. On Wednesday, he gave some indication he’s feeling slighted by a process that froze out those not on the Senate Finance Committee (he told the Journal he found it “pretty offensive,” and pouted, “If they can pass it without me, let them.”). But leaders can hardly take it for granted that Johnson will line up with them when it counts (again).

Sen. Collins disapproves of the sudden move this week to include a repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate, arguing that spiking insurance premiums would wipe out any benefits middle-class earners would see from tax cuts.

* * *

Collins, of course, opposed the party’s attempts to repeal Obamacare — and sunk the measure along with Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and John McCain (Arizona).

Several other Republican senators remain on the bubble.

The most expressly skeptical is Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). At a New York Times event  on Wednesday evening, the retiring senator repeated his pledge to oppose the overhaul if it adds to the deficit. “If, when this bill is completed, I feel that the growth assumptions are out of line, and we are not in this 10-year window going to have a bill that doesn’t add to the deficit, I’m not going to vote for it,” Corker said.

Among others still uncommitted: John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Jeff Flake, and James Lankford.

Both of Arizona’s senators are lame ducks, neither has any concern about running for reelection any longer. They are free to vote their conscience and to tell the billionaire GOP donors who are demanding their tax cuts to fuck off. They should do what is right for the American people.

You know what to do: full court press on Sens. McCain and Flake, phone calls, social media messaging, and visiting their offices. They could prove to be the decisive votes to kill this terrible bill.

14 responses to “House passes GOP ‘tax cuts for corporations and Plutocrats’ bill – last line of defense is the Senate

  1. The Meanie’s closing paragraph is dead on. Arizona is at the epicenter of the Senate vote and calls and letters do matter. This is the worst piece of tax legislation ever. Do whatever you can to persuade Senators McCain and Flake.

    • Yeah, I was thinking… McCain can do whatever he damn well pleases, he’s got no debts to repay, at least none that matter. But Flake might be concerned about his upcoming career change and may act in his own best interest. I don’t know the man, but from his time in Congress I see no evidence that he would suddenly become a crusader for the good of the people and vote against his party.

      But I’m in total agreement that we need to put the pressure on these two as though our lives depend on it. Because, in many cases, that is the truth.

      And those who have a GOP representative in the House need to call and let them know you weren’t fooled by their lies and their ass needs to be voted out in 2018.

    • Per Professor Krugman:

      You might think, given this background, that Republicans would moderate their policies in an attempt to limit the damage. But if anything they’re doing the opposite. The House tax bill is wildly regressive; the Senate bill actually raises taxes on most families, while including a special tax break for private planes. In effect, the GOP is giving middle-class Americans a giant middle finger. What’s going on?

      A large part of the answer, I’d suggest, is that many Republicans now see themselves and/or their party in such dire straits that they’re no longer even trying to improve their future electoral position; instead, it’s all about grabbing as much for their big donors while they still can. Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose; in the GOP’s case, that means the freedom to be the party of, by, and for oligarchs they always wanted to be.

      https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/11/17/days-of-greed-and-desperation/?module=BlogPost-ReadMore&version=Blog%20Main&action=Click&contentCollection=Opinion&pgtype=Blogs&region=Body#more-41728

      This legislation is nothing more than a smash & grab operation brought to you by the party of law & order.

  2. For Martha McTrump-Sally and her GOP conspirators:

  3. Martha McTrump-Sally posted her bullsh!t yesterday:

    U.S. REP. MCSALLY STATEMENT ON THE HOUSE PASSAGE OF THE TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT
    November 16, 2017 Press Release
    Arizonan Families Deserve a Healthy Economy and Bigger Paychecks

    WASHINGTON, DC–U.S. Representative Martha McSally today released the following statement on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which passed the House with her support:

    “Our 74,000-page tax code is costly, complex, and unfair. Special interests get special breaks and lobbyists get loopholes—but families get penalized. This is the once-in-a-generation opportunity for Washington to fix this broken tax code.

    Our plan cuts taxes, rewards hard work, respects Arizonan’s time, and remembers whose money this really is. Under this plan a typical family of four in Arizona will keep an additional $1,182 each year, and a family of four making $55,000 won’t face any federal taxes at all. Parents raising kids will keep more of their pay, making childcare more affordable and allowing them to save for college and plan for retirement. Employers will be able to compete and win by spending less time and money on paying and filing taxes—and more time and money on growth, bigger wages, and new hires.

    Arizonan families deserve a healthy economy and bigger paychecks—and that’s why I support the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

    https://mcsally.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/us-rep-mcsally-statement-house-passage-tax-cuts-and-jobs-act

    • McTrump-Sally tweeted the above link. Here are some replies. What I’m seeing is all negative.

      Julie Reynolds‏
      @JRExaggerations
      55m55 minutes ago

      You just sanctioned a heist of your constituents. Consistently tone deaf.

      mike‏
      @mdgsdaz
      56m56 minutes ago

      Ok so you gave the Trump’s a billion dollar break. Good work. Love your loyalty.

      @carrieitly
      7h7 hours ago

      Lobbyists like the NRA you hypocrite?

      IreneGH‏
      @igarciahobbs
      8h8 hours ago

      Hope you have a plan for justifying to your maker stealing from the poor, teachers, mentally ill, elderly, adoptive parents, & college students to make the exorbitantly wealthy even richer. How do people like you sleep at night? You should be ashamed of yourself-AZ certainly is.

      Nathan Davis‏
      @TheChattyDavis
      12h12 hours ago

      Right now there are tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthiest in this country. The GOP tax plan would get rid of some of those and replace them with a massive rate cut for them to be paid partly by the poor and middle class and partly by debt

      vlh‏
      @coton_luver
      13h13 hours ago

      Thanks Arizona Republican Martha McSally @repmcsally for cutting Medicare funding for the elderly and disabled to fund your tax cut for millionaires and billionaires. I’m sure your donors will be pleased. But older Americans actually vote! #TaxCutsAndJobsAct Re-election 2018

      Victoria‏
      @Toya_Junior
      13h13 hours ago

      This plan penalizes my family. Stop pretending.

      Desert Dweller‏
      @citizensjd
      16h16 hours ago

      Well you have once again chosen your wealthy donors over your constituents. I do miss Jim Kolbe and Gabby Giffords.

      Suzy Tipton‏
      @hacksmom1
      17h17 hours ago

      I think you might want to read the plan again. And look a couple years into the future while you’re at it.

      Austin Thomas‏
      @AUSTINFRAKLINOK
      17h17 hours ago

      I’m a high school teacher in your city. Why don’t you want me to be able to deduct the money I spend on my classroom?

      Just New Boot Goofin‏
      @bootgoofing
      7h7 hours ago

      I’m a PhD Student in your city. Why do you want to remove tax exemptions from my tuition? How am I expected to live while I finish my education?

      Austin Thomas‏
      @AUSTINFRAKLINOK
      17h17 hours ago

      You’re either lying or you don’t understand what you just voted for, ma’am.

      Greg Santo‏
      @gsanto000
      17h17 hours ago

      Martha, you are a failure as a representative. It appears that you have told so many lies about this bill that you have started to believe them yourself. Please resign.

  4. will al franken still be their to vote no or will the clintonista be replaced by a sanders supporter?

  5. All AZ Republicans voted for it. Quelle Surprise! And for their reward they all need to be metaphorically crotch punched…repeatedly. Not to mention electorally stomped next year.

    To their credit all the AZ Democrats voted no.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/16/us/politics/house-vote-republican-tax-bill.html

    • Frances Perkins

      It is very scary that we wonder if there is anything the three top officials (Ryan Pence and “he who shall not be named”) of the US government say, that is NOT a lie. You are correct, the only ideas the Repubs ever have for economic development is cut taxes for the rich and corporations, and getting rid of regulations their very actions have necessitated. Ducey is a ditto on these ideas.