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.
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.
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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.