November 15, 2017
Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today gave the following remarks as the Finance Committee began consideration of a new version of the Senate Republicans’ tax bill.
It’s now day three of this tax debate, and this bill seems to get worse by the hour. It started off as a tax hike on nearly 14 million Americans to pay for multi-trillion dollar handouts to multinational corporations and new loopholes for tax cheats.
Then the news broke that these corporate handouts are going to force billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare. And Republican leaders said that entitlements are next after taxes, which means further cuts to Medicare, cuts to Medicaid, and cuts to Social Security.
Let’s cut to early yesterday afternoon. The Republicans couldn’t get through lunch without hatching another plot to go after Americans’ health care. Apparently somewhere between the salad course and the entree, it was decided that permanent corporate tax cuts should be paid for, in part, by kicking 13 million Americans off their health care and raising premiums for millions more. Let’s not kid around, this is not just another garden variety attack on the Affordable Care Act. This is repeal of that law.
That brings us to today, when the American people are learning that individuals are only getting temporary tax cuts out of this Republican bill, but corporations are getting permanent cuts. What a double standard that is. For multinational corporations their handouts are set in stone, written in ink, locked in place with the key thrown away. But not for the middle class.
The Treasury Secretary even said that was where the administration was going to draw its line in the sand — permanent breaks for multinational corporations. But they’re not drawing any lines in the sand when it comes to permanently protecting middle class families.
In fact, for middle-income families, this deal is looking worse and worse. It used to be a promise of a tax cut — cash back in their pockets. Now it’s a roll of the dice. Families are going to have to hope they’re not going to be among the millions whose taxes go up.
So bottom line, my colleagues on the other side have now shown their hand. The corporate handouts are permanent, the family breaks are not. In fact, they don’t even make it a full decade.
To pay for these handouts to multinational corporations, millions of Americans are going to lose their health care, millions will see their premiums skyrocket, and millions will get hit with a tax hike. That’s what’s on offer as of today.