Weekly Democratic Address
November 17, 2017
Hi, I’m Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, and I represent Washington State’s First Congressional District and I am a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
This week, on a party-line vote, House Republicans passed a tax bill that will raise taxes on 36 million middle-class households across America, while handing historic tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest.
While corporations get a massive permanent 15 percent reduction in their tax rate, hardworking Americans are forced to pick up the tab.
Teachers who buy supplies for their students, like pens, pencils, and paper, will lose the ability to deduct those costs from their tax returns, while corporations still can deduct their supply costs.
Families will no longer be able to deduct their state and local income or sales taxes, while corporations still can.
Homeowners will no longer be able to deduct all of their property taxes, while corporations still can.
And if workers have to move because their employer is forcing them to relocate their families or lose their job, they will no longer be able to deduct their moving expenses, while corporations, even those offshoring jobs, still can.
It is shameful that in this bill, middle-class families struggling to pay for health care, education, and child care will shoulder the burden of a corporate tax cut that will never benefit them. We’ve seen the trickle-down economics show before. And we know it doesn’t work.
Tax reform done right would benefit the middle class and American businesses. As a former CEO myself, I know firsthand that what makes our economy strong are the foundational things that have always made this country great: skilled workers, innovative ideas, a stable business climate, modern infrastructure and a world-class university system that helps turn cutting-edge research into successful businesses. Not indiscriminate corporate tax cuts.
By increasing taxes on 36 million working families and blowing a hole in the deficit to slash corporate taxes, the Republican tax bill also burdens our children and grandchildren with trillions of dollars in debt and would trigger an automatic $25 billion cut to Medicare, a vital program for seniors. The Republican bill is a partisan disaster that hurts Americans from cradle to retirement.
Tax reform should be about Democrats and Republicans coming together and making choices that reflect the values that bind us as Americans.
That is what happened during the last major tax reform package, passed in 1986, and it should have happened again.
I can tell you not a mother working two jobs to put food on the table, not a teacher buying school supplies, not a farmer struggling through a bad year, not a family caring for an aging parent have ever told me that tax reform means corporate cuts on the backs of them and their families.
Since the tax reform debate began this year, I’ve met and heard from everyday heroes who are working hard but struggling to pay for long-term medical expenses, child care, college tuition, housing, retirement and sometimes even basic necessities like food.
They deserve A Better Deal that invests in creating good-paying jobs, in lowering the costs of living and giving them the tools to succeed in the 21st century economy.
But the Republican legislation is a bill of callous decisions and missed opportunities. Tax reform done right is about fairness for all Americans and giving working families the ability to plan for the future.
Yet even the things Republicans are touting as helpful to the middle class are temporary in their plan.
While the House tax bill gives massive permanent cuts to corporations, working families will have to live with the temporary scraps this bill throws them – and that’s hoping you’re not one of the 36 million middle-class families who will pay higher taxes.
This legislation is far from tax reform and we must stop it before it harms families across our country.
Democrats want real, bipartisan tax reform that puts the middle class first with A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages and a Better Future, and we’ll continue fighting to make that a reality.