Weekly Democratic Address
November 24, 2017
Hello, everybody. I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.
And we extend a special thanks to the incredible men and women serving every day to protect us from harm and defend the freedoms we cherish.
In many ways, this has been a difficult year, and our politics can often seem irredeemably broken. But Thanksgiving is also a time to step back and remember that we have so much more in common than the partisan bickering that fills our television screens.
I know that all of us sitting around the Thanksgiving table want something better for our kids and our grandkids – to leave them a country with a future brighter than its past. But that will only be true if we do for them what our parents and grandparents did for us. We now face a test of our commitment to providing that future.
As early as next week, the United States Senate may vote on a tax bill – an incredibly consequential piece of legislation affecting our entire economy for decades to come. Written in secret, this bill is being rushed to the floor without hearings or the chance for the American people to weigh in.
As the vote approaches, I’m reminded of a mom I met in the small town of Rifle, Colorado at an early childhood center. In the course of our conversation, she said to me, “I have a job, so I can have health insurance, and every single dollar I earn goes to pay for this early childhood center, so I can work.”
Too many Americans face this cycle, living each day with impossible choices their parents and grandparents were never asked to make.
Yet, under the Republican tax plan, people making over $1 million a year would receive tax cuts of about $59,000 per year, while families earning $50,000 or less would see just $160 – or $7.50 more each paycheck. Tens of millions of middle-class families would actually see their taxes go up.
And even though sabotaging our health care system has no place in a tax bill, Republicans doubled down by adding a provision at the last minute that would cause 13 million Americans to lose health insurance and premiums to rise by 10 percent.
The central challenge with our economy is not that people at the top don’t have enough. It’s that incomes for everyone else – like that mom in Rifle – haven’t kept pace with rising costs of housing, health care, higher education, and childcare.
The question before us is: are we going to ease that burden, or add to it? This bill helps the relatively small number of families that make over $1 million a year and adds to the burden of others. That alone should be enough for us to scrap this approach. What’s even more stunning is that it does this while adding at least $1.5 trillion, and perhaps as much as $2.5 trillion, to our debt.
Our kids will bear that burden and the debt will restrict their future. America’s children don’t have a vote in the United States Senate. The generation after them doesn’t have a vote.
We owe them the freedom to make their own choices, the same freedom our parents and grandparents had the decency to provide for us.
And that’s why I hope you’re well rested – because this week, we’ll need to raise our voices and fight for that future. Democrats are committed to working in a bipartisan way to accomplish responsible tax reform that actually grows our economy and creates jobs. But the partisan bill that’s in front of us is the opposite of what we need. Please take the time to let your representatives know that you want tax reform that lifts every family.