President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE’s signature legislative achievement in his first year in office, a massive tax overhaul that slashed corporate and individual tax rates, represented a “betrayal” of the voters who sent him to office, a key Democratic senator said.
In an interview for The Hill’s Power Politics podcast, Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDozens of Democrats call for spending bill to pass 'climate test' GOP tries to take filibuster pressure off Manchin, Sinema Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden set to restore national monuments rolled back by Trump MORE (D-Md.) took aim at the tax-reform package that passed late last year on party-line votes.
“This bill ended up being a total betrayal of Trump’s claim that he was there for the forgotten Americans. He wasn’t there for the forgotten Americans. He was there for folks on Wall Street, big corporations, and he’s going to pile more debt onto families across the country,” Van Hollen said. “He actually betrayed all the people who believed that he was going to deliver for them.”
Van Hollen said he worried that Republicans will use the tax overhaul to justify cuts to massive entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
“The step one was tax cuts for the big corporations. Step two will be coming after Medicare,” Van Hollen said. “In the same budget that set up a tax cut that overwhelmingly goes to corporate America, they call for dramatic cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. It’s right there in their budget for the fiscal year that we’re in right now.”
“We would like to see the Republicans make a commitment — they could do it today — that there will be no cuts this year to Medicare or Medicaid or Social Security. We’re going to ask them to make that pledge.”
House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Wis.) has voiced support for those cuts in the past, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Pelosi says GOP senators 'voted to aid and abet' voter suppression for blocking revised elections bill Manchin insists he hasn't threatened to leave Democrats MORE (R-Ky.) has said he will only bring up legislation that enjoys bipartisan support in 2018, an election year.
The tax package passed in December had little public support, according to public opinion surveys. But in the weeks after the package passed, President Trump’s approval ratings have ticked slightly higher, though they remain lower than all of his predecessors at this point in their terms.
Power Politics, hosted by The Hill’s Alexis Simendinger, is available on Saturday mornings.