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Dems call GOP tax bill a disgrace

Democrats are accusing Republicans of rushing the tax bill they introduced Thursday through Congress, saying the GOP does not want to expose the legislation to scrutiny.

The GOP plans to have the Ways and Means Committee begin consideration of the 429-page bill on Monday, and hopes the full House vote will take place the following week.

“That’s a disgrace, to rush a bill like this through, without a hearing, without scores, without experts that want to look at it,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerUS national security policy in the 117th Congress and a new administration Voters say Biden should make coronavirus vaccine a priority: poll New York City subway service could be slashed 40 percent, officials warn MORE (D-N.Y.) said at a Thursday press conference. “Why? They’re ashamed of this bill.” 

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The Democratic leader compared the tax bill to a fish out of water.

“If it stays out in the sunlight too long, it stinks,” he said.

Democrats have little chance of blocking the legislation on their own.

In the Senate, the bill will move under special rules that prevent a filibuster.

As a result, Democrats will have to hope for GOP defections.

In seeking to turn public opinion against the legislation, Democratic leaders are casting it as a handout to the wealthy, highlighting its elimination of the estate tax and a lowering of the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent.

“What’s really important to know about what they’re doing is: what they give you with one hand, they take away with the other,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The bill would roughly double the standard deduction, and Republicans say it will save the average family of four $1,182 a year.

It would consolidate the existing seven tax brackets into four, raising the lowest rate while keeping the highest tax bracket's rate the same.

The bill would add $1.5 trillion to the debt over a decade, which Democrats said would become a pretext for slashing spending on Medicare, Medicaid and other social support programs. The Republican budget proposed roughly $1.5 trillion in reductions to such programs over a decade.

“This is a shell game, a ponzi scheme, that corporate America will perpetrate on the American people,” Pelosi said.

Senator Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenTwo more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers On The Money: Push for student loan forgiveness puts Biden in tight spot | Trump is wild card as shutdown fears grow | Mnuchin asks Fed to return 5 billion in unspent COVID emergency funds Grassley, Wyden criticize Treasury guidance concerning PPP loans MORE (D-Ore.), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said that Republicans were employing a double standard, giving corporations a better deal than individuals.

He noted that the bill will do away with the deduction for state and local taxes. A property tax deduction is retained, but capped at $10,000 in interest.

These changes could hit blue states such as New York, California and New Jersey particularly hard.

“Corporations will still get to deduct their state and local taxes, but individuals and families won’t,” Wyden said.

He also faulted the bill for lowering the corporate rate but phasing out a new deduction for families in five years. Student loan interest would no longer be tax deductible, but multinational companies could deduct interest payments, he said.

“That’s what I mean by double standard,” he added.

Democrats are also pointing to the state of Kansas as they seek to turn opinion against the bill, saying it proves the idea that tax cuts pay for themselves is a fantasy.

A 2012 tax reduction bill in that state led to budgetary shortfalls and left the state’s GOP governor with low approval numbers.

Kansas Republicans “said growth would make up for the revenue,” said Sen. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowRepublican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race Lobbying world Senate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  MORE (D-Mich.).

“It didn’t. Schools closed, construction projects were delayed, and middle class families paid the price.”