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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 SchumerCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar 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 WydenDemocrats seek new ways to expand Medicaid in holdout states Democrats introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for government discrimination Lawmakers rally around cyber legislation following string of attacks 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 StabenowExcellence Act will expand mental health and substance use treatment access to millions Senate crafts Pelosi alternative on drug prices Lobbying world MORE (D-Mich.).

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