(House of Representatives - November 02, 2017)

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[Pages H8424-H8429]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Kustoff of Tennessee). Under the 
Speaker's announced policy of January 3, 2017, the gentlewoman from 
Washington (Ms. Jayapal) is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee 
of the minority leader.

                             General Leave

  Ms. JAYAPAL. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and 
include extraneous material on the subject of my Special Order.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Washington?
  There was no objection.
  Ms. JAYAPAL. Mr. Speaker, today, the Republicans released their tax 
plan. Unsurprisingly, it is a gift-wrapped tax cut to the rich. 
Christmas came early, Mr. Speaker. From huge corporate tax cuts to the 
elimination of the alternative minimum tax paid by the wealthiest 
Americans, this tax plan will hurt our economy and prioritize the top 
earners of our country. But there is one person--maybe a group of 
people--who is very thrilled about this tax plan, Mr. Speaker, and that 
person is Mr. Money Bags. Mr. Money Bags is really going to benefit 
from this tax plan.
  First of all, the President himself will greatly benefit from the tax 
plan. It is impossible to know exactly how much because we still don't 
have his tax returns. He has refused to release them. We would really 
appreciate, and we demand, frankly, that the American

[[Page H8425]]

people know exactly how much he is going to benefit from this tax plan.
  Mr. Speaker, as the vice chair of the House Budget Committee, I saw 
firsthand how the Republicans rammed through a budget plan that paved 
the way for the massive Ryan-McConnell tax giveaway to the wealthy. 
Frankly, as a new Member, I find it an affront to the legislative 
process and an affront to families across the United States in red and 
blue States alike that we did not have hearings on that budget, that we 
are not going to have hearings on this tax plan, which is a complete 
rewrite of the U.S. economy that is going to be pushed through, 
apparently, in 2 weeks or less. We still have no score on this because 
we just saw the details of a tax plan today.
  The Republicans have made this habit of relying on fake logic and 
faulty assumptions. They did it with healthcare and the budget, and it 
is safe to assume that is what we are looking at here.
  These cuts do not pay for themselves. Despite the claims that this 
tax plan is really going to help middle class Americans, the reality is 
that it is going to hurt millions of American families just to fast-
track tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and large corporations.
  If the Republicans are so opposed to so-called government handouts, 
as we are always told they are called, then why is it that they seem to 
be more willing to hand out everything we have to the wealthiest people 
in this Nation?
  Now, we are still exploring all of the details of this tax plan that 
was just released today, but there is no question that this bill is 
going to make sure that the wealthiest individuals and the largest 
corporations in this country get a tax cut of a million dollars. If you 
happen to be in the top one-tenth of 1 percent, then bingo, Mr. 
Moneybags is going to get a million dollars in a tax cut every year.
  Consider this: if this tax bill lines up with the budget resolution, 
then 80 percent of the Republican tax cut goes to the top 1 percent by 
2027; the average tax cut for the top 1 percent in 2027 would be 
$207,000; for millionaires, the cut would be $230,000; and, as I said, 
for the top one-tenth of 1 percent, you get to have a million dollars a 
year. For the middle class, on the other hand, 42 million middle class 
households would face a tax increase.
  Let's not be fooled by this idea that the standard deduction is going 
up, and let me tell you what that means. It means that, along with the 
standard deduction going up, you are also getting your credits for 
individual children taken away, the itemization of it.
  So if you have a family with several children, as many Americans do, 
you will actually end up probably being able to deduct less.
  Let's also be clear that when you eliminate the deduction for 
property taxes and State and local taxes, and you cut all of the 
services that are going to be required to be cut if you are going to 
pay for this tax cut, then you will end up paying more in your States, 
both in terms of the SALT deduction, but also in terms of all of the 
increased taxes you are going to have to pay at the local level to fund 
things like infrastructure and education.
  Let's be clear that this plan gives a $4 trillion tax cut to the 
wealthiest 1 percent and largest corporations, taxes 42 million working 
families more, and borrows millions from the future to give those tax 
  Last week, in the Rules Committee, I offered an amendment to the 
Republican budget resolution that would have stopped some of the most 
egregious impacts of the billionaire's budget.
  My amendment would have said that none of the tax cuts proffered in 
this plan should apply to households in the top 1 percent of income 
earners. It would have plainly said that the United States is not in 
the business of giving massive tax cuts to those who are already 
incredibly wealthy.
  Mr. Speaker, I talked about some of the millionaires in my district, 
because I do have some. I am fortunate to have a good economy in 
Seattle, where we have a $15 minimum wage, where we have paid family 
leave for everybody, yet business is still booming, the economy is 
doing well. We have people who have done well, and they would like to 
pay their fair share.
  For decades, Republicans have prioritized the interests of 
corporations and the wealthiest ahead of working class families.
  What is being proposed in this budget, this tax plan, is exactly what 
Republicans in Kansas proposed in 2012.

  In 2012, a Republican Governor and Republican Legislature in Kansas 
passed through the same thing. They said: Let's make sure that we have 
tax benefits for these passthrough corporations--by the way, Donald 
Trump owns 500 passthrough corporations; he will benefit greatly from 
this--and let's make sure that we reduce the tax rates on the 
wealthiest. In doing so, we will make sure that we are investing in the 
  That meant, by the way, all those tax cuts had to be paid for. So 
there was a $700 million cut to the Kansas State budget, which resulted 
in schools not being able to operate full time, resulted in roads being 
in disrepair, and ultimately resulted in Kansas' bond ratings going 
  In the end, that GDP growth that we were promised, the economic 
growth that was guaranteed if you were to put the money into the top 
corporations and the top income earners that were supposed to somehow 
trickle down, that growth never came to be.
  So, guess what happened, Mr. Speaker? The Republican Legislature in 
Kansas rolled back those tax cuts. They said: That trickle down thing 
didn't work.
  The promises of economic growth didn't work, and ultimately they had 
to move it back. Finally, Kansas is starting to come out of that by 
investing in working families.
  Ultimately, I believe, and I think Democrats believe, if you invest 
in regular folks, if you put the money into working families, you give 
them a tax cut and you make sure that they are actually paying less, 
not more, even if you say that you are giving them a deduction, in the 
end, they are paying more in this tax plan. But if you invest the money 
there, instead of taking $270 billion that is proposed by repealing the 
estate tax--which only a tiny portion of people pay, by the way; that 
estate tax--and 5,400 families are going to get $270 billion in this 
Republican tax plan. I say, let's take that money and give it to 
working families instead of those.
  I think that we have a lot of different options. The Congressional 
Progressive Caucus has put forward our own budget, a people's budget, 
with our own tax principles. The bottom line is: we believe in ordinary 
Americans. We believe if you invest there and you give people the 
opportunity to work in good jobs, to earn good wages, and to really 
make sure that they have dignity, respect, and can save for the future 
and send their kids to college, that ultimately builds our economy.
  So I am really honored to be doing this Special Order hour with my 
good friends and colleagues. We are going to do a little bit of a back-
and-forth here.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Gallego) to 
have him talk a little bit about what we are hearing. Is it true? Is it 
hypocrisy? What do you think about those debts and deficits?
  Mr. GALLEGO. Mr. Speaker, we know that the Republican tax plan is a 
massive, unconscionable giveaway to millionaires and billionaires. We 
know that it will blow up the deficit and do nothing to raise wages or 
create solid middle class jobs.
  What we don't know, Mr. Speaker, is how much the GOP tax proposal 
will personally benefit Donald Trump. That is because, unlike every 
other American President, Donald Trump has refused to disclose his tax 
  Trump claimed that he couldn't release his returns throughout the 
campaign because he was ``under audit.'' But, Mr. Speaker, he never 
provided any concrete proof. More importantly, the IRS confirmed that 
being under audit in no way prohibits someone from making their returns 
public. In fact, President Nixon did just that while he was in office.

                              {time}  1745

  More recently, when The Economist magazine asked Trump about 
releasing his returns, he said: ``I don't know. That's a very 
interesting question. I doubt it. I doubt it . . . Nobody cares about 
my tax return except for the reporters. Oh, at some point I'll release 
them. Maybe I'll release them after I'm finished. . . .''

[[Page H8426]]

  That is right, Mr. Speaker, we will have to wait until Trump leaves 
office just to find out just how much money he made thanks to his own 
tax reform bill. And my Republican friends are apparently just fine 
with that. There is a shocker. They don't care that Donald Trump is 
using his office to enrich himself. They don't care that we can't even 
say with any certainty exactly how much richer he is going to get. They 
don't care about the debt. They don't care about the deficit. They 
don't care about making our tax system fairer. Literally, the only 
thing they care about and that truly matters to House Republicans is 
that they get to cut taxes for the richest Americans, the people who 
need a tax cut least of all.
  Mr. Speaker, Donald Trump does not need a tax cut, neither does 
Secretary Mnuchin or Secretary DeVos or Secretary Tillerson or Paris 
Hilton, but they are going to get one if Republicans have their way.
  In 2012, Paul Ryan said: ``We have a debt crisis right in front of 
us, and what brings down great empires, past and future, is debt.''
  In 2013, Paul Ryan said: ``Our debt is the biggest threat to this 
country. We have to tackle this problem before it tackles us.''
  In 2016, Donald Trump said: ``I am the king of debt. I love debt.''
  It certainly seems like Speaker Ryan has come around to President 
Trump's way of thinking. Republicans are planning to add $1.5 trillion 
to our national debt, and they couldn't be happier about it.
  Here is the simple reality, Mr. Speaker. Republicans only care about 
deficits when they want to cut spending on programs for the poor or for 
veterans or for the elderly or for our children. Republicans only care 
about debt when they want to slash Social Security and Medicare. Mr. 
Speaker, Republicans only care about debt and are only fiscally 
responsible when there is a Democrat in the White House.
  The American people are now seeing right through this hypocrisy, just 
like they see right through Donald Trump's excuses about his tax 
returns. They want us to reject this Republican tax plan, and it is 
about time we started listening to them.
  Ms. JAYAPAL. Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Gallego for his incredible 
leadership. One of the things, when we think about this plan, there is 
really--it is a three-step plan.
  Number one, transfer trillions of dollars of wealth and tax cuts from 
middle class working families to the top 1 percent.
  Number two, explode the deficit, which we know is part of this deal. 
We are going to explode the deficit.
  Number three, use that exploding deficit as a way to cut spending.
  But most of all, I am not sure that the numbers add up. So I wanted 
to ask my good friend from the Progressive Caucus, Representative Ted 
Lieu from California, to just weigh in with his wisdom around what 
exactly is going on with these numbers and what are we seeing in this 
budget. Does it add up?
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from California (Mr. Ted Lieu).
  Mr. TED LIEU of California. Mr. Speaker, I thank Representative 
Jayapal for yielding.
  You know, today is Thursday, so we first have to ask: Why does Jared 
Kushner still have a security clearance?
  But I digress. We are going to talk about the GOP's disastrous tax 
plan. The reason we know that it is a disaster is one simple fact: the 
math doesn't add up.
  So if you believe that 2 plus 2 equals 5, then this tax plan is for 
you. For the rest of us, it is going to explode the deficit and add to 
the Federal debt.
  What does that mean?
  That means massive cuts to Medicare, to Medicaid, to other vital 
programs that are protecting seniors and all Americans who depend on 
some of these programs in order to survive.
  Now, we can look at this tax plan and we can say, ``Hey, it might 
give tax breaks to the wealthy who are then going to trickle down,'' 
except in the history of the United States, that kind of trickle-down 
economics has never worked. If you look at how the tax plan is 
constructed, it really chafes States such as California, New York, New 
Jersey, Washington, and other States by eliminating the State and local 
tax deduction.
  When you do that, it causes filers to not be able to deduct their 
State and local taxes; and in California, New York, New Jersey, 
Washington, and other States, there's going to be tax increases to 
middle class families.
  In addition, because the way the tax plan is constructed, it has the 
potential to lower housing prices because it also caps your mortgage 
interest rate deduction. That is why the National Association of Home 
Builders came out opposing this plan, and they have put out something 
which is deeply concerning. They are saying this could potentially 
cause a housing recession.
  You also have the National Federation of Independent Business, which 
represents small businesses across America, opposing this plan.
  This is a big tax giveaway to the ultrawealthy. If you look at an 
early analysis by The Washington Post, they say that 80 percent of this 
tax plan's benefits will go to the top 1 percent.
  If you look at this tax plan, it is going to hurt middle class 
Americans in order to fund those at the very top. This is not something 
we should be doing in our country.
  I also request this Speaker work with Democrats on a bipartisan 
basis. We are not opposed to tax reform. We are opposed to stupid tax 
reform. And this is just a really stupid plan that, again, explodes the 
deficit, adds to our Federal debt, and whacks States like California, 
New York, and New Jersey, as well as Washington State. So I urge that 
Republicans work with Democrats and come up with a plan that actually 
helps middle class Americans instead of going after them.

  Ms. JAYAPAL. Mr. Speaker, I thank Representative Lieu.
  I wanted to just point out that there was a study that was done out 
of Wharton on the tax plan. It wasn't on this most recent version, but 
I think the majority of the things that are in this are still true in 
what they analyzed. What they came out with and said is that the 
assumption of 3 percent growth does not make sense; that, really, what 
they are looking at is 1.3 to 1.4 percent, ultimately, growth, and that 
it would create a $10 trillion deficit over time. I believe it was $3 
trillion in the first 10 years. I have to go back and check that 
  Essentially, what they are staying is it doesn't work. The person who 
actually wrote the 1981 tax cut under Ronald Reagan, who was working 
for Jack Kemp at the time, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post, I 
believe it was, and said: ``This theory of trickle-down economics 
doesn't work. We were wrong when we did that, when we said that back 
then, and it is wrong to look at that same idea today.''
  Now, Representative Lieu said Democrats are not opposed to tax 
reform. That is right if it was real reform. We do think that the Tax 
Code could be simplified, that it could be fair so that small 
businesses and working families and folks who are really investing in 
the economy are the ones to get the benefits of any tax reform, that we 
would close some of the tax loopholes. Unfortunately, this is not tax 
reform. What has been proposed is not tax reform. It is tax giveaways 
to the wealthiest.
  I want us to be very clear about what the majority is trying to do 
here. They are trying to rewrite the U.S. economy with absolutely no 
hearings. It is, frankly, outrageous that we would not even have a 
hearing on a major tax bill that is going to affect every single person 
in this country.
  We should have hearings. I don't know what happened to regular order. 
People talk about regular order, but as a new Member who was just 
elected last year for my first year in Congress, I can tell you I have 
not seen regular order. I sat on the Judiciary Committee. We don't have 
hearings in the Judiciary Committee. The majority of the bills that 
come to the floor are bills that we have never had an opportunity to 
have a hearing on. When you look at this tax plan, I believe we should 
be able to have more than 2 weeks to vote on it.
  I think every single American should understand what is in the plan 
and at least have the opportunity to decide whether or not it is 
beneficial for them. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, I don't think that is 
  Let me just summarize what we think is happening in this current

[[Page H8427]]

version of the tax proposal that has been put forward.
  First of all, it is a win for the well connected and the wealthy. 
That is what the Ryan-McConnell tax bill is. President Trump promised 
the tax reform would benefit the middle class, not the wealthy; but, 
unfortunately, rhetoric does not match reality. Instead, this bill that 
we are looking at now would create a new passthrough loophole that 
wealthy individuals would exploit to lower their own taxes.
  Just as an example, a version of this loophole was used by University 
of Kansas Basketball Coach Bill Self to avoid paying more than $125,000 
in State taxes in 1 year alone. The alternative minimum tax, which we 
call the AMT, which ensures that the wealthy at least pay more of their 
fair share, is eliminated in the Ryan-McConnell plan.
  While little is known about President Trump's taxes, we do know that, 
without the AMT, the President would have paid $31 million less in 
taxes in 2005 alone. So you see why Mr. Moneybags over here is so 
important to this discussion, because that is ultimately who is going 
to benefit.
  Now, Speaker Ryan also believes, as I mentioned, that we should give 
a windfall to the ultrawealthy by eliminating the estate tax. Again, 
that estate tax is paid by less than 5,400 families across the Nation, 
and in 2016, not one person paid the estate tax in seven States.
  So what happens to middle class families? Because if all these 
wealthy folks are going to get all the money, then the question is: So 
what happens for middle class families? Because that is really where 
the attention should be. That was what was promised by Donald Trump.
  Speaker Ryan and the Republican establishment have attacked 
commonsense policies used by millions of middle class families in order 
to pay for this tax giveaway to the wealthy. So Republicans have taken 
away the ability to write off your State and local tax bills, forcing 
millions of families to pay taxes twice on the same dollar earned, 
except for property taxes, up to a mere $10,000. That is the cap that 
they are proposing on property taxes.
  Americans that are hit with significant medical costs, for example, 
those who have cancer or ALS or Alzheimer's, would lose their ability 
to write off these costs under the Republican plan.
  The Ryan-McConnell tax bill also eliminates deduction for personal 
casualty losses. A big blow if you are a victim of crime, theft, or 
disaster. It also excludes--it eliminates the exclusion for dependent 
care assistance program, which is an incredibly important benefit for 
working families.
  So in the end, you just have to ask yourself: In order to give 
trillions of dollars of tax cuts to the wealthiest and the biggest 
corporations, what does that mean for working families?
  It means working families are going to foot the bill over and over 
again. I believe this is a bad deal for middle class families, for 
America, and for our economy.
  One last thing I forgot to mention is that there is actually an 
incentive. After all of the talk of bringing jobs back to America, 
there is actually an incentive in this bill to take work and jobs to a 
tax-haven country because the amount of taxes that you would pay on 
that is actually lower than the amount of taxes you would pay if you 
were to start a factory here in Iowa or Kansas or somewhere in the 
United States. If you were to actually create jobs here, you would have 
to pay a higher tax rate than if you were to create that same factory 
in some tax-haven country in other parts of the world where you don't 
have to pay--you would end up not paying the same amount of taxes. So 
this is a bad deal for middle class families.
  I don't know if my friend, Mr. Jeffries, would like to speak on the 
tax excellence, so I am really thrilled now to be able to turn this 
over to a member of the Progressive Caucus, a leader on our Judiciary 
Committee, Representative Hakeem Jeffries from New York.
  Mr. JEFFRIES. Mr. Speaker, I thank Representative Jayapal, my good 
friend and tremendous colleague on both the House Budget Committee and 
the House Judiciary Committee, the distinguished gentlewoman from the 
great State of Washington, for her tremendous advocacy, for anchoring 
this Congressional Progressive Caucus Special Order, and for addressing 
the American people on this critically important issue, so-called tax 
reform put forth by House Republicans today in a manner that is clear-
eyed, that is authentic, that is comprehensive, and that will hopefully 
awaken the American people to the notion that this is an attempt by 
House Republicans to do nothing more than to jam tax cuts for 
millionaires and billionaires down the throats of the American people.

                              {time}  1800

  Now, I represent the Eighth Congressional District in Brooklyn and 
Queens. I am proud to be a Member of the House of Representatives, 
proud to be from the city of New York. And we are generous people in 
New York City; generous people in New York State. In fact, New York 
State regularly sends tens of billions of dollars more to the Federal 
Government than we get back in return.
  The State of Connecticut sends billions of dollars more to the 
Federal Government than they get back in return. So does New Jersey. So 
does California. So does Illinois. So does Pennsylvania. And, for 
decades, we have allowed that generosity to continue to show itself in 
terms of the fact that we get shortchanged in homeland security 
dollars, transportation and infrastructure dollars, and a whole host of 
other Federal funds that disproportionately make its way to other parts 
of the country, often to States in the deep South.
  We are generous people. But at what point is enough enough? And 
today, you have crossed the line by putting a target on the backs of 
people in New York, and New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and Illinois, and 
California, and several other States, including people who live in 
places like Charleston, South Carolina, or other cities that may have 
relatively modest State taxes, if any at all, but who are taxed at the 
local level, or who pay property taxes.
  And so everyone throughout the United States of America, tens of 
millions of people, are going to be hurt by this Republican tax plan, 
because of the limitations on deductibility related to State and local 
taxes, because of the draconian limitations on deducting property 
taxes, and because of the limitations placed on middle class homeowners 
as it relates to the mortgage interest deduction. You can't make this 
stuff up.
  The Republican tax plan is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme to 
provide a windfall to millionaires and billionaires, the wealthy and 
the well-off, to special interest corporations, and to hide it in the 
notion that it is a middle class tax cut. The Republican tax plan won't 
help the middle class. It will hurt the middle class. It is a Ponzi 
scheme. It will undermine Medicare and Medicaid. It will impose 
billions and billions of dollars in additional deficit. It will force 
your children and grandchildren to shoulder approximately $1.5 trillion 
in additional debt. And this is all being done in order to provide 
massive tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires, the overwhelming 
majority of whom will be the ones who disproportionately benefit from 
the so-called tax reform plan. Yes, it is a Ponzi scheme.
  And why do I say that? Well, because what you are going to hear is 
that trickle-down economic theory; supply-side economic theory; or the 
latest word craft that they have come up with, dynamic scoring, will 
result in a situation where these massive tax cuts for millionaires and 
billionaires, and for special interest corporations, will somehow 
magically result in unprecedented economic growth. Sounds good.
  The only problem is that it is a failed, fraudulent, and fake 
argument. It is a fantasy that has no basis in reality.
  When Ronald Reagan, in 1981, cut taxes for the wealthy and for the 
well-off, we didn't get unprecedented economic growth, we got massive 
  When George W. Bush cut taxes for the wealthy and for the well-off in 
2001 and 2003, we didn't get unprecedented economic growth, we got a 
Great Recession--the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
  When the Republican Governor of Kansas moved forward with what he

[[Page H8428]]

called the Kansas experiment, massively cut taxes for the wealthy and 
for the well-off in Kansas, so much so that the wealthiest 300,000 
folks from Kansas didn't pay a single dollar in taxes at all--the 
people of Kansas were promised unprecedented economic growth, 
unprecedented job creation--this is the Republican Governor of Kansas--
when he cut taxes, you didn't get unprecedented economic growth. What 
you got were prison riots, overcrowded classrooms, and crumbling 
  The Republican tax plan is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme. Supply-
side economics has failed; trickle-down economics has failed; dynamic 
scoring is a fantasy. We would say in Brooklyn: Don't believe the hype. 
We will surgically communicate to the American people why the 
Republican tax plan will hurt the middle class, hurt working families, 
hurt children, hurt senior citizens, and hurt those who aspire to be 
part of the middle class.
  And one last point that I would make: I am shocked that you would put 
a target on the back of people who are paying State and local taxes--
presumably because you think this is a deduction that the American 
people no longer deserve--but then in your same tax plan you allow 
corporations and businesses, wealthy titans of corporate America who 
run these companies, to continue to deduct State and local taxes on 
their corporate tax returns. Seriously? You don't even pretend to have 
equitable treatment? Oh, I forgot: corporations are people, too.
  This is an extraordinary scheme that they are going to try to jam 
down the throats of the American people. But we are here, as Democrats, 
to make sure that the American people understand that you are being 
offered a raw deal. We are going to present to you and fight for a 
better deal for middle class tax cuts, for tax cuts for small 
businesses, tax cuts for working families, and to make sure that people 
in America continue to pay their fair share.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished gentlewoman from Washington 
for yielding to me.
  Ms. JAYAPAL. Mr. Speaker, I thank Representative Jeffries for laying 
that out so clearly.
  I don't know how he feels about the idea that we haven't had a single 
hearing on this bill. We are hearing that we are going to vote on it in 
2 weeks.
  What is his experience? Since I am a new Member--I just joined this 
year--I thought we had regular order, I thought we got to debate 
things, I thought the minority got to speak up, and maybe we got to 
take ideas from both sides. What does he think about the idea that they 
are going to try to ram this thing in in 2 weeks?

  Mr. JEFFRIES. Mr. Speaker, I think that is a great question, and it 
is deeply troubling.
  You hear the words ``regular order.'' That is a Washington, D.C., 
phrase, but we can translate it for the American people. Regular order 
equals democracy, and democracy is being undermined as it relates to 
the Republican tax plan, Ponzi scheme, because they are going to try to 
jam it down the throats of the American people.
  Not a single meaningful hearing, as was done on a bipartisan basis in 
1986, when Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill got together to reform the Tax 
Code in a meaningful way, in a bipartisan way, in a thoughtful way. 
But, unfortunately, regular order, democracy, is being undermined by 
this Republican-led Congress, as it relates to this tax bill.
  Ms. JAYAPAL. Mr. Speaker, what strikes me is, when you don't have a 
process, you don't have discussion and debate, and you try to jam 
something through, it means you are trying to hide a whole lot. So I 
just wanted to say that there is an article in The Washington Post 
today about winners and losers in the Republican tax plan, and here is 
what they say are winners.
  This isn't a Democrat saying this. This is The Washington Post 
saying, big corporations--number one winner, big corporations. American 
megabusinesses would get a substantial tax reduction.
  And, by the way, that is not just on one level, that is a number of 
levels. And my colleagues over here know that this is the number one 
plan here, because there is a clear difference of opinion. You all 
think that, if you invest in these big corporations and in the 
wealthiest individuals, you would rather put your faith into those 
folks rather than middle class families across the country who could 
actually build our economy.
  So this bill cuts the top rate that large corporations would have to 
pay the biggest one-time drop in the big business tax rate ever; I 
repeat, the biggest one-time drop in the big business tax rate ever.
  On top of that, you would get some new tax breaks if you are a 
corporation, so you would get to lower your bills.
  What I have seen in the polling is that Americans across the country 
think that corporations are already getting too good of a deal and they 
should pay their fair share. And what millions of struggling families 
across the country want is for somebody to actually fight for them, 
somebody to fight for people who are going to work every day, who are 
doing everything they can to have an American life that pays them 
enough money to get a job to put food on the table, to send their kids 
to college, to retire with dignity, a better deal than the raw deal 
that they are getting right now. But that is the number one winner.
  The second biggest winner, according to The Washington Post: the 
superrich. And that was the estate tax that I mentioned, which only 
benefits 5,400 families across the United States who pay that estate 
tax. But we are going to put hundreds of billions of dollars into 
repealing the estate tax so that those 5,400 families can continue to 
earn more and more money on the backs of the middle class.
  And, of course, the third one is anyone paying the alternative 
minimum tax. That is Donald Trump. The biggest part of his tax bill 
that he paid, on the one tax return that he released, was from the 
alternative minimum tax. But that alternative minimum tax is now 
getting eliminated in this bill to benefit Donald Trump. And it forces 
people who earn more than $130,000 to calculate their taxes twice.
  There is one more. They said, ``Hedge funds, doctors, and lawyers''--
that is the fourth one that they mention--as the wealthiest hedge fund 
managers, who are going to, ultimately, get a sizable discount, while 
``under the GOP bill, high-earning small-business owners will only pay 
a tax rate of 25 percent on 30 percent of their business income,'' the 
passthrough business rate.
  The reality is that even though there are some small businesses that 
are passthrough entities, most of those small businesses do not get the 
majority of their income as passthrough income, they get it from other 
things. The only people who really benefit from that passthrough are 
those hedge fund managers and folks like that.
  Who are the losers? Small-business owners. The National Federation of 
Independent Business, which represents 325,000 small businesses said: 
Uh-uh, we are not supporting the GOP bill. Why? ``It leaves too many 
small businesses behind.''
  So Main Street is hurting under this proposal.
  Who else? Like you said, people in high-tax blue States. So say good-
bye to most of the State and local tax deductions from States like 
California, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and my State. My home 
State of Washington is really going to be hurt by this because we don't 
have an income tax, so we have very high property taxes, and we have 
very high other sales taxes. None of that would be--well, property tax, 
according to this plan, you would get a tiny, little cap on it of 
  And then who else is a big loser? The working poor. Here is what The 
Washington Post says: ``While the bill includes lots of tax breaks for 
big businesses and the rich, the bottom 35 percent of Americans do not 
get any extra benefits.''

                              {time}  1815

  So there is one more loser here, which is interesting. It says, 
  The National Council of Nonprofits says that charitable deductions, 
when Americans chip in to take care of folks who have been hurt by 
disasters across the country or they contribute to nonprofits or 
others, that those charitable deductions are likely to go down under 
this bill because, interestingly and ironically, the Republicans still 
enable ``the wealthy to continue deducting

[[Page H8429]]

their charitable giving.'' But most people would not be able to get the 
tax break because they probably stop itemizing their deductions, so you 
would actually lose all of that.
  So I don't know, Mr. Jeffries. I think we are going to have a lot of 
work to do here to make sure that the American people understand 
exactly what this proposal is and to really get the word out.
  Mr. JEFFRIES. Well, I appreciate you going through that important 
list. I think it can be distilled, you know, quite simply.
  The winners of the Republican tax plan are the billionaire boys club; 
the losers are the American people, everyday Americans, all premised, 
again, on, and you are going to hear this over and over again, dynamic 
scoring--sounds great--trickle-down economics.
  You know, I figured out that trickle-down economics essentially 
means, for the middle class, you may get a trickle, but you are 
guaranteed to stay down, because there is no evidence--no evidence from 
the Reagan experiment, no evidence from the Bush experiment, no 
evidence from the Brownback experiment in Kansas, no evidence--that if 
you cut taxes for the wealthy or the well off, for special interest 
corporations, whether you do it directly or through passthrough 
entities, that when you cut those taxes, it results in strong, 
unprecedented economic growth. In fact, our history tells us precisely 
the opposite.
  Bill Clinton raised the top tax rate on high-income earners from 35 
percent to 39.6 percent. Did we suffer from a recession as a result of 
increasing taxes on millionaires and billionaires so that they would 
pay their fair share? No, quite the opposite--unprecedented economic 
growth, 20 million-plus jobs created during 8 years of Bill Clinton.
  Then George W. Bush comes into town, and we actually had a balanced 
budget at that time. What does he do? Deficits don't matter according 
to the Bush administration. We are going to stimulate tremendous 
economic growth by cutting taxes on millionaires and billionaires 
because of trickle-down economics, supply-side economics, dynamic 
scoring, lower the tax rate from 39.6 on millionaires and billionaires 
to 35.
  What happened? We lost more than 500,000 jobs in 8 years of the Bush 
  Barack Obama comes into town and we had all of these doom-and-gloom 
projections from my good friends on the other side in terms of what was 
going to happen. He campaigns on millionaires and billionaires paying 
their fair share, raises the top tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 
percent. Twelve million-plus private sector jobs were created during 8 
years of the Obama Presidency.
  That is why I say that the Republican tax plan is nothing more than a 
Ponzi scheme based on a failed, fraudulent, phony theory of trickle-
down economics that has no basis in reality.
  I thank the distinguished gentlewoman from Washington for yielding 
and being so generous and thoughtful in her discussion.
  Ms. JAYAPAL. I thank the gentleman from New York for his thoughts.
  Once again, I would just draw your attention back to who the real big 
winner is here in this Republican tax plan. It is Mr. Moneybags.
  So if you have got money in bags, millions of dollars, if you are a 
large corporation, if you are a billionaire, then you are going to 
benefit from this plan--yes, you will. And you know who is going to pay 
for that is middle class working families across the country who are 
going to see their taxes go up, who are going to see their services 
cut, who are going to ultimately be a part of the plan that has three 
  The number one part for the Republican plan is transfer trillions of 
dollars of wealth from middle class America to the wealthiest in the 
country who don't need it; number two, explode the deficit, because 
there is no way to pay for this unless you cut a bunch of stuff; and 
then, number three, cut more. Use the exploding deficit as an 
opportunity to cut spending even more: raid Social Security; raid 
Medicare; raid Medicaid.
  This is all part of the budget that was passed last week by 
Republicans. Let me say, there were 20 Republicans who voted against 
that budget, and I congratulate them for their courage in voting 
against that budget. It was a close vote. If we had just gotten a 
couple more, we would have been able to defeat that budget, and we 
would have been able to at least require a more thoughtful process for 
how we move forward on tax reform, because part of what that budget 
vote did is to allow this process to move forward with less democracy, 
with less vetting, and with less knowledge for the American people.
  Once again, I would say that the only reason to do this without a 
real debate, to rewrite the American economy without a real debate, is 
if you want to hide who is going to benefit from it. We know who is 
going to benefit. It is right here. Mr. Moneybags is going to benefit. 
Working people are going to suffer.
  So I know that we Democrats are absolutely committed to making sure 
that working families across this country, the vulnerable, the low-
income, the folks who are struggling every day, who are just making it, 
who feel like this economy is not working for them because it is 
controlled by corporations, by lobbyists, by folks who are here not 
working for the American people but working for their own special 
interests, we know that Americans want that to stop. Unfortunately, 
this plan does not do that.
  So Democrats are going to fight every step of the way. The 
Congressional Progressive Caucus is going to fight every step of the 
way. We have our own People's Budget. We have a real proposal for how 
to invest in infrastructure, in jobs, in education, in healthcare to 
make sure that Americans across the country, whether you are in a red 
State or a blue State, whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, 
whether you are in rural America or urban America--I actually believe 
we all want the same things, which is we want to be able to put food on 
the table; we want to be able to put a roof over our head; we want to 
be able to go to a job and feel dignity about that job; we want to be 
able to send our kids to college or to higher education so they can get 
the skills and training they need and not be mired in student debt--
across the country, $1.4 trillion of student debt that we have, even 
larger than credit card debt--and we want to be able to retire with 

  So, ultimately, my friends, what we are going to have to do as 
Democrats--and I hope that there are Republicans across the aisle who 
want the same things and who know that this is a bad deal for middle 
class families, for working families, for folks who are just struggling 
to make it, who want to have that better deal, better jobs, better 
future, we Democrats are going to fight for that.
  I hope that we have colleagues on the other side of the aisle who 
recognize that their districts in blue States, red States, urban, and 
rural will suffer if this plan goes through.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members are reminded to refrain from 
engaging in personalities toward the President.
  The Chair would remind Members to direct all remarks to the Chair, 
and to formally yield and reclaim time when under recognition.