TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT--CONTINUED
(Senate - December 01, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 196 (Friday, December 1, 2017)]
[Pages S7655-S7712]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                    TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT--CONTINUED

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida.


                            Motion to Commit

  Mr. NELSON. Madam President, the matter that is before the Senate is 
the motion I have offered. It simply is, in this tax bill, the 
corporate rate is reduced from 35 percent down to 20 percent, and that 
is permanent, but the modest, middle-class tax breaks are not 
permanent, and in 7 or 8 years they cease to exist. They sunset. So, in 
this tax bill, you want to give permanent, huge corporate cuts, from 35 
down to 20. By the way, if the American corporation is doing business 
overseas, it is basically a zero tax rate, which is an incentive to go 
overseas, send jobs overseas. American jobs are lost while giving those 
huge corporate breaks at the same time it is giving modest breaks to 
the very people who need the tax cuts; that is, hard-working American 
families, the middle class. Then, oh, by the way, in 7 or 8 years, 
vamoose, it is gone, no tax break. It goes back up. It is a tax 
increase. That is simply not fair.
  So this little motion simply says go back to the Finance Committee 
and correct this inequity. Go back to the Finance Committee, make the 
middle-class tax cuts permanent, and then get the Finance Committee to 
offset those with revenue from someplace. Do you know where that 
someplace should be? It ought to be the huge corporate tax cuts. That 
is where the revenue ought to be taken back from to give that revenue 
or tax cuts to the middle class. It is a simple issue of fairness.
  I am delighted to be joined by my colleague from Minnesota.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota.
  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Madam President, I thank Senator Nelson for his 
leadership on this motion. It is a very simple motion for a very simple 
proposition; that is, that the Tax Code should be simpler. That is 
true. We should make it more streamlined. That is true, but our focus 
should be helping the people of America.
  Our problem with the bill that is on the floor right now is that it 
is weighted much too heavily in terms of helping the wealthiest among 
us and not the middle class. Senator Nelson's amendment, which I am a 
proud cosponsor of, gets right to the meat of this, to the bread and 
butter, to helping the middle class with their groceries--since I used 
meat and bread and butter--but also with their mortgages, with paying 
for college, with everything they need to do. Our problem with the bill 
right now is that too much of it goes to the top.
  In fact, when you look at the numbers, it is quite startling. The 
first

[[Page S7656]]

thing you notice for the middle class is that $1.4 trillion in 
additional debt comes out of this bill. Now, our colleagues were 
claiming until yesterday, well, that is going to be offset with all 
this economic growth we are going to see. What did we find out? Even 
when you consider that--and this is by the nonpartisan Joint Committee 
on Taxation that looked at this. They are like the umpire. They do the 
scorecard. They looked at this, and they said: Yes, it is about 1.4, 
$1.5 trillion in debt. It does produce some economic growth, but guess 
what. The net is over a trillion dollars in debt.
  Now, whose shoulder is that going to be on? That debt is going to be 
on the middle class and their kids and their grandkids, and that is the 
No. 1 reason why I am so concerned about this bill and why I stood with 
17 other Democrats, including Senator Nelson, just this last week and 
said: Come to the table. This is your moment for our colleagues on the 
Republican side of the aisle. While the White House is busy sending out 
tweets and going after this person and that person and this group and 
that group, someone has to govern, and this is their moment to govern, 
to work with us on a bill that doesn't add this debt that gives the 
middle class more than just a lump of debt in their stocking.
  What Senator Nelson's amendment smartly does is, it says: Let's go 
back and actually have hearings. Let's go back and in a deficit-neutral 
manner help the middle class. That is what we have to do.
  Even though we appeared to be very close to voting on this bill, we 
still don't know what exactly is in the final version of this bill. We 
know what isn't in it. Where is this Buffett rule that would make it 
more fair for everyone? What are we doing about the oil giveaways? What 
are we doing about the carried interest loophole? None of this is in 
the bill. Instead, there is $1.4 trillion in debt. So that is why I 
strongly support Senator Nelson's amendment.
  I would also add other amendments that should be considered that I 
have submitted: savings for servicemembers to help lower the out-of-
pocket costs for National Guard members, an amendment that would help 
address the cost millions of people face when they are providing elder 
care for loved ones, an amendment that would make it easier to use 529 
education savings accounts to help workers develop the skills they need 
for 21st century jobs, and also other ones related to agriculture.
  Senator Nelson's amendment and all these amendments are geared and 
focused on the middle class. We are living in a time when the wealthier 
have been getting wealthier and the middle class have been losing 
ground. They may have jobs now because our economy has rebounded, but 
the cost of things has gotten so expensive, whether it is their cable 
bill, whether it is the cost of sending their kids to college, and, 
with this tax bill this is our opportunity to address that.
  A tax bill should be the value statement for our government, the 
value statement for America. So I ask my colleagues to come back to the 
table, to come back to the table to talk about a bill that would bring 
down that corporate rate. I am all in favor of that.
  I have 18 Fortune 500 companies. I know how important they are to 
jobs in my State, but they don't have to go down to the extreme rate 
that they are. Instead, that money should be used to help the middle 
class, while bringing down the corporate rate, while bringing in that 
money from overseas and plugging some of it into this Nation's 
infrastructure to literally help us with the roads and bridges and rail 
we have now, but that isn't in this bill.
  So we tell our colleagues this is a moment in time where you could 
actually work with us on something that makes sense for America. Don't 
squander it.
  I appreciate the time from Senator Nelson and his leadership.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Mississippi.
  Mr. WICKER. Madam President, on behalf of the majority, I yield back 
all time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida.
  Mr. NELSON. Madam President, we yield back all time as well.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time is yielded back.
  The question is on agreeing to the Nelson motion to commit.
  Mr. WICKER. Madam President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 48, nays 52, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 290 Leg.]

                                YEAS--48

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--52

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young
  The motion was rejected.


                        Vote on Motion to Commit

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the Baldwin 
motion to commit.
  Mr. BARRASSO. Madam President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 48, nays 52, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 291 Leg.]

                                YEAS--48

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--52

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young
  The motion was rejected.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Kennedy). The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that Senator 
Cardin be recognized to offer a motion to commit, which is at the desk, 
and that the time until 2 p.m. be equally divided in the usual form on 
the motion; further, that at 2 p.m., the Senate vote in relation to the 
motion with no intervening action or debate. I further ask that 
following disposition of the motion, the majority leader or his 
designee be recognized.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Maryland.


                            Motion To Commit

  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I have a motion at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the motion.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

[[Page S7657]]

  

       The Senator from Maryland [Mr. CARDIN] moves to commit the 
     bill H.R. 1 to the Committee on Finance of the Senate with 
     instructions to report the same back to the Senate in 3 days, 
     not counting any day on which the Senate is not in session, 
     with changes that--
       (1) are within the jurisdiction of such committee; and
       (2) in order to fix and enhance our country's 
     infrastructure, help create jobs, and responsibly use one-
     time revenue for one-time spending, designate the revenue 
     raised by the deemed repatriation provisions of the bill for 
     infrastructure improvements.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to support this 
motion.
  This motion will send H.R. 1 back to the Committee on Finance with 
instructions to return it within 3 days to deal with one of the 
principal purposes of this act, and that is to create jobs. I am 
pleased that I am joined in this effort by Senators Feinstein, 
Blumenthal, Udall, Casey, Stabenow, Klobuchar, and Harris.
  As I explained yesterday--but I want to just go over this, if I 
could--this particular motion is based upon a bipartisan recommendation 
in the last Congress that came out of the Senate Finance Committee. We 
had working groups that took a look at the different aspects of our Tax 
Code in areas that we need to reform, and there was general agreement 
that we need to deal with the fact that American companies have earned 
earnings overseas, and they have parked those funds overseas and have 
not brought them back to the United States because of the differential 
tax rates between our corporate taxes and the tax rates overseas. The 
American companies were not willing to pay the taxes. So, therefore, 
they leave the money overseas. To bring that money back is called 
repatriation. So the money comes back to the United States. We have 
done this before, and we imposed a lower tax rate in order to get the 
money back here in the United States.
  The challenge with that proposal is a couple things. But, first, it 
is not a permanent revenue flow. It is a one-time-only revenue flow. We 
had the numbers on the House-passed bill, which would bring in 
somewhere around $300 billion of one-time-only revenue.
  The problem is that H.R. 1 includes provisions that use those 
revenues that bring that in as repatriation but uses the money on a 
permanent basis to give permanent tax relief to businesses and that 
puts us deeper in a hole as it relates to the deficit of this country.
  This bill already is too expensive. We know that. I think my 
Republican colleagues know that. The American public knows that--that 
it will add to the deficit. We now have not only the scores that we 
traditionally use from the Joint Committee on Taxation as to how much 
it would cost, and we know it is somewhere in excess of $1.5 trillion--
closer to $2 trillion if you extend all the sunsets that are in the 
bill--but, even now, we have the so-called dynamic score that takes 
into consideration predicted economic changes that try to make it more 
favorable, and that is in excess of $1 trillion. That is unacceptable. 
It should be unacceptable to every Member of this body.
  This amendment will help us in doing that, in that it will take at 
least the $300 billion, which is one-time-only revenue, and not allow 
it to be used in the budget itself. Instead, we wall that off and use 
it for infrastructure.
  I serve on the Environment and Public Works Committee, in addition to 
the Senate Finance Committee. I can tell you that the unmet 
transportation needs, water infrastructure needs, and energy 
infrastructure needs in this country are well documented. We know we 
need to modernize our transit systems, our roads, our bridges, our 
water infrastructure, and our energy infrastructure. We need to 
modernize them, particularly if we are going to be competitive. This 
motion will set up the right priority for modernizing America's 
infrastructure.
  What does that mean with regard to jobs? Speaker Ryan used the number 
of a little less than 1 million jobs that are created spending $1.5 
trillion. That is about $1.5 million per job. That is not very good by 
anyone's standards. We have projections that $300 billion--far less 
than $1.5 trillion--will create 4 million great jobs here in America.
  Here is a chance to really create jobs but at the same time produce a 
much more up-to-date, modern transportation system for this country. I 
have the honor of representing Maryland in the Senate. I can tell you 
that we need significant resources to update our transit system. The 
WMATA system is old and needs improvements, and needs further 
investments. We are in the second worst congested area here in 
Washington. We need investments in roads. Our bridges are in serious 
trouble. We have a major water main break every day in this country--
every day. We need billions of dollars to fix our water infrastructure.
  Here is an opportunity for us to speak to two major priorities. One 
is fiscal responsibility. Let's do this in the right way, not spend 
one-time-only money. Two, we can take care of the international tax 
problems of American companies that have money overseas. Third, we can 
repair our infrastructure without raising the debt.
  I urge my colleagues to support this motion so that we can really 
create jobs and not add to the deficit and to help the people of this 
country.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I come to the floor this afternoon to 
speak on behalf of myself, along with Senator Wyden, about the 
incredible healthcare impacts that this tax bill will have on families.
  It is astonishing just how far my Republican colleagues are willing 
to run from the truth in order to jam this terrible tax bill through 
Congress.
  They said it was going to lower taxes for the middle class. Well, it 
will not.
  They claim it is going to create jobs. Experts tell us the exact 
opposite.
  They are once again telling families to place their faith on tired 
trickle-down economic theories, and we have seen how that works. It 
doesn't.
  Unfortunately, I could go on, but I did come to the floor this 
afternoon to clear up any remaining confusion about one particular 
claim that Senate Republicans are making in order to justify handing 
more tax breaks to massive corporations and the wealthy.
  The Senate Republican tax bill includes a truly devastating 
healthcare change that is going to raise families' premiums, cause 
millions of people to lose their coverage, and create even more chaos 
and instability in our healthcare markets. People have rejected every 
single Republican attempt this year to undermine their healthcare, so 
it is worth asking, why are they doing it again? Why are Republicans 
doing it in this bill? The answer is simple. Republicans wanted to 
spend the savings from taking away millions of people's healthcare on 
tax cuts for those at the top.
  Taking healthcare away from families to pay for big corporations' tax 
breaks is bad enough; what makes it even worse is how they are trying 
to deny what they are doing.
  Senate Republicans are claiming that if they pass the bipartisan bill 
that Chairman Alexander and I agreed on, all the damage from the 
healthcare sabotage in their tax bill will somehow go away. They 
couldn't be more wrong. Our bill, the Alexander-Murray bill, was 
designed to shore up the existing healthcare system and deal with the 
problems that President Trump and Republicans already created, not to 
solve the new problems in this awful Republican tax bill. And just 
yesterday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office confirmed that. 
Here is what they said will happen regardless of whether Alexander-
Murray becomes law as well: Premiums will go up 10 percent each year, 
13 million people will lose coverage, and markets will be even more 
unstable, which experts have said will cause some of our communities to 
lose their coverage options.
  There has been some discussion on whether passing something called 
reinsurance, which is a program designed to help with the cost of 
enrolling the sickest patients, might mitigate the serious damage this 
Republican tax bill would do. The answer is no there as well. This 
policy is good policy on its own, but it will not stop the premium 
increases, and it will not stop the coverage losses and the chaos this 
Republican tax bill will cause.
  The Republicans are doing everything they can to avoid the facts, but 
that doesn't make them go away. While hiding behind these bipartisan

[[Page S7658]]

bills might seem like a good talking point in Washington, DC, political 
cover doesn't pay families' medical bills or give them their coverage 
back. It does not help people with preexisting conditions who may get 
priced out of the market. It doesn't help people in communities where 
markets are already unstable thanks to President Trump's year of 
sabotage, meaning insurers are ready to exit if things get worse.
  One more point. Over the last year of roller coasters on healthcare, 
there is one thing we could count on; that is, President Trump and the 
Republican leaders making empty promises. Republicans who are 
comfortable voting for this awful tax bill because of promises they got 
from President Trump--who called his own TrumpCare bill ``mean'' when 
it suited him--and Republican leaders who have written check after 
check they couldn't cash on healthcare are placing a bet that is more 
than risky. In fact, this bet is so risky, it requires House 
Republicans voting in favor of supporting ObamaCare changes they have 
already said they oppose. If you have spent 5 minutes in this Congress, 
you should know that getting House Republicans to support ObamaCare is 
as tough a sell as it gets.
  The truth is, if Republicans are serious about not undermining 
families' healthcare, there is a very easy way for them to actually do 
that. They can step back from the brink right now and work with 
Democrats on healthcare and taxes in ways that actually help, not hurt, 
the people we are supposed to be here to serve. They are far down the 
road, I understand, but it is not too late. They can turn around. It is 
not too late to do the right thing. That is what we are asking.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I want to pick up where Senator Murray left 
off and emphasize to colleagues that not only would this bill raise 
taxes on millions of middle-class families, but it would also be a 
dagger in the heart of the Affordable Care Act, causing millions to 
lose their coverage and raise costs for millions more. By gutting the 
personal responsibility portion of the Affordable Care Act, this 
legislation is going to take America back to the days when healthcare 
was for the healthy and wealthy because it will green-light once more 
discriminating against those with preexisting conditions. It will say 
the insurance companies can go out and beat the stuffing out of 
somebody who has a preexisting condition.
  If that is not enough, evidence this morning in the paper shows that 
this will trigger a new wave of health insurance scams and rip-offs 
that are going to harm our people. This morning in the paper, they 
talked about how this is going to encourage these cheap, junk, short-
term health insurance policies, which often lack consumer protections 
and in so many instances have been a magnet for fraud and unscrupulous 
sales practices.
  For example, the paper this morning talked about how--I will read it. 
``Examples abound of people who are dumped from such policies''--these 
short-term policies--``or denied coverage, mired in debt and medical 
bills totaling thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.'' It 
documents the various sales tactics used to rip people off. I remember 
what those tactics were like. When I was director of the senior 
citizens, the Gray Panthers, at home, it was common for agents to sell 
policy after policy that was not worth much more than the paper it was 
written on. It sure sounds to me as though these short-term policies, 
while a different time, are going to encourage the same kinds of rip-
off practices that are going to harm our people.
  As we have touched on, we have heard from Senators on the other side 
that they think that if they vote for this bill, what they are going to 
be able to do is get two other bills that somehow will mitigate, will 
eliminate a lot of the harm this horribly flawed bill is going to do. 
It is going to harm millions of middle-class families who don't get a 
fair shake in the marketplace and then inflict all this damage on 
healthcare that I just described.
  I happen to think these two bills are constructive bills. The 
Alexander-Murray bill will make payments that will help limit the 
amount low-income Americans pay for health insurance. Our colleagues, 
Senators Collins and Nelson, have another constructive idea--
reinsurance money. That helps to stabilize the insurance market, which, 
by the way, the President of the United States has worked so hard to 
destabilize. The fact is, the Congressional Budget Office, which is the 
nonpartisan group of experts we use, has made it clear that these two 
bills will not even come close to wiping out the disastrous 
consequences of the health provisions in this bill that the Senate is 
about to vote for.
  I want to be clear. This is not just a tax bill, not just a bill with 
handouts to multinational corporations and a grab bag full of goodies 
for campaign supporters and powerful, well-connected interests. It is 
not just that. It is a big step backward in the cause of making sure 
that all our people have affordable, accessible healthcare.
  What we ought to be doing is looking at ways to come together and 
find common ground on provisions that we know are cost-effective, 
things like the children's health bill, which if I had my way would 
have been passed a long time ago, and community health centers and 
other vital provisions. We should be building on what we have, such as 
holding down the cost of pharmaceuticals, for example, targeting the 
middlemen who are at the heart of the problem. That is what we ought to 
be doing.
  We should not be doing what is on offer this morning. What is on 
offer this morning is turning back the clock on American healthcare, 
turning back the clock to those dark days when the insurance companies 
could beat the stuffing out of somebody who had a preexisting 
condition. We are better than that. We still have time. As I have said 
on the floor, as the ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee, we 
still have time to choose a different course. A few days ago, 17 
Democratic Senators--led by Senators Manchin, Kaine, Donnelly, and 
Heitkamp--came together and said: We want to find common ground on 
taxes. I have written two bipartisan, comprehensive Federal income tax 
bills, the most recent one with a member of the President's Cabinet.
  We don't have to go this route. We don't have to go this route on 
taxes. We certainly don't have to do it on healthcare. There are 
approaches that would bring us together, and I have just described 
several of them. What I know we shouldn't do is turn back the clock to 
the days when healthcare in America was for the healthy and wealthy. 
That is what you get when you green-light discrimination against people 
with preexisting conditions. If they are healthy, no problem. If they 
are wealthy, they can take care of it. We should reject this bill and 
especially the provisions that relate to healthcare and that take 
America back to dark days, horrible days when healthcare in America was 
essentially for the healthy and wealthy.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, it is no secret that I am strongly 
opposed to this disastrous, unfair, and destructive piece of 
legislation that we are debating today that will give massive tax 
breaks to the wealthiest people in our country, to the most profitable 
corporations, and to billionaire campaign contributors.
  What really concerns me is that we are debating, as everybody 
acknowledges, a very complicated and confusing piece of legislation 
that is over 500 pages long. Here we are a few hours before we are 
going to be voting on this legislation, and nobody has seen it. Nobody 
even knows what is in this legislation. It is probably being written as 
we speak right now. That is not a very effective or intelligent way to 
deal with legislation that impacts every American and trillions of 
dollars.
  One of the concerns I have as we look at this bill is that there are 
provisions in it that nobody really understands in terms of whom it 
impacts and whom it benefits. As one example, buried in this 
legislation, on page 503, section 14504, is a paragraph entitled 
``Modification to Source Rules Involving Possessions.'' That is the 
title of that section. What does that mean? As best we can understand, 
it means that if you are a hedge fund manager who is a resident

[[Page S7659]]

of the Virgin Islands, you will be able to get a major tax break on 
capital gains and a 90-percent reduction in tax liability on your 
income.
  It has been estimated that corporations and the wealthy are avoiding 
over $100 billion each and every year by stashing their cash in the 
Caribbean and other offshore tax havens. It appears that this provision 
will make a bad situation even worse. In adding insult to injury, it 
appears that this provision may help only a handful of wealthy hedge 
fund managers who have claimed residency in the Virgin Islands. It has 
been estimated that this provision alone--one provision in a 500-plus 
page bill--will cost over $600 million in lost revenue in the next 
decade--$600 million in lost revenue when we have a $20 trillion debt 
and 40 million people who are living in poverty.

  Now, I see no Republican Senators on the floor, but I am sure that 
staff is watching this discussion. I have a question that I would like 
to discuss with Senator Wyden but, more importantly, with some of our 
Republican colleagues.
  What I would like to ask my Republican colleagues is whether there 
has been a hearing on the need to provide tax breaks to wealthy hedge 
fund managers who have established residency in the Caribbean.
  I would say to my friend from Oregon that there are a lot of problems 
facing our country--a declining middle class, 40 million people living 
in poverty, 28 million people having no health insurance. I am not 
aware that one of the great crises facing this country is the need to 
provide tax breaks to wealthy hedge fund managers who have established 
residency in the Caribbean. It may be one of those great national 
crises that I have missed, but I don't quite perceive it as being an 
issue that the American people seem to be deeply concerned about.
  I hope that my Republican colleagues--maybe Senator Hatch or others--
will come to the floor and tell us who this provision benefits. Are we 
talking about one hedge fund manager? Are we talking about two? Are we 
talking about three hedge fund managers who are going to divvy up some 
$600 million in tax breaks over the next decade?
  I ask my colleague from Oregon, who is the ranking member of the 
Senate Finance Committee, his thoughts on the issue.
  Mr. WYDEN. I am very pleased that my colleague from Vermont is 
discussing this issue on the floor. The Finance Democratic staff has 
been looking into this and has been working also with the Senator's 
staff, and I think that it would be fair to say that every few hours, 
this bill just seems to get worse. I mean, we don't know if, in the 
middle of the night, somebody will add another round of favors for the 
powerful interests, the politically well connected. What I can tell the 
Senator is what we have been able to put together as of now.
  In 2004, legislation was written that we were very much involved in 
that helped eliminate the loophole by requiring U.S. citizens to be 
bona fide residents of the Virgin Islands and imposing U.S. tax on 
income effectively connected with the United States. Now, in the dark 
of night, as I have indicated, it appears that we have a provision that 
is relaxing this rule.
  From our conversations, I know the Senator understands that we all 
want to help the people of the Virgin Islands after a devastating 
hurricane. Are we helping people by creating a huge, new loophole, 
possibly for a handful of those people who are especially well 
connected and can get to the Finance Committee? I am convinced that if 
one looks at the Paradise Papers and the Panama Papers, what they were 
warning about in those papers was of all of these efforts to stash 
money and create new options for people to wheel and deal in offshore 
accounts.
  So my colleague is right. I continue to wonder why, when we want to 
ask these really important questions about special interest favors and 
when we look to the other side, we have this barrier between both sides 
of the aisle. We need somebody here to explain to us and explain to the 
American people how this has seemed to just fly out of the sky.
  I am very appreciative of the Senator's raising a question about what 
looks like yet another scam that has come into a process that has been 
one big sham from the beginning. I appreciate my colleague's question.
  Mr. SANDERS. I thank the Senator very much.
  I would just say, according to a number of independent studies, 
despite what President Trump and the Republican leadership are saying, 
the overwhelming bulk of the tax benefits in this legislation goes to 
the top 1 percent. I believe the number is 62 percent that goes to the 
top 1 percent.
  Mr. WYDEN. If my colleague will yield, there is no question he is 
correct that in terms of stacking the deck, this is not just stacked to 
the top but to the top 1 percent or a fraction of the 1 percent.
  Mr. SANDERS. You have 62 percent of the benefits going to the top 1 
percent. Meanwhile, by the end of the decade, my good friend, Senator 
Wyden from Oregon, there is no question but that tens of millions of 
middle-class Americans will be paying more in taxes; is that correct?
  Mr. WYDEN. There is absolutely no question about that. We are looking 
at something like half of the middle class to be paying more in taxes 
come 2027.
  Mr. SANDERS. So here we have a nation today that has a grotesque 
level of income and wealth inequality--worse than at any time since the 
late 1920s. The top one-tenth of 1 percent now owns almost as much 
wealth as the bottom 90 percent, and 62 percent of all new income is 
going to the top 1 percent. The Republicans' solution is to make this 
grotesque inequality even worse by giving 62 percent of the tax 
benefits to the top 1 percent.
  I want to get back to this one point. I suspect that when you rush a 
bill of this magnitude through the U.S. Senate when there have been 
virtually no hearings, no experts, no real ability to have significant 
debate and discussion at the committee level, what you are going to 
find the day after this bill is passed are absolutely outrageous 
provisions.
  I suspect--I don't know, and I would like my Republican colleagues to 
help us here; I cannot verify because we don't have the information--
that on page 503, section 14504, there is a provision that will provide 
$600 million in tax breaks over a 10-year period that will end up in 
the pockets of a handful of Wall Street hedge fund managers. That is 
what I suspect. Maybe I am wrong. Therefore, I hope that some of the 
Republicans who put this provision in the bill will tell us how this is 
going to benefit the people of the United States or the Virgin Islands 
or anyplace else.
  Again, I am speaking to the ranking member of the Senate Finance 
Committee, who knows something about this.
  Is this an issue, Senator Wyden, that has been discussed for 1 
minute?
  Mr. WYDEN. Not for a minute.
  The reason my colleague's questions are so important is that this is, 
certainly, an example of what seems to turn up every few hours, 
practically in the middle of the night.
  My colleague raised a very good point with respect to the development 
of this bill. I mean, we are talking about making $10 trillion worth of 
changes in tax policy on the fly--without a hearing. The Senator's 
colleagues have said--Chairman Enzi and the Budget Committee--and I 
have heard it several times on the other side--that there were 70 
hearings on this bill. There was not one on this piece of legislation. 
It certainly didn't examine this issue. It didn't examine the question, 
for example, of what is going to happen to people with this dagger to 
the Affordable Care Act.
  I can tell this to my colleague because he is right to talk about how 
one brings parties together. I know my colleague did that as part of a 
major bill on the Veterans' Affairs Committee with Senator McCain. Our 
former colleague Bill Bradley mentioned that when he wrote a tax bill, 
he flew all over the country to work with Republicans. In this case, 
apropos of my colleague's question, not only did no one do that sort of 
thing, but they wouldn't even walk down the corridor to talk about 
working with the other side.
  Mr. SANDERS. Let me make two points as I wind down here.
  One, yesterday, I challenged my Republican colleagues, after this 
bill is passed, to tell us and tell the American people that when they 
rack up a deficit of $1.4 trillion, they are not going to

[[Page S7660]]

come back and cut Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, education, 
nutrition.
  Tell the American people that you are not going to balance the budget 
and compensate for your huge tax breaks to the rich and large 
corporations by going after the middle class and working class of this 
country.
  I challenged my Republican colleagues yesterday to come to the floor 
and tell the American people that they would not do that. They have not 
responded to that challenge.
  The second challenge today is to tell us what is in section 14504, 
page 503. This is a provision that would provide $600 million in tax 
breaks to my Republican colleagues. Who is going to get those tax 
breaks? We believe--and tell us if we are wrong; maybe we are--that we 
are talking about a handful of hedge fund managers. Who are they? How 
many of them are there?
  I would ask, respectfully, that Senator Hatch or any other Republican 
come down to the floor and tell us who benefits from section 14504.
  Mr. WYDEN. Will my colleague yield for a moment?
  Mr. SANDERS. I will.
  Mr. WYDEN. I want to ask the Senator a question because I am not sure 
that we have really laid out the timetable of what is ahead. My 
colleague, of course, who is our ranking Democrat on the Budget 
Committee, is very up on this.
  We have all been concerned because we have seen it before. You pass 
these big tax cuts. You get on a sugar high for a relatively short 
period of time. Then the deficits start rolling in. What we see next 
are the cuts in the programs that are a lifeline for millions of 
people--the anti-hunger programs, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security.
  I saw comments in the paper that what my colleague is concerned about 
has already been announced by the Speaker of the House. I understand 
that what the Speaker of the House has said is that his next plan is to 
take up the issues of what he calls entitlement reform. They are not 
talking about the things that the American people care about and that I 
am going to hear about at townhall meetings at home this weekend--
holding down the costs of prescription drugs. They are talking about 
rolling back the safety net--Medicaid and the anti-hunger programs and 
Social Security.
  Is that my colleague's understanding?
  Mr. SANDERS. Absolutely. That is absolutely what they will do. They 
will talk about saving Social Security; they will talk about 
entitlement reform. What they mean is cutting Social Security, cutting 
Medicare, and cutting Medicaid.
  As the Senator has indicated, it is not some kind of an abstract, 
theoretical idea. That is what Speaker Ryan is already talking about. 
More to the point, that is exactly what was in the budget that was 
passed here several months ago.
  Mr. INHOFE. Will the Senator yield for a unanimous consent request?
  Mr. SANDERS. I will.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that at the 
conclusion of the remarks by the Senator from Vermont, I be recognized 
for up to 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection.
  Mr. WYDEN. Reserving the right to object, if I could, I don't think 
the UC was granted.
  Mr. INHOFE. I have a point of inquiry. Was the UC already granted--
the unanimous consent request?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair said ``without objection'' because 
the Chair did not hear objection.
  Mr. WYDEN. Well, I would like to reserve my right to object at this 
time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. WYDEN. Reserving my right to object, and I will not object. I 
would just like to make sure that our colleague from Oklahoma and our 
colleague from Washington are both accommodated in this matter.
  Senator Sanders and I have finished. I believe Senator Cantwell said 
that Senator Inhofe will go ahead. We thank Senator Cantwell for her 
usual collegiality.
  Senator Inhofe will go first and I ask unanimous consent that Senator 
Cantwell follow Senator Inhofe, and I will withdraw my reservation.
  I withdraw my reservation and I ask unanimous consent that Senator 
Cantwell follow Senator Inhofe.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, let me conclude my remarks.
  I would urge my Republican colleagues to come down to the floor of 
the Senate and explain to the American people what section 14504 is 
about and who benefits from some $600 million in tax breaks over a 10-
year period. Is it two hedge fund managers? Is it five hedge fund 
managers? What is it?
  That is my request, and I hope we can get a response to that quick 
question as quickly as possible.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Mr. President, let me pause in this class warfare for 
just a minute to make a couple of observations that I think are 
certainly important to me.
  First of all, I agree that no one has said that the underlying bill 
is perfect.
  Incidentally, I will not respond to the Senator's specific request 
until I have time to go back and get the proper response, and then I 
will be glad to do it. But I will say this. We are going to have a 
conference. There is going to be opportunity for us to go and get some 
of the things ironed out--some of the things we are both concerned 
about. There are a couple of things I want to serve notice right now 
that I am going to be concerned about. One is that the bill that we 
have punishes trust ownership. It doesn't treat the trust ownership the 
same way it does ordinary ownership. I think they both should be 
treated equally. I talked to a number of people who will be 
participating in this on the other side of the aisle, and I would like 
to kind of serve notice that we are going to be talking about this, 
because I think it is very, very significant.
  The second thing is that we hear a lot of good ideas. Certainly, 
there is this idea that somehow there isn't a good idea unless it 
emanates from this body. I have to tell you this. It is interesting for 
me to be standing here because I am not on any of the committees that 
have anything to do with this bill. I am not on the Finance Committee, 
and I am not on the Budget Committee. If you want to talk about 
defending America and roads and highways, I will talk to you about 
that. That is my specialty. I am on those committees and have senior 
leadership in those committees. But as a Member not directly involved 
in this debate, I have looked at it and I have heard good ideas from 
the outside. I heard one a week ago that actually came from the Hugh 
Hewitt show. I heard an idea that I tried to pick apart, and I can't 
find any faults with it. So I have developed an amendment that we are 
going to have that will address this idea that I am talking about. That 
amendment would offer an alternative to those who have retirement 
programs, where the individual is not to pay for the income until the 
withdrawal date--say, age 59\1/2\.
  The amendment would provide that there would be a one-time 
opportunity to withdraw up to 25 percent of the retirement account for 
a single flat fee of 10 percent in lieu of paying income tax at that 
time.
  There are a lot of benefits that I think are pretty obvious. We are 
talking about retirement programs where the individual is not to pay 
for the income until the withdrawal dates--let's say, at age 59\1/2\. 
This would have the immediate revenue of 10 percent of all savings that 
are withdrawn, and this would actually amount to billions of dollars. 
We are talking about immediate dollars, not dollars that may be there 
in the future.
  Now, you could argue that this might reduce some revenue at some 
future date because the individuals will have already pulled this out 
for a fee of 10 percent. So, perhaps, it would have some negative 
effects in the distant future. But when you stop to think about the 
benefits--I know a lot of people on the other side of the aisle don't 
realize this--we are going to have huge benefits.
  If you just look at what has happened in this administration in the 
second and third quarter of this year, we have gone through years in 
the Obama administration with maybe a 1.5-percent

[[Page S7661]]

increase in GDP, and we have enjoyed 3 percent in the second quarter 
and 3.3 percent in the third quarter. That is a huge increase. For each 
1 percent increase over a period of 10 years, we are talking about $3 
trillion. So we are all considering this.
  This amendment that we are talking about that merely allows people to 
take money out that is already their money is something that would have 
a great stimulation in the economy. I am one of the few ones who was 
around here--not in this body but in the other body--and I was aware of 
this back during the Reagan years of 1981 and 1986. In 1981, the amount 
of revenue that we had coming into the Federal coffers was $469 
billion. Ten years later that was $750 billion. That was after the 
first great reduction. Let's remember that reduction took the top rates 
down from 70 percent to 50 percent. Again, in 1986, when the total 
revenue was $569 billion, there was a further reduction. The top rate 
went down from 50 percent to, I believe, 28 percent.
  Now, with all of those reductions, that increased 10 years later from 
$569 billion to $1 trillion. Consequently, we know that if we can 
stimulate the economy, we are going to have more revenue coming in. 
That is a fact. I think this will be something that I think a lot of 
people can look at.
  I talk about when you get into the conference. I will not be one of 
the conferees, and I am aware of that, but there are a lot of good 
ideas out there along with those on the floor today. They will be 
pursuing them at that time. That is assuming we pass this bill, and I 
think we will pass it.
  Additionally, tax reform will ensure that American families and 
businesses see a meaningful reduction in their tax burden. The Senate 
bill provides a substantial tax deduction to small and family 
businesses that are structured as passthrough entities. These small and 
family businesses are household names such as Love's Travel Stop, the 
Country Stores, Hobby Lobby. We are all very familiar with Hobby Lobby.
  By the way, I will say that in the event there is anyone here who has 
not been down to see the Museum of the Bible, that is Hobby Lobby who 
paid for that. Those are the types of people who would benefit. 
Unfortunately, the Senate does not allow tax deductions for these 
companies or passthrough entities if they have trusts. This is not 
right.
  For these companies trusts were for long-term business purposes, not 
to evade their fair share of taxes. These companies use the income to 
invest capital in operations to grow their businesses, to hire people, 
and to contribute to the economic growth that we need in this country. 
We should not penalize passthrough companies for their businesses 
because they are trusts. My amendment would fix that.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that Senator 
Cantwell and Senator Van Hollen be allowed a total of 15 minutes to 
discuss some very important issues.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Washington.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, I come to the floor with my colleague 
from Maryland to talk about the State and local tax deduction.
  I thank the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee for his 
hard work on trying to articulate what is fair tax policy for 
Americans. Senator Wyden and I come from parts of the country with 
probably some of the most unique tax codes. He doesn't have a sales tax 
in Oregon. We don't have an income tax in Washington.
  We are not an expensive tax State. We are not an expensive tax State. 
There are other States such as Texas, Nevada, and Florida that also 
don't have an income tax. Under this bill, those States and the 
citizens of those States, like many others, are going to be penalized. 
Middle-class Americans are going to have their taxes raised to give a 
tax break to corporations.
  So while we might want to discuss what is fair tax policy as it 
relates to the competitiveness of our economy, the good news for the 
people of the State of Washington is that we have very competitive 
businesses, whether it is Microsoft or Amazon or Starbucks or Costco or 
Boeing. They are all working hard. They are all working in multiple 
places, and yes, they are all doing really, really well.
  The question is, Do we need to reduce their corporate rate so 
significantly, and to do so, take money out of the pockets of middle-
class families across the United States of America?
  The reason I mention Senator Wyden and the States of Oregon and 
Washington, is that, even though we have a unique tax code, our State's 
economy has grown faster than the national average every year since 
World War II. That is to say, the uniqueness of our tax code has not 
hurt us, and yet in the State of Washington we have had the highest 
minimum wage for a long time in the United States. Now we are raising 
it in various parts of our State. We have had a unique view of where 
our revenue should come from.
  Why now? Why now? After 100 years of tax deductibility by taxpayers 
in this country, why are you taking away their ability to deduct only 
to give a tax break to corporations that are making record profits? 
After 100 years, why are you doing this?
  Well, I think some of my colleagues have said it best. They have 
called it double-taxation. You are going ahead after 100 years and 
saying it is OK to tax the same amount that we pay to the State that 
you also are going to tax at the Federal level. As one article 
mentioned, ``Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers said the 
Federal Government might try to monopolize taxation to the entire 
exclusion and destruction of State governments.''
  That is right. Our Founding Fathers said: Do not have double 
taxation. So for 100 years--100 years--we protected the citizens of 
this country. Yet someone over there is thinking: Do you know what? I 
need $1.4 trillion. Where can I get it? Let's do it on the backs of 
middle-class families, because they might not notice until 2019 when 
their tax bill comes and they have a different equation.
  I get that my colleagues think they have solved this problem by 
getting rid of the deductions and now all of a sudden giving you a 
double standard deduction. I have done the math. I have done the math 
for us in Washington State, and over 300,000 people in Washington will 
see their taxes go up immediately, probably paying anywhere from $750 
to $1,000 more in taxes. Is that fair? They are sitting in the shadow 
of these large companies who are making record profits and doing quite 
well, asking why are they the funders of this tax break. Why are they? 
Why are we getting rid of a policy that has existed in our country for 
over 100 years and penalizing them just to give this corporate break?

  I can tell you I don't buy the notion that this is going to trickle 
down to productivity and wage growth. I know what is driving 
productivity and wage growth in my State. It is a great, educated, 
skilled workforce. It is staying ahead of innovation whether it is 
making software or new ways of doing business, and, yes, it is a 
constant challenge. Those businesses tell me all the time we need more 
infrastructure, we need more affordable housing, we need a better 
transportation system, we need better education. So they are very 
concerned about the ideas in this legislation.
  So you are going to tax immediately about 300,000 Washingtonians with 
a higher tax rate and, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation and 
other entities, probably by the time this is done, at the end of this 
bill, over a million Washingtonians are going to pay more money. That 
is why I am so concerned, along with other States that have been 
fighting this battle for so long. Why now? Why now? What is the urgency 
that you are taking away the ability of my citizens to deduct their 
local sales tax, their property tax, and, in the House case, other 
expenses, whether they are medical or education or their mortgage? It 
is just beyond me, when the middle class has suffered so much and has 
not recovered from the downturn in the economy, that you think the best 
economic strategy is to take money out of the middle-class taxpayer.
  I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record a letter from 
the National Governors Association from Governor Sandoval from Nevada. 
I mentioned they don't have an income tax. They are highly sensitive to 
this issue.

[[Page S7662]]

  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                               National Governors Association,

                                               September 22, 2017.
     Hon. Richard Neal,
     Ranking Member, Committee on Ways & Means, U.S. Senate, 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, 
     Speaker Ryan, Minority Leader Pelosi, Chairman Hatch, Ranking 
     Member Wyden, Chairman Brady, and Ranking Member Neal: The 
     nation's governors appreciate congressional efforts to reform 
     and improve federal tax policy. Federal and state tax systems 
     are complex and often interconnected. Therefore, as Congress 
     considers reforms, we urge you to maintain the balance 
     between state and federal tax systems by preserving the 
     income exclusion for municipal bond interest and the 
     deductibility for state and local taxes.
       The financing engine that drives U.S. infrastructure is the 
     $3.8 trillion municipal bond market. Changes to federal laws 
     and regulations should not increase issuance costs to states 
     for municipal bonds or diminish investor demand for them. If 
     federal changes make issuing municipal bonds cost-prohibitive 
     for states and local governments, then fewer projects could 
     be funded, taxes could rise, fewer jobs created, and economic 
     growth will suffer.
       Governors also believe that no federal law or regulation 
     should preempt, limit, or interfere with the sovereign rights 
     of states. A mark of sovereignty includes the ability to 
     develop and operate revenue and tax systems. Deductibility of 
     state and local taxes has contributed to the stability of 
     state revenues that are essential for providing public 
     services. We encourage you to avoid changes to the tax code 
     that would undermine the ability of state and local 
     governments to meet the needs of the citizens whom we all 
     serve.
       Eliminating state and local tax deductibility, moreover, 
     exposes a higher share of an itemizing taxpayer's income to 
     federal taxation because it adds back mandatory payments of 
     state and local taxes already paid, as taxable income.
       Federal tax reform requires an intergovernmental 
     partnership because decisions at the federal level will 
     affect state and local governments profoundly. We look 
     forward to working with Congress on bipartisan tax reform to 
     maintain balance between our systems and modernize the 
     federal tax system to meet the needs of our citizens.
           Sincerely,
     Gov. Brian Sandoval,
       NGA Chair.
     Gov. Steve Bullock,
       NGA Vice Chair.

  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, their letter says that the deductibility 
of State and local taxes has been a part of their stability, and they 
are about meeting the needs of their citizens.
  So the notion that we have the National Governors Association, the 
homebuilders, the Realtors, so many people concerned about this is 
falling on deaf ears. I guarantee you it will not fall on deaf ears 
when the citizens have a chance to respond to this.
  The notion that we not only are taking away this ability to deduct, 
but we are also in this legislation making a change to the way 
inflation is calculated, what is called Chained CPI--I am not going to 
bother to explain the details to you, but I will tell you this. It will 
change your tax bracket, and you will be in a higher tax bracket. So 
besides giving you less deductibility, they are changing a formula and 
making you pay more taxes.
  This bill needs to slow down. It needs to focus on what will help our 
economy grow, and economists don't believe this bill is going to do 
much to help the economy grow. It is going to give those corporations 
money to pay for dividends. Seventy-five to eighty percent will go to 
their shareholders, and those shareholders and the stock market will do 
well.
  What we also need to focus on is the investment that middle-class 
families need to stay in their home, to make education affordable, to 
pay for healthcare, and to have communities work. The fact is, the 
Fraternal Order of Police is also against this legislation because of 
taking away of this local deductibility. It is like Hamilton said: Why 
are you doing this at a Federal level? I thought the other side of the 
aisle was the States' rights people? I thought they were there to 
protect the uniqueness of the Tax Code to say that States have rights, 
to say that States ought to be able to decide their own future. Well, 
after 100 years, you are taking that away today, and you are going to 
hear from the citizens of this country who are upset that they have to 
pay higher taxes just to give these very successful companies a 
corporate tax break.
  I yield to my colleague from Maryland.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Mr. President, may I inquire how much time remains on 
the unanimous consent agreement for this amendment?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democrats have approximately 6 minutes 
remaining.
  Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Thank you, Mr. President.
  I see Senator Menendez from New Jersey has arrived. He is a 
cosponsor, together with Senator Cantwell and myself, on this 
amendment, and I want to thank Senator Cantwell for her leadership. She 
has covered a lot of important points.
  The main one is, from the beginning of our Federal Tax Code in 1913, 
we have established a principle in the United States to avoid double 
taxation. It makes no sense that any citizens of this country send a 
dollar of tax to their State governments to help schools or roads in 
their State, and then they are turned around and taxed on that same 
dollar by the Federal Government, but that is exactly what this 
Republican tax plan is doing.
  Now, weeks and weeks ago, the Republican leader, Senator McConnell, 
and the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, made these public statements 
about how these Republican tax bills weren't going to raise taxes on 
anybody. They both had to publicly reverse those statements because, in 
order to provide huge tax breaks to the biggest corporations of this 
country, this bill will require millions and millions of middle-class 
families to increase their taxes, and a main vehicle for doing that is 
by removing the deduction for those citizens.
  I am just going to give you some quick numbers: 100 million Americans 
today use the deduction for State and local taxes. In fact, half of the 
families in my State of Maryland use it. Thirty-eight percent of 
taxpayers making between $50,000 and $75,000 claim the State and local 
deduction. That is 7.6 million households. Fifty-six percent of 
taxpayers who make under $100,000 claim the State and local deduction, 
and 86 percent of taxpayers making under $200,000 claim the State and 
local deduction.
  It is wrong to double tax those families in order to provide a huge 
tax break for big corporations. Just to add insult to injury, the 
corporations in our State still get to deduct their State and local 
taxes. We just don't let the people in our State do the same thing.
  Let's adopt this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I am here to support the motion offered 
by Senator Cantwell, to speak out against a tax bill that is nothing 
short of highway robbery on New Jerseyans.
  This tax plan is about one thing. It is about cutting taxes for 
wealthy corporations and asking working families to pay for it. It is 
especially bad for middle-class families in New Jersey, New York, 
Washington, Maryland, and other high-earning States that make bold 
investments in education, that drive the most innovation, that generate 
the most Federal revenue.
  Don't let the Republicans fool you if they airdrop an amendment at 
the last minute that throws a few crumbs at New Jersey families and 
call it a victory. Carve-outs, caps, and exceptions are nothing but 
gimmicks meant to distract the public from what is really going on. No 
matter how you slice it, gutting or even limiting the State and local 
tax deduction is a direct assault on middle-class families in America's 
highest earning, most economically productive States. By gutting the 
SALT deduction, Republicans will literally force millions of middle-
class families across America to pay taxes on their taxes.
  In 2015 alone, nearly 1.8 million New Jersey households deducted a 
combined $32 billion in State, local, and property taxes from their 
Federal tax bill. These families aren't living large. They are middle-
class folks who had to work hard for every dollar they have. In fact, 
IRS data shows that more than 85 percent of taxpayers who claim the 
SALT deduction make under $200,000 a year and over half make under 
$100,000 a year. So it is wrong to ask millions of Americans who had to 
fight their way into the middle class to pay more just

[[Page S7663]]

so big corporations can pay less, and rubbing salt in their wounds is 
the fact that Republicans let corporations keep on deducting their 
State and local taxes on top of the huge tax cuts lavished on them by 
this tax plan.
  If deducting State and local taxes is so important for big 
corporations that make billions of dollars each year, Republicans 
should understand why it is so important for middle-class families in 
cities and suburbs across America. That is why I am offering this 
motion with Senator Cantwell to send the bill back to committee to fix 
this fatal flaw and restore the SALT deduction. If it is good enough 
for huge corporations, it should be good enough for middle-class 
families.
  I have heard many of my Republican colleagues complain about the SALT 
deduction as if it is some subsidy for States like New Jersey, and that 
hypocrisy is just amazing to me. Far from subsidizing successful States 
like New Jersey or New York, the SALT deduction actually benefits the 
entire Nation, which is able to share in the economic rewards created 
by the high-powered economies of States like New Jersey, and now 
Republicans want to take even more. Well, we are sick and tired of it, 
and we want our money back.
  I will make a deal with any Republican from a taker State. Since you 
are so opposed to subsiding other States, how about you take all of the 
extra Federal dollars you receive beyond what you pay and transfer it 
back to donor States like New Jersey? Sound like a deal? I don't think 
so.
  Each and every year, States like New Jersey, New York, and Virginia 
generate billions of dollars in Federal revenue that go to Americans in 
less productive, lower income States that are more reliant, more 
dependent on Federal spending. They are America's economic powerhouses, 
America's donor States, precisely because they invest in public 
education, law enforcement, mass transit, infrastructure, and economic 
opportunity for all.
  It is no surprise that everyone from the Fraternal Order of Police to 
the American Hospital Association, to AARP support keeping the State 
and local tax deduction. Taking it away is a direct threat to the 
funding States need to educate our kids, keep cops on the beat, equip 
first responders and firefighters, and provide healthcare to the most 
vulnerable--all this just to give big corporations big tax cuts.
  If multinational corporations get to keep deducting their State and 
local taxes, there is no reason to stop millions of middle-class 
Americans from doing the same. Make no mistake, any reduction in the 
State and local tax deduction is a direct assault on America's highest 
earning, most innovative, most economically productive States. Guess 
what. All Americans will lose out when America's economic powerhouse 
States aren't so powerful anymore.
  I urge my colleagues to stop punishing success, stop interfering in 
State government decisions, and join me in protecting the SALT 
deduction. Vote for the motion to recommit.
  I yield the floor
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, we are about to embark upon a vote that I 
think will be historic, a once-in-a-generation opportunity, in my view.
  The last time we did major tax reform in this country was 1986, 31 
years ago. Believe it or not, I happened to be a staffer here back 
then. Although my boss was not on the Senate Finance Committee, I was 
the tax LA in the office, and so I had the opportunity, in a very small 
way, to be a part of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, which at that point was 
landmark legislation, very historic, very far-reaching, and had a 
profound impact in a positive way on the economy.
  Well, here we are 31 years later--long overdue, I might add, to get 
to the point where we once again can do something fundamentally about a 
tax code that is completely outdated, completely antiquated, and puts 
us at a competitive disadvantage with countries around the world with 
whom we have to compete. So we have an opportunity today--and we will 
have an amendment process here that will get started very soon in which 
Members will have an opportunity to lay down their amendments, to 
debate them, and to get them ultimately voted on, but when it is all 
said and done, I believe we will have a final product that moves us 
fundamentally in a different direction when it comes to our tax policy, 
in a direction that is good for jobs, that is good for growth--economic 
growth--and that is good for wages in this country for hard-working 
families and people who have been living paycheck to paycheck for a 
really long time.
  We didn't get here overnight. There has been a lot said about how 
this is all of a sudden rushed to the floor. I have to tell you that I 
got on the Senate Finance Committee in 2011, and since 2011 when I 
joined the committee, we have had 70-plus hearings on tax reform. We 
have had 70 hearings examining different aspects of the tax reform, 
listening to recommendations about how it might be changed, how it 
might be modernized, how it might be updated, and how it might be 
improved. It has been a long, methodical process to get us to where we 
are today.
  Two years ago, in 2015, the chairman of the committee, Senator Hatch, 
created five working groups, and each of the working groups had a 
specific area of responsibility to look at different elements of the 
Tax Code and come up with a series of recommendations for how it might 
be improved. I was privileged to chair one of those working groups, 
along with Senator Cardin. We had both Democrats and Republicans 
participating in that process.
  At the end of it, each of the working groups submitted 
recommendations, many of which, I might add, are included in the mark 
we are going to be voting on later today. A lot of those ideas came 
from those bipartisan working groups. So there are a lot of Democratic 
and Republican ideas that have been incorporated into this legislation.
  I would hope, in the end, that there might be some Democrats who 
ultimately will vote for it. But I think it is important to note, for 
those who believe that perhaps this was somehow rushed in here, that 
there has been a lot of thought over a long period of time. There were 
not only months but years--literally years--of work that has gone into 
bringing us to where we are today.
  When the bill was introduced--the mark was put out there by the 
chairman--that put in place a process in the committee where we had a 
markup. So we spent 23 hours over several days marking up the bill. We 
voted on 63 Democratic amendments in all 69, or thereabouts, amendments 
on the bill while it was being marked up before it was reported out 
here to the floor.
  Since it was reported out of the committee, there have been a number 
of changes that have been made in response to concerns and issues that 
have been raised by individual Senators on both sides of the aisle. And 
that brings us to where we are today.
  I say that by way of context to let people know that this has been a 
long process--an arduous process, I might add--and frankly one that is 
really overdue. I happen to believe profoundly that it is high time 
that we undertake the important work of readapting and readjusting our 
tax policies to reflect an economy and a marketplace that is very 
different from the last time this was done in 1986.
  So that gets us to where we are today. In trying to figure out how to 
modernize, how to update our Tax Code, there are a couple of things 
that clearly needed to be dealt with. One is that we have a tax system 
that has the highest rates among businesses in the industrialized 
world. We have a 35-percent rate for corporations. When we look at 
every other industrialized country around the world--look at the OECD 
average; it is down around 22 percent. A number of countries have gone 
well below that. We continue to hemorrhage jobs and businesses and 
profits to other places around the world because our tax rate, our Tax 
Code, frankly, isn't competitive.
  We operate in what is known as a worldwide tax system in which not 
only do you pay a tax in a country in which the income is generated, 
but you also pay a tax when it comes back into the United States at the 
higher level, at the 35-percent rate. So that also had to be adapted, 
and we are moving now more toward what is called a territorial tax 
system in which the income is taxed in the jurisdiction in which it is 
generated. I believe that will make us a much more competitive economy 
globally and make America a much more attractive place to do business.

[[Page S7664]]

  We get the corporate rate, the business rate, down to 20 percent. And 
when I say businesses, that is what we call C corporations. There is a 
slightly different treatment for passthrough businesses. Those are your 
partnerships, LLCs, and sole proprietorships, things like that. But we 
also significantly reduce rates on small businesses. We believe that is 
important to growth. This needs to be a pro-growth bill. We want to 
grow our economy at a faster rate because a faster growing economy, an 
economy growing at rates that are more normal to historic averages, 
means that we are creating better paying jobs. That means we are 
lifting wages in this country.
  Wages have been flat for so long. For the last decade or so, the 
American people have rarely had anything that could be characterize as 
a pay raise. That is why we needed to update our business tax rates, 
our business tax code, so that we can get the economy producing and 
growing at a faster rate to generate those good-paying jobs and provide 
higher wages to American families and American workers. We believe this 
bill does that.

  I think the changes that have been made in addition to lowering the 
rate--allowing for expensing of capital investments allows businesses 
to recover their cost of investment faster, accelerate that cost 
recovery, which enables them to get that capital they can use to expand 
and grow their operations and thereby, again, create those better-
paying jobs. Those are key changes that are fundamental to greater 
economic growth, better jobs, and higher wages in our economy.
  There have been a lot of analyses and studies that have been done 
that demonstrate how, in fact, that might work. If you look at what the 
President's Council of Economic Advisers says, they suggest that 
lowering the rate on businesses will generate $4,000 in additional 
average household income on an annual basis. That is an additional 
$4,000 in the pockets of families in this country as a result not just 
of the tax reductions, which I will get to in just a moment, but the 
changes we made on the business side of the code generate an additional 
$4,000 annually per household. There is another study out there by 
Boston University. They conclude that it would increase the average 
household income by $3,500, which is slightly less than $4,000.
  It is safe to say that families in this country, households in this 
country, and people in this country are going to benefit, because when 
you create a more favorable environment, favorable conditions for 
investment and creating jobs, you get competition for labor. 
Competition for labor raises the price of labor. When the price of 
labor goes up, companies have to pay higher wages. That means bigger 
paychecks for American workers. That is precisely what these particular 
studies have shown.
  Let me say, too, because I think that as I have listened to our 
colleagues on the other side--they consistently make the argument that 
somehow these are tax cuts for the rich, which I don't think is any 
surprise. That is normally what they say anytime we have a debate about 
reducing taxes.
  My experience here, in the time I have been in Washington, both as a 
Member of the House of Representatives and now as a Member of the 
Senate, has been that, generally speaking, Democrats like to grow 
government. We like to grow the economy. We believe the best way to 
lift all boats--to generate better paying jobs, to improve the quality 
of life and standard of living for American families--is to get a 
stronger economy that is creating those better paying jobs and raising 
wages in this country.
  Suffice it to say that our colleagues on the other side have attacked 
this bill, as they do most bills. This is no exception. Most of the 
attacks are on reform bills for delivering too much relief to high-
income earners. I have to say that I take issue with that because I 
think, if you look at the actual content, the substance of the bill, 
you will come to a very different conclusion.
  I said this before, and I mean it sincerely: I hope people don't take 
it from me. Sit down and look at your own tax situation. Plug in the 
changes that we are making here, and find out if you come out better or 
worse than you are today.
  I will tell you that if you look at the average family of four with a 
combined annual income of $73,000, you are going to see that they are 
going to see a $2,200 tax cut. A $2,200 tax cut is what your average 
family of four making $73,000 in this country is going to see. What 
does that represent to them? That is a 60-percent reduction, a 60-
percent tax cut relative to what they are paying today under current 
law.
  By reforming the Tax Code and putting these changes in place, the 
average family of four with a combined annual income of $73,000 will 
see a $2,200 tax cut or about a 60-percent reduction in what they are 
paying today. Why does that happen? Well, it happens because we are 
making some changes that provide significant relief in the Tax Code 
relative to families when they file their taxes.
  The first, of course, is we double the standard deduction. The 
standard deduction is the amount that people can deduct from their 
income right away, from their adjusted gross income. That lowers the 
amount that is actually taxable to start with. Under our legislation, 
the standard deduction for both married couples and those who are 
filing single--they actually get a doubling of the standard deduction.
  The second thing we do in our bill--and if you are raising kids, this 
will dramatically reduce the tax burden you will have--is we double the 
child tax credit, which under current law is $1,000 per child. Under 
this legislation, that will double to $2,000 per child.
  The other thing we do is we lower rates. We have a significant rate 
reduction through all the different brackets in the code.
  The combination of doubling the standard deduction, doubling the 
child tax credit, and lowering rates means that middle-income families 
are going to pay less in taxes.
  We think we have found the right balance in designing a bill that 
delivers tax relief to hard-working, middle-income families in this 
country. At the same time, we are reforming the business side of our 
Tax Code in a way that unleashes our economy and unleashes those job 
creators and a lot of that investment that has been sitting on the 
sidelines and allows our small businesses and our larger businesses to 
expand their operations, and as they do that, they will have to hire 
more workers and pay those workers higher wages.
  We think the combination of those features of this bill makes this a 
bill that is very beneficial to middle-income families in this country. 
Those are just a few of the features of the bill that lead to, as I 
said earlier, an average tax cut for a typical family of four of $2,200 
or about a 60-percent reduction over what they are currently paying.
  As we have listened to the debate from the other side, they attacked 
it as being a tax cut for the rich. They attacked it for being rushed 
out here. They attacked it for being a windfall for corporations. It is 
very predictable. There is nothing new in any of these arguments. I 
have been around here long enough to know in advance what the other 
side is going to say. But in this case, these arguments simply don't 
comport with reality. They just don't fit the facts. They don't fit the 
data.
  With respect to the issue of who pays, we pay a lot of attention--and 
we should--to tax burdens in this country. One of the things this 
legislation we will be passing today does is it maintains in the law 
the progressivity in our Tax Code. We have the most progressive Tax 
Code, I would argue, in all the world. So we paid very close attention 
to this to make sure that the tax burden, when all is said and done, 
doesn't change very much from where it is today. So people of different 
income groups, income categories, continue to pay similar burdens to 
what they are paying today.
  What this shows is that those in the $20,000 to $50,000 category 
today pay about 4.3 percent of the entire tax burden, the taxes 
collected in this country. People who earn between $20,000 and $50,000 
pay about 4.3 percent. Under our legislation, that will go down to 4.1 
percent. Those in the $50,000 to $100,000 category--earners in that 
group today pay about 16.9 percent of all the taxes collected. That is 
their share of the tax burden. Under this legislation, that will go 
down to 16.7 percent. Again, that is a slight reduction in the overall 
tax burden relative to what they have today. Those making $100,000 or 
more

[[Page S7665]]

actually will see their taxes tick up a little bit--not a lot but a 
little bit. They are currently paying 78.7 percent of the tax burden in 
this country, and that will go up to 78.9 percent. So those at $100,000 
or more are paying almost 80 percent of all the taxes that are paid or 
collected in this country today, and that number is very similar to 
what it would be--up a little bit. But that is really the only category 
that is going to pay more relative to what they are paying today.
  To me, that is a demonstration, clearly, of how--when we went through 
this process, we committed to ensuring that there was fairness in the 
code, and we paid attention to the tax burden to ensure that people 
continue to pay their fair share and that particularly those in the 
upper income categories pay their fair share.
  Another argument that has been made by our colleagues on the other 
side--which is interesting to me because it is a revelation to many of 
us that all of a sudden they are concerned about deficits--is that 
somehow this is going to blow up the deficit. Well, we did allow for a 
net tax cut in this. There is about $5.5 trillion of tax cuts overall, 
about $4 trillion of which is offset by what we call base broadeners, 
or killing and getting rid of preferences and loopholes and deductions 
in the code, and the balance of which will be made up through economic 
growth. There are debates about how much growth will occur in the 
economy, but I think it is fair to say that this is going to grow the 
economy.
  Even the Joint Committee on Taxation, which uses numbers that, to me, 
are completely inaccurate--I mean, it is hard to feature that over the 
course of the next decade, our economy isn't going to grow at more than 
1.9 percent, but that is what they assume. Just by way of example, over 
the last two quarters, it has grown to 3.3 and 3.1 percent. If we can 
continue to build on that, we will more than pay for and have lots of 
revenue left over when this is all said and done. So if you assume 
modest amounts of economic growth--about two-tenths, three-tenths of 1 
percent of additional growth in the economy per year--it more than 
covers what we are talking about here in terms of the shortfall of 
forgone revenue associated with this tax legislation.
  We have a bill that is based upon reasonable assumptions about 
growth. We have a bill that, if our economy really does pick up--and I 
believe it will if we put the right policies in place that encourage 
investment, track investment into this country, and provide the right 
incentives for businesses to expand their operations--we will see an 
entirely new economy where 1.9 percent growth, which has become the 
normal for too many people--there are too many people in this country 
who don't know anything but 1.9 percent growth. We can do so much 
better than that. This is America, the greatest economy on the face of 
the Earth. We ought to be able to get up to that 3 to 3.5 percent 
growth rate. If we do, this economy will take off, American businesses 
will start, entrepreneurs will start creating jobs, and we will have 
higher wages and bigger paychecks for American workers.
  I hope we get a ``yes'' vote later today on this.
  I yield the floor.
  Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, today I wish to join in a colloquy with 
the majority leader to address concerns that I have with the tax reform 
legislation that we are considering and to thank him for the many 
discussions that we have had over the past months about this bill.
  I have made clear that I don't think that the repeal of the 
individual mandate should have been included in the tax bill. Rather, I 
would prefer to see the mandate issue and the other flaws in the ACA 
addressed through a series of discrete bills that can be thoughtfully 
targeted to correct specific problems. That said, I have long-supported 
the repeal of the so-called individual mandate because I do not believe 
that the Federal Government should force any American to buy healthcare 
coverage he or she either does not want or cannot afford. Eighty 
percent of the people who pay the penalty imposed by the mandate make 
less than $50,000 a year.
  Nevertheless, it appears very likely that the individual mandate 
repeal will be part of this legislation. Unless we take action, that 
repeal will almost certainly lead to further increases in the cost of 
health insurance premiums--premiums that are already too expensive 
under the ACA. Therefore, I believe that it is imperative that Congress 
take action to mitigate this likely premium increase.
  There are two steps we can take to help remedy this situation. First, 
we need to pass the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017, 
legislation authored by HELP Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member 
Murray. This legislation will not only give States critical flexibility 
to better manage their insurance markets, but will also provide funding 
in 2019 and 2020 for cost-sharing reductions received by low-income 
enrollees in the ACA exchanges.
  Mr. McCONNELL. From its inception, I have opposed the individual 
mandate because it is simply wrong for the Federal Government to 
require someone to purchase a particular product, particularly one they 
do not want and cannot afford. I agree that Alexander-Murray can help 
provide certainty and flexibility for State insurance markets in the 
absence of the mandate and will support passage of the Bipartisan 
Health Care Stabilization Act, ideally prior to the adoption of any 
final tax reform conference agreement and certainly before the end of 
this year.
  Ms. COLLINS. I thank the majority leader for his response. Second, it 
is critical that we provide States with the support they need to create 
State-based high-risk pools for their individual health insurance 
markets. In September, I introduced the bipartisan Lower Premiums 
Through Reinsurance Act of 2017, a bill that would allow States to 
protect people with preexisting conditions while lowering premiums 
through the use of these high-risk pools. That bill would create a menu 
of options States could use to design reinsurance programs, which in 
turn would be eligible for Federal ``seed money'' grants that could 
leverage section 1332 ``flow-through'' funding to finance the programs. 
States may also add funds from other sources to the mix.
  We know from the experience of Alaska and Maine just how effective 
such high-risk pools can be. Alaska's pool reduced a projected 40 
percent rate increase to just 7 percent this year and is expected to 
contribute to a 20-percent decline in premiums next year. Maine saw 
similar results in its program, the Maine Guaranteed Access Reinsurance 
Association.
  I believe that passage of legislation to create and provide $5 
billion in funding for high-risk pools annually over 2 years, together 
with the Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act, is critical for 
helping to offset the impact on individual market premiums in 2019 and 
2020 due to repeal of the individual mandate.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I believe that State high-risk pools are a much better 
alternative to Federal mandates. I will also support passage of your 
bill and this funding to create high-risk pools, ideally prior to the 
adoption of any final tax reform conference agreement and certainly 
before the end of this year.
  Ms. COLLINS. I thank the majority leader
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the Cardin 
motion to commit.
  Mr. THUNE. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 43, nays 57, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 292 Leg.]

                                YEAS--43

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

[[Page S7666]]


  


                                NAYS--57

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Booker
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Merkley
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sanders
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Warren
     Wicker
     Young
  The motion was rejected.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Boozman). The majority leader is 
recognized.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that there now 
be 30 minutes for debate only, with no amendments or motions in order, 
with the majority leader being recognized at the conclusion of that 
time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. WYDEN. Reserving the right to object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon is recognized.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President and colleagues, the Senate is looking at 
making $10 trillion of changes in tax policy on the fly. This is the 
biggest change in Federal income tax policy in more than three decades. 
This is legislation that will determine our country's economic future 
for a generation, and, at this time, the Senate does not have the 
language the Senate will be voting on. My colleagues have been saying 
that they are out looking for it.
  I have a couple of questions I would like to ask the distinguished 
majority leader.
  When will the Senate be able to actually see the full text of this 
legislation?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I would say to my friend from Oregon 
that there will be plenty of time for him to read it.
  Mr. WYDEN. Again, through the Chair, we are talking about complicated 
materials. We are talking about extraordinarily difficult, technical 
issues under the best of circumstances. While I respect the majority 
leader, to just be told we will have plenty of time to read it, what I 
can say--coming on top of the fact that we didn't have a single hearing 
on the actual legislation, nothing with regard to specifics--I think on 
this side of the aisle we have a right to some sense of when we will 
actually be able to see this. It strikes me as a reasonable and pretty 
straightforward request, given the fact that the American people have 
been kept in the dark about this for so long.
  So, again, I respectfully ask the majority leader: When will it be 
possible to see the full text of this bill?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I say to my good friend from Oregon, 
there were 4 days of hearings on the bill in committee with the 
committee report sent out at least 2 weeks ago. I am totally confident 
our friends on the other side are fully familiar with almost all 
aspects of this. He will certainly have an opportunity to read the 
final version, but he is very familiar with the various parts of this. 
There was plenty of time to look at it in committee, and, as I said, 
there will be plenty of time to read the final version of it before we 
vote.
  Mr. WYDEN. Further reserving my right to object, I know that on the 
other side there has been discussion of scores and scores of hearings. 
I would say to the distinguished majority leader, there was not one 
single hearing--not one--on the specifics with respect to this 
legislation. There was not one single hearing on the health changes the 
majority seeks to make that put a dagger into the heart of the 
Affordable Care Act.
  So I will ask my colleague once more, and if we don't get a sense of 
what time we are actually going to see this bill, I intend to object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina is recognized.
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. President, reserving my right to object, I am not sure 
what meeting I sat through for 12 hours about 2 weeks ago, where we 
essentially litigated each aspect of this legislation. I am not sure 
where we have been for the last several years as we have had, for the 
last 5 or 6 years, several hearings.
  The reality of this legislation is that every facet of it is 
something we have discussed. There is not a new part--not a new part--
to the legislation. Yes, we have fused it together over time. There is 
no doubt about that. But to sit here and say that we have not had 
opportunities in the Finance Committee to hear the facets of the bill 
is just disingenuous.
  Mr. WYDEN. Will my colleague yield for a question?
  Could my colleague tell me when the hearing was held on the health 
changes envisioned in this legislation?
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. President, it is not a secret that our party and this 
body have been working on healthcare for about 10 years. Anyone who 
doesn't understand and appreciate that the individual mandate and its 
effects in our bill take nothing at all away from anyone who needs a 
subsidy, anyone who wants to continue their coverage--it does not have 
a single letter in there about preexisting conditions or any actual 
health feature.
  The reality is, what our plan does on the individual mandate is good 
news for the average American. Here it is----
  Mr. WYDEN. Will my colleague yield?
  Mr. SCOTT. Here it is. Here is the good news for every American. They 
ought to hear loud and clear that 80 percent of the folks who are 
punished--punished--by the individual mandate live in a household of 
less than $50,000 of income, and one-third of those folks live in a 
household of less than $25,000. Therefore, the benefit of our actions 
is to set folks free from being penalized for doing nothing.

  Mr. WYDEN. Will my colleague continue to yield?
  Mrs. MURRAY. Will the Senator from Oregon yield?
  Mr. WYDEN. In just one moment.
  Will my colleague yield for a question?
  I believe I have the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection to----
  Mr. WYDEN. Reserving the right to object.
  Mr. SCOTT. Regular order.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection to the request?
  Mr. WYDEN. It is my intention, Mr. President, to come back every 30 
minutes until we get an answer to the question. I just asked my 
colleague from South Carolina if there was a hearing on the sweeping 
changes that are being proposed in this bill, the Affordable Care Act. 
I asked him for a date. He said nothing with respect to----
  Mr. TILLIS. Mr. President, regular order.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, we will be back in 30 minutes to continue 
this.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  There will now be 30 minutes of debate.
  The Senator from Colorado.
  Mr. BENNET. Mr. President, on the matter that was being discussed--I 
am on the Finance Committee. There has not been a hearing on this bill, 
not a single hearing. A markup is not a hearing. People might say, 
well, why is that a big deal? Why is that relevant? Because a hearing 
is an opportunity for the American people to say whether they want this 
bill or not. A hearing is an opportunity for an economist to come to 
the Senate and say whether they want this bill. A markup is a chance 
for Senators to say what is on their mind, not for the American people 
to be able to say what is on their mind. That is what I am thinking 
about today.
  I wanted to start my remarks with a little bit of a history lesson 
because this Chamber seems to forget what it has said, where it has 
been, and it is only if you have a case of terrible amnesia that you 
can support this legislation.
  When Bill Clinton left the White House, he left his successor a 
projected surplus of $5.6 trillion. That is what George Bush inherited 
when he became President. The Senate was actually having hearings about 
what to do with the surplus and whether that surplus constituted some 
sort of threat to the economy. That is what he left behind. Then, 
George Bush, with this Congress, cut taxes in 2001. They didn't pay for 
those tax cuts. They didn't need to because they would pay for 
themselves. That is what they said. It is exactly

[[Page S7667]]

what they are saying today. It is exactly what they are saying today. 
In 2003, they passed another tax cut, and they didn't pay for it, but 
they said it would pay for itself. Incredibly, the 2003 tax cut came 
after we had invaded Iraq under a pretext by that administration. Not 
only did we never ask the American people to pay for those wars, we cut 
their taxes and put the burden on their children. That supply-side 
economics, which is exactly the same movie we are seeing today, 
resulted in the worst recession since the Great Depression.
  We had a 10-percent unemployment rate when Barack Obama became 
President of the United States. Guess what else we had. We had a $1.5 
trillion deficit, not a $5.6 trillion surplus--a $1.5 trillion deficit 
because of two unpaid-for wars, because of two tax cuts that weren't 
paid for that were going to pay for themselves, and because they passed 
something called Medicare Part D--the prescription drug program for 
seniors--that they didn't pay for. The minute Barack Obama became 
President, they said it was his deficit. They wouldn't lift a finger to 
help working people in America who had lost their jobs in the worst 
recession since the Great Depression, brought on by their own economic 
policies and by the fecklessness of some of the largest banks in this 
country. They wouldn't lift a finger.
  Then-Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in 2011--this is in 2011--
``Now, we've reached the point where our deficits and debts are so 
large they're suffocating job growth, threatening the wider economy, 
and imperiling entitlements.'' That is when we were in the depths a 
recession we had not seen since the Great Depression.
  When Barack Obama left office, the deficit was about $550 billion. 
Today, it is $660 billion. As a result of this plan, J.P. Morgan was 
telling us, yesterday or the day before, that this will be the largest 
nonrecession-caused deficit in our history since World War II. What a 
disgrace. And for what? To give taxes to the wealthiest people in 
America.
  This is an unusual thing to do, but I am putting up the Republicans' 
chart. This is their chart. The Senator from Pennsylvania is on the 
floor. This is their chart, where they are telling my farmers and 
ranchers in rural Colorado that they should be satisfied with these 
percentages they are giving them, these rate cuts they are giving them. 
You can't eat percentages. You can't feed your family on rate cuts. You 
can't run your farm or your ranch on rate cuts.

  Do they think they are not going to get it figured out? Colorado's 
Republicans are too smart for this bill. They are too smart for this 
bill. So are Colorado's Democrats and Independents. Unlike us, they 
actually have to worry about the next generation of Americans. That is 
all they do. They know our politics is not up to that. It is not up to 
the aspirations they have for their kids and for their grandkids.
  No piece of legislation could illustrate how right they are than this 
piece of legislation and the mistruths that have been used to sell--the 
President going to Missouri and saying: This is a middle-class tax cut. 
This hurts the rich like me.
  No, it doesn't. What people are concerned about, and what they will 
be concerned about is, their aftertax income as a result of the changes 
that are being made, and this is the best year. I didn't bring out the 
worst year. This is 2019. This is what you are going to be getting. It 
is great if you are up here, and you are making more than $1 million--
where, by the way, I have not met a person who says they have cashflow 
problems that this tax cut is going to help them with.
  I know a lot of people in Colorado--and I will bet you in Arkansas 
and in Pennsylvania--who are still struggling because middle-class 
family incomes have been flat for 20 years, and the costs of housing, 
higher education, early childhood education, and healthcare are forcing 
them to make choices that their parents and grandparents never had to 
make for their kids.
  What a shame to be taking healthcare away from 13 million people in 
this bill, instead of trying to make the system better. This bill 
rejects all the testimony we had in hearing after hearing on the 
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
  This is my final chart. This is the math of this bill. This bill 
takes $34 billion a year--not 1 year, a year--in tax cuts and gives it 
to 572,000 taxpayers. You can't even see that. I know you can't see it 
on the TV. It looks like a pencil line because that is the scale. That 
is how few people there are in our economy--572,000 people getting $34 
billion. If you include the estate tax, which I didn't here, it is $39 
billion. It is $40 billion going to families who are lucky enough to 
make more than $1 million a year. These are the taxpayers who make 
$50,000 or less in our economy. There are 90 million of them, not 
572,000. There are 90 million of them. They get $14 billion out of this 
bill. That is an average tax cut of $160--$7.50.
  These aren't talking points. This is the math that is at the heart of 
the deal the Republicans have said is a middle-class tax cut. You know 
what is even worse about it? Just like the 2001 tax cuts, just like the 
2003 tax cuts, they are not paying for it. They are borrowing the money 
from middle-class families all over the country, from the sons and 
daughters of teachers, firefighters, and police officers. That is who 
is going to have to pay back that bill. And for what? To end poverty in 
America? No. To invest in infrastructure or healthcare or to strengthen 
our safety net? No. To fritter it away on $34 billion worth of tax cuts 
for the wealthiest people in America.
  I am going to close by saying this. Before I got here 9 years ago, I 
never would have believed that something this cynical could happen on 
the floor of the Senate. I wouldn't have believed it. Colleagues of 
mine who said for years that this is all just about getting to cuts to 
Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid, I would say: No, it is not. 
People care about this. They want to sort out our fiscal condition. I 
was wrong. They were right. This is about that. That is what they are 
going to come back here and do. It is going to be really hard to 
withstand it.
  President Trump, after all this for the last 10 years around here, 
since we were fighting, trying to fight out of the worst recession 
since the Great Depression--which we did, by the way--in the name of 
fiscal responsibility, we had fiscal cliffs; in the name of fiscal 
responsibility, we had government shutdowns; in the name of fiscal 
responsibility, we passed 30 temporary budgets that no school district 
in Colorado could get away with once. Have we managed to restore our 
fiscal health? No. Have we piled on more debt for our kids and 
grandkids? Yes. That is what is going to happen here.
  It is no wonder, when we elected a President, somebody who told the 
American people--and was nominated by the Republican Party and elected 
by the United States of America--President Trump promised that he would 
eliminate our debt ``over a period of eight years''; that he would 
deliver ``a giant, beautiful, massive'' tax cut--that was supposed to 
be for the forgotten man. Unless the people making over $1 million are 
the ``forgotten man,'' he didn't deliver on that--pass ``one of the 
largest increases in national defense spending in American history;'' 
while saying, ``I'm not going to cut Social Security . . . and I'm not 
going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.''
  There is a job that every American has to do for the next generation 
of Americans; that is, to leave more opportunity, not less, to the 
people who are coming after us. This bill that has been so falsely 
described and written in such a way that it actually denies the middle 
class in America benefits it really could use and does so by putting a 
bunch more debt on the backs of their children is something this Senate 
should reject.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania is recognized.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I am going to be brief. I am going to 
yield to my colleague from South Carolina, and I think my colleague 
from South Dakota has a few comments.
  I want to respond to some of the points my colleague from Colorado 
made. First, I want to thank him for bringing out our chart. What our 
chart illustrates is that every category of income earners in America 
gets a tax cut under our plan. If you look toward the left of the 
chart, you see that the biggest reductions go to the people in the

[[Page S7668]]

lowest income categories in a percentage term. My colleagues said 
percentages don't matter. I am a little bit confused because it seems 
to me that I think they do matter. I will give you an example.
  Under our tax plan, our tax reform, and our working-class and middle-
class tax cuts, the average single head of household--a single mom who, 
as head of household, has one child and earns the average income of 
$41,000, which doesn't make her a millionaire, or not typically, with 
$41,000--is going to have a $1,400 tax cut. That is a 75-percent tax 
cut for her. Now, maybe our colleague from Colorado thinks that 
percentage doesn't matter. I think it probably matters to her. A 75-
percent reduction in the taxes that she has to pay probably matters to 
her. It is probably pretty helpful.
  You could take the case of a family of four who earns the median 
national income. That is $73,000. On average, they will have a $2,200 
tax cut. That is a 60-percent tax cut. So I am at a loss as to why that 
doesn't matter to that family. I think it matters a lot. I think that 
family can do a lot with that $2,200.
  The fact is that our bill lowers taxes for every category of income 
earner, and the proportionate share is the greatest for the lowest 
income earners. This is good for working Americans and middle-class 
Americans.
  I yield to my colleague from South Carolina.
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. President, this is what I find astonishing. We have 
been talking about this for a number of months. Frankly, for years we 
have been talking about tax reform. Actually, since 1986 we have been 
talking about tax reform. Our plan removes millions of low-income 
Americans from having to pay taxes.
  I think it is interesting that our friends' argument on the left is 
sincere but wrong. It misses the fact that if you are living in a 
single-parent household, with a mother or a father who is working 
paycheck to paycheck, getting another $100 a month is real money. Why 
are we not talking about the actual benefits to the specific people who 
benefit from this tax reform? When Senator Toomey talks about the 
typical American family seeing its taxes slashed by 60 percent, why is 
that specific savings of $2,200 not a meaningful--perhaps, 
transformative--savings that allows someone now to save for college or 
to save for retirement?
  To me, this is where the rubber meets the road. Yes, here on the 
other side of the Potomac, it is OK to talk in platitudes. I prefer to 
talk to individuals about the impact of our actions in their households 
and the impact of our actions in their accounts. It is a very simple 
way of doing the math. You don't have to pull out a calculator for a 
75-percent savings for the average single parent who makes $41,000. The 
reason that we use $41,000 is that that is the average income of a 
single head of household. The reason that we use $73,000 is that that 
is the typical American family's income.
  When we are talking about the benefits, we are talking about real 
people--people like Sherry, back in South Carolina, a single parent 
with two kids, who is trying to start a business, who is struggling to 
keep her ends together, believing that someone, somewhere, sees her, 
that the decision makers in Washington don't see her as invisible or 
unimportant. I am not talking about tax philosophy. I am talking about 
real people who need their money more than the government does.
  If we are going to talk about tax cuts and tax revenues, let us be 
clear that in the 1920s, during the Mellon tax cuts, which slashed the 
high rate from 70 percent down to the twenties throughout the 1920s, 
revenues went up by 61 percent. Under the Kennedy administration, we 
cut taxes, and tax revenues went up to the government from those 
cohorts from whom we cut it.
  So what we have is a history. Our friends on the other side say that 
there is no actual history. Well, there is history that proves that. In 
the cohorts where the brackets are and where the cuts occur, we can 
demonstrate that the revenues have increased.
  I yield for the Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, how much time is left on our side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There are 8\1/2\ minutes on the majority's 
side. There are 2\1/2\ minutes on the Democrats' side.
  The Senator from Colorado is recognized.
  Mr. BENNET. Mr. President, I don't want to get in the way of my 
friend from South Carolina, for whom I have tremendous respect.
  Point 1, nothing that I said was about anything other than real 
people. The real people in Colorado are going to be able to do this 
math, and they are going to know what it says.
  Point 2, those 1920s that you mentioned ended up with, then, the 
worst depression since the beginning of the country, and we had the 
worst income inequality in 1928. Guess when the next time was that that 
happened. It was when George Bush handed over the keys to Barack Obama. 
That was the next moment in time, when he was leaving, that we had that 
kind of income inequality. That has not been fixed, and that is not 
being fixed by this plan. It is being made worse by this plan for all 
of the reasons that I said.
  The final point that I will make--and then I will stop and get out of 
the way--is that, if you have this much conviction, at least you could 
pay for it. It would be nice for you to pay for it.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina is recognized.
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. President, I will say to my friend from Colorado that 
we are having a spirited debate. We are diametrically opposed on the 
issue, but we do have some common ground on other issues that we are 
working on together. I appreciate your passion. I know you are sincere.
  I will tell you that there is a truth that is, perhaps, missing from 
the conversation, and it is simply this: If you don't control spending, 
you cannot raise enough revenue to keep up. When you look back at the 
cataclysmic occurrences throughout history, one thing you will find 
very quickly is that even with more revenue, if your spending outpaces 
your revenue, you are going to find yourself in a challenging 
predicament.
  I yield for Senator Thune.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, our country has always been about 
opportunity. The American dream is the hope that your kids and your 
grandkids and those who come after you will have a better life than you 
have had. One of the ways we do that is that we get a growing, 
expanding economy that creates better paying jobs, more opportunity, 
and higher wages. When you get higher wages, you improve that standard 
of living, and you improve that quality of life. That is what Americans 
aspire to. That is what all American families--moms and dads--aspire to 
for their kids and those who are going to come after them.
  I would say to our colleagues on the other side, who, like I said, 
have a newfound interest in deficits and debt, that one of the ways in 
which you deal with deficits and debt is to grow the economy. When you 
get an expanding economy that is creating better paying jobs, more 
people are working, more people are investing, more people are taking 
realizations, and more people are paying taxes. What history has shown 
is that when you have a vibrant, growing economy, you get more 
government revenue.
  Of course, the official scorekeepers, whether you use the 
Congressional Budget Office or the Joint Committee on Taxation, both 
agree that you are going to get more revenue when you get more growth 
in the economy. There might be a slight difference of opinion about how 
much. The CBO, I think, says that for every one-tenth of 1 percent 
increase in the GDP, you see an additional $273 billion in tax revenue 
that is generated over a decade or, to put it a different way, almost 
$3 trillion for every percentage point increase in gross domestic 
product.
  If you want to get serious about dealing with America's fiscal 
problems, you have to restrain spending, which there hasn't been much 
appetite for around here in the time that I have been here. You also 
have to get the economy growing and expanding. That is what this 
exercise--what we are going through here in reforming our Tax Code--is 
really all about, because 2-percent growth is not good enough.

[[Page S7669]]

This 2-percent growth is not and should not be the new normal for the 
American economy.
  That is what we have had for the last 8 years. During President 
Obama's entire time in office, we didn't have a single year--not 1 
year--in which the GDP was more than 3 percent--not 1 year. If you go 
back historically--literally to the end of World War II, about 1948--
and roll forward to today, the average in the American economy has been 
3 to 3.5 percent, but there has not been a single year in the last 8 
years in which we have had 3 percent growth in the economy.
  What does that mean?
  That means that, without that kind of growth, businesses are not 
expanding. They are not investing, they are not hiring new workers, 
they are not paying those workers more, and you end up with flat wages. 
We have had, literally, a decade now of flat wages, where American 
families and individuals have not seen any growth in their incomes.
  What we hope to accomplish through all of this will be changes made 
to the Tax Code that will increase investment through lowering rates on 
businesses, allowing them to recover their costs of investment faster, 
and accelerating their cost recovery. Those are changes--those are 
reforms in our Tax Code--that will help unleash this economy and get us 
back, closer to normal, when we were creating those good-paying jobs. 
Then, we can start doing something, at the same time, about spending 
around here, and we will start seeing those deficits go down. The best 
thing that can happen for the American economy, the best thing that can 
happen for the American family, and the best thing that can happen for 
the American worker is to have a growing, vibrant economy.
  To my colleagues on the other side who consistently get up and say 
there is no benefit to this that will be delivered to middle-income 
families in this country, again, I will say what has already been said 
by my colleagues from South Carolina and from Pennsylvania, which is to 
look at a typical family of four with a combined annual income of 
$73,000, who under this tax cut bill will receive a tax cut of $2,200--
a 60-percent reduction over what they are paying today under current 
law. That is what that average family of four will see.
  Now, the Senator from Colorado said that he doesn't believe that 
Colorado Republicans are for this. I can tell you who is going to be 
for this--the people, the families, who get the $2,200 tax cut. That is 
$2,200 they are going to have in their pockets.
  You heard my colleague from South Carolina talk about that family 
that lives paycheck to paycheck or about that single mom who wants a 
better future for her kids. How do we help them? One of the ways we 
help them is to reduce the burden--the take--that their government 
takes from them every single year and to allow them to keep more in 
their pockets. Let's give them bigger paychecks, and let's let them 
decide how to spend the money.
  That is a fundamental difference that we have had around here for a 
long time. We come here believing that the way you help American 
families is to start growing the economy rather than growing the 
government, allowing the American people to make decisions that are in 
their best interests and in the best interests of them and their 
families about how they want to save for retirement, how they want to 
help their kids get college educations, how they want to improve their 
lives, rather than sending the money to Washington, DC, and letting 
Washington spend it. That is, fundamentally, the difference, I think, 
that we are talking about here.
  As to the arguments that have been made by the other side, they just 
aren't based on facts. The data tells a different story as the Senator 
from Pennsylvania pointed out. Look at the chart. Look at the 
percentage of tax cuts. Who benefits? We have worked very, very hard on 
this bill to maintain progressivity in the Tax Code so that we have tax 
relief delivered to those hard-working American families, to those 
hard-working American taxpayers who need a break, who are living 
paycheck to paycheck.
  Honestly, I hope, when this is all said and done, that not only will 
we be able to pass this bill but that, maybe, we will get a few 
Democrats who might decide that it will be in the best interests of 
their constituents to help their families and their States realize more 
income in their pockets and bigger paychecks and, hopefully, an 
opportunity to live out their versions of the American dream for them, 
for their kids, and for their grandkids. That is what the American 
experience and the American dream are really all about. When we take 
more and more here in Washington, DC, that means that American families 
have less with which to help themselves and to plan for their futures.
  Our time has expired.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, how much time remains on our side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Cruz). The majority controls 1 minute, and 
the Democrats control 1\1/2\ minutes.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I will take our 1\1/2\ minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. We have just a minute and a half. The hour is late. I want 
to repeat once again that we still do not have this bill. We have seen 
apparently, in the last few hours, tax changes that involve billions 
and billions of dollars. The American people have a right to know what 
is in this proposal, and certainly we on this side of the aisle have a 
right to know about it.
  I am struck by the comments of my colleagues on the other side that 
learning the facts about what the Joint Committee on Taxation had to 
say about the Republican proposal--0.8 percent growth, $1 trillion 
short in spending--has had absolutely no effect on the discussion we 
are having from the Republican side.
  I see my friend the distinguished majority leader here, and I believe 
he will propound a unanimous consent request. As he knows, I will have 
another reservation, and we will discuss this some more.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that there now 
be 30 minutes equally divided for debate only, with no amendments or 
motions in order and with the majority leader being recognized at the 
conclusion of that time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. WYDEN. Reserving the right to object.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Is there objection to the majority leader's unanimous consent 
request?
  Mr. WYDEN. Reserving the right to object, Mr. President, I understand 
that we are going to get the proposal from the majority shortly. I come 
back again to the fact that there are changes apparently worth billions 
and billions of dollars, like the passthrough provision. We need to be 
able to see these. The American people have a right to know.
  I believe the majority has indicated that we will get this shortly, 
and I withdraw my reservation and will point out that if we don't get 
it shortly, I will stay at my post and keep objecting because the 
American people have a right to know that tax policy is being made in 
the dark.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Who yields time?
  The Senator from Colorado.
  Mr. GARDNER. Mr. President, I want to talk about the importance of 
passing this tax reform legislation for the people of Colorado. What we 
have is an opportunity to see real wage growth in this country--
something we haven't seen for far too long. Over the past decade, I 
think people who are on both sides of the aisle have recognized that 
while there might be some economic job activity, job creation taking 
place, while we might see some low economic unemployment numbers in 
States like Colorado, what we haven't seen is the kind of wage growth 
we know we can create.
  Under the analysis done by nonpartisan think tanks in Colorado, they

[[Page S7670]]

estimate that wages would grow--after-tax income--by over $3,000. That 
is incredible wage growth for families who many people estimate and who 
other economists have said could see a financial hardship if they were 
asked to come up with $400. In fact, we know that if over one-third of 
people in America had to come up with $400 today, it would create a 
financial crisis in their household.
  We heard our colleague from Pennsylvania and our colleague from South 
Dakota talking about the fact that a family earning a median household 
income of $73,000 would see a 60-percent reduction in their taxes next 
year. A single parent with a child, earning $41,000 a year, would see a 
75-percent tax cut.
  Let me read a headline from a story in Colorado. The headline of this 
article is ``How Tax Reform Can Empower This Drive-in Theater Owner to 
Expand Her Business.'' What she is talking about is the fact that if 
she sees lower taxes at the 88 Drive-in--that is an iconic drive-in in 
Commerce City, CO. If you see this drive-in, you will know exactly--it 
is iconic on the landscape. She believes that if her taxes are lower, 
she will be able to move forward and buy the property next door, which 
will allow her to expand her business. She talks about the fact that 
she has to turn people away because so many people are going to it and 
they don't have enough room. She wants to expand, but she is held back 
by our uncompetitive Tax Code. If we cut taxes, she will be able to buy 
land, expand the business, and create more jobs. It is a greater 
opportunity for her, her family, and the people of Colorado.
  This is really an opportunity to see the kind of growth and wage 
growth that we haven't seen in this country for far too long.
  I have held several roundtables on taxes throughout the Eastern 
Plains of Colorado, where I live. People are worried about their income 
because they haven't seen the kind of economic growth, the numbers in 
employment growth that they have in the Front Range, in Denver. I have 
held roundtables on the Western Slope of Colorado, in Southern 
Colorado, Northern Colorado, and they are all very worried about a 
country that is not as competitive as it used to be. They know that 
with a competitive tax code, they would see those jobs and investment 
come back into this country once again.
  People in Pueblo, CO, know they need jobs brought back into their 
community because while many areas of Colorado have seen very low 
unemployment rates, they haven't seen the kind of growth other areas 
have. They know that with a competitive tax code that brings jobs and 
money back from overseas, that will provide real relief to a single 
parent with a child at home and to a family of four working hard to 
make ends meet. They are going to pay less taxes next year as a result. 
They are going to be able to spend the money they want to in Pueblo, 
CO, to put it into an investment that they want to in Brighton, CO. It 
will be an investment that somebody in Craig, CO, wants to have. That 
is what they are focused on. They want to get the money into their 
pockets. They earned it. They should keep it, not Washington, DC, where 
they make bad decisions on how to spend their hard-earned dollars.
  To my colleagues who oppose this bill, we have talked about the 
opportunities for the American people to see real wage growth. This 
bill does it. We talked about the opportunity to bring jobs back from 
overseas. This bill does it. We talked about the opportunity to get 
businesses hiring again and expanding. Nonpartisan estimates show that 
this bill would create nearly 1 million jobs--new jobs created by this 
bill. It is a great opportunity for us, and I thank the people who have 
worked so hard on this bill, my colleagues in South Dakota, 
Pennsylvania, and others.
  Mr. President, I yield back my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, I rise to talk about a subject matter that 
this bill deals with that we are not hearing a lot about. I wanted to 
start, though, with the basics in terms of the overall debate.
  I have said many times in the last number of days and weeks when we 
have reviewed the House proposal and when we reviewed the Senate 
proposal that was voted on in the Senate Finance Committee before 
Thanksgiving--I described the Senate bill as a giveaway to the 
superrich and big, multinational corporations. I still believe that.
  I hope that when we see the new version of the bill, I won't have to 
say that again, but I am afraid I will. I am afraid that when we look 
at some of the data on what the tax impact would be on certain income 
brackets in the United States, even starting in the first year where 
the analysis starts, 2019--I am looking at page 3 of a report by the 
Tax Policy Center dated November 20 and based upon the Senate bill. In 
that year, tax year 2019, table No. 1 focuses on three income 
categories: folks making between $50,000 and $87,000; folks making 
between about $310,000 and $750,000; and others making above $750,000, 
so basically the top 1 percent. Here is what they find. The Tax Policy 
Center tells us that the first group, the family making $50,000 to 
$87,000, would receive an average tax cut of about $900, or 1.4 percent 
of after-tax income. The next group, the $310,000 to $750,000 income, 
gets a tax benefit that amounts to about $12,000, or 3.5 percent. The 
top 1 percent--$750,000 and up--they get a tax break of $34,000, or 2.2 
percent.
  Probably the most significant numbers in there by way of comparison 
aren't necessarily the dollar amounts, although I would ask why the top 
1 percent needs $34,000 in 2019. I don't think that should be part of 
our legislation. I would like to see all of the tax benefits to the top 
1 percent go to the middle and those trying to get to the middle. But 
let's do the comparison.
  In the first year, in terms of these families making $50,000 to 
$87,000, they get 1.4 percent. The folks making between $310,000 and 
$750,000 get 3.5 percent--more than two full percentage points higher. 
Why is that? Why do people making $310,000 to $750,000 get a much 
bigger percentage tax cut than people making $50,000 to $87,000? The 
third category is the top 1 percent, and they get 2.2 percent. So I 
have problems with this legislation just based upon that. Why does the 
top 1 percent need one more penny? Why do very wealthy people--maybe 
not quite the top 1 percent but the 95th to 99th percentile, the 
$310,000 to $750,000 category--why do they need a tax break?
  Guess what. It doesn't get any better down the road. And I am not 
talking about 2027, where it is cataclysmic for families in the middle; 
let's talk about 2 years before that. It is still bad. It is still 3 
percent, by comparison, for the very wealthy, people making up to 
$750,000. The top 1 percent are still getting 2.1 percent. But the 
income category between $50,000 and $87,000 gets 1.2 percent of the tax 
cut, so they will be getting worse in 2025. Why is that? As my 
colleague, the senior Senator from Colorado, shows in that chart, why 
do people making more than $1 million need $34 billion in 1 year? I 
don't understand it.
  Let me focus in particular on part of the debate about which we 
really haven't had much discussion. The impact of this tax bill may be 
the only substantial effort that will be made on tax reform for years, 
if not decades. We know that the last time any kind of major tax reform 
was done was 1986, so three decades have passed since the last tax 
reform effort. So this is a critically important moment not just for 
taxpayers, not just for the economy, not just for families generally, 
but especially for children.
  In a bill of this significance, a bill of this impact, one major 
question should be asked, among many: What will be the impact on 
children? What is the child impact statement, if we were to draft one, 
if we had to articulate that? What is the impact on children of this 
legislation?
  Well, there are a lot of organizations around the country that pay 
attention to public policy as it relates to children. I am looking at a 
letter dated November 28 and signed by a long list of organizations 
that advocate on behalf of children, and I will just read some of the 
headlines from this letter.
  The first headline says: ``The Senate tax plan threatens child care 
programs and funding for the future.''
  The second major headline says: ``The Senate tax bill's proposal to 
cut the Affordable Care Act would harm children's health and well-
being.''

[[Page S7671]]

  The next headline says: ``The Child Tax Credit proposal in the Senate 
tax bill would not help families who struggle to pay for child care.''
  The next headline says: ``The Senate tax bill also takes away other 
tax benefits that ordinary families rely on.''
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that this letter be printed in 
the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

       Dear Senator: As members of the Child Care/Early Learning 
     Coalition, we urge you to vote against the ``Tax Cuts and 
     Jobs Act.'' This bill would eliminate existing benefits in 
     the tax code for children and families, as well as undermine 
     critical supports, including those related to child care and 
     early education, in the future.
       The Senate tax plan threatens child care programs and 
     funding in the future. The Senate tax bill, which consists 
     largely of massive tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy, 
     is estimated to increase the deficit by about $1.4 trillion 
     over ten years. The budget agreed upon by the House and 
     Senate provides a roadmap of how Congress will seek to offset 
     this increase in the deficit: by cutting federal spending 
     and, in particular, by slashing programs and services that 
     provide working families with a basic standard of living. 
     That means this tax bill will ultimately lead to cuts in 
     programs that are integral to the wellbeing of children and 
     their families, including Medicaid, SNAP, public education, 
     and the Child Care and Development Block Grant.
       The Senate tax bill's proposal to cut the Affordable Care 
     Act would harm children's health and well-being. The Senate 
     bill would repeal the ACA's individual responsibility 
     provision, a requirement that most people enroll in coverage 
     or pay a penalty. Estimates from the Congressional Budget 
     Office (CBO) show that repealing the ACA's individual 
     responsibility provision would increase the number of 
     uninsured by 13 million over 10 years and raise insurance 
     premiums in the individual markets by 10 percent. Children's 
     health and well-being suffers when their families lack the 
     health insurance they need to see a doctor when they are sick 
     or for preventive care. The Senate has already rejected an 
     attempt to repealing the ACA, and now the bill would sneak 
     this in in order to fund even larger tax cuts for high-income 
     households and corporations.
       The Child Tax Credit proposal in the Senate tax bill would 
     not help families who struggle to pay for child care. The 
     Senate tax bill would increase the Child Tax Credit (CTC), 
     but does not make this increase fully refundable. As a 
     result, lower-income families will not receive the full 
     benefit: for example, a single mother working full time at 
     the federal minimum wage and earning $14,500 would only 
     receive an additional $75 in CTC benefits. In addition, the 
     tax plan bills adds a new requirement--providing a Social 
     Security Number for each child claimed for the refundable 
     portion of the CTC--which could exclude a significant number 
     of children in immigrant families. This is not an approach 
     targeted to help families striving to make ends meet, and 
     does nothing to address the high cost of child care with 
     which so many working families struggle every day.
       The Senate tax bill also takes away other tax benefits that 
     ordinary families rely on. Even though the Senate tax bill 
     proposes increasing the CTC (and doubling the standard 
     deduction), the bill also proposes eliminating personal and 
     dependency exemptions, eliminating the deduction for state 
     and local taxes, and eliminating deductions for some 
     employment-related expenses. This would leave many families 
     worse off. And the Senate bill makes all of the tax benefits 
     for families temporary, expiring at the end of 2025, even 
     though the proposed corporate tax cuts are all permanent.
       There is a better way to help families and children and to 
     build a strong economy now and in the future. Instead of 
     these ill-conceived tax cuts, Congress can help families 
     through the tax code by enacting the Child and Dependent Care 
     Tax Credit Enhancement Act of 2017, and ensure that all 
     children and families who need it get high quality child care 
     and early education by enacting the Child Care for Working 
     Families Act.
           Sincerely,
       Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations 
     (AAPCHO), Center for American Progress, Center for Community 
     Change Action, Children's Defense Fund, Children's Leadership 
     Council, CLASP, Every Child Matters, Family Focused Treatment 
     Association, Generations United, Health Care for America Now, 
     Jumpstart, Make it Work, Mi Familia Vota, National 
     Association of Family Child Care Providers, National 
     Association for Bilingual Education, National Association of 
     Social Workers (NASW), National Council of Jewish Women, 
     National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, National Physicians 
     Alliance, National Women's Law Center, NETWORK Lobby for 
     Catholic Social Justice, SparkAction, The Institute on 
     Taxation and Economic Policy, United Auto Workers, Working 
     Families Party, ZERO TO THREE.

  Mr. CASEY. That is just one brief assessment of the impact of this 
legislation on children, but I think that should be a question we ask 
of every major piece of legislation.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, will my friend from Pennsylvania yield 
briefly?
  Mr. CASEY. Yes.
  Mr. WYDEN. He is a very fine member of the Finance Committee.
  I don't remember any discussion in our committee about how this 
specific legislation affects children. My colleague is really the 
expert on the subject, and maybe he can tell me if he recalls such a 
thing with respect to this specific legislation and what it means for 
children. I don't remember such a discussion.
  Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, I want to say to the senior Senator from 
Oregon, as the ranking member of the committee, he will remember, as I 
do, that in the course of that so-called markup, which is a fancy 
Washington word for having some debates and offering amendments, there 
was no hearing--no hearing for days, and there has still been no 
hearing on the Senate bill passed out of the Finance Committee and the 
new version of the bill that we will see right now. So, in the course 
of that discussion, there were no hearings.
  It would have been helpful to us and to the American people if we had 
the major organizations come in before the Finance Committee and give 
us testimony about the impact on children--organizations that have 
spent decades advocating on behalf of children, doing public policy 
research as it relates to children, but we never heard that because 
there were no hearings, not a single hearing on the bill. There was 
discussion, and there were questions for some tax policy experts, but 
nothing in the way of hearings that could probe very deeply on what 
happens to kids.
  I think the American people would like to know more about what will 
happen with the child tax credit, for example. There has been a lot of 
talk on the Republican side about the child tax credit; they are 
allegedly making it better. Well, the Senate Republican plan does 
increase the maximum tax credit for children from $1,000 to $2,000 per 
child. That sounds pretty good so far, right--$1,000 to $2,000. But 
because the bill limits refundability, a mom working full-time at 
minimum wage will see only an additional $75 in the child tax credit, 
while a married couple earning $500,000 would become newly eligible for 
the maximum $2,000-per-child credit.
  According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 10 million 
children--10 million--live in families who would get $6.25 or less per 
month in the additional child tax credit in this bill. So there is not 
much improvement in the child tax credit on maybe the only tax reform 
bill that this body will consider for the next 30 years. Let's say it 
is only 10 years. Wouldn't it be nice to have some testimony from 
experts across this country who live and breathe the work of being 
advocates for children, who study every bill to determine whether it 
impacts on children. Wouldn't it be nice to have their testimony maybe 
on the child tax credit, maybe just on the child and dependent care tax 
credit, which is the only tax provision in law right now that helps 
people pay for childcare.
  Ask any family: What is your No. 1 concern, other than making ends 
meet and maybe paying for higher education? Other than a few priorities 
like that, their No. 1 concern is how to pay for childcare, but there 
is no testimony on that issue that relates to the bill. There is no 
testimony at all because there were no hearings on the bill. How can 
you have a child impact statement, how can you even generalize about it 
without a hearing?
  Of course, we need more than generalizations. We need specifics. So I 
think we have to ask those questions and be focused on children in a 
very specific way.
  Here is the last thing I will say. This opportunity to come together 
in a bipartisan fashion, which has not happened in this case--but we 
have the opportunity, and the majority could have taken a different 
path. They could have said to us months ago: Let's have a bipartisan 
process. Let's not move to a pathway that requires only 51 votes. Let's 
have a real bipartisan process on tax reform as they did in the mid-
1980s, resulting in the 1986 bill. They could have said: Do you know 
what? We have a bipartisan concern about children. We like the child 
tax credit. We like the child independent care tax credit.

[[Page S7672]]

We like the earned-income tax credit. All of those are good policies. 
We want to make them better. We want to have a bipartisan effort to 
infuse all of those policies with even more funding, more help to make 
them more robust for our children, but that never happened.
  Once again, because of what the majority did, the pathway they 
selected to passing their bill with only Republican votes--and that was 
their choice--we will have a tax bill that will not have a child impact 
statement, will not have hearings about the impact on children and 
families, will not have any of that. Once again, we will prove that 
Washington, DC, never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity, 
especially as it relates to children and families. That is particularly 
insulting to the American people and regrettable because we have a 
moment here where we are trying to do tax reform and because it is not 
bipartisan, because there were no hearings on the bill, the impact on 
children will never ever be fully assessed. That is not just a tragedy, 
but that is a real insult to our families and to our children.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, how much time is remaining on the majority 
side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Ten and a half minutes remains.
  Mr. TOOMEY. OK. Thank you, Mr. President. I will be brief because I 
think my colleague from South Carolina has a comment he wants to make.
  Let me respond just briefly to my colleague from my State of 
Pennsylvania. Our bill increases the child tax credit. Our bill lowers 
the tax burden on every category of income earners, including working 
families, middle-income families--every category.
  As my colleague from Colorado demonstrated kindly, he showed in the 
chart that the biggest proportional savings go to the lower-income 
families, and the pro-growth policy is going to create more job 
opportunities at higher wages. So let's see: more money in child tax 
credit, less taxes owed on the part of families, more job 
opportunities, and higher wages. I think it is a pretty safe bet that 
this is good for kids. I think it is a pretty safe bet that when 
families get to keep more of their money, that is probably good for 
their kids. I think most of my constituents would probably agree with 
that.
  We have heard folks on the other side suggest that we are actually 
not cutting taxes on the middle class. This is unfortunate because we 
have enough areas where we disagree without having to make up areas 
that aren't true. Our friends on the other side like higher taxes; we 
like lower taxes. They like to redistribute wealth; we like people who 
earn it to keep wealth. We focus on growing the economy; they want to 
grow government. We have honest differences in priorities, so I wish we 
would focus on where there are actual differences and the facts in 
question. But there is no question that we are lowering taxes on 
middle-income families because we are lowering taxes on every category 
of wages.
  The people who are watching on C-SPAN and the people who are 
listening in the gallery must get a little frustrated and must ask 
themselves: Well, who can we believe? We hear one side say: This is 
lower taxes for working families. We have the other side say: Oh, it is 
higher taxes.
  I have a suggestion. I know there is a solution. You could look it up 
at Joint Committee on Taxation, but that is tedious. You have to go to 
the website, you have to find it, and then you would see in the 
tables--because they are unambiguous--that taxes owed go down in every 
category.
  Do you know when people are going to know for sure what the answer 
is? It is going to come in January when the withholding in their 
paycheck changes and when their take-home pay goes up because the taxes 
they owe go down. I know we are still a few weeks away from that, but 
when this passes and gets signed into law, the proof is going to be 
very clear, and people are going to see it.
  Here is a quick word about the repeal of the individual mandate. My 
friend and colleague from Oregon described it. I am paraphrasing, but I 
think I will get it about right. He described the repeal of the 
individual mandate as driving a stake through the heart of ObamaCare or 
something equivalent to that. I couldn't help but think: What an 
incredibly damming indictment of ObamaCare. Think about what that 
means.
  Think about what they are saying if repealing the individual mandate 
drives a stake through the heart of ObamaCare. The individual mandate 
is the provision which says that you have to buy this whether you want 
it or not. You have to. You are forced to. The government dictates the 
terms, the government effectively dictates prices, and you must buy it. 
If you don't, you will get hit with a penalty, a tax penalty.
  We don't actually repeal the mandate, but we eliminate that tax 
penalty, and that is going to be very helpful for low- and middle-
income families, working-class families. In Pennsylvania, 83 percent of 
all the people who get hit with this individual mandate tax live in a 
household with income of $50,000 or less. That is who is paying this.
  But what I wanted to stress for a moment is what a damming indictment 
it is of ObamaCare that it only works, according to its proponents, if 
people are forced to buy the product. It is so badly designed, it is so 
terrible that people will not buy it voluntarily, despite huge 
subsidies.
  We don't change any of the subsidies. They are all available to 
anyone who wants to participate. We don't change the rules. We don't 
change eligibility. We don't change anything except one thing. We say 
that if you decide this plan doesn't fit your family or if you decide 
for all the subsidies you get it is still not worth it for you to have 
this plan and you opt out, you will no longer be punished with this 
tax. That is the only thing we do in this bill.
  Since we eliminate that coercion, which forces people to buy it, our 
colleagues on the other side say that drives a stake through the heart 
of ObamaCare. It seems to me that a product or a service that people 
have to be forced to buy and that is killed if they are not forced to 
buy it probably isn't a great deal for those people, and I think we 
just got that admission.
  With that, I yield to my colleague from South Carolina.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina
  Mr. SCOTT. I will say, Mr. President, that my colleague from 
Pennsylvania did such a good job that there is little left to say. I 
was fumbling because I was just confused on what I would say, and I 
will be honest with you that there is just not much to say.
  If I were to reinforce a couple of points that the Senator did not 
cover, they would be that at our last Finance hearing, which lasted--I 
thought it was 12 hours; it was 23 hours--we had our friends on the 
other side offer 63 amendments. To say that they are not engaged in the 
process is to forget the 63 amendments offered over 23 hours.
  Senator Toomey did such a good job that I am just going to sit back 
down.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, Senator Scott and I and the Senator from 
Pennsylvania were all there at what we call the markup.
  Mr. SCOTT. We were.
  Mr. THUNE. My recollection is like his, and, frankly, my 
recollection, when it comes to all the work that went into getting us 
to where we are dates back a long way. I joined the Senate Finance 
Committee in 2011. I am not sure when the Senator from South Carolina 
joined or the Senator from Pennsylvania, but it was shortly after that, 
I think.
  Since I have been on the Finance Committee, we have had 70-plus 
hearings--70-plus hearings on tax reform. We have looked at every 
facet, every aspect, every element of the Tax Code. We even went so far 
2 years ago, in 2015, to create five working groups. We all 
participated in those, along with, I might add, our Democratic 
colleagues, each of whom had a key role in helping with the final 
recommendations that were put forward. A lot of what is in this bill is 
based upon the work that was done by those working groups. There isn't 
a single shred of the Tax Code that we haven't covered and haven't 
studied in great detail.
  Then, of course, as the Senator from South Carolina pointed out, when 
it came time to mark the bill up, we spent several days--23 hours 
debating back and forth, listening to each other, and in some cases 
arguing. In some

[[Page S7673]]

cases, those were very spirited arguments. The Democrats offered 63 
amendments, all of which got votes in the Senate Finance Committee.
  So for anybody to suggest that this has been anything but a 
transparent process based upon years of work and buildup and lead-up to 
get us to where we are today is absolutely misstating the facts. I 
think the work we have done in advance of this has led to a product 
that is the culmination of a great deal of thought, a great deal of 
input, and a great deal of research from not only experts in the field 
but fellow Members--Democrats and Republicans--Senators and staff--who 
have gotten us to where we are today.

  I think the fact, which has been pointed out many times, that a 
family that is living paycheck to paycheck will now get the benefit of 
a doubling of the standard deduction and a doubling of the child tax 
credit, frankly, I happen to believe--contrary to my colleague from 
Pennsylvania--is a pretty big deal. If you are a family who has any 
sort of tax liability, that tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar credit 
against that tax liability. An increased portion of that is refundable 
under this legislation.
  If you look at the lower rates we have in the bill, that middle-
income family in this country stands to benefit significantly as a 
result of this to the tune of--if you are a family of four with a 
combined annual income of $73,000--an additional $2,200 in your pocket. 
That is $2,200 in the American family's pocket that they get to decide 
how to spend.
  As the Senator of Pennsylvania pointed out, don't take our word for 
it. You can sit down, if you like to, and look at the features of the 
bill. Look at your individual tax situation. Plug in these changes, and 
I think you will find you are going to see a pretty significant 
reduction in your tax liability.
  When January rolls around when this passes, people will get their 
check. When they look at their withholdings, they will realize they 
have a lot more money. That paycheck is bigger. The paycheck is going 
to be bigger. Why? The amount taken out in terms of Federal taxes is 
going to be significantly smaller. That is a good thing for the 
American family.
  That is why this debate and the bill we have before us are so 
important, not only to those families who are trying to build a 
stronger, brighter, and more prosperous future for themselves and their 
families but also for this American economy. With the other changes 
that are made in the bill, it is going to lead to better paying jobs 
and higher wages that are going to lift the boats of all Americans.
  Americans haven't had a pay raise, literally, in about the past 
decade. We haven't had a single year in the Obama years of 3 percent 
growth, which has been the historical average going back to the end of 
World War II. We are growing at 1.5 to 2 percent. We don't happen to 
believe that is good enough. We think we can do better. That shouldn't 
be the new normal. The American economy is the greatest economy on the 
face of the Earth. We ought to be able to grow at 3 to 3.5 percent.
  I can tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that the average middle-income 
family in this country is not only going to get a big tax cut--which 
means they are going to get a bigger paycheck and have more money in 
their pocket--but they will get the benefit of the higher wages coming 
with a growing, more dynamic economy that it reflects.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I would just like to respond briefly to the 
Senator from Pennsylvania, who is baffled by why we are so opposed to 
the health provisions of the bill. The Congressional Budget Office says 
that the majority's provisions will cause 13 million people to lose 
coverage and premiums to go up 10 percent. This morning's paper makes 
the point that it will bring back junk insurance, which once again will 
allow discrimination against people with preexisting conditions.
  I will use the last 30 seconds that I have, as we await the majority 
leader, to say, once again, that the American people and the Congress 
are actually going to find out some information about what is being 
offered.
  I would just like to close my use of the minute by pointing out now 
another double standard. It sure looks like lobbyists on K Street have 
more and better information about what is about to be offered than do 
Democrats in the Senate. So what we are talking about is that we have 
seen one double standard after another. The tax breaks for the middle-
class are temporary, and the wealthy get permanent ones.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  All time has expired.
  The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. TOOMEY. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  The legislative clerk continued with the call of the roll.
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Strange). Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from South Carolina is recognized.
  Mr. SCOTT. Thank you, Mr. President.
  I ask unanimous consent that there now be 30 minutes, equally 
divided, for debate only, with no amendments or motions in order and 
with the majority leader being recognized at the conclusion of that 
time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, here we are now at 4:15. We still have not 
seen this bill--a $10 trillion bill, the biggest tax bill in more than 
three decades, with changes involving billions and billions of dollars 
made, apparently, overnight.
  I have made it clear that when the leader, Senator McConnell, comes 
back down, we expect to see this bill. We were told essentially an hour 
ago that we would see this in a matter of minutes.
  The American people have a right to know that even though the 
majority wants to make $10 trillion worth of tax policy changes on the 
fly, this side of the aisle is going to insist on knowing what is in 
the bill.
  My colleague has been very patient, and I wish him to be recognized 
on our time now.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota.
  Mr. FRANKEN. Mr. President, I rise this evening in opposition to the 
tax bill before us. I think the problem in our country isn't that 
wealthy people in this country aren't wealthy enough; the problem is, 
the wealth gap has grown to the highest levels in my lifetime. This 
bill would make that wealth gap even bigger.
  Senator Paul Wellstone often said: ``We all do better when we all do 
better.'' He knew the economy does better when there is a strong middle 
class and when working families have more money to spend. 
Unfortunately, the Republican tax bill does the opposite of what Paul 
Wellstone argued for. Instead of helping working families, it raises 
taxes on at least 14 million of them, and it uses this revenue to give 
$1 trillion to the superrich, all while adding $1.5 trillion to our 
national debt. This is, at its core, an awful bill.
  When President Trump took office, he pledged that he would look out 
for the ``forgotten men and women,'' not the wealthy. This bill is a 
betrayal of that commitment.
  I believe Congress should work on a bipartisan basis to make our Tax 
Code fairer and simpler for working families, and that is what I have 
advocated for since I joined the Senate. Democrats have made a good-
faith effort to work in a bipartisan manner on a tax reform bill with 
Republicans, but Republicans have chosen, from the very start of this 
Congress, to take a purely partisan approach that has left Democrats 
entirely out of the discussion.
  We all know this bill is being rushed through Congress so Republicans 
can claim a legislative achievement by the end of the year. That is not 
the way you get a fairer, simpler Tax Code. You get a fairer, simpler 
Tax Code by having hearings with outside witnesses.

[[Page S7674]]

You get a fairer, simpler Tax Code by giving Americans an opportunity 
to weigh in as it is being drafted, to review the bill, and to share 
their views. You get a simpler, fairer Tax Code by doing it in a 
bipartisan manner, not by excluding Democrats entirely from the 
drafting of the bill.
  The fast-track process Republicans are using is just like the 
Republicans' equally partisan, equally secretive, and equally rushed 
attempt to repeal and replace ObamaCare earlier this year. Americans 
deserve better.
  In their effort to get this bill through before Americans realize 
just how damaging it is, many Republicans have made some misleading 
claims about it.
  For example, Republicans often cite the fact that the bill would 
double the standard deduction that families can claim on their tax 
return. That is true, but they always seem to leave out the very 
important fact that their bill would also eliminate the personal 
exemption. The personal exemption is about $4,000 for each family 
member, so when compared with a $12,000 increase in the standard 
deduction, it means households with two parents and more than one child 
would be worse off under the Republican tax bill than under current 
law; for example, with two children.
  Sometimes they argue that doubling the child tax credit from $1,000 
to $2,000 would offset the loss of the personal exemption, but under 
their plan families who most need the help would get hardly anything 
from the increase in the child tax credit, which is not refundable. So, 
for instance, a family living off a minimum wage earner would benefit 
by only about 75 more dollars under this bill's revised child tax 
credit, not the full $1,000 some Republicans promise, but the 
Republican bill would also now allow people earning up to $500,000 a 
year to claim the full tax credit of $2,000 per child. That is $500,000 
a year, up from $110,000 as it is now. So that is $75 more per child 
for a minimum wage earner and $2,000 per child for someone making 
$500,000 a year. That is just not fair.
  We hear from my friends on the Republican side that tax cuts always 
pay for themselves. Ask the people of Kansas about that. When Kansas 
cut taxes in 2012 and in 2013, State revenues plummeted, Kansas slashed 
university budgets, canceled highway projects, and had to borrow $1 
billion to fund their public pension plan. Schools around the State 
started going 4 days a week. Teachers moved across the river from 
Kansas City, KS, to Kansas City, MO. From 2013 to mid-2017, the Kansas 
economy underperformed that of nearly all its neighbors and the United 
States overall in economic growth, private sector job creation, 
passthrough business formation, and labor force participation. Finally, 
corporations begged the legislature to raise their taxes, which they 
did, over the Governor's veto.
  That is Kansas; take the whole country. Bruce Bartlett, Ronald 
Reagan's economic adviser, wrote a few weeks ago:

       The Tax Reform Act of 1986 reduced the top personal tax 
     rate to just 28 percent from 50 percent, and the corporate 
     percent to 34 percent from 46 percent. Yet there was no 
     increase in the rate of economic growth in subsequent years, 
     and by 1990, the economy was in deep recession.

  Tax cuts don't magically pay for themselves.
  I would also like to highlight the Republican hypocrisy on budget 
deficits. For many years, Republicans have used budget deficits as an 
excuse to block important pieces of legislation. In fact, even now, we 
are in danger of stripping health insurance away from 9 million 
children because of difficulties finding offsets for reauthorization of 
the Children's Health Insurance Program. Yet, when it comes to the tax 
bill, only a handful of Republicans have raised concerns about the fact 
that it would add $1.5 trillion to our national debt.
  We know from experience that as soon as the ink is dry on this bill, 
Republicans will cite the rising national debt caused by this bill as a 
reason to cut key programs that millions of Americans use every day--
things like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, job training, 
education, infrastructure, and affordable housing. In fact, under their 
budget resolution that Republicans adopted just 2 months ago, they laid 
out their plans for these reductions, which would include over $1 
trillion in Medicaid cuts and $470 billion in Medicare cuts.
  This bill would also trigger automatic cuts to some key programs. So 
in exchange for the bill's minimum tax cuts for some working families, 
starting in 2018, there would be an automatic 4-percent reduction in 
Medicare payments and a zeroing out of other key accounts--a zeroing 
out of the Crime Victims Fund, farm price support programs, and the 
social services block grant that provides funds to Meals on Wheels, 
youth counseling, and other important services for vulnerable people.
  There are many better uses for $1.5 trillion. President Trump said he 
wanted to work with Congress on a $1 trillion infrastructure package to 
rebuild our roads, our airports, our ports, and to build broadband 
across America. I have said I would like to work with the President and 
my Republican colleagues on a comprehensive bill, but this bill would 
make it impossible to enact a $1 trillion infrastructure package the 
President promised and which we have really heard nothing about.
  There are too many other flaws with the Republican bill to highlight 
them all now, but I would like to raise one that is particularly 
important to Minnesotans. The bill before us today would eliminate the 
State and local tax deduction. It is an important deduction because 
when people deduct the taxes they pay to their State and local 
governments, first of all, it prevents the double taxation of their 
income, and it enables our local communities to make investments in 
public safety and education, childcare, and infrastructure. According 
to the Tax Policy Center, 34 percent of Minnesotans claim the State and 
local tax deduction, with an average deduction of almost $13,000. 
Eliminating this deduction means a significant tax increase for those 
families and would make it harder for local communities in Minnesota to 
raise the revenue necessary to make vital investments.
  I have heard outrage over the Republican approach to tax reform from 
a very wide range of my constituents. I have heard from Minnesota 
farmers about how it would undermine agricultural cooperatives, which 
are really important to Minnesota. I have heard from Minnesota students 
who are concerned it will force them out of graduate school. I have 
heard from Minnesota homebuilders and developers who say it would cut 
affordable housing construction in half. I have heard from Realtors who 
say the bill could crater the real estate market. I have heard from 
many ordinary Americans who say the bill is simply unfair.
  Americans deserve a fairer, simpler Tax Code, not the debt-funded 
giveaway to the wealthy that Republicans are trying to force through 
the Senate today. That is why I oppose this bill, and I urge my 
colleagues to oppose it as well.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina.
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. President, we have heard a lot about this bill over 
the last several hours and, frankly, several weeks, and we have had a 
lot of conversations over the last several months, but, today, December 
1, 2017, at 4:24 p.m.--and I hope we remember this because I have 
finally heard the definition of ``fearmongering.''
  Someone once said that fear is an acronym for false evidence 
appearing real. What we have heard today is that because of the passage 
of this bill, the Crime Victims Fund will be zeroed out. We heard the 
social services block grants will go away. We heard there will be cuts 
to Medicaid. I want all the folks in this Chamber to remember the time 
so that if they ever have to go back and find it, they will know it was 
December 1 at 4:24 p.m. when it was said.
  So here is my thought: A few months into 2018, when your takehome pay 
has increased because the government is taking less of your hard-earned 
money--punishing you less and rewarding your success more--just 
remember to check and see if there is any money in the Crime Victims 
Fund; I would suggest they check and see if there are any dollars in 
the social services block grant; and I hope they will check and see if 
there has been a cut to Medicaid because if you cannot find those cuts, 
there is one reason: They do not exist.
  I look forward to hopefully passing this bill today. I hope we do. I 
look forward to the American people taking

[[Page S7675]]

the time to remember the exact time, the exact date that this was said, 
and then do the research necessary to draw their own conclusion. The 
first conclusion that will be easy to come to is that when you look at 
your pay stub and you see there is more money in it in 2018 than there 
was in 2017, just remember how it got there. It is not because of what 
we do, because there are some folks on this side of the Potomac who 
believe we actually have Federal dollars. There are no Federal dollars. 
Every penny we spend in Washington comes from a taxpayer somewhere. 
There are no Federal dollars; there are simply taxpayer dollars 
arriving in Washington to be used in some way.

  I am only suggesting that the average American can spend their money 
in the way best for their family significantly better than we can.
  So I hope the good people of this country who are paying attention to 
this very important debate will be able to remember 4:24 p.m. so they 
can review the tape, review the video, the DVR--or whatever you call it 
nowadays--and see for themselves what was said or go someplace online 
and figure out, at the end of 2018, the middle of 2018, the beginning 
of 2018, has something actually changed other than that you have more 
money in your paycheck?
  Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that there now be 
30 minutes equally divided for debate only, with no amendments or 
motions in order and with the majority leader being recognized at the 
conclusion of that time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I have just seen an air-dropped list of 
provisions--there seem to be upwards of 30--and it sure looks as if the 
lobbyists have been working overtime. They must have earned a holiday 
gift with this new bonanza of goodies.
  We still await a bill that we are going to read, although I saw 
something that might actually be a bill. So we are going to use this 
time so colleagues can get into some of these questions about this 
array of treats that the lobbyists seem to have figured out how, in the 
last few hours--perhaps overnight--to carve out for their benefit.
  To start our discussion for our 15 minutes, I believe my friend and 
colleague Senator Merkley is going to start.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. MERKLEY. Mr. President, I thank my senior colleague from Oregon 
for his leadership in this debate on these important tax provisions. 
There is so much at stake here for the future of our society as we have 
been debating what we see as one provision after another that is 
designed to make the richest Americans richer while increasing the 
taxes on some 87 million middle-class Americans. Then, we get this 
nice, little list. Republicans have given the lobbyists a list of 30 
special interest provisions, circulated it, and said: This is what we 
are going to put in our managers' amendment for all of you.
  My colleague from South Carolina was speaking a moment ago about one 
that hasn't even been filed--life insurance provisions. What is that? 
Maybe my colleague would like to come to the floor and explain it and 
explain why this is being circulated to lobbyists, to the swamp, 
instead of to the Members of the U.S. Senate. Thirty of these 
provisions--who knows what all is in this. Isn't there any form of 
transparency or integrity left in this Chamber in terms of legislative 
debate? Have the American people had a chance to see this list? It is 
online now. The few who might be listening in might be able to see 
these titles, but this is not the way to do business in the U.S. 
Senate. This is not the way to do the people's business. This is the 
way to do the swamp's business.
  What happened to clearing the swamp? What happened to that? How is it 
that the richest Americans are making out like bandits rather than the 
middle class doing well under this bill? Why is that? Why are there 
billions of dollars going to the richest Americans by eliminating the 
alternative minimum tax? Why are there hundreds of billions of dollars 
going in other provisions, including changing the upper limit tax 
brackets, including the passthroughs for affluent, highly successful 
LLCs? How about that?
  What is this list, and why haven't the American people seen all of 
the details about it? This type of chicanery is inappropriate. Take and 
give the list to the Members of the Senate, not to K Street. This close 
partnership between the Republican majority and K Street, filling them 
in, doing those special favors, and not even filling in the body here 
so we can have a conversation about each of these items, this is 
absolutely a horrific way to do business. This is the way the powerful 
and the privilege want business to be done. My Republican colleagues 
are working with them hand in hand instead of working for and by the 
American people.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, this is a big day because we are about to 
provide tax relief to millions of people in Ohio and around the 
country--middle-class tax cuts, doubling the standard deduction, 
doubling the child tax credit, lower rates for people in every bracket. 
In my home State of Ohio, we have the opportunity to see people who are 
making $50,000 a year, with two kids, see a 26-percent tax cut. That is 
important.
  My colleague just talked about his concern about some of the 
provisions that are before us. I will say, these have all been filed. 
That doesn't always happen around here, and it should. These have all 
been filed, and people can go on rpc.senate.gov. These were made 
public. Nothing is on this list that hasn't been filed publicly.
  Just looking at it, the biggest one that my colleague talked about as 
being something to help rich people is the deduction for property 
taxes. It is capped at $10,000. There is a deduction for allowing 
people to deduct their property taxes, which is incredibly important 
for middle-class families around the country. Some people on the other 
side want to go much further and provide much larger deductions and 
make those for State and local taxes.
  By the way, their proposal would go primarily to upper income people, 
the proposal they have. That benefit goes primarily to those who are 
making higher incomes. How is it paid? It is a $10,000 deduction for 
property tax. It is paid for by exactly the provision my colleague from 
Oregon just complained about because he said he wanted to be sure 
people had to pay an alternative minimum tax, and that alternative 
minimum tax is being used to pay for this middle-class tax cut we are 
talking about. Anyway, that is the biggest item by far.
  The second biggest item is for the passthrough companies. These are 
the smaller businesses in America, and it is to try to have some more 
parity between the passthrough companies and the so-called C 
corporations. Again, that is something that is really important to 
small businesses in my home State of Ohio and around the country.
  I encourage him to take a look. All of these have been filed. He can 
look at them now or he can go online, as any citizen can, and take a 
look at these things. I would say that at the end of the day, I know we 
had a difference of opinion on whether there should be tax cuts, but we 
think tax relief is appropriate right now. We think the middle-class 
families who have not seen an increase in their wages, not just for the 
last few years but the last couple of decades, need a little help. 
Their expenses have not gone down. They have gone up. Wages have been 
flat. That middle-class squeeze is addressed through these tax cuts--on 
average, about $2,375 for an Ohio median-income family. That is 
important.
  People who are working paycheck to paycheck will find this to be 
incredibly important. Maybe they can put a little more money aside for 
retirement. Maybe it can help with their healthcare costs, which have 
gone up

[[Page S7676]]

dramatically as wages have been flat. Maybe they can help people be 
able to buy a car or to make a car payment if they already have a car. 
These are real tax cuts. They are going to help middle-class families. 
Again, I hope my colleagues will look at some of these changes, like 
the $10,000 deduction for property taxes paid for with the alternative 
minimum tax changes and help us be able to make this legislation even 
more generous for folks in the middle class, as they say they are for.
  With that, I would like to ask my colleague from South Carolina, who 
has been very involved in the child tax credit, ensuring we have a 
reduction of the brackets, if he would have a few comments on those.
  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. President, I thank my good friend from Ohio.
  I say to Senator Portman, may I see that list? I have been on the 
floor and, unfortunately, I have not been able to get a copy of the 
list. Obviously, you have been able to have your staff get it or go 
online and get a copy of this list. I think my good friend from Oregon 
said they needed their good friends who are lobbyists to supply them 
with a list.
  I am not sure what the other side is missing. They had control of the 
House, the Senate, and the White House for a couple of years, and they 
increased spending without doing anything about revenues, other than 
trying to have a tax increase a few years ago, $630 billion of tax 
increases, and somehow they have missed the correlation between higher 
taxes and lower revenues. We have gotten it right that oftentimes lower 
taxes actually increase revenue, which has been proven from the 
twenties, sixties and eighties.
  It is good news that my friends on the left are finally thinking 
about the national debt. We had a couple hundred years of life in 
America that produced about $10 trillion of national debt. Eight years 
after Democratic leadership, we have a national debt of $20 trillion. I 
find it a tad disingenuous that my friends on the left are going to 
counsel us about debt when, in fact, their record is so clearly 
obvious. When it comes to the benefits this bill has for those folks 
who are working paycheck to paycheck, as the country saw its debt 
double in the last 8 years, what they did not see double were their 
wages. As a matter of fact, their wages were stagnant. Why? Because 
when you take money out of the private sector economy and place it into 
the hands of the government, you do not grow the private sector 
economy. It is a simple formula.
  While wages were flat, the economy grew at an anemic 1.9 percent, 
even though they doubled the national debt from $10 trillion to $20 
trillion. It is fascinating that my friends on the left, looking for 
ways to create lobbyist loopholes, are on this floor lecturing anybody 
about debt. We, on the other hand, aren't thinking about lobbyists or 
our friends on the left. We are thinking about the American people, the 
hard-working group of individuals who find themselves too often at the 
end of too many weeks with too little left in their pockets.
  We are not asking the American people to just believe us. What we are 
saying with great clarity is, starting in paychecks in 2018, because of 
our tax cuts targeted toward the typical American family, you will see 
in your paycheck more of your hard-earned money. This is how we say 
there is proof in the pudding. It is simply to take a look and see how 
much of that money is left.
  To my good friend from Ohio, my friends on the other side of the 
aisle are starting to overcook my grits just a little bit. I don't mind 
having a vigorous debate on facts, but to sell fear--as I said a few 
minutes ago, fear being false evidence appearing real is just turning 
the heat up on my grits. I have to tell you, this leads to an unhealthy 
outcome for the American people because at the end of the day, the goal 
is not for us to be right and for them to be wrong. I don't think their 
goal is for them to be right and for us to be wrong. It is kind of 
simple. The goal is, and always should be, for the people we represent 
to be better off because of our decisions in Washington. I can tell 
you, passing this tax reform bill will leave the typical American 
family with 60 percent--60 percent--of a tax cut.
  I yield back.
  Mr. PORTMAN. I thank my colleague.
  I yield back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.
  Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, my friend from South Carolina said the 
proof is in the pudding. I would suggest the proof is in your paycheck. 
That is what I suggest.
  We had a chance yesterday with my amendment to absolutely guarantee 
that my friends on the other side of the aisle believe what they are 
saying; that people are going to get a minimum of $4,000 in increased 
wages. I offered an amendment to simply say that in a couple years from 
now--2 years from now, 2020, we can make it 2021 or 2025, just pick a 
day when folks are going to get $4,000 in their wages, and we will put 
that in an amendment and pass it.
  The truth is, there is no guarantee in this bill. If my friends on 
the other side of the aisle believed that there would be $4,000 more in 
wages in middle-class families' pockets with this supply-side trickle-
down economics tax cut, they would have voted for my amendment 
yesterday, which simply says that if there is a $4,000 increase in 
wages, the tax cut continues. If it doesn't, if they don't have $4,000 
more in people's pockets, then the tax giveaway stops because all it 
means is it is adding to the national debt.
  I am all for anything that puts money in people's pockets. I have 
sponsored and voted for tax cuts for small businesses, manufacturers, 
farmers, and families over the years in public service and here in the 
Senate, and I want to do that; close tax loopholes that are taking jobs 
overseas, not increase new ones, which, by the way, this bill does, a 
new $4 billion tax loophole for oil companies--not closing tax 
loopholes. If folks really believe this, if they really believe the 
numbers, let's lock it down. The proof is in your paycheck. That is 
what families in Michigan are saying. They want to know it is in their 
paycheck. They want to know it is a guarantee. You know what, they are 
very skeptical. Because the truth is, in the past, supply-side 
economics/trickle-down economics has not worked. You say that it is 
going to trickle down. People in Michigan are still waiting. They are 
still waiting to catch it. It is not trickling down. We do have 
examples. What are the facts?

  With the tax cut in 1986, 10 years after that, the wages of working 
people in this country were flat. They did not go up. That is a fact.
  With President Bill Clinton in his effort to balance the budget in 
1997, I was pleased. I had only been in the House for 6 months and went 
in and had the opportunity to balance the budget, which we did for the 
first time in 30 years.
  What happened during that process? Actually, taxes on wealthy people 
were raised a little bit to give a middle-class tax cut and invest in 
education, which I know our distinguished Presiding Officer cares 
deeply about, and innovation. What happened? There were 22 million jobs 
that were created.
  Then we went into 2001, 2002 with President George W. Bush, and there 
was a big tax cut in 2001, a supply-side/trickle-down tax cut. We were 
told that it was going to put money in people's pockets. It didn't. It 
created debt. In 2003, we had another supply-side tax cut that was 
going to put money in people's pockets. It didn't. It created a huge 
debt. We had wars that weren't paid for. Then it went into the biggest 
recession that we have seen outside of the Great Depression with the 
financial crisis, and 8 million people lost their jobs. People lost the 
equity in their homes and their pension values. It was terrible.
  President Obama came in in 2009 and had to try to begin to dig out of 
the hole. That is a fact. He began to dig out of that hole and put 
things back together for folks. It was a big hole, and a lot of 
families are still feeling that hole. I know that is true in Michigan.
  So part of me may feel a little skeptical when I am hearing: Have I 
got a deal for you. Let's try supply-side economics one more time, and 
this time it really is going to create jobs and really is going to put 
money in your pockets.
  There is no proof of that. There is no proof that this grows the 
economy to be able to cover the costs of the tax giveaways whether you 
look at supply-side economics, whether you look at new dynamic 
scoring--the new ways of scoring on things--to make it look better. 
That didn't even show up. What I

[[Page S7677]]

would say is that the proof is in your paychecks, for the people who 
are watching.
  There is a lot going back and forth, and it is very confusing because 
we hear one thing from one side, and we hear the exact opposite from 
the other. I understand how confusing this is, but I would just ask 
this:
  Why weren't my friends willing to support my amendment that would say 
that if folks really get the $4,000 minimum amount being promised in 
increased wages, then this goes on, and if they don't, then the tax 
giveaway stops? Why didn't they support that?
  Mr. WYDEN. Will the Senator yield?
  Ms. STABENOW. Yes.
  Mr. WYDEN. I think my colleague--my seatmate--is making a very 
important point. Of course, people always wonder, well, is this kind of 
a Democratic position or a Republican position? I want to make it clear 
that I believe that Tom Barthold, the head of the Joint Committee on 
Taxation, which is our independent tax umpire, essentially agreed with 
you. In committee, I believe we asked him whether he thought this huge 
reduction in the corporate tax rate would translate into $4,000 in the 
pockets of working families in Michigan and Oregon. Is that my 
colleague's understanding?
  Ms. STABENOW. Absolutely. We asked that question, as you know, and he 
indicated that that was not the case. I continue to hear it over and 
over again. We have heard it from the President of the United States 
and the Secretary of the Treasury. We have heard it from folks on the 
floor. Just today, we have seen it in charts on the floor. That is 
great. If that could really happen, I would support that. It has never 
happened, and my colleagues will not support guaranteeing that it will 
happen.
  This is about putting up or shutting up, in my opinion. That is what 
we would say in Michigan. It is about whether we are going to guarantee 
folks that this time around, it is not just a sales job, that it is 
actually going to end up in their pockets.
  I see my friend and colleague from Pennsylvania, who offered this 
amendment in committee. I was pleased to join him in committee, and he 
knows, in Pennsylvania, like I do, that we have gone through some rough 
and tumble times, and we still have folks who are working too hard at 
not just one job but two jobs, trying to hold it together, having not 
seen the pay raises they deserve and have worked for. They want to know 
that this time around is not going to be voodoo economics and that it 
is actually going to increase their paychecks.
  Mr. WYDEN. Will my colleague yield for a question?
  Ms. STABENOW. Yes.
  Mr. WYDEN. My understanding is that you and Senator Casey in 
particular have been out here--and we are so glad to have our colleague 
from Connecticut--wondering when in the world we would actually get to 
see this legislation.
  Ms. STABENOW. Right.
  Mr. WYDEN. This pile of papers, for all practical purposes, is what 
we have been waiting for for days.
  Ms. STABENOW. I hope you are a speed reader.
  Mr. WYDEN. I am going to try to do some, but as far as I can tell, it 
sure looks like a lobbyist's wish list. There are going to be a lot of 
folks happy on K Street as they try to shop for the holidays because of 
the fees they have put together in working to get these changes into 
the Republican proposal.
  I appreciate my colleague for giving me the opportunity to make sure 
that the public knows now that, at this late hour, we are finally 
getting, after days, the opportunity to see the bill that is actually 
the bill.
  Ms. STABENOW. Before turning this to my friend and colleague from 
Pennsylvania, I do want to mention just one thing that I understand is 
in there. There may be things that I am supportive of in there. We 
don't know. We are trying to figure it out.
  One thing that I don't understand, with all of the talk about 
supporting workers and middle-class workers, is that there is a 
provision in the bill that reads ``prohibit cash or gift cards as 
employee achievement awards.'' So if somebody works very hard and is 
getting some kind of achievement award, does that mean he would not be 
allowed to get a bonus? I mean, I don't know why in the world we would 
be going after people's employee achievement awards. That doesn't sound 
like help for the middle class to me.
  I now yield to my friend from Pennsylvania and thank him for his 
leadership.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Alexander). The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. CASEY. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Michigan for 
focusing on the issue of wages because that was the promise--right?--
that if you give corporations a tax cut of more than $1.3 trillion--
with a ``t''--all of a sudden, you are going to see wages go up, and 
workers are going to do a lot better. We know that hasn't happened in 
recent history. We will see if the Republican argument is correct.
  I want to put a few facts on the record in light of the debate this 
afternoon. Many people in both parties have been referring to the 
documents of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the JCT. I am looking at 
one of the documents right now to go through some data. This is dated 
November 27. It is D-17-54 for the Joint Committee on Taxation. Here is 
some basic data.
  The Joint Committee on Taxation, which is, of course, Congress's 
official scorekeeper, finds that in 2019--right away, early in the 
implementation of the bill, if this bill is to pass and if the version 
we just received is to pass--the Senate plan increases taxes on nearly 
13 million families earning under $200,000 a year. That is what the 
document tells us.
  That is the under-$200,000 category and 13 million families just in 
2019. If you break it down further in terms of folks making between, 
say, $50,000 and $75,000 and then $75,000 and $100,000, almost 20 
percent of Americans earning between $50,000 and $75,000 a year will 
see a tax increase or a tax cut of less than $100. That works out to be 
about $9 a month. Those individuals will have that tax consequence in 
2019. So between $50,000 and $75,000 will see either a tax increase or 
a tax cut of $100 or less.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. CASEY. Then you take the category of $75,000 to $100,000, and 
almost 17 percent of Americans in that income category will see a tax 
cut of less than $9 a month.
  In the grand total between $50,000 and $100,000, 7.7 million 
Americans will either see a tax increase or a tax cut of $100 or less. 
I don't call that tax cuts for the middle class.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I wish I could convince my friend from 
Michigan--and she is my friend--about the $4,000 per family that would 
come from the pro-growth policies here, many of which she supports. She 
wants her businesses to be competitive, and they are not now. It is an 
outrage that our companies have to use a tax code that puts the workers 
in those companies in a disadvantageous position every day. It is not 
just about inversions, and it is not just about companies getting taken 
over.
  By the way, last year, three times as many American companies were 
taken over by foreign companies as the other way around. Over the last 
13 years, 4,700 companies became foreign companies that would today be 
U.S. companies if this tax bill had been in place. I mean, it is 
happening. They are taking their jobs and investments with them when 
they go overseas.
  We have to fix that problem. It has been bipartisan. There has never 
been a partisan issue about that. That is where a lot of that $4,000 
comes from. It comes from the fact that you are going to have more 
investment and therefore higher productivity, and workers are going to 
have a chance to see higher wages.
  The Congressional Budget Office did a study in which they showed that 
70 percent of the benefit of lowering the business rate goes to workers 
in terms of higher wages and higher benefits. Others say it is less 
than that. Others say it is more than that. Kevin Hassett, who is the 
Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, says that it is more than 
that. But that is where the $4,000 comes from. I hope it is a lot more 
than that, but it is on top of the middle-class tax cuts that are very 
direct.

[[Page S7678]]

  In other words, that is not just saying that we are going to have a 
better economy, which I believe we will--and I strongly believe we can 
improve a broken tax code, as I think everybody does, to make it better 
for American workers--but beyond that, you have the immediate tax 
relief, and that is what we have been talking about.
  This is the doubling of the standard deduction, the doubling of the 
child tax credit, the lowering of the tax rates.
  My friend from Pennsylvania just talked about the fact that 20 
percent of the people between $50,000 and $75,000--I am not sure where 
his data was coming from, but let's take it as true--have a small tax 
cut or a tax increase, and 17 percent between $75,000 and $100,000 are 
in that category. That means 80 percent of the people in that category 
have a big tax cut, in the one category, and 83 percent in the other 
category have a big tax cut. So, yes, a small tax cut--I don't know how 
many have a small tax cut and how many have a tax increase, but the 
vast majority of middle-class families, according to what my colleague 
from Pennsylvania just said, are going to get a big tax cut. I don't 
know what is wrong with that. That is $2,375, on average, for a median-
income family in Ohio.
  By the way, economists say that it not only creates the opportunity 
for people to have a little better family budget through the direct tax 
cuts but also, of course, more jobs.
  Here is something interesting. Over the past couple of days, a letter 
came in from 137 economists--many of them nationally known--who support 
this legislation. This is what they say: Economic growth will 
accelerate if this legislation passes, leading to more jobs, higher 
wages, and a better standard of living for the American people. They 
say that there will be significantly more resources coming into the 
Federal Government because of this, because of the growth. They think 
that there will be $1 trillion more revenue coming in because of this, 
because of the growth. They also think that there will be additional 
jobs--the Tax Foundation says 1 million new jobs.
  So, yes, I do believe it will be $4,000 per family, but on top of 
that, I believe that they are going to have a very direct benefit. I 
know they will because the statistics are there--my colleague from 
Pennsylvania just acknowledged it--that the vast majority of middle-
class families are going to see a substantial tax cut.
  Let me give you a number. For a family with two kids, making $50,000 
a year, it is a 36-percent tax cut, on average. That matters. That 
helps people who are trying to make ends meet. It is real both in terms 
of the direct tax cuts and in terms of the economic growth and the 
higher wages that are going to come with that, and that is so important 
to all of the families we represent.
  We have had a good discussion here. I see that my colleague from 
Connecticut is here and would like to speak, and others, I am sure, are 
going to want to speak.
  I would ask my colleague from Oregon if he would be willing to have 
another unanimous consent that there be additional time equally 
divided.
  Mr. WYDEN. I think 30 minutes is what we have been talking about and 
that it is appropriate.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that there now be 
30 minutes, equally divided, for debate only, with no amendments or 
motions in order and with the majority leader or his designee being 
recognized at the conclusion of that time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. PORTMAN. I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. MURPHY. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
  I was paying attention to my social media feed, and I have seen that 
Senators on the Republican side are starting to announce which way they 
are voting. I saw that Corker is a no and Collins is a yes. I don't 
know what they are a no or a yes on. How can you declare which way you 
are going to vote on a bill that you haven't read, on a bill that your 
constituents haven't seen?
  Senator Wyden just piled up what looked to be about 6 inches' worth 
of text in front of the Senate floor. There is no possible way that any 
Member of this body has read all of that. There is no way that in the 
time between when it is released to Senators and when we vote, anyone--
even from the very close States--is going to be able to get back to 
their constituents and ask them what they think about this piece of 
legislation. I guess I would say I have never seen anything like it, 
but we just went through it earlier this year when we were given about 
an hour to look at a complete reform of one-sixth of the American 
economy, the healthcare system.
  We are now being asked to vote this evening on a multitrillion-dollar 
reform of our Tax Code, and not a single U.S. Senator will have read 
it. There is no way you will have read it. I just saw how big it is. 
Maybe Republicans have read it because they have seen it in these 
secret negotiations, but I can guarantee you that Senate Democrats will 
not have read this because we have been kept out of the loop on all of 
these negotiations designed to get to 50 votes--not to 60 votes, not to 
70 votes, not a consensus product that can get Republican and 
Democratic support.
  I got here in 2007 when Democrats took control of the House and the 
Senate. I remember during those 2 years all sorts of consternation from 
Republicans about how bills were being rushed through the process. In 
reaction to that, when Republicans took back control of the House, they 
instituted something called a 72-hour rule that said that we couldn't 
vote on a piece of legislation unless Members have been able to see it 
for 72 hours. We need a 72-minute rule. I don't think we are going to 
be able to look at this legislation for more than 72 minutes--a 
multitrillion-dollar reform of the U.S. Tax Code--before we are asked 
to vote on it.
  Senator Wyden and others have been waving around this list of 
lobbyist asked-for amendments that fill up an entire page. We are not 
going to get 72 minutes to look at this, never mind have a single 
conversation with our constituents. It is dark out. The bill is going 
to be introduced on a Friday night. We are going to vote on it 
overnight. This is supposed to be the world's greatest deliberative 
body. It is not supposed to work like this.
  It is not a middle-class tax cut. I am not going to deny that there 
are some people in the middle class who are going to get their taxes 
lowered by this bill, but the middle-class tax cuts here are temporary 
and they are very selective. They are selective in a way that very 
peculiarly seems to discriminate against Democratic States. So the 
States that are represented by Democrats don't get as big a tax cut out 
of this because it has been crafted in a way that hurts States like 
mine that utilize the State and local tax deductions more than other 
States, those that happen to be represented by Republicans.
  It is not a middle-class tax cut because the middle-class tax cuts 
are temporary. They go away after 7 years. The corporate tax cuts, the 
inheritance tax cuts for billionaires, are permanent. Those go through 
the full 10-year timeframe. But middle-class families don't get 
permanence. After 7 years, 6 out of 10 middle-class families will have 
their taxes go up, not down.
  That 7-year timeframe is an important one because by repealing the 
individual mandate, premiums go up by 10 percent a year. Republicans 
have been screaming about premiums going up, and they decided 
intentionally to put a provision in this bill that will guarantee 
premiums will continue to go up at 10 percent per year. Guess what 
happens at year 7. Year 7 is when that 10 percent increase year-by-year 
compounds such that premiums will double. So in year 7--this is a great 
deal if you are a middle-class taxpayer--your tax cut to the extent it 
exists in this bill disappears and your healthcare premium is doubled.
  What it is, is a big tax cut for the wealthy. I am stealing Senator 
Bennet's chart, but he did it very well. We have 572,000 taxpayers--the 
richest 500,000 Americans--getting $34 billion in tax cuts, and then we 
have 90 million taxpayers who are making under $50,000 a year getting 
$14 billion in tax cuts.
  I get it. If you are going to structure a tax cut that covers 
everybody, naturally people who make more are going to get more. But 
why does it make sense to borrow $34 billion to help the wealthiest 
500,000 Americans? This

[[Page S7679]]

doesn't even count the inheritance tax, which is going to help an even 
smaller percentage of those people even more.
  Come on, this idea that you could deficit-finance a tax cut for the 
rich and it will just trickle down and magically result in economic 
growth--that is just not true. It is fiction. We have decades of 
economic experience to tell us that when we cut taxes for the rich, it 
does not magically result in enough economic growth to make up for the 
deficit, especially deficits that are going to be in the neighborhood 
of $2 trillion. You might as well claim that unicorns are real. You 
want to believe that Tupac is still alive, go for it--that is just as 
plausible as deficit-financed tax cuts for the rich resulting in enough 
economic growth to wipe out the deficit. It is fiction. It is a fantasy 
from the beginning.
  I think we should take our time, read the bill, and have a real 
conversation about what we are about to do. If our goal is to provide a 
middle-class tax cut, we could do a much better job if we worked 
together. This is not a middle-class tax cut for everybody, and after 7 
years, the majority of people in the middle class lose that tax cut.
  There is no reason to borrow this much money for the richest 500,000 
Americans. As a Senator with two young kids, I just don't know why you 
would ask my kids and so many others to pay back the loans necessary to 
deliver this tax cut, especially when it isn't going to magically 
result in the kind of economic growth that trickle-down economists have 
claimed for years and years.
  It is not impossible to get a bipartisan tax bill. I know my 
Republican friends claim, as they did on healthcare, that there is no 
good will on the Democratic side to try to craft a bipartisan proposal. 
The tragedy is that they didn't even try. There was no attempt to try 
to find common ground here, just as there was no attempt to try to find 
common ground on healthcare until the bill failed. I credit Senator 
Alexander and Senator Murray for trying to find that common ground 
after the healthcare bill failed, but the order switched--try to find 
common ground first, and if that fails, do it in a partisan fashion, 
instead of doing it in a partisan fashion, and when that fails, trying 
to find common ground.
  This is a really bad deal, a really bad piece of legislation for my 
constituents--I think, because I will not have read it by the time I am 
forced to vote on it, and neither will any of the other 99 Members of 
this body.
  I will yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, will my colleague yield for a question 
before he yields?
  Mr. MURPHY. I will.
  Mr. WYDEN. I am just curious. I am heading home for townhall meetings 
in Oregon over the weekend. I am the ranking Democrat on the committee, 
the storied committee, as my colleagues know, that works in a 
bipartisan way.
  Bill Bradley tells this story about how he flew all over the country 
to meet with Republicans to talk about how you could find common ground 
to deal with tax reform. At this time, we haven't been able to get the 
majority to even walk down the corridor in an effort to try to get a 
bipartisan bill. As I told my colleagues, I have written two of them.
  My question to my friend is, when you have your community meeting, 
how do you think people in Connecticut are going to react to the idea 
that we had maybe an hour or so to try to make our way through a bill 
that is actually the biggest tax bill in 31 years? I know my colleague 
tries very hard to be straightforward with his constituents, and he 
will tell them: I got it with insufficient time to get into it. How 
will they react to that?
  Mr. MURPHY. I say to Senator Wyden, I don't want to be too heavy 
about this, but everybody shouldn't assume that the way in which we run 
our country just continues on forever. Democracy is unnatural. We don't 
run other parts of our lives by democratic vote. We decided to run our 
country in a way that allows everybody to participate. And, you know, 
let's be honest--people have been asking some questions recently about 
the health of our democracy, and maybe that was a big part of the 
subtext of the 2016 election.
  This doesn't help win people's faith back in the democratic 
experiment when they see this casualness afforded to a debate that 
affects millions of Americans. It hurts us all when a bill this big, 
this important, gets rammed through under the cover of night. It starts 
to atrophy people's faith in the entire way that we go about running 
our government.
  I understand that Congress is not that popular. It would be hard to 
get less popular than we are today. If we ever want to start to climb 
our way back to legitimacy, then we have to trust the people to be part 
of the process of drafting and passing legislation rather than being 
afraid of the people and burying a bill in the dead of the night, as is 
happening now.
  I yield back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, I understand we now have a new bill. I am 
looking at Senator Wyden hold up that new bill. I got a sheet that 
looked as if it came from K Street that gave us a list of changes that 
will be included in the managers' package. I looked at the list, and 
somewhere around 50 or 60 new provisions were on that list. Many of 
those were not bills that had been filed, so we had no idea what was 
going to be included in it.
  None of those issues--in fact, nothing in this bill has been subject 
to an open hearing in the Finance Committee. Now we are going to be 
asked, I understand, maybe later tonight to vote on those changes. 
Quite frankly, I don't know what those changes are, and I am not going 
to have an opportunity to go over those with my constituents. That is 
wrong. That is not the process we use to change the Tax Code of this 
country, a major tax reform bill. That is an outrageous process, to say 
that we are going to vote on a new bill without an opportunity to 
understand it, without any hearings, without an opportunity for 
constituents to give their views on it, and I must state that I find 
that very offensive.
  I want to talk about one provision in particular, and I hope we will 
have a chance to do something about it during the amendment process. As 
I understand it, the revised provisions in regard to State and local 
tax deduction still restrict what taxpayers can deduct on their Federal 
tax returns in regard to State and local taxes that they pay. I admit, 
this could have been modified, but what I understand is that the 
modification is that taxpayers will be able to deduct up to $10,000 of 
property taxes but will not be able to deduct any of their State taxes, 
whether they are income taxes or sales taxes, in regard to the Federal 
taxes.
  In my State, we have county income taxes that will not be deductible, 
if I understand correctly, under the proposal we will be voting on. If 
that is, in fact, correct, that is absolutely wrong, and I want to tell 
you why. Many of us spent years in the State legislature. Our 
distinguished Presiding Officer was Governor of his State. We respect 
State and local governments. It is the same taxpayers that pay the 
taxes to the counties, to the State, and to the Federal Government.

  We believe in federalism. Our Nation was founded on federalism. I was 
proud of my record as speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates and of 
working on a federalism task force set up by President Reagan to look 
at the proper way to respect the rights of the States and local 
governments. Now we are saying we are not going to respect their 
ability to finance their operations. I say that because we are going to 
tax the tax. We are not going to respect that the same taxpayer is 
paying the State of Maryland's taxes or the State of Tennessee's taxes. 
That is wrong. That is an affront, I believe, to the Constitution of 
this country, but it has an impact.
  It is going to be much, much more difficult for our States to be able 
to raise the revenues they need to support our schools and for public 
safety and health. All those services are going to be much more 
difficult for our States to be able to finance because of this change 
that is included in the Senate bill. It is going to be more difficult 
for local governments. The cap on property taxes is real and will 
affect local government's ability to raise property taxes. But in 
Maryland and other

[[Page S7680]]

States, our local governments have other sources, including income 
taxes, that no longer are going to be deductible.
  That is going to affect my State's ability to adequately fund public 
services. Whether it is education, whether it is transportation, 
whether it is healthcare, all of that is going to be negatively 
impacted and it is wrong.
  I will give you a number, because I know the number in Maryland. 
Almost 50 percent of Maryland taxpayers deduct State and local taxes as 
an itemized deduction. They are going to be disadvantaged by the 
provision that is included in the Senate bill, and it is wrong. It also 
has unintended consequences, but it is going to have other 
consequences.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. President, later I will come back and speak on some 
of these other issues, but I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, again, we have had some interesting 
dialogue back and forth. Earlier, my colleague from Connecticut was 
talking about how this isn't real middle-class tax relief, and then he 
lamented the fact that because of the arcane budget rules we have 
around here, after 10 years, all these great tax cuts expire. So you 
kind of have it both ways there, and I don't think you can do that, 
which is that there aren't real tax cuts but then, when they expire, it 
is the greatest shame because they are great tax cuts.
  Here is the reality. There are significant tax cuts here for the 
middle class. This legislation doubles the standard deduction. Probably 
about two-thirds of the people I am talking to tonight already take the 
standard deduction. Now we will have about 95 percent of people who 
will take it, and everyone who takes it will be able to, instead of 
getting $12,000 a family, get $24,000 a family, greatly expanding that. 
By the way, there is a zero tax bracket, meaning people who don't have 
any income tax liability. That means a lot to people I represent who 
are living paycheck to paycheck, having a tough time making ends meet.
  Also, as a result of this, and the other tax relief, about 3 million 
Americans who now pay income tax are going to fall off the tax rolls. 
They are no longer going to have income tax liability. That is really 
meaningful to people. It also doubles the child tax credit. We talked a 
little bit about that today. It also increases the refundability a 
little. But importantly, it helps to ensure that families have the 
ability to help make ends meet when they are trying to raise kids--the 
most important thing you can do--and it lowers tax rates. That 
combination means that you have the kind of tax relief we are talking 
about.
  So a family who makes $50,000 a year and has two kids gets a 36-
percent tax cut. A family who makes $85,000 a year and has two kids 
gets a 20-percent tax cut. If you make $165,000 a year and have two 
kids, you get an 8-percent tax cut. So the benefit is focused more on 
those who are at the lower end of the economic scale, and I think that 
is appropriate.
  So it is middle-class tax relief, but here is how it works. As to the 
share of Federal taxes paid in 2019, which is a year after this is 
implemented--it starts right away, by the way, so middle-class families 
are going to get that relief right away--the current is in the red, and 
then our proposal is in the blue.
  So if you make zero to $20,000, it is very unlikely that you have 
income tax liability, but some families do and the average is 0.1 
percent. If you make $20,000 to $50,000 a year, your share of the 
Federal taxes goes down in our bill from 4.3 percent to 4.1 percent. If 
you make $50,000 to $100,000 a year, your share of the Federal taxes 
goes from 16.9 percent to 16.7 percent. If you make $100,000 or above, 
your share goes not down but up, from 78.7 percent to 78.9 percent. The 
top percent of wage earners in this country, the top 10 percent, pay 
approximately 70 percent of the income taxes right now. After our bill 
is passed and implemented, they will pay more than 70 percent. So it is 
a progressive tax cut in the sense that the benefit is focused more on 
middle-class families who really need the help. That is what the 
legislation does.
  Then, in addition to that, in responding to my colleagues who were 
talking whether there is any economic growth that comes from this, yes, 
there is a lot of economic growth because the current code is so bad. 
It is broken. My colleague from Oregon, who is the ranking member, 
agrees with that. He has a different solution as to how you get there, 
but he has been a leader on tax reform for that very reason. The 
current code is actually putting our workers at a disadvantage, making 
our families have to go through a great complicated process even to 
file their taxes. More than half of taxpayers now have to use a tax 
preparer. That is terrible.
  So this legislation does also provide economic growth by taking that 
Tax Code, which has this perverse effect of actually telling U.S. 
companies that it is better that they have workers overseas and take 
their investment overseas or even become a foreign company--the 4,700 
companies that are foreign companies today became foreign companies 
over the last 13 years because we didn't have this Tax Code in place. 
That is based on an Ernst & Young study. I encourage folks to take a 
look at it. It basically makes the point that because of a broken Tax 
Code, it is advantageous for U.S. companies to take their jobs and 
investment overseas. That makes no sense.
  Foreign companies can pay a premium for U.S. companies because of our 
Tax Code. We have the highest business tax rate in the industrialized 
world, and we have an international system that encourages people to go 
overseas and keep their money overseas. That is crazy. This proposal 
changes all of that. It says: Let's get our rate down below the average 
of the other industrialized countries, and then let's have an 
international system that actually encourages them to bring the money 
back and create more jobs here.
  In fact, Mr. President, I will say something else. I know you are 
interested in this. It also encourages foreign investment in this 
country, because if you are a foreign auto company--and you have a 
bunch in your State of Tennessee--and your decision is that am I going 
to invest in Japan, where they might be headquartered, or am I going to 
invest in China, where they might have a factory, or am I going to 
invest in Germany, where they might a factory, or am I going to invest 
in the United States of America and maybe in Tennessee, this bill will 
make it more advantageous for them to make their investment here and to 
create the jobs here because of the lower tax rate and because of the 
expensing when they go out to buy new equipment and technology to make 
their workers more productive.
  So this is going to help American companies a lot to be able to 
compete globally. It levels the playing field, which is very important. 
It has been bipartisan up to now--very bipartisan. We had a working 
group on this, among five bipartisan working groups that were 
established 2 years ago, that studied this issue. We came up with the 
solution that you have to get the rate below the average and you have 
to go through the kind of system we are talking about. It was totally 
bipartisan. Democrats and Republicans alike agreed to it because it 
just makes so much sense for the American worker. They are the ones 
getting the short end of the stick right now. They are the ones who are 
told: You go out there and compete, but do it with one hand tied behind 
your back.
  We need to give them the tools to be able to succeed, and that is 
what this legislation does. Yes, that is going to result in middle-
class families getting benefits well beyond, in my view, the direct tax 
cuts we talked about earlier because it is going to enable them to be 
able to get the higher wages and the better jobs, and that is why some 
economists have said it is $4,000 a family. Some have said it is more. 
Many Democrats think it is less. But there will be a benefit to these 
families. Remember, these companies we are talking about, the C 
corporations, they employ more than half of the American private 
workforce. They are competing every day in these global marketplaces. 
We want them to win. We want our workers to win because we want them to 
be able to have those higher wages and better benefits.
  We have spent 2 decades with relatively weak economic growth and,

[[Page S7681]]

therefore, relatively flat wages. In fact, on an inflation-adjusted 
basis, if you look back over the last 15 years, there hasn't been any 
wage growth. There have been higher expenses, especially healthcare, 
and those healthcare costs and tuition costs for those who want to send 
their kids to school, or other costs--food and energy--have all gone 
up. Wages have been flat. That is a middle-class squeeze, and that is 
what this middle-class tax relief helps to address. Importantly, that 
is what this pro-growth part helps to address because you are going to 
see higher wages, and you are going to see better benefits if you give 
this kind of tax relief to the American worker because you are going to 
see more investment, you are going to see more productivity that comes 
from that, and you are going to see higher wages.
  I believe that, but what I believe isn't as important as what others 
believe. So 137 economists, many of these are nationally known 
economists, have looked at the pro-growth parts of this legislation--
the parts I am talking about that make us competitive again--and they 
have said that economic growth will accelerate if this legislation 
passes, leading to more jobs, higher wages, and a better standard of 
living for the American people. They say there will be a million new 
jobs in this country just because of this. I think that is really 
important, as important as the tax cuts are for the middle class--and 
they are important. Again, those tax cuts primarily go to folks who are 
in the middle class and that is appropriate. Equally important to me is 
to get this economy moving in a way that people can have the 
opportunity to get those higher wages and better benefits.
  The Congressional Budget Office did a study. It showed that 70 
percent of the benefit of getting that corporate tax rate down is going 
to go to workers in terms of salaries and benefits. Some say it is less 
than that. Some say it is more than that. Kevin Hassett, who is the 
chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, says it is more than 
that. The point is that it is going to help these workers, and it is 
about time that we help them.
  There has been a lot of discussion about the process here tonight, 
and I understand the frustration. As a Member of the Senate, sometimes 
I feel that frustration as well. But I will say that this legislation, 
H.R. 1, which is the vast majority of the papers that were held up a 
moment ago--this is the legislation that came out of committee; it is 
the vast majority of the pages--has been on this website called 
budget.senate.gov and has been public since Saturday, November 26. So 
it has been out there awhile for Members to look at.
  Every single one of these amendments that are part of the manager's 
amendment that was talked about tonight has been publicly filed, and I 
think that is good. We required that Members have to file an amendment 
and make it public. People can go on rpc.senate.gov and see all of 
those amendments, and I think that is appropriate.
  I would hope that, as we go through this process tonight and we talk 
about this legislation, we can express our differences, which we will, 
but that we can also stick to the facts, which is that this does 
provide middle-class tax cuts. Again, as to those who have said earlier 
that there are no real tax cuts, but then when it expires in 10 years 
say: Well, gosh, these big tax cuts are gone, you can't have it both 
ways. There are tax cuts. Maybe people think there should be different 
kinds of tax cuts, but they are there.
  Second, there is the economic growth element of this, which to me is 
so important. We are not going to be able to have a growing economy and 
have opportunity and, frankly, be in a position as a country to be able 
to address some of our broader problems unless we have the growth and 
the optimism that comes with that, and that is why I think the economic 
growth parts of this are equally important. Again, that has been 
bipartisan in the past, and I hope it can be bipartisan in the future. 
I hope we will be able, as a Senate tonight, to pass this legislation 
and then continue to work on these issues, not just in terms of tax 
reform but making our economy and our workers more competitive because 
that, in the end, is going to be the ability to give people the chance 
for themselves and their kids and grandkids to have a better life.
  I see my colleague from Pennsylvania is on the floor, and I know my 
colleague from Oregon may have another speaker.
  I yield the floor at this time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I see my colleague from Oregon has some 
other speakers. I know he would like to speak, I am sure.
  I ask unanimous consent that there now be 30 minutes, equally 
divided, for debate only, with no amendments or motions in order, and 
with the majority leader being recognized at the conclusion of that 
time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I am going to yield to my colleagues in a 
minute.
  I just think it is important to make sure that the public understands 
exactly what some of the facts are behind the Republican proposals.
  My colleague from Ohio just talked about how the Republican proposal 
is going to create many more jobs in the United States and certainly 
isn't going to keep the system that makes it attractive to do business 
overseas. Yet my understanding is, all the previous versions--and we 
are going through the 500-plus pages now--are based on territorial 
taxation.
  I don't imagine too many folks in coffee shops are up on what 
territorial taxation is, but it is an express lane for shipping jobs 
overseas. The fact is, a number of the proposals earlier from the other 
side have made it more attractive to do business overseas than in the 
United States.
  Here are a couple of other points. My colleague said that 70 percent 
of the corporate tax reduction would go to the workers. That is not 
what Tom Barthold, the head of the Joint Committee on Taxation, said. 
He said specifically that he didn't see anything resembling that kind 
of benefit going directly to workers. He speaks a special language 
known as economics, but he has made it clear he didn't envision 
anything like that.
  Two other points, and then I have a question for my colleague from 
Maryland.
  We still do not have an analysis in two areas: No. 1, the cost of the 
bill, and No. 2, what is going to be the fate of middle-class families 
with respect to this new proposal? What is it going to mean for their 
taxes, and by what amounts?
  If I can engage my colleague from Ohio on this--what can we be told 
at this point we are going to get, if anything, with respect to an 
analysis of this particular bill, the 500-plus pages? Will we be 
getting anything tonight before we vote?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, first of all, I was referring 
specifically to a CBO report earlier, and the Senator talked about the 
Joint Committee on Taxation. We may have different views on that. It 
wasn't my belief I was expressing; it was me talking about the 
Congressional Budget Office's report. My understanding is that tonight 
the entire bill will be online, No. 1.
  Second, the analysis is necessary to ensure that it fits into the 
reconciliation instructions.
  Mr. WYDEN. What analysis would it be, for example, with respect to 
what the new bill--the bill we are actually going to vote on--means for 
middle-class families? We have millions of middle-class folks who are 
trying to sort out what this means for them.
  We have just gotten a brand new bill. We would like to know what the 
new bill means with respect to the taxes paid by middle-class folks. 
Are they going to get ahead or, as we have seen in so many of the 
previous iterations, fall behind, particularly after 2027?
  Will we get a new analysis on this new proposal that we will actually 
vote on with respect to what it means for middle-class families?
  Mr. PORTMAN. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. WYDEN. Of course.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Good news--you will be glad to hear those tax cuts 
continue. If your family is making $50,000, two kids, you will see a 
36-percent tax cut. If you are making $165,000 a year, two

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kids, you will get less of a percent--an 8-percent tax cut. That is all 
included in the legislation.
  The big change, as we talked about earlier--and I know you have it in 
front of you--is that there is now this deduction for property taxes. 
It is a $10,000 cap on that deduction. As you know, if you look at the 
entire SALT, which are the State and local taxes and property taxes, 
about 50 percent of that benefit goes to families making over $200,000 
a year. In this one, the property taxes capped at $10,000 will be much 
more targeted to the middle class.
  I think it is fair to say to my colleague from Oregon that he will 
see more middle-class tax relief from that, and that will be something 
that will help middle-class families.
  There is no change in terms of those tax cuts because those 
brackets--the reduction of the tax rates, doubling of the standard 
deduction, the doubling of the child credit--are all in the 
legislation.
  Mr. WYDEN. What I would say to my colleague is, we don't have any 
evidence of that. My colleague has certainly made laudatory claims 
about his bill, but we don't have any evidence of them. In fact, the 
comment made by my colleague highlights my concern. What we have seen 
thus far for middle-class families after 2027 is that upward of half of 
them would pay more in taxes.
  I think, rather than continue this, I will just ask my colleague to 
see if his side can produce an actual document--even a summary--of what 
this new bill is actually going to mean for middle-class families who 
are concerned, based on the earlier versions, about seeing their taxes 
go up, particularly after 2027.
  I have one question for my colleague from Maryland because he has 
been talking about the State and local deduction, which is enormously 
important to folks in my State and in my colleague's as well.
  My question is, when the first income tax was enacted in 1861, it was 
to finance the cost of the Civil War. It included only one deduction at 
that time for State and local taxes, and that was really composed to 
respect the States' ability to make their own fiscal decisions. It was 
the first deduction more than a century ago. So does that seem like a 
special interest tax break compared to this list of more than 30 breaks 
that we have managed to excavate from various corners of K Street?
  Mr. CARDIN. If my colleague will yield----
  Mr. WYDEN. I will.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. In going over the history as to how the income tax came 
about, it really was part of Federalism. They needed the consent of the 
States to change the Constitution. It was a partnership with our 
States, and that is why, from its inception, there has been respect for 
State and local taxation as a deduction from the Federal income tax.
  This is not a special interest; this is how we finance government. We 
finance government at the Federal level, the State level, and the local 
level. If this bill becomes law, we are violating it.
  Mr. President, I will ask my colleague from Oregon to let me have a 
minute more for two or three more points on this that I think are 
important; that is, there are effects that are going to take place as a 
result of the limitation of State and local taxes. We are going to see 
effects on property values. The Realtors and real estate industries 
have made that clear. It is going to affect the tax base of local 
government.
  This bill is going to affect charitable giving. Why do I say that 
charitable giving is part of this? Because I was talking to the mayor 
of Baltimore, Catherine Pugh, earlier today. She has serious problems 
with law enforcement in Baltimore. She is depending upon private groups 
and their generosity to help deal with the problems of Baltimore. It is 
going to be much more difficult for private groups to be able to get 
charitable contributions if this bill becomes law. So there will be 
impact on this that will affect our State and local governments, in 
addition to the elimination of the State and local tax deduction.
  Here is one last point, if I might make it, in regard to middle-
income taxpayers. I respect greatly my colleagues on the other side of 
the aisle and the charge that they show, but these charges don't 
include the effect of the increase of the estate tax because that has 
not been made part of the calculations. It does not take into 
consideration 13 million people who no longer are going to have health 
insurance. That has not been taken into consideration in the charge 
they are showing.
  It doesn't take into consideration, in the charge, that the 
corporation profits they are going to make as a result of these tax 
cuts are going to most likely go to stock buyouts, rather than helping 
the workers. That is not reflected.
  So when you take a look at all of it--and we do have some analysis 
that has been done that is objective--middle-income taxpayers are at a 
disadvantage under this tax bill.
  I thank my friend from Oregon for yielding me that time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I thank my friend, and I know the Senator 
from West Virginia and the Senator from Connecticut have both been 
patient. Why don't we yield time to the Senator from West Virginia now.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Mr. President, I thank my good friend, the Senator from 
Oregon.
  I want to put this in perspective. I don't think there is a person 
more bipartisan than I am. I don't think there is a person who has 
signed more bills in a bipartisan way with my Republican friends than I 
have--who has voted on more Republican bills or more Republican 
amendments than I have as a Democrat.
  I am really so frustrated. I thought that we could make this place 
work. That was my purpose in being here. I truly have done everything I 
possibly could. I reached out. The White House was kind enough to reach 
out to me. I sat down and I talked to all of the people who are in 
charge of writing this legislation from the White House. I sat down 
with my colleagues. I gave them some suggestions and ideas. We brought 
people together, thinking we could find a bipartisan way.
  I will tell you, as I see it unfold tonight, this has been designed 
not to have even me, as one Democrat, on the bill, and I want to be. I 
want to be part of a reform for the first time in 30 years. I look back 
at Ronald Reagan. He was a hero to all of us. He had 97 votes; 97 
Senators voted for the legislation that he crafted. There were 
adjustments--a give-and-take. But every time, I would think, well, if I 
have some ideas, shouldn't you at least listen to me; listen to what we 
think?
  Two days ago, we did a press conference. I invited all of my 
colleagues. I thought: Well, I and Senator Heitkamp from North Dakota 
and Senator Donnelly from Indiana--I knew the three of us would show 
up. I had 14 other colleagues who were craving to be involved; they 
wanted to be involved. I saw my good friend, Bob Corker, Senator Corker 
from Tennessee. I asked him: Can we have a few more days to look at 
this? That was denied.
  I don't know what it is going to take. Maybe we have hit the 
proverbial wall. This is the first time I know of, in the history of 
the United States of America, that we have ever done this type of major 
reform without having a bipartisan objective for it. There is not one 
bipartisan vote on this piece of legislation, and I am looking; I have 
been looking and trying.
  People have called me today from my home, asking: What have you seen? 
Do you like something? I said: I haven't seen that much. I am still 
trying to find the bill. I promised them: I will see something before I 
vote on it. I won't be able to read it, but I am going to see it. I 
want to see something.
  I would love for us to take the time to sit down and work on this and 
see it. I think you would be surprised. I think not only could we get 
to 60, we could get above 60 votes on this, and that is what it should 
be.
  In 2010, I thought my Democratic colleagues who voted for the 
Affordable Care Act with not one Republican on it were wrong. I thought 
that was wrong. I understand from the history--I wasn't here; I was a 
Governor at that time--

[[Page S7683]]

that at least they tried. They went through the markups. They went 
through the hearings. They had an awful lot of input. I understand 
that.
  Still, I don't think any major legislation that affects every 
American should go through without a bipartisan buy-in, without 
bipartisan votes, without bipartisan support. If this is designed to be 
a political ploy--to basically have one side, and one side only, not 
wanting one Democratic vote--this will fail, and it is a shame for our 
country and for my colleagues.
  I have made it a point that what I thought was broken in this place--
I have never, ever campaigned against a sitting colleague. I have never 
campaigned against a fellow Republican. I have never made a phone call 
against a fellow Republican. I have never raised money to be spent to 
try to defeat a fellow Republican, my friends, because I don't think I 
could face them if I am trying to defeat them and then ask them to work 
with me. I have never done that nor will I ever do that. That is not my 
purpose for being here.
  All I have asked for is to have the chance to work with my 
colleagues. That is all I have wanted to do. I want to be part of this. 
I ask, if there is any way possible, slow this down to allow me to be 
involved. I would appreciate that.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, before we go to Senator Blumenthal----
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There are 36 seconds left.
  Mr. WYDEN. I thank my colleague from West Virginia. I believe we are 
going to propound another 30-minute unanimous consent request.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. First, the other side has 15 minutes.
  Mr. WYDEN. Oh, they have 15 minutes.
  We will let Senator Toomey start the 15-minute time allotment for 
Republicans. Then, when our turn is next, we will go to Senator 
Blumenthal.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, two points I would like to address, and 
then we have other Republican colleagues who would like to use our time 
as well.
  One, I want to address the comments made by my friend--and he is a 
friend of mine--the Senator from West Virginia. I have worked closely 
with Senator Manchin on a variety of pieces of legislation, some 
relatively ordinary and noncontroversial and others quite 
controversial. We have been through some battles together, Senator 
Manchin and I, and I enjoy working with him.
  I hope he is going to support this product in the end. I am not sure 
he will, but he might--I don't know--and he probably has some good 
ideas he could bring to this.
  Let me be very clear about the process we have used here. First of 
all, this legislation has gone through the regular order. It has gone 
through the committee. It was extensively debated in the committee. It 
was marked up in the committee. There were many dozens of amendments 
debated and voted on in the committee. The committee document, which is 
very similar to the final document we are going to vote on tonight, has 
been available for weeks.
  Here is one of the problems we faced from the onset in this. Very 
early on in this process, the vast majority of our Democratic 
colleagues announced they wanted to leave the room with respect to a 
tax reform discussion. Now, as it happens, Senator Manchin was not 
among them, but 45 of the 48 Democratic Senators sent a public letter, 
and they stipulated the terms under which they would be willing to work 
with us on tax reform. One of the terms was that we had to use a 
process that could allow them to kill it by a filibuster, if they 
wanted to. That was one of their terms.
  If they were going to participate in the process, they were demanding 
that we would have to empower them to kill the final product by a 
filibuster, if they wanted to.
  Well, I just think that tax reform, tax relief for low- and middle-
income families like we provide in this bill and the pro-growth 
policies through the reforms in this bill are too important to allow 
the minority to kill it by filibuster. It would have been malpractice 
on our part to allow that possibility, and so we didn't.
  All that means is one thing. All it means is, the final passage on 
this legislation is not 60 votes, but it is 51. That is all. Any 
Democrat can offer any amendment. Any Democrat can join us in 
supporting this legislation. That was also true in committee, and it 
will be true right through the end of this process.
  Our Democratic colleagues also had other stipulations in their 
letter. They said there can be no savings in the tax reform package for 
the people who pay 40 percent of all the taxes. It is actually really 
hard to do pro-growth, meaningful tax reform if you say the people who 
pay 40 percent of all the taxes must not be allowed to get any benefit 
whatsoever.
  Another feature in their letter was that there could be no savings 
for the very substantial category of American businesses organized as 
what we call passthroughs--these are partnerships and subchapter S 
corporations--because under the stipulations in their public letter, 
there couldn't be any benefit at all to anyone whose income was in the 
top 1 percent. Well, there are a lot of passthroughs that have some 
ownership on the part of people who are in that income category.
  My point is, they were systematically taking themselves out of the 
discussion from the very beginning. Despite that, we had an open 
process. We had unlimited amendments, and they participated in that 
process.
  Now I would like to address the issue my colleague from Maryland 
raised, which is the deductibility of State and local taxes. I just 
want to say, for me, disallowing the deductibility of State and local 
taxes and offsetting that with lower income tax rates for everyone--
which is what we do in our bill, among other things--it is a matter of 
fairness. It is just a simple matter of fairness.
  Under our current policy, which our Democratic colleagues would 
prefer we keep, the current policy of allowing people to deduct their 
State and local taxes and requiring higher Federal income taxes for all 
Americans as a result, that amounts to a subsidy that is paid by people 
in low-tax jurisdictions that gets sent to people in high-tax 
jurisdictions.
  For the life of me, I don't understand why my constituents in Dauphin 
County, PA--a relatively lower tax place--should have to pay higher 
Federal income taxes so a very wealthy guy who owns a penthouse on the 
Upper West Side of Manhattan can deduct the very substantial taxes he 
chooses to pay because he lives in a very high-tax jurisdiction.
  How is that fair that a person of much more modest means should have 
to subsidize a person of great means through the Tax Code? I don't 
think that is fair, but it is also unfair not just from one State to 
another but even within a State it is really not fair.
  Let me illustrate my point with an example. Let's imagine you have 
two families who have the same financial circumstances. They are 
neighbors, but they happen to live on either side of a municipal 
boundary. One family lives on the side of a town that provides a lot of 
services and has high property taxes, which pays for the services. 
Maybe they pick up the trash. Maybe the town picks up the leaves. They 
provide lots of services. They have a nice community center. So the 
family has higher property taxes to pay for all of that.
  Then the other family on the other side, in a different township 
right next door, they don't get their leaves picked up, they don't get 
the trash hauled away, they don't have a nice community center, but 
they have lower property taxes.
  Now, the family who doesn't have all those services, they have to 
privately contract for those services. They have to go hire a company 
to take away their trash barrels. They have to hire a company to take 
away their leaves. They have to pay to join a gym or a recreational 
facility, and they don't get to deduct any of those expenses. They 
don't get to deduct the cost of paying someone to take their trash away 
or leaf removal or their membership at a local gym or facility like 
that.
  So how is it fair that one person gets all of those services and gets 
to deduct the costs in the form of deducting the property taxes that 
pay for it, and the

[[Page S7684]]

other person, otherwise identically situated, does not get to deduct 
the cost? That just does not strike me as fair.
  So all we are doing is saying: Let's be fair about this. Let's just 
be fair. Let's disallow that deduction. For the most part, we do 
preserve a portion of that, but the principle is to reduce the ability 
to deduct these taxes because it is more fair, and then what we can do 
as a result is we can lower the income tax rates paid by everyone.
  I think that is a step in the direction of fairness, and it is one of 
the things that I think is a good feature in the bill.
  I see my colleague the Senator from Montana is here so I will yield 
the floor to him.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Heller). The Senator from Montana.
  Mr. DAINES. Thank you, Mr. President. I am thankful for my colleague 
from Pennsylvania, Senator Toomey, for his remarks and for his 
leadership in getting us to this point tonight for this most historic 
moment in the U.S. Senate.
  I spent 28 years in the private sector before I came back to 
Washington, DC. In fact, the last election I won before I won election 
to serve in Congress was student body president in my high school.
  I spent many years working in businesses, growing businesses, 
creating jobs, sending a lot of money to Washington, DC, in taxes. You 
are not going to find a single Republican here who says taxes are bad. 
What we are saying here is that we are an overtaxed Nation.
  In fact, if I were to ask you where are the most affluent counties in 
the United States, where are they, you might guess, well, Beverly 
Hills, perhaps Silicon Valley, New York City. The answer is, the most 
affluent counties in America are suburbs of Washington, DC.
  The American people have watched this city increase in power, 
increase in wealth, and I think this city has forgotten something; that 
the dollars that are sent here by hard-working Americans do not belong 
to the government, they belong to the American people. It is their 
money.
  I will tell you what. I don't think we realize how much taxes we pay. 
We are focused right now on Federal income taxes, Federal corporate 
taxes. However, imagine you wake up in the morning--if you are like me, 
my cell phone is now my alarm clock--and you grab your cell phone. You 
reach for it. The first thing you do is maybe look at what inbound 
emails you have, maybe you look at the Twitter feed, but you realize, 
as you are grabbing the cell phone, on average, a U.S. wireless 
consumer pays about 17 percent--of that bill you pay for your cell 
phone, there are Federal, State, and local taxes for that cell phone. 
That is how the day starts.
  So then I go, and I get dressed. I think about how much sales tax was 
paid, which most States have, for the clothes that you are wearing. 
Well, then you might leave your home, walk across your driveway to get 
in an automobile, perhaps, and you realize you are paying significant 
property tax on that property you own--if you are a homeowner--and you 
get in your automobile. Oh, by the way, you have paid a significant tax 
on that car too. You have paid a sales tax, most likely. You may be 
paying hundreds of dollars a year to put license plates on it. Then you 
want to drive on to work, and you might want to stop at that coffee 
shop. You might want to get that nice cup of coffee there to get you 
going for the day. What do you do? Well, you pay a sales tax, most 
likely, as you get your cup of coffee.
  Perhaps on the way to work, you need to fill up your gas tank. Now, 
in Montana, we drive pickups. I could tell you, when you fill up your 
pickup, it costs you a chunk of change.
  You are paying 18.4 cents per gallon just in federal taxes, and then 
you pay your State taxes on top of that. That ranges from 12 cents a 
gallon in Alaska to 58 cents a gallon in Pennsylvania, and then you go 
to work.
  I was just speaking with one of my young staffers here tonight. She 
told me, when she got that first paycheck--I guess her first job out of 
college--she called her dad, and she said: They have made a mistake. 
They have screwed up my paycheck. And she talked him through the 
difference between the gross pay and what you really put in the bank, 
the dollars of your Federal, State, local taxes, Social Security, 
Medicare.
  Your day is finished. Perhaps you want to go home and grab something 
to drink, whether it is a glass of wine, perhaps a beer, perhaps a 
soda. Well, the government is there too. You have paid an excise tax 
somewhere on those beverages. All I am saying here is it is time to 
give some of that back. It is time to give some of that back to the 
single mom in Kalispell, to give it back to that small business owner 
in Helena, to give it back to the families, the businesses, working-
class Montanans. You know what, they need a pay raise.
  So how do we start that? How about right here with this bill tonight. 
Let's lower tax rates on middle income Americans. Let's allow them to 
keep more of their hard-earned dollars. How about we increase the 
standard deduction? Let's take it from $12,000 to $24,000. How about we 
eliminate the poverty tax? That is eliminating ObamaCare's poverty tax. 
As Justice Roberts said, it is a tax. It has cost the American people 
so far over $5 billion, 42 percent of those making less than $25,000 a 
year, 82 percent make less than $50,000 a year. That is a poverty tax. 
We are going to repeal that as part of this bill that we are going to 
pass tonight.
  Families need a break. How about we double the child tax credit? We 
are parents of four. How about that single mom with two children? I 
think she needs a break. Let's give working moms, working dads with a 
couple of kids an extra couple thousand dollars to help make ends meet 
and reduce the tax burden on small businesses--not corporations. We 
will talk about that in a minute. That is important to do, but these 
small businesses that are not corporations are paying as much as 40 
percent of their income in Federal income taxes. We are going to take 
that down to less than 30 percent.
  What does that do? It creates jobs. It puts pressure on wages, higher 
wages, because we need to direct these tax cuts to those who provide 
jobs.
  By the way, those smaller businesses, 55 percent of the private 
sector jobs in this country are from smaller businesses. Two-thirds of 
the new jobs created since the recession of 2007, 2008 are from these 
smaller businesses. We are targeting significant tax relief for those 
small businesses. Who are these? These are farmers. These are ranchers. 
These are locally owned Montana businesses. It could be our community 
bankers. It could be a baking company. It could be a construction 
company. I grew up in a construction company. My mom and dad were the 
CEO and the COO of the family business. In Montana, that is 68 percent 
of the jobs in my State. They are getting significant tax relief. 
Working with my colleagues, we have had some great conversations, and 
we have provided some additional tax relief for those smaller 
businesses.

  We have a historic, once-in-a-generation opportunity today. This only 
comes every 20 or 30 years. It goes back to 1986, 31 years ago--the 
same year my wife and I were married. We need to put more money back 
into the hands of American workers. Let's cut their taxes. Let's open 
the doors for the creation of more high-paying jobs. We start that by 
transferring the wealth of this city back to the families and 
businesses that sent us here in the first place and that keep our 
country moving forward.
  We have been hearing a lot of things about this bill. The Washington 
Post even claimed four Pinocchios on some of these claims that somehow 
this plan will raise taxes for most working-class families. Look at the 
facts. That is not true.
  Let me conclude by saying this, quoting a President:

       It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today 
     and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise 
     revenues in the long term is to cut the rates now. The 
     experience of a number of European countries and Japan have 
     borne this out. The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to 
     incur a budget deficit, but to achieve a more prosperous, 
     expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.

  That was John F. Kennedy in December of 1962.
  Let's not miss this opportunity that we have now.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. DAINES. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that there now be

[[Page S7685]]

30 minutes, equally divided, for debate only, with no amendments or 
motions in order, and that the majority leader be recognized at the 
conclusion of that time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, to start our portion of the 30 minutes, 
Senator Blumenthal has been very patient, so I wish to start with the 
Senator from Connecticut.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. BLUMENTHAL. Mr. President, I am honored to be here tonight. Even 
in moments of sadness and anger--and I feel both here--I am honored to 
be a Member of this body. I am particularly honored to be a Member of 
the U.S. Senate with Joe Manchin, whose bipartisanship and willingness 
to listen and to compromise and be reasonable is almost legendary. All 
of us, including Ranking Member Wyden of the Finance Committee, have 
been more than eager to be reasonable and compromise and seek 
bipartisan solutions. I truly want to thank Senator Wyden for his 
leadership on this issue, as well as his insight and his great 
commitment to the public interest.
  We had a hearing earlier this week before the Armed Services 
Committee about future threats to our Nation and national security, 
with a panel of experts who testified that more than $1 trillion 
dollars--maybe trillions--would be necessary for us to invest in the 
future of our Nation's defense. So many of us asked them whether they 
thought it would be possible to make that investment at the same time 
that our Nation is about to incur an additional $1.5 trillion in debt 
as a result of this misguided, maligned scam, this tax bill, and when 
we asked that question, they shook their heads no.
  The former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, once 
said--famously now--``The greatest threat to our national security is 
our national debt.'' The reason our national debt is a threat to our 
national security is very simply that it prevents us from the kind of 
commitment and investment in our national defense that we on the Armed 
Services Committee and we in this body and we the people of America 
know we have to make to secure our national defense.
  Our national defense is about more than just hardware and even the 
great troops that we deploy--our service men and women who serve and 
sacrifice with such incredible bravery and dedication and patriotism--
it is also about the quality of our society. It is about whether we are 
equal, whether we give people the mobility to move and make of 
themselves what their aspirations are and make the American dream real 
in their lives and develop those skills through education and skill 
training that are so necessary to us as a nation. We can't produce the 
submarines and the F-35s and all of the extraordinary, complex hardware 
that we do without that skilled training. We know that in Connecticut 
because we produce submarines and jet engines and helicopters. We are 
proud of that, but we need more people with those skills.
  Yet this measure will enhance the divisions in our society. It will 
divide us from each other as Americans. It will diminish the mobility--
social and economic mobility--in our great Nation, and it will increase 
economic insecurity. It will not make Americans more sure about their 
society, more confident in its equality and justice; it will create 
more anxiety and anger because at its core, this measure is about 
benefits to a tiny, minute fraction of America. Most of the benefits of 
this measure go there. And it is about hitting the rest of Americans--
particularly middle-class families--with initial benefits that may even 
look good at first but are a classic bait-and-switch because most of 
those middle-class families will be worse off over the next 10 years. 
Anybody earning between $50,000 and $75,000 will see their taxes 
increase over those years.
  For all the reasons that my colleagues have so powerfully and 
compellingly outlined in this Chamber, with statistics that I don't 
even have time to repeat here, this measure is essentially rotten at 
the core in its claim to fairness.
  Tax reform should be about making our Tax Code simpler and fairer. 
This measure does just the opposite. My colleagues may say there were 
hearings, but compared to the mid-1980s when the last major tax reform 
was passed, there have been no hearings and there has been no real 
markup.
  We are now considering an amendment that was deposited on the floor 
of this Chamber just minutes ago--barely an hour--and will receive no 
serious scrutiny or oversight. It will harm our teachers and first 
responders, our police and our firefighters, who will have less support 
for their vital services. It will harm the job creators who need more 
resources to invest in infrastructure. It will harm our educators and 
the skilled trades. It will harm middle-class America.
  It will hit Connecticut as hard or harder than any other State 
because of the nondeductibility of State and local taxes and because of 
the nondeductibility of casualty losses. The homeowners whose 
foundations are crumbling will lose the ability to deduct the cost of 
repairs that they must make. That is so fundamentally unfair that it 
belies the promises that have been made even this day on this floor.
  We are adopting this measure literally in the dark of night--a Friday 
night when few Americans may be aware of what is happening here--
comparatively few.
  On the passthrough provision that has been added to this bill, 
unquestionably, some Americans will be aware, including the President 
of the United States. He has more than 500 LLCs as part of his 
organization that will benefit from this passthrough provision. So the 
President may be celebrating, but most Americans will rue this day.
  We will remember this day, all of us who are here, but we in this 
Chamber will rue it as well. We will remember it because of the black 
mark on our democracy that resulted from a guilty plea from a former 
National Security Advisor--a guilty plea for lying to the FBI. It is a 
black mark on our democracy, a sad day for our Nation, and a shadowy 
moment for this administration, the Trump Presidency.
  But we will remember it also as a self-inflicted wound for our 
democracy when the actions of the U.S. Senate drove deeper divisions 
within our society, created more insecurity, enlarged the anger and 
angst and anxiety that people feel about themselves, and when we added 
$1.5 trillion to the national debt that our children and our 
grandchildren will pay and thereby when we diminished our national 
security. The national debt may not be the greatest threat to our 
national security, but it is one of the largest of the dangers to our 
national security, and we have done nothing to alleviate it. On the 
contrary, we are adding to it, and that is a shame and a disgrace.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. MERKLEY. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Oregon. I would 
like him to know that I will only take about 5 minutes because I want 
to make sure my colleagues can speak during this period.
  I am rising now to ask the senior Senator from Texas to come and 
explain his amendment that has been incorporated in the package. This, 
I believe, earlier was his amendment No. 1715, and we are hearing that 
1712 was included as well. This is something that might be 
characterized as the Wall Street welfare amendment. We are not sure 
exactly how it works. We are not sure exactly how much it costs. But 
that is not the point. If you are going to stick something into the 
underlying bill to benefit very powerful groups like Apollo and 
Carlisle and Blackstone, you don't just airdrop it in at the last 
second, this provision for the most powerful. Come to the floor, lay 
out the details, and defend your amendment and why it should be 
included in this bill.
  Our basic understanding is that it enables publicly traded 
partnerships to be able to have their funds pass through so there is no 
corporate tax since they benefit from a lower rate for those 
passthroughs. But we have only had a few seconds to look at it. What 
does it really do? What does it really cost? I ask the Senator to come 
to the floor and explain all of the details. The American people have a 
right to know what you are sticking in this bill. Explain your Wall 
Street welfare amendment and why we should support it or not.

[[Page S7686]]

  We have $4 trillion going to the richest Americans. Four trillion? We 
keep hearing about a $1.5 trillion deficit. Oh, yes, but there is lot 
more here, so let's just see what it is.
  There is the reduction in the corporate tax rate, which we all know 
goes to the richest Americans who hold all the stocks. That is $1.3 
trillion.
  We have repeal of the alternative minimum tax. That is $770 billion.
  We have the passthrough for high-end LLCs--not for low-end LLCs but 
for high-end LLCs--$362 billion.
  We have three provisions for multinationals, a deduction for foreign 
dividends, a deduction for foreign intangibles, and the transfers for 
intellectual properties, totaling $313 billion.
  We have an elimination of the estate tax to benefit the richest 0.2 
percent. Out of a total of 1,000 people in America, the richest two--
that is the equivalent. That 0.2 percent would get $83 billion.
  Then we have a change in the tax brackets, which added another over 
$1 trillion there. And probably most of that--we have been trying to 
get a breakout. We can't even get a breakout of where this will go 
because it is being rushed through.
  If we take those provisions and add them up, it is $4 trillion. I am 
just taking the big ones off the list of all of the details.
  Little public exposure. Why is this being done in a few hours here, 
just after the Thanksgiving holiday, before Christmas? Because my 
Republican colleagues are sticking it to the American people, and they 
don't want you to know.
  So, again, an example--out of this list of 30 amendments that are 
being stuffed in at the last second that no one has had the ability to 
analyze--30 amendments--let's have the senior Senator from Texas come 
to the floor and defend his Wall Street welfare amendment that he is 
sticking in here for the most powerful publicly traded partnerships. 
That is just one of 30.
  So I am calling for transparency. I am calling this process for what 
it is, and that is using the argument that you are doing something for 
the middle class in order to cover up these trillions of dollars going 
to the very richest. Let's see how misplaced this is.
  In the next year, 9 million taxpayers together at the bottom would 
get about 50 cents a day in tax relief--two quarters. That is what you 
do for the 90 million taxpayers who are most in need in America, two 
quarters a day. What does this bill do for those who earn more than $1 
million? It gives them over $1,000 a week. So $1,000 a week for the 
rich and mighty; two thin quarters a day for the folks at the bottom.
  It even gets worse than that. By the end of the tax period, what are 
those people earning less than $50,000 doing? They are paying $23 
billion into the Federal Treasury, but what are those who are earning 
more than $1 million doing? They are taking out $5 billion. So the poor 
are paying in while the rich are taking out. You call this middle-class 
tax relief? I call this a tax scam.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time has expired.
  Mr. MERKLEY. It is outrageous and unacceptable.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Louisiana.
  Mr. CASSIDY. Mr. President, I would like to comment on the positive 
aspects of the bill we are about to vote on.
  The most positive thing I can say about this is that working families 
and middle-income families across the Nation will be better off. 
Families who over the last 8 years have not done well will begin to do 
better.
  Now, we have already discussed some of the things that others have 
discussed. Let me just comment briefly:
  We have doubled the standard deduction to make filing of income taxes 
simpler. For most Americans, that will be a tax cut by doubling that 
standard deduction.
  We have provisions in there to stimulate the economy, to create 
competition for workers so workers will now have a choice of one job or 
another. When that happens, of course, their wages rise, and their 
benefits get better.
  We incentivize companies that are, right now, moving overseas--
because the taxes are so much lower elsewhere--to stay in the United 
States, to create American jobs, and to pay more American taxes.
  Those are all good things my colleagues have discussed. Let me 
discuss some other ways perhaps that this bill benefits working 
families and middle-class families.
  I am from an energy State. Louisiana produces so much oil and gas. 
The thing about energy jobs is it creates jobs for good families. They 
may not have a college education, but they are good people. They care 
about their children. In these jobs, they can earn over $100,000 a year 
in certain aspects of it, and they employ Americans in a way that 
Americans have kind of forgotten that it can be that way.
  It is meaningful to me. We were in Illinois when I was born. My 
family moved to Louisiana because someone called my father and said: 
You know, Jim, if you move to Louisiana, you can sell to the people 
working at Esso, and you can make a good living.
  So even though my father didn't work in the energy industry, he was 
one of those who benefited and made a living, which allowed me to go to 
medical school. I was the first generation in our family to go to 
college and go to medical school, and now I am a U.S. Senator. What an 
incredible privilege, all created by energy jobs.
  One thing this bill does is it opens up a little more of Alaska for 
energy development--2,000 acres. One of my colleagues said smaller than 
the airport in Fargo, ND. I have never been there, but 2,000 acres is 
not a whole lot of land, But on those 2,000 acres, there is a lot of 
oil beneath.
  Why is that important? We as a country can make a decision to be 
energy secure or not. If we are going to be energy secure, it means we 
are going to produce our own energy. This is not to rule out 
renewables, but for the moment we are going to continue as a country to 
consume natural gas and oil. We can buy it from countries such as in 
the Middle East where environmental standards are not as strict as 
ours, but when we do that, not only are we sending our jobs and revenue 
overseas, but we are also, in effect, endorsing their lower 
environmental standards, and that overall pollutes the environment.
  On the other hand, if we buy from ourselves--using American workers, 
creating American jobs, using American environmental standards--not 
only do we get the benefits to the family and the benefits to the 
environment, but we have the national security benefit of being able to 
be energy secure.
  Now, this is powerful. I first became aware of it, I think, in middle 
or maybe elementary school. I went to St. Luke's Episcopal Church. 
There was a guy there named Thor. What a great name, Thor. Thor told me 
his father was a pipefitter and was at that moment in Alaska working on 
the Alaska Pipeline. That was 40 years ago, so maybe my memory is a 
little fuzzy on everything but Thor's name. The point is, a fellow from 
Louisiana was going to Alaska, making great money, being able to 
provide for his family back home. That is a good thing.
  As we develop our energy resources on the North Slope of Alaska, 
using American environmental standards, creating American jobs, we are 
changing the life of families like my family and for perhaps the family 
of the man I remember going to middle school with long ago.
  I mentioned Thor's father was a pipefitter. Now, it is not just on 
those 2,000 acres. There will be a way of transporting that oil that is 
produced elsewhere. In South Louisiana, we make boats--boats that 
actually work off rigs and can create jobs both in the boatyard and in 
the maritime industry.
  Thor's father was a pipefitter. You pipe out your oil, and you create 
jobs in that way. That comes to mind because when I was first elected 
to the Senate, I was going to a committee hearing, and some union 
fellows from Ohio came up to me to ask that I endorse the construction 
of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Of course, I have always been in favor of 
it so they had my vote, but they made the point: We are union laborers. 
We work on the job. When we say there is $40,000 created in the 
building of a pipeline--sure, we may only be on the job for 6 weeks, 
but then we go to another job for 6 more weeks and another job for 6 
more weeks.

[[Page S7687]]

  I was struck that these working families benefit not from the actual 
production of America's natural resources but from the transportation 
of America's natural resources. So the economic benefit to working and 
middle-income families doesn't just stop with those who are perhaps 
doing the drilling, but it continues downstream and, as I mentioned 
earlier, even extends to a family like mine.
  Now, let me mention another aspect of this that brings benefits to 
our working families and to our middle-class families. One thing I was 
helpful with was the restoration of the historic tax credit. The 
historic tax credit is a Federal tax credit first made permanent by 
President Ronald Reagan that allows somebody to go to an older building 
in a community and to restore it, returning it to commerce. So instead 
of a portion of our architectural heritage being destroyed, it is 
refurbished and is there for future generations to enjoy. More than the 
kind of aesthetics of seeing an older building become beautiful once 
more, it creates jobs.
  Now, let's go back to this legislation, creating better jobs for 
working and middle-income families. First, it affects everybody. More 
than 40 percent of the projects under the historic tax credit program 
in the last 15 years have been in towns of less than 25,000 people. In 
my State, since 2002, the historic tax credit has contributed to 782 
projects being built, bringing $2.2 billion worth of investment into 
these cities and towns across my State.
  Now, when you have that much money, you create lots of jobs. It is 
thought, nationwide, according to the study by the National Park 
Service, the historic tax credit has encouraged more than $131 billion 
in private investment, rehabbing 42,000 buildings, creating more than 
2.4 million trade jobs, returning a net positive to the U.S. Treasury.
  Since fiscal year 2002, in Louisiana alone, it has, again, fostered 
more than $2.5 billion in private investment, creating more than 38,000 
jobs. These are jobs--construction jobs, rehabilitation jobs--that 
allow a family to live with a good living wage. That is part of this 
legislation.
  I should mention one thing in particular very topical on the historic 
tax credit. The World Trade Center of New Orleans is currently being 
refurbished. It was built in the 1960s and is being transformed into a 
world-class hotel condominium complex. It brings the city of New 
Orleans $400 million in infrastructure spending, 1,600 jobs in 
construction trades, as well as more than 450 permanent, full-time 
jobs. Instead of a crumbling eyesore, you have a jewel, but more than a 
jewel, you have 1,600 jobs created and 450 permanent jobs.
  Let me mention the last thing that benefits working and middle-class 
families. My friends on the other side of the aisle talked about 
supposed negative effects on Social Security and Medicare. I am a 
doctor. I have been working in the public hospital system of Louisiana 
for 25 years. I understand the importance of safety net programs, if 
you will, like Medicare that allow our senior citizens to have the 
healthcare they need.
  The dirty little secret is that, according to the people who run 
Medicare and Social Security, those trust funds are going bankrupt--
bankrupt. Under the Obama administration, they tried to address it by 
raising taxes, so they put a higher income tax on people, and the trust 
funds are still going bankrupt. Under ObamaCare, there were different 
things to try to save money within the system, delivery system reforms, 
and some are, frankly, good ideas--although I opposed ObamaCare, in 
general, some of these were good ideas, and I continue to endorse 
them--and the trust funds are still going bankrupt. So it raised taxes, 
we are trying to save money, and the trust funds are still going 
bankrupt. What can we do to try and rescue these programs that are so 
significant, so important to senior citizens, to all of us in this 
country--Social Security and Medicare in particular.
  What about economic growth? I did an analysis once with another man 
which shows that if we just return to the economic growth that is 
common in our country--about 3.5 percent GDP growth per year--we will 
fully fund our trust funds for Medicare and Social Security.
  Keep in mind, although we are cutting rates for corporations, the 
rates for funding Medicare and Social Security are staying where they 
are. So if our economy is doing better year over year, there will be 
more money going into these trust funds, not because the rates are 
higher--the rates remain the same--but because there is more money to 
apply the rates to.
  Is it reasonable to have that kind of growth? Absolutely. From 1946 
to the beginning of President Obama's administration, through 10.5 
recessions--including one-half of the great recession--we averaged over 
3 percent growth as a country. Now, under President Obama's Presidency, 
it was about 2 percent growth, and 2 percent versus 3.5 is all the 
difference in the world because it compounds. It goes like this if it 
is 2 percent, it goes like this if it is 3.5 percent, and at the end of 
10, 15, or 20 years, those differences are remarkable.
  I will say, under President Trump, for the last two quarters we have 
had over 3 percent GDP growth. Republicans take over, and the economy 
begins to do better. In the next quarter, it is estimated that it will 
be over 3 percent. With this legislation, increasing the amount of 
money families have in their pockets, building out our energy resources 
as we are in Alaska, creating jobs for Americans across the way, using 
things like the historic tax credit, returning money to the Treasury, 
but also creating American jobs will create that prosperity, that 
economic growth, so that instead of the 2-percent growth that we have 
had for the last 8 years, we have the 3.5-percent growth that we 
historically have had. That is a promise of this legislation. That will 
restore funding for Social Security and Medicare. That is the answer 
that has eluded the other side.

  Mr. President, before I yield back, I ask unanimous consent that 
there now be 30 minutes, equally divided, for debate only, with no 
amendments or motions in order, and with the majority leader being 
recognized at the conclusion of that time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. CASSIDY. I yield back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, for this tranche, I believe we will have 
Senator Durbin lead off for us and then Senator Nelson and Senator 
Bennet. Each is going to try to take around 5 minutes.
  Senator Durbin.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Senator Durbin.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, what happens when you decide to write a 
tax bill that changes the economy of the United States of America, you 
don't have adequate hearings to gauge what is going to happen, you 
don't bring in the experts to try to tell you what the impact will be 
on individual families and businesses, and you stick around until 5 
o'clock on a Friday night and you hand out the work product for all of 
the Members of the Senate to take a look at before they vote on changes 
in the Tax Code that will affect the people they represent?
  This is what happens: 479 pages were handed to us. They tell us that 
some of this has been around for a while, and some of it is new. They 
don't tell us which part is new and which part is old. Lucky for us, on 
K Street--and there is nothing wrong with lobbyists--where the Federal 
lobbyists live, they are following this really closely, and they have 
given us basically a cheat sheet, a scorecard, so we can figure out, at 
least generally speaking, how many changes have been made in the 479 
pages since the last time we saw this proposed bill.
  I defy any Member of the Senate to stand here and take an oath that 
they have read this and understand what in the world it means to 
businesses, families, and individuals. If they want to take that oath, 
and maybe some will, then I refer them, ladies and gentlemen of the 
American jury, to exhibit A, page 257 out of the 479.
  Why do I pick this page? Because they didn't have time to type it. 
They wrote it out in longhand. We are not even teaching cursive in a 
lot of schools anymore, but someone on the staff knew it enough to try. 
The problem is, they wrote it in cursive along the margin here. It is 
about subchapter

[[Page S7688]]

S corporations and how much tax they paid and what they don't pay. I 
defy anybody to read it because the problem was, when they copied it, 
they chopped off lines so there aren't full sentences here. They are 
like little phrases and words.
  This is your Senate at work. This is what happens when you push 
through a bill late at night, desperate to pass it, without really 
stopping to ask yourself: Will this make us a stronger nation? Will 
this help legitimate businesses that want to expand and create jobs? Is 
this good for American families?
  The Joint Committee on Taxation told us yesterday--that is our 
scorekeeper; they are the ones who we hired to be our scorekeeper; they 
are nonpartisan--what they learned about this bill before we got the 
new version, with the new amendments. Our friends on K Street were 
happy to tell us what the listings were. They told us that this 
starting bill will add $1 trillion to the national debt--so our kids 
and grandkids can pay it off--to pay for the tax cuts. They also told 
us that the predicted economic growth that is supposed to come out of 
these pages of 4, 5 percent a year is 0.8 percent. Is it not? Am I 
right?
  Mr. WYDEN. Correct.
  Mr. DURBIN. They also told us that the biggest beneficiaries under 
this Tax Code--this Joint Committee on Taxation--happen to be the 
wealthiest people in America--surprise--and the biggest corporations. 
They told us that, at least in the second 10 years--maybe before--
regular middle-income families are going to pay higher taxes because of 
this. They let us know, and we knew already, what is going to happen to 
programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. You see, when 
you run up the national debt and you want to try to balance the books--
our Republican friends have been very open about this. They want to cut 
the benefits under Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to try to 
balance the books.
  America, are you ready for this? Are you ready for senior citizens 
who are counting on that Social Security check to get a cut in benefits 
to pay for a tax cut, a tax giveaway to the wealthiest people in 
America? Are you ready to see Medicare cut--that is, reimbursement for 
seniors for medical expenses--in order to make sure that the biggest 
corporations in America get a tax break? Are you ready to see Medicaid, 
which has as its major expense taking care of seniors in nursing 
homes--benefits cut in order to give an incentive for businesses to 
move jobs overseas? That is what this is all about.
  Here is the reality. As a percentage of gross domestic product, 
American corporations have never been more profitable--never. As a 
percentage of gross domestic product, American corporations have never 
paid less in Federal taxes.
  What is the Republican response to that? Cut corporate taxes. Why? 
Shouldn't we be focused on doing what is necessary so that middle-
income families have a fighting chance to pay their bills and put some 
money away for their kids and their future? Shouldn't we be working on 
helping small and medium-sized corporations instead of the big boys?
  That is what I think we should focus on. I don't know for sure that 
this bill doesn't do that. In fact, nobody does. Nobody knows what is 
in here--479 pages. If they tell you they do, then ask them to explain 
page 257. Ask them to try to read this. I have tried. This is going to 
change the tax law of America in ways that we can't even explain. We 
have to get this done because the Senate has done little or nothing 
this year, and so they are desperate to get something done before the 
end of the year. Sadly, it is a tax bill that we have just been handed 
1 hour and 50 minutes ago.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I want to thank my colleague from Illinois 
for a very insightful analysis, and his skills as a handwriting expert 
may be necessary as the Senate Finance Committee tries to divine what 
that particular page actually means. I thank my colleague for trying to 
unpack a byzantine area of subchapter S tax law.
  Mr. DURBIN. If the Senator from Oregon would yield for just a moment, 
I would like to ask consent that this infamous page 257 be made a part 
of the Record after my speech, but I am really sorry for the members of 
the staff who have to try to write this out--type it out.
  Mr. WYDEN. Their eyes are being strained as we speak.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection.
  Mr. WYDEN. I yield to the Senator from Florida.
  Mr. NELSON. Mr. President, this is, in effect, a massive transfer of 
wealth under the guise of tax reform and under repeating the statement: 
It will help the middle class. You can repeat a statement, but that 
doesn't mean it is true. You have to look at what the facts are. I 
think you have heard a number of the speeches that will refute this--
that it is not middle-class tax relief. It certainly isn't when a lot 
of those so-called tax cuts for the middle class will evaporate; they 
will cease to exist after 7 or 8 years.
  Let's take another part of this tax bill, the child tax credit. We 
are going to have a couple of amendments out of here on the floor 
tonight. We are going to have one that is going to increase the tax 
credit substantially, like $3,000 per child. When you compare that to 
the current existing Republican bill, they have a tax credit that, in 
fact, if you have more than three children, if you have a large family, 
you are going to be penalized. That is what the facts are.
  Let's see how the votes come later this evening on two amendments. 
One is a Democratic amendment, and one is a Republican amendment. As to 
the child tax credit, let's see what the majority of our friends who 
are trying to ram this through in the dead of night do. Let's see what 
happens, because, clearly, their tax bill does not do enough.
  This Senator has long supported increasing the child tax credit, 
including cosponsoring Senator Brown's amendment to increase the credit 
and make it easier for those who are in a low-income situation to claim 
that credit. I am going to continue to support increases for this tax 
credit for the middle class, as long as it is done in a fiscally 
responsible and thoughtful way. It doesn't make any difference who is 
proposing it. Let's see how the votes come out here on these two 
amendments.
  Unfortunately, the bill that is before us does it backward because it 
actually increases those who have a number of children. We should be 
doing the opposite. I hope that we will find a way to drastically 
change this bill. Instead of limiting the child tax credit, let's go in 
and make the corporate income tax not at 20 percent but at 22 percent 
or 25 percent in order to fund the child tax credit to help those on 
the bottom line of the economic ladder.
  We should be coming together in a bipartisan manner to flip the 
priorities in this bill and to significantly increase the child tax 
credit. Obviously, that is what the American people want, but that is 
not the bill of goods that you are getting sold here tonight. By saying 
something is something, that doesn't make it so. It is what the facts 
are.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, my colleague has a parliamentary inquiry, 
and then we will go to Senator Bennet.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, parliamentary inquiry.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic whip.
  Mr. DURBIN. I submitted page 257 of the amendment to be placed in the 
Record and you gave unanimous consent for that to happen. I have now 
been instructed that the personnel at the Senate cannot read this page 
the way it is currently written. Could I have this entered in the 
Record just as written with the handwritten notations on the side? 
Could I enter it as a graphic or artwork or something like that?
  I ask the Presiding Officer, does that mean if the amendment has this 
page in it, that the amendment cannot be filed?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment can be filed with handwritten 
changes, but the staff will have to change those later or correct them.
  Mr. DURBIN. I would like to ask a further parliamentary inquiry. Why 
didn't they accept page 257 after I received consent to put it in the 
Record?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment has not been filed yet. Consent 
was accidentally----
  Mr. DURBIN. Parliamentary inquiry. This page, which is part of the 
tax bill,

[[Page S7689]]

257, as written, cannot be filed in the Senate because no one can read 
it; is that correct?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment has not yet been filed. It can 
be filed in that form.
  Mr. DURBIN. Parliamentary inquiry. Why can't this page be filed in 
that form?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The amendment as shown with the handwritten 
text cannot be printed in that graphic form.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, parliamentary inquiry.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. When this is filed, we want the American people to know 
what has actually been written on the side.
  Will it be possible, as part of Senator Durbin's statement, to add 
this ``written on the side'' portion as part of his statement so that 
the American people will actually know how outrageous this process is 
and that it at least states, as part of his speech, what is written in 
the margin? Can that be stated as part of his statement?
  Would the Chair answer the question?
  My question is, when the amendment is filed, I would like to ensure 
that the important point my colleague has made about what is written in 
the margin could be included as part of his written statement that will 
be entered into the Record so that the American people can get some 
sense of what kind of flimflam is actually taking place here.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. When the amendment is filed----
  Mr. WYDEN. Thank you.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The text will appear in linear format with any 
errors that may be in it.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I have the greatest respect for the Senate 
staff, and I am not trying to say anything negative about them. I was 
hoping that this could be entered into the Record, and I asked for 
unanimous consent to enter it, believing that the handwritten portion 
would show up in the Record. I have since been advised that there will 
have to be translators and interpreters who will have to decide exactly 
what this says before it is actually part of the Congressional Record. 
I think that I have made my point as to where we stand in preparation 
of tax reform for America.
  Thank you.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I yield to the Senator from Colorado.
  Mr. BENNET. Mr. President, talk about the swamp. All of the folks who 
voted in this election do not have the swamp in Washington, DC--they 
are watching this happen right in front of their eyes tonight. We have 
a bunch of amendments that were dropped in by lobbyists here last night 
that we haven't seen, except that we received a list from them, and we 
have illegible amendments now at the desk that, even if we could read 
them, we wouldn't be able to. It just doesn't make any sense.
  I will tell you something else that doesn't make any sense. It 
doesn't make any sense that, in our economy, 90 percent of our folks--
the bottom 90 percent--earned the same amount of income as the top 10 
percent. The top 10 percent earned 50 percent of the income in this 
country, and the bottom 90 percent earned the other 50 percent. You can 
see the direction that these lines have headed over a number of years.
  That is the issue that we confront in our economy. That is what we 
all should be working on in a bipartisan way to try to address. 
Unfortunately, instead of improving the circumstances for people in the 
bottom 90 percent of earners, the decision has been made, because of an 
economic philosophy that has to do with trickle-down economics, to give 
the benefits to the people who are doing pretty well--and not just 
pretty well but better than they have done since 1928, and we stated 
earlier today on this floor what a miracle the tax policies were in the 
early 1920s.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Perdue). The Democrats' time has expired.
  Mr. BENNET. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent for an additional 
2 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BENNET. I thank my colleague from Pennsylvania.
  In addition, we cannot afford to do this. Right now, we are 
collecting, before this tax cut goes into effect, 18 percent of our 
gross domestic product in taxes and revenue. We are spending 21 percent 
of our gross domestic product, and that leaves us with a deficit.
  Because this place lacks the courage to deal with the issues that we 
must confront, unlike our parents and grandparents, we have hollowed 
out discretionary spending. We are spending 35 percent less than we 
were in 1980 as a percentage of our GDP.
  Yesterday, we had testimony in the Armed Services Committee that we 
need a trillion additional dollars to modernize our defense. We know 
how dangerous this world is with what is happening on the Korean 
Peninsula and with what is happening in the Middle East.
  Why was it OK for our parents and grandparents to invest in us, but 
we are unwilling to invest in the next generation of Americans? Not 
only are we unwilling to invest in them, but we are saddling them with 
the debt that has arisen from our inability to make proper decisions. 
We are doing it now in plain sight of budget projections that show that 
the money is just not here.
  I think we have a decision to make as to whether we want to live up 
to the example our parents and grandparents set for us and whether we 
are willing to make the kinds of investments in the next generation 
that they were willing to make in us.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, just before we wrap up, I have heard 
Republicans talk constantly about how this process is being conducted 
by regular order. I have never seen in my time in public service, when 
talking about $10 trillion worth of tax policy changes and the biggest 
tax bill in three decades, something along the lines of the flimflam 
that we have been talking about, with handwritten changes in the 
margins about something that conceivably will affect vast sums of 
taxpayer money.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  The Senator from Florida.
  Mr. RUBIO. Mr. President, as most of my colleagues know by now, we 
have been working for I believe about a year and a half--certainly 
throughout this tax reform process--to address the issue of the child 
tax credit in an effort to increase it. I am grateful that in this 
process, we have been able to increase the child tax credit to $2,000. 
That will help a lot of people.
  I have been asked by some people: Why isn't that enough? Why aren't 
you happy with that? The answer is that the people we most want to help 
are not going to be able to fully use it, and here is why. For them, 
for people who are making $30,000 or $40,000 or $50,000--you are a 
construction worker; you are a teacher; you are a firefighter; you are 
a welder; you are a bus driver--the backbone of America's workers--
their main tax liability is their payroll tax. Unless you allow the tax 
credit to apply fully not just to their income tax--many of whom don't 
have a high income tax liability but a payroll tax--they are not going 
to enjoy the full benefit. The result is kind of absurd if you do one 
without the other. The result is, if you make $500,000 a year and you 
have enough kids, you can use the whole credit, but if you don't make 
that much money--if you make, say, $25,000 a year--you won't get nearly 
as much of the credit even though you have paid the taxes. It kind of 
doesn't make any sense, right?
  We are trying to help people with the cost of raising children by 
allowing them to keep more of their own money. It is the people who 
make less who need it the most, and when you only do half of it, which 
is the $2,000 increase, you only get it half right. So it is good, and 
there are people who are going to be helped by that, but we could have 
helped so much more.
  The bill we have today, which is before us here and will be before us 
in a few minutes when there is a substitute provided, cuts the 
corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. A reduction in the 
corporate tax rate is something that I strongly support because I think 
it makes America more competitive and, in the process, is going to help 
a lot of these same people whom

[[Page S7690]]

we are trying to help. I know that sounds countercyclical, but it does 
because when these corporations are able to save money in taxes, many 
of them will use some of that money to create new jobs and hire more 
people. That money--some of it will be reinvested and perhaps even flow 
toward workers in the form of higher wages over time.
  These are positive things, so I am not against a reduction of the 
corporate tax rate. In fact, I ran for President, for the Senate, and 
for reelection to the Senate on the promise of reducing the corporate 
tax rate to 25 percent. So 20 percent goes well beyond that. However, 
in order to be able to pass something that pays for it, because you 
have to--and people don't know this back home, so I will just kind of 
explain it--this bill allows us roughly about $1.5 trillion over the 
next 10 years of spending over revenue. Now, we think that the growth 
in the economy is going to more than offset that, but for purposes of 
the rules of the Senate, it has to be within those parameters.
  In order for us to offer an amendment that provides an increase in 
the child tax credit at a rate that we want to do it--about $86.9 
billion--we have to find $86.9 billion somewhere in order to be able to 
do it. Initially, instead of cutting the corporate tax rate from 35 to 
20, we proposed cutting it from 35 to 22. It is still a massive cut. It 
is still well below the international average of 23. It still puts us 
in third place among the seven largest economies in the world. But that 
was met with significant resistance.
  We have always said that we would be open to an additional way or a 
different way of doing it, so today when the substitute amendment is 
offered, we are going to offer an amendment, Senator Lee and I. Instead 
of 22 percent, it is going to propose that we reduce the corporate tax 
from 35 to 20.94 percent. Basically, instead of a 15-percent reduction, 
it will be a 14.06-percent reduction, OK? The difference between what 
is in the bill and what we are proposing is less than 1 percentage 
point of reduction in the corporate tax rate--0.94 percent. With less 
than that 1 percent difference, we can make a huge difference in the 
lives of millions of Americans making between $20,000 and $50,000, as 
an example. That would generate about $87.4 billion, and we could use 
$86.9 billion of it to allow working families with children to keep 
more of their own money to pay for the costs of raising their children. 
I will remind you of who these people are. These are teachers, 
firefighters, welders, construction workers, truck drivers--the working 
class.
  We didn't even have to do that, to be frank. From last night to 
today, the leadership and those working on this--and they have worked 
very hard--found an additional approximately $260 billion to cut even 
more taxes for businesses. I have no problem with that. I want America 
to be super competitive. But somehow, through some political jiujitsu 
or some sort of magical formula, $260 billion appeared to provide even 
further cuts, and that is fine. I just wish that some of that jiujitsu 
and political magic had been employed on behalf of the millions of 
Americans making between $20,000, $50,000, and $60,000 a year because 
they need our help.
  What has been the opposition to this? Frankly, some of it is untrue. 
Some of it is offensive. Some of the opposition I have heard is that 
the people who would benefit from this tax cut don't pay taxes. They 
don't pay income tax or a lot of income tax, but they pay tax. If at 5 
o'clock today you left your job as a construction worker and you 
received your paycheck, they took money out of your paycheck. When they 
take $200 out of your paycheck, it doesn't matter if it says FICA or if 
it says income tax withholding; it is $200. It is the same money, and 
you have $200 less of it. That is a tax. Anytime the government takes 
your money, it is a tax.
  I have had people tell me, including people in the administration, 
that they don't pay taxes. I have had people say that they don't 
generate economic growth, which is, in my mind, No. 1, not true, and 
No. 2, the wrong way to think about it. You see, our economy should be 
working for our people, not our people for our economy, and when you 
talk that way, you have it wrong.
  I also disagree that they don't generate growth because when you make 
$50,000, you spend every penny that you make. I know these people. I 
live in West Miami, FL, and West Miami is a small, little city. It is 
three-quarters of a square mile. I have lived there since 1985. The 
average income is $38,000 a year. If you make $38,000 a year, you spend 
every penny, especially if you are raising children.
  I do not care how much people tell you to put some money aside and 
save it for the future; you cannot because everything costs more and 
there are unexpected costs. You bought brandnew shoes in September for 
school, and by November they either have a hole or they no longer fit. 
You bought them a backpack in August for back-to-school, and by 
November or December, it has a hole in it or something broken and you 
have to pay for it. Costs constantly come up that you haven't 
anticipated.
  Where do they spend this money? In our economy. So, yes, maybe they 
don't generate as much growth as a Fortune 500 company, but they have 
to spend every penny of it, so they do generate growth.
  I have even heard terms used like ``It is a black hole'' and ``It is 
welfare.'' It is not welfare; it is their money. I heard one newspaper 
editorial say that it is anti-work. How could a tax credit that you 
can't get unless you are working be anti-work? I will tell you what is 
anti-work: a package of benefits from the government that you get--
which is worth more than this tax credit--that you are eligible for if 
you don't work.

  I want you to tell the worker at a Head Start facility--think about 
this. You are a teacher at a Head Start pre-K, and you make too much 
money for your children to go to Head Start, but you don't make enough 
to be able to afford child care for your own kids. That is happening 
all over this country, and somehow there are black holes that we can't 
even find $86.9 billion to help them just a little bit more.
  The second argument we have heard is that we can't cut the corporate 
tax rate because it is going to hurt growth. OK. You are telling me 
that if we have a corporate tax rate that goes from 35 percent to 20.94 
percent, that is going to hurt growth. Twenty percent is the most 
phenomenal thing we have ever done for growth, but if you add 0.94 
percent to that, it is a catastrophe. We are going to lose thousands of 
jobs. Come on--especially when you add that to the fact that they are 
going to be able to immediately expense their investments, when you add 
that to the fact that they are going to repatriate money abroad to the 
United States with the lower tax rates. When you add all the things 
that we have done, argue all you want, but don't please don't tell me 
that 0.94 percent is going to somehow lead to less economic growth 
because it is just not true.
  We are going to have a vote later today. I don't know how many votes 
they are going to make us have in order to pass this; there are all 
kinds of procedural things that happen here. But I can tell you that 
this is about a lot more than just tax reform. We have a big problem 
that perhaps this tax reform debate has revealed; that is, the only way 
forward in this country is one that is pro-worker and pro-growth, and 
you cannot have one without the other. I can tell you that in this 
country today, there are millions and millions of people who have been 
hurt by the new economy. The new economy is great. There is nothing we 
can do to turn it back. The future is here, and you cannot go back to 
the past.
  We should embrace the new economy. It has created extraordinary 
wealth for people who are innovators or people who have the right 
careers or right jobs. I don't begrudge it. I am glad that it is 
happening. But when you have a new economy, just as when we had the 
Industrial Revolution, there are some people who are going to be hurt 
and we have to help them in that transition because if we don't help 
them, we are going to break the social compact that holds our Nation 
together. I am not claiming that the child tax credit will solve that 
problem by itself. I am telling you that if we aren't even willing to 
do another $86 billion of allowing people to keep their own money--not 
even willing to do something as small as this--we are not willing to do 
anything for working people in this country, and that is a big problem. 
That is

[[Page S7691]]

an enormous challenge for our Nation. These people have felt neglected 
and disrespected for a long time.
  I want to be very careful, but I want to be clear about what I am 
saying. The political debate in America today is either all about 
helping the very poor--and I support the safety net. I don't think free 
enterprise works without a safety net. It should be there to help 
people who cannot help themselves, to help people stand back up on 
their feet and try again. The political debate is also all about 
helping the business community, and I support that because we need 
vibrant economic growth to create jobs and opportunity.
  But what about everyone else? What about the people who make $50,000 
a year? They make too much money for CHIP, for pre-K paid for them by 
the government through Head Start, for ObamaCare subsidies, too much 
for government benefits, but they don't make nearly enough to afford 
the cost of living. What about them? What is in it for them?
  Yes, there is going to be economic growth and there are going to be 
wage increases, but not for everyone, not in this new economy in which 
the haves and have-nots are largely divided between those who have the 
right skills and right degrees and those who do not, and that has gone 
unaddressed for a very long time. I am telling you, if we do not 
address it, we leave our Nation vulnerable to two dangerous political 
extremes--radical socialism on the left and ethnic nationalism on the 
right--and neither of them are true to the American principles that 
created the greatest Nation on Earth.
  Again, I am not here to tell you that the child tax credit solves 
that problem. I am here to tell you that if we can't even do that, it 
is evidence of our unwillingness to do beyond it the tasks that need to 
be done. We have a major challenge in this Nation. All we are asking 
for and all I implore my colleagues to vote for--I know that for people 
on the other side of the aisle, this doesn't go far enough. I 
understand it; I do. I know you want to get to a higher number; I know 
you want it to apply to more people. I promise you, I did too. I wanted 
it to be $2,500. I am trying to figure out in this constitutional 
Republic, which cannot be a zero-sum game, how we can make things 
better if we do not make them perfect.
  And on the other side of the aisle, I implore my colleagues to 
believe that this is not a black hole, and this is not welfare. These 
are the teachers, firefighters, neighbors, and friends who are 
struggling because everything costs so much more. Why can't we just 
help them keep a little bit more of their own money? Really, is a 20.94 
percent corporate tax rate going to hurt growth, especially if it will 
help us provide a little bit more assistance for the people who, today, 
desperately need our help?
  I hope I can earn the support of as many of my colleagues as 
possible. It won't make this bill perfect. It doesn't go far enough for 
some, but it will make it better.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that there now be 
30 minutes, equally divided, for debate only, with no amendments or 
motions in order, and the majority leader be recognized at the 
conclusion of that time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, we are going to have several of our 
colleagues on our side, and we will start with Senator Sanders.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, as I think about what is going on here 
today, I think this is in many ways a historic day, a day that 
historians will look back on--December 1, 2017--and they will conclude 
that today is the day of one of the great robberies, of criminal 
activities, if you like, in the modern history of this country. The 
Federal Treasury is being looted tonight. As we speak, there are 
lobbyists all over Capitol Hill, writing down in handwriting, 
amendments to this bill to give hundreds of millions, if not billions, 
of dollars in tax breaks to large corporations. As we speak, they are 
probably still writing those amendments.
  Meanwhile, this Senate, this Republican-led Senate has been unable to 
reauthorize the CHIP program, the health insurance program for low-
income children. They didn't have enough time to do that. We have been 
unable to reauthorize the Community Health Center Program, providing 27 
million people with health insurance. We don't have the time to do 
that. But tonight we are presumably going to pass legislation when, at 
a time of massive income and wealth inequality, 62 percent of the tax 
benefits go to the top 1 percent, and 10 years from now, millions and 
millions of middle-class Americans will be paying more in taxes.
  I have not the slightest doubt, as I have said before, that after the 
Republicans pass this huge tax giveaway to the wealthy and large 
corporations, they will be back on the floor of the Senate, and when 
they come back, they will say: Oh, my goodness, the deficit is too 
high. We have to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, 
and nutritional programs. In other words, in order to give tax breaks 
to billionaires and to launch profitable corporations, they are going 
to cut programs for the elderly, the children, the working families of 
this country, and the poor. This legislation will go down in history as 
one of the worst, most unfair pieces of legislation ever passed.
  I say to my Republican colleagues, as you saw on November 7, the 
American people are catching on. They are demanding a government that 
does not simply work for corporate lobbyists but works for the middle 
class. They are demanding a tax system that says to the wealthy and 
large corporations: You are going to start paying your fair share of 
taxes, and, no, we are not going to cut Social Security; we are going 
to expand Social Security. We are not going to cut Medicare; we are 
going to move to a ``Medicare for all'' healthcare system. The American 
people are catching on.
  While Republicans may get away with this act of looting tonight, 
history is not on their side. The day will come, and it will come 
sooner rather than later, when we are going to have a government here 
that represents all of us, not just the Koch brothers, not just the 
billionaire class, not just wealthy campaign contributors.
  I yield.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I want to talk about one of the truly pro-
growth features in this tax reform that is going to encourage 
investment in the United States, new business creation, startup, 
expansion, and hiring that will be associated with that. That means new 
jobs, more demand for workers, and higher wages.
  What am I referring to? I am referring to one of the things we do on 
the business side of this tax reform. The way I think about it, there 
are several big features that are going to drive economic growth on the 
business side of the Tax Code. One is certainly lowering the top rate 
from the 35 percent that makes us uncompetitive in the global economy 
to 20 percent, which puts us pretty close to dead even among our 
competitors. That is one. That is an important part.
  The second one that I think is even more powerful is simply allowing 
businesses to recognize, for tax purposes, expenses when they actually 
occur. Allow businesses, when they buy equipment and put that equipment 
to work in a factory or when buying earth-moving equipment or new 
machinery, to recognize that cost when it occurs. By allowing them to 
recognize that cost when it occurs, they can afford to purchase more of 
that equipment.
  Why is that important?
  That is important because that is the source of enhanced worker 
productivity. Workers are more productive when they have machinery and 
equipment to work with. This is why capital drives productivity growth. 
It is the investment in that new equipment that creates demand for 
workers but also makes the worker more productive. The example I like 
to use that I think illustrates it reasonably well is this: If you go 
to a construction site and you have two guys working on that site and 
one of them is operating a backhoe and the other is using a shovel, 
they are both digging a hole; they are both moving dirt. Which one do 
you think gets paid more? It is not a close call. The

[[Page S7692]]

guy who is operating the backhoe is getting paid more on every such job 
site in America, not because there is a law that requires it but 
because he is a more productive worker. He has a skill set, and he is 
using major equipment that allows him to be much, much more productive 
than any human being can be with a simple hand tool. That is an 
illustration of how it is that when a company is able to put that 
equipment to work, the worker benefits.
  That worker operator is not the only one who benefits, because 
somebody has to make the backhoe. Someone has to work at the factory 
that builds the backhoe that was bought. So what we are doing when we 
allow this expensing to occur--when we allow businesses, for tax 
purposes, to recognize the expense when it occurs rather than gradually 
over time, we simply make it more affordable for business to put 
capital to work, to buy the kind of equipment to help them grow and 
help them help their workers become more productive. That is why this 
is a very constructive, pro-growth feature in our tax reform that is 
going to be very, very helpful to workers.
  But there is a third feature in our business tax reform that is also 
going to be great for America, and that is going to be our change from 
the current global tax system that we apply on the subsidiaries and 
affiliates of multinational companies--the change away from a global 
system to a territorial system. So what does that mean? So a global 
system is the system we have today, and America is unfortunately almost 
unique in the world in having this very counterproductive system.
  Here is how it works. If a subsidiary of an American company goes 
overseas--say they go to England--and they open a business there 
because they want to serve the English population and they want to sell 
a product in England. So they go to England, they open their business, 
they make a profit, and they have to pay a tax to the English 
Government. That is normal. That is what any company operating there 
has to do.
  What America does, what we do in our Tax Code that almost no one else 
does is, we say: After you have paid that tax to the English 
Government, if you would like to dividend that money back to your 
parent company so it can be invested back home in America, we are going 
to charge you another layer of tax. We are going to make sure the 
combination of what you pay there and what you bring back home hits 35 
percent, which is our current rate. It is completely uncompetitive.
  So, if you think about it, the rest of the world has a different 
system. They have the system which we know as a territorial system, and 
the idea there is the subsidiary in England pays its tax to the English 
Government and then whatever aftertax profit they choose to send home 
to their parent, if it is a French company or German company or a 
company somewhere else in the world, there is no additional tax layer.
  So which country do you think has a competitive advantage doing 
business in England? Anyone other than the United States. This has been 
the very reason that you have seen these inversions, these American 
companies getting acquired by other companies. In many cases, it is not 
about the economics, it is not about synergies, it is because there is 
a tax advantage to having a multinational headquartered almost anywhere 
other than the United States. There are a lot of good jobs at a 
corporate headquarters. There is management and sales and finance and 
planning and all kinds of really good jobs. We are losing these 
systematically because we have this system that nobody else in the 
world has--almost nobody else has--that punishes companies when they 
bring that money back home.
  So what are we going to do? We are going to change our system from 
one of the worst in the world to what I think is going to be one of the 
best. What we are going to do is we are going to say: Well, a company 
operating overseas has to pay that local tax, but we are not going to 
punish that company with another layer of tax when they bring that 
money back home to America and invest here. Most estimates of how much 
money--I should point out, you only get hit with that tax penalty if 
you bring that money home and reinvest it in America. That is how crazy 
this is. It is called the deferral system.
  The common popular estimates by the economists who looked at this is 
that there are somewhere between $2 trillion, maybe even more than $3 
trillion of earnings by the subsidiaries of American-based 
multinationals, where they have paid the tax overseas, as they must, 
but they refuse to bring the money back home because they don't want to 
get hit with this huge tax. So think about all this money that is 
overseas somewhere else and not being invested in America.
  I have had conversations with CEOs who have told me they want to 
invest in the United States, but the tax makes it prohibitively 
expensive to bring it home, and therefore they are looking for 
opportunities overseas where they will not have this tax.
  We have to end this and we are going to end this in this bill and 
that is going to put an end to the tax incentive for these inversions--
the movement overseas of corporate headquarters. It is going to make 
America a great place to invest and to headquarter a multinational 
company, and it is going to encourage that kind of growth. It is one of 
the central pillars of our business tax reform that is very 
constructive and very important.
  I see my colleague from South Dakota is with us, and I will yield the 
floor now to him.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Pennsylvania for 
outlining and highlighting what are, I should say, some of the many 
reforms that are included in this legislation. Now, what he talked 
about is critically important.
  If America is going to be competitive in the global marketplace, we 
have to change our Tax Code because it is completely outdated, 
completely antiquated relative to any of the countries with whom we 
compete. So, as the Senator from Pennsylvania pointed out, the reforms 
we make in this bill allow American companies to compete and win 
against those other countries around the world--the Chinas of the 
world, the Russias of the world. Those countries in which America has 
to compete on a daily basis have a huge advantage over American 
companies today simply because we have a tax code that doesn't 
recognize and reflect what is happening in the global economy, and that 
is why modernizing and updating our tax code was such a critical part 
of our tax reform effort.
  I was listening to my colleague from Vermont, and I think this is a 
really great day in the U.S. Senate. We are getting close to the finish 
line on this tax bill. Over the past 24 hours, I think we have made a 
really great bill even better with more middle-class tax relief and 
more relief for small businesses. We have moved our bill closer to the 
House's bill in key areas, which I think will help us get this bill to 
the President's desk in the very near future. I am excited about what 
this tax bill is going to do for the American people.
  America has always been about opportunity, a place where you could 
start from nothing and become anything. Generations of people have come 
to this country to build a better life for themselves and an even 
better one for their children. My grandparents were those people. They 
came here from Norway back in 1906, started a small merchandising 
company after they had learned the language and worked for a while on 
the railroads that were being built across this country. It later 
became a hardware store, and to this day in Mitchell, SD, there is 
still a store that goes by the name of Thune Hardware. The family is 
not associated with it, but it is an example of the millions of 
Americans or millions of people who came to this country, came to 
America in search of opportunity.
  Unfortunately, in recent years, those vast horizons that so many 
people came to this country for seemed to shrink. The American dream 
has grown dim. Getting ahead has been replaced by getting by. We have 
watched idly as our jobs get shipped overseas, as other countries drop 
their business tax rates to better compete in the global marketplace, 
as emerging economies and developed nations grow faster than the United 
States. Americans now frequently spend more time worrying about their 
future than looking forward to it.

[[Page S7693]]

  We are turning that around starting today with this tax bill. I am 
reminded of Ronald Reagan's Presidential ad noting that ``It's morning 
again in America.'' Well, it may not be morning yet, but the dawn is 
peeking over the horizon.
  The tax bill before us today is going to provide immediate relief to 
hard-working Americans. It is going to immediately lower their tax 
bills. It is going to immediately mean more money in their pockets, but 
this bill is about much more than that. This bill isn't just about 
helping Americans today, although it is most certainly going to do 
that. This bill is about helping Americans for the long term. It is 
about restoring the American dream. It is about giving Americans access 
to the kinds of wages, jobs, and opportunities that will set them up 
for a secure and more prosperous future, and it is about sending a 
message to the world that America is finally serious about competing 
for 21st century jobs and innovation.
  For years, our tax laws have kept American businesses at a 
disadvantage in the global economy. As other nations have changed their 
Tax Codes to strengthen their businesses, our Tax Code has kept 
American businesses struggling, but that ends now. This legislation 
makes a tremendous investment in American businesses and American 
workers. Under this bill, American businesses will no longer face the 
double taxation that has kept them at a disadvantage next to their 
foreign counterparts and has pushed them to keep jobs and investment 
overseas. They will no longer face the highest corporate tax rate in 
the industrialized world. They will no longer be playing catchup with 
their foreign competitors. Instead, American business will have money 
to invest in American workers. They will be able to expand their 
domestic operations, and they will be able to compete with and beat 
their competitors around the globe. What is the result of that? It 
means more growth here at home, more jobs, more opportunities, higher 
wages, and an America that can lead the world in innovation, job 
creation, and economic growth.
  America may have been through a rough patch lately, but she is coming 
back stronger than ever. America led the world in the 20th century, and 
this tax bill makes it clear that she is going to do the same in the 
21st century.
  I hope our colleagues, when it comes time to vote on this tonight, 
will vote in favor of tax relief for middle-income families, vote for a 
stronger, growing, vibrant, robust economy that is creating better 
paying jobs, raising wages for American workers and American families, 
and a brighter, better, and more prosperous future for future 
generations of Americans.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I would just like to set the record 
straight on a couple of points. I have a response to my colleagues who 
continually say this corporate tax cut is going to raise workers' wages 
by $4,000.
  Now, I asked the head of the Joint Committee on Taxation whether that 
was the case. He essentially said, no, he did not believe it was the 
case and referred us to tables that document it.
  Perhaps even more egregious is tonight we heard our colleague from 
Ohio say that a Congressional Budget Office report claims that workers 
are going to get 70 percent of the benefits from a corporate tax cut so 
it was raised even higher.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record 
a portion of the report from the Congressional Budget Office, making it 
clear on the cover where it says the analysis and conclusions expressed 
there should not be interpreted as those of the Congressional Budget 
Office. It directly contradicts the comments made by the Senator from 
Ohio on wages and corporate tax cuts.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

  Working Paper Series, Congressional Budget Office, Washington, D.C.

           International Burdens of the Corporate Income Tax

  William C. Randolph, Congressional Budget Office, Washington, D.C., 
                         August, 2006, 2006-09

       Working papers in this series are preliminary and are 
     circulated to stimulate discussion and critical comment. 
     These papers are not subject to CBO's formal review and 
     editing processes. The analysis and conclusions expressed in 
     them are those of the authors and should not be interpreted 
     as those of the Congressional Budget Office. References in 
     publications should be cleared with the authors. Papers in 
     this series can be obtained at www.cbo.gov (select 
     Publications and then Working Papers).


                                Abstract

       This study applies a simple two-country, five-sector, 
     general equilibrium model based on Harberger (1995, 2006) to 
     examine the long-run incidence of a corporate income tax in 
     an open economy. In equilibrium, capital is assumed to be 
     perfectly mobile internationally in the sense that the 
     country in which a real investment is located does not matter 
     to the marginal investor. In addition, each country is 
     assumed to produce at least some tradable corporate goods for 
     which the country cannot affect world output prices. Like the 
     original Harberger (1962) model, the worldwide stock of 
     capital and the supply of labor in each country are fixed. 
     Under those assumptions, the model provides closed form 
     solutions and easily understood predictions about its 
     comparative static equilibria. As with any simplified model, 
     the analysis is silent about some potentially important 
     issues--such as the effect of the corporate tax on savings, 
     growth and other dynamics--that may also have important 
     effects on corporate tax incidence.
       The analysis shows how the domestic owners of capital can 
     escape most of the corporate income tax burden when capital 
     is reallocated abroad in response to the tax. But, as in 
     Bradford (1978), capital owners worldwide cannot escape the 
     tax. Reallocation of capital abroad drives down the personal 
     return to investment so that capital owners worldwide bear 
     approximately the full burden of the domestic corporate 
     income tax. Foreign workers benefit because an increased 
     foreign stock of capital raises their productivity and their 
     wages. Domestic workers lose because their productivity falls 
     and they cannot emigrate to take advantage of higher foreign 
     wages. Under basic assumptions of the numerical application, 
     the outcome is also similar to the implications of the 
     simpler model of Bradford in that the full worldwide burden 
     falls on domestic owners of productive inputs. That outcome 
     changes, however, under alternative assumptions.
       Burdens are measured in a numerical example by substituting 
     factor shares and output shares that are reasonable for the 
     U.S. economy. Given those values, domestic labor bears 
     slightly more than 70 percent of the burden of the corporate 
     income tax. The domestic owners of capital bear slightly more 
     than 30 percent of the burden. Domestic landowners receive a 
     small benefit. At the same time, the foreign owners of 
     capital bear slightly more than 70 percent of the burden, but 
     their burden is exactly offset by the benefits received by 
     foreign workers and landowners. To the extent that capital is 
     less mobile internationally, domestic labor's burden would be 
     lower and domestic capital's burden would be higher. Burdens 
     can also be affected by the domestic country's ability to 
     influence the world prices of some traded corporate outputs. 
     But the signs and magnitudes of those effects on burden 
     depend upon the relative capital intensities of production in 
     the corporate sectors that produce internationally tradable 
     goods.

  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, if I could have the attention of my 
colleague from Pennsylvania, I would like to pose a question to him on 
a matter. We, as we have indicated, have been digging through the 
amendments. As far as I can tell, what we have is the earlier language 
that imposes a new excise tax on the investment income of large 
university endowments. That has been in the bill, so be it.
  Now, there seems to be a new exception on page 289. The bill says 
that the new tax does not apply to a university otherwise subject to 
the tax if it is described in the first section, which is 511(a)(2)(B), 
and which does not receive Federal funds.
  This is new, and I am trying to figure out why there is this special 
exemption. I can't seem to find other people who are getting it or whom 
it benefits. I thought perhaps my colleague from Pennsylvania could 
enlighten me on this.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I would be happy to enlighten the Senator 
from Oregon. What my provision does is it applies to any college that 
chooses not to receive Federal funds under title IV, which is a very 
big category of funding for higher education. It is the provision that 
authorizes Federal financial student loan programs, for instance.
  So the theory is, which you may or may not agree with, but the view 
is, if a college chooses to forgo Federal money and the students that 
attend have to find their own way to get there, it is diminishing the 
burden that college would otherwise impose on the

[[Page S7694]]

taxpayers, and so it is perfectly reasonable, in my view, to exempt 
such a college from the tax on endowments that we are applying 
generally. That is the answer to your question.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, if my colleague would yield further, what 
is your analysis of how many colleges would benefit from this? The 
reason I ask is, in my view, there are a lot of deserving Oregon 
schools--and I seem to remember quite a few colleges in Pennsylvania--
that also are very deserving, they would not benefit from this, and I 
would like my colleague's assessment of how many colleges would benefit 
from this particular provision.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I think there are very few probably who 
choose now to forgo all of this taxpayer money, but any college in 
America that wanted to could do so. So any college that decided to 
adopt the policy I am alluding to here would choose to forgo the 
taxpayer money subsidizing their students and, if they choose to do 
that, then they wouldn't have to pay tax on their endowment. It would 
apply to any college that made the choice.
  Mr. WYDEN. So is this Hillsdale College--because that is what I have 
been led to believe--and I would like my colleague's analysis of 
whether they would benefit.
  Mr. TOOMEY. I believe that Hillsdale College would qualify for this, 
as would any other college that chooses to forgo title IV funding.
  Mr. WYDEN. I am just not aware of any.
  Mr. TOOMEY. There are other colleges that choose to forgo the 
funding. I am not sure how many of them also have an endowment large 
enough at the moment that it would have an impact on them. I have no 
idea how long it might take them to develop an endowment. But the point 
is, anybody who is in this category would have this same treatment.
  Mrs. McCASKILL. Mr. President, would the Senator answer a question 
about this provision?
  Do you know who the biggest donor was to the Hillsdale College 
endowment?
  Mr. TOOMEY. I do not.
  Mrs. McCASKILL. Would that be the DeVos family, by any chance?
  Mr. TOOMEY. The answer to your question is, I have no idea, and it 
doesn't matter.
  Mrs. McCASKILL. Do you know who added this provision in here?
  Mr. TOOMEY. I advocated this provision.
  Mrs. McCASKILL. What does it have to do with taking title IV money as 
to whether or not your endowment will be taxed? How is that apples and 
apples? It sounds like apples and oranges. What in the world do those 
two have in relation to each other?
  Mr. TOOMEY. Are you finished with your question?
  Mrs. McCASKILL. Yes.
  Mr. TOOMEY. I will answer it again. You may choose to disagree, and 
that is fine. We can have our different opinions on this. But my view 
is, a college that chooses to say ``We don't want to take any Federal 
taxpayer dollars'' and therefore saves the taxpayer I don't know how 
many millions altogether--usually thousands per student--I think it is 
quite reasonable that a college that chooses to not put that imposition 
on the Federal taxpayers ought to be able to be exempt from this tax. 
It would be available to any college that made that choice. Several 
colleges in America make this choice, and any others that choose to 
would be able to participate.
  Mrs. McCASKILL. So the rationale is, if you choose not to take 
Federal money, then your endowment is no longer subject to any tax even 
though the endowment money comes from people who get a deduction for 
the money they give, correct? The endowment comes from donors. I 
thought the reason we were taxing the endowments is because the people 
who were giving the money were getting a tax deduction when they put it 
there.
  Mr. TOOMEY. The point is, the college that is qualifying for this is 
choosing not to impose a tax burden on the American taxpayer. They are 
not allowing their students to take the Federal taxpayer benefits that 
are available to them. They choose not to. They save taxpayers a 
tremendous amount of money when they make that choice. I think it is 
reasonable to allow them not to also have to pay this tax on their 
endowment.
  Mrs. McCASKILL. Are the people who are giving to the endowment still 
allowed to take a tax deduction?
  Mr. TOOMEY. I think people who give to the endowments are treated the 
same as people who give to any other endowment.
  Mrs. McCASKILL. So it doesn't matter, in terms of the people giving 
to the endowments, whether they get a tax deduction, just whether the 
school takes money from the Federal government?
  Mr. TOOMEY. The criteria is, if the school chooses to save Federal 
taxpayers very substantial amounts of money by forgoing the title IV 
funds, then the school would not have to pay the tax.
  Mrs. McCASKILL. My point, Senator, is that the people who are giving 
to the endowment get the exact same tax benefit as people who give to 
any endowment in the country.
  Mr. TOOMEY. And it is a completely irrelevant point. The fact is, the 
school is choosing to save the taxpayers a lot of money by forgoing 
money that would be available to its students. So it is very reasonable 
to have this modest savings that is available to a school that makes 
that choice and saves the taxpayers this money.
  Mrs. McCASKILL. It doesn't feel that way to us. It feels as if this 
is a very limited provision written for a very special person.
  Mr. TOOMEY. It is a universal provision available to any school that 
chooses to take it.
  Mr. MERKLEY. Will my colleague from Pennsylvania yield for a 
question?
  Mr. TOOMEY. Yes.
  Mr. MERKLEY. Is this Hillsdale College the same one that was sued for 
discrimination in the 1980s?
  Mr. TOOMEY. I don't know the history of litigation against most 
colleges, including Hillsdale.
  Mr. MERKLEY. You said you introduced this provision, and so I assumed 
you probably researched this. Isn't the reason this college has not 
taken Federal funds is because it was sued for discrimination?
  Mr. TOOMEY. This is not my understanding. I do understand that my 
colleagues on the far left do not have a fond opinion of Hillsdale, but 
I do. I actually think it is a wonderful institution, and I commend 
them for their choice, as other colleges, of forgoing taxpayer money 
that they could be taking, the burden they could be imposing on 
taxpayers, but they choose not to. I think any college in that 
category, whether it is Hillsdale or any other college, ought not to 
have to pay the tax on the endowment.
  Mr. MERKLEY. You make the point that your colleagues on the left 
don't have a fond opinion of this particular college, but my point is, 
we don't have a fond opinion of discrimination and of giving a tax 
provision for just one college that happens to be funded by one of the 
wealthiest families in America because they happen to be a Republican 
donor. Why would that be a good provision in terms of the United States 
of America, to subsidize a college that quit taking Federal funds 
because of discrimination?
  Mr. TOOMEY. Why would you choose to mischaracterize this provision 
the way you just did? You said it is for one college, and you know that 
is not true. This is criteria available to any college in America, and 
any college that takes it will get that benefit.
  Mr. MERKLEY. Would my colleague provide a list of all the colleges 
that qualify, because our understanding is that only one--this was 
written for one to qualify. And that is why this shouldn't be done at 
the last minute and just stuffed into a tax bill.
  Mr. TOOMEY. If my colleague doesn't like that provision, he can offer 
an amendment to strike it. This is a wide-open process.
  Mr. WYDEN. I am reclaiming my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Democratic time has expired.
  Mr. WYDEN. I ask unanimous consent for 3 additional minutes to 
complete this one question.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. WYDEN. I thank the Chair.
  I was concerned at the beginning because there are so many deserving 
schools in Oregon and Pennsylvania

[[Page S7695]]

and elsewhere that don't get this special treatment, and obviously you 
have heard my colleagues express their concern, and I think it 
transcends somebody's politics.
  So my question now would be--the perfecting amendment has not yet 
been filed. Would my colleague be willing to take his provision out of 
the perfecting amendment and offer it as a separate amendment so we can 
actually have an up-or-down vote? And perhaps by that time, we will 
know how many colleges, if any other than this one, benefit.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, the Senator from Oregon referred to many 
other deserving schools. I don't know which of them choose to forgo 
this taxpayer money, and if any of them do, then they qualify.
  If you do not like the provision, you are free to offer an amendment 
to strike the provision. That would be my recommendation.
  Mr. WYDEN. The answer is no.
  Mr. TOOMEY. I made my recommendation. If you dislike the provision, 
you can offer an amendment.
  Mr. WYDEN. Let the record show that my colleague has said no. And I 
can't find anybody else in America who benefits from this particular 
provision, and that doesn't strike me as right, to have it airdropped 
at the last minute into a bill.
  Mr. President, I believe I am out of time on my consent request.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that there now be 
30 minutes, equally divided, for debate only, with no amendments or 
motions in order, and that the majority leader be recognized at the 
conclusion of that time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Who yields time?
  If no one yields time, time will be equally charged to each side.
  The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I stand in support of the child tax credit. 
It is something that this bill goes a long way toward promoting.
  This is a great day in the sense that the Senate is moving forward 
with promoting the interests of the American family, doing something to 
weaken, to soften the impact of a little known feature called the 
parent tax penalty.
  A lot of people are familiar with the marriage tax penalty in the Tax 
Code. It is a pernicious feature, one that punishes people for getting 
married, one that can produce a series of adverse effects simply by 
saying ``I do.'' That is wrong. Most Americans acknowledge that it is 
wrong. This bill goes a long way toward undoing that.
  There is a different thing called the parent tax penalty that, like I 
say, is less understood, less frequently discussed than it should be.
  Here is how the parent tax penalty works. It is a basic function of 
the interaction between the Federal income tax system on the one hand 
and our Federal senior entitlement programs, on the other--Social 
Security and Medicare.
  Here is how it works. Imagine two hypothetical couples, couple A and 
couple B. Couple A and couple B are identical in every respect but one, 
and that is that they are identical in their income patterns, 
charitable contributions, mortgage interests, so on and so forth, 
except for one characteristic. Couple A has four children, and couple B 
chooses to remain childless.
  Over the course of their lifetimes and while raising their children, 
couple A will, on average--according to what some have described as 
lowball estimates produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture--incur 
around $1 million in childrearing expenses, just the cost of raising 
their children. Couple B, of course, being childless, will not incur 
those same expenses. At the same time, they are paying more or less at 
the same tax rate. There are a few differences in the existing Tax 
Code, but nothing to offset the disparity between the two couples in 
the sense that couple A, while incurring this $1 million in 
childrearing expenses while they are raising their children, is also 
paying into Social Security and Medicare. They are also paying taxes, 
and they are not having their contributions to this solvency of Social 
Security and Medicare adequately taken into account.
  In other words, because Social Security and Medicare are funded on a 
pay-as-you-go basis, we have to remember that it is today's workers who 
are paying the retirement benefits of today's retirees. It is today's 
children who will be tomorrow's workers who will be funding the 
requirement benefits under Social Security and Medicare of today's 
workers and tomorrow's retirees.
  This is what the parent tax penalty is all about. You see, the 
Federal Tax Code doesn't adequately take into account the enormous 
contribution of working parents and contributing toward the solvency 
and sustainability of Social Security and Medicare.
  This is why a little over 4 years ago, back in 2013, I started 
pushing this idea of the need to increase the child tax credit to help 
soften the impact of the parent tax penalty. This is not, to be sure, 
something that is intended to incentivize or compel parenthood. That is 
not our purpose at all. This is not social engineering.
  It is one thing for the government to tell people they have to do 
something or to incentivize them to do another. It is quite another 
thing to simply tell people: We are going to punish you less for 
bringing about the possibility of sustaining Medicare and Social 
Security, for bringing children into this world, and raising tomorrow's 
generation of workers who will pay for the Social Security and Medicare 
benefits of today's workers and tomorrow's retirees.
  This is important, and this is something that I am thrilled to see as 
part of this tax reform package. This tax reform package does, in fact, 
increase the child tax credit to $2,000 per child.
  What I would like to see, and what I have been working on with 
Senator Rubio, is also to increase the refundability of the child tax 
credit, to move that refundability all the way up to $2,000 per child 
and make it refundable up to the amount of taxes paid, including 
payroll taxes--in other words, up to 15.3 percent of earnings.
  What this would do is it would result in an effective cut in the 
payroll tax liability of middle-class, hard-working American moms and 
dads, some of whom might see their payroll tax liability exceed their 
income tax liability. They are still paying taxes.
  Tell a construction worker or a secretary or a police officer that he 
or she is not paying Federal taxes simply because their biggest tax 
liability is found in the payroll tax. In this circumstance, this 
amendment is needed in order to give these people significant tax 
benefits under this bill.
  It is important to remember that some 70 percent of the benefits 
under this bill go to America's corporations and 30 percent to 
individuals. It is our desire to help spread out some of the benefits 
of this and to help spread it out, in particular, to America's hard-
working middle-class moms and dads.
  Now, the Rubio-Lee amendment, in its current formulation, would 
involve a very slight adjustment to the corporate tax rate, taking it 
from 20 percent to 20.94 percent. This is not an enormous difference.
  This reminds me a little bit of a story that I first heard told by 
Emo Philips. Emo Philips described himself as walking across the Golden 
Gate Bridge one night very late. He was alone on the bridge, or so he 
thought, until he got to about halfway across the bridge when he 
discovered he was not alone. He found somebody else standing on the 
outside of the guardrail of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  Emo said: I could tell right away that this man was in trouble, and 
the thought occurred to me that maybe this man is thinking about taking 
the unfortunate step of ending his life by jumping off the bridge.
  Emo said: I stopped and asked the man the first thing that came to 
mind: Do you believe in God?
  The man said: Yes.
  Emo said: Me too. Are you a Christian?
  The man said: Yes.
  Emo said: Me too. What denomination are you?
  The man said: I am a Baptist.
  Emo said: Me too. Are you a northern Baptist or a southern Baptist?
  The man said: I am a northern Baptist.
  Emo said: Me too. Are you a northern fundamentalist Baptist or a 
northern reformed Baptist?
  The man said: I am a northern fundamentalist Baptist.
  Emo said: Me too. Are you a northern fundamentalist Baptist, 
conference of

[[Page S7696]]

1857 or a northern fundamentalist Baptist, conference of 1812?
  The man said: Northern fundamentalist conference of 1857.
  Emo said: Die, you heretic. And he pushed him off the bridge.
  The point here is that sometimes we have to acknowledge that very 
minor differences between us do not make us heretics.
  There is a very minor difference between a corporate tax rate of 20 
percent and a corporate tax rate of 20.94 percent. But that minor 
difference would make all the difference in the world to America's 
hard-working moms and dads, many of whom are on the very cusp of where 
many parents find themselves, especially while their children are 
young.
  Imagine the construction worker, police officer, or school teacher 
who are just making ends meet and who realize that if they were to take 
themselves out of the workforce, they might be able to receive 
government benefits that they are currently not receiving. They might, 
in some ways, find their quality of life going up, at least in the 
sense that they wouldn't have to go to work. We don't want them to have 
to do that, you see, because when they get into that circumstance, they 
might forgo other career opportunities.
  Without that job, there will not be the next job, the next promotion, 
and the next promotion after that. They might find themselves trapped 
in a web of poverty, held down by the very government programs that are 
there to help them.
  That, in turn, might contribute to this growing expanse of the 
Federal Government and might inhibit economic growth.
  You see, sometimes we have to remember that America's ultimate and 
most important investor class is not necessarily just those people 
gathered around the boardroom. They are often in maternity wards or at 
the altar in a church saying ``I do.'' Sometimes the most important 
investments we make are in those children whom we rock to sleep at 
night, whom we raise to be the next generation of taxpayers, the next 
generation of contributors to our great society.
  This is why making sure that the child tax credit is there for them, 
is available to them, and is refundable up to the amount of taxes paid 
is so important.
  These are not freeloaders. These are not people who would be seeking 
a welfare benefit, because the only benefit available to them under 
this child tax credit would be there for them only to the extent that 
they have been working and paying taxes, paying into the system. This 
is an imminently reasonable request.
  In any event, this is a great moment in the very sense that we are 
having this conversation, in the very sense that we are poised right 
now to increase the child tax credit to $2,000 per child. This would go 
a significant way toward offsetting the parent tax penalty.
  It is my hope and my humble request that my colleagues will heed this 
call to make it even more meaningful by making the child tax credit 
refundable up to the amount of taxes paid, including payroll taxes.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, how much time remains on our side in the 
tranche?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Eleven minutes.
  Mr. WYDEN. I would like to yield 5 minutes of my time to the Senator 
from Ohio, Mr. Brown.
  Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, I thank Senator Wyden.
  Mr. President, if we want to cut taxes for the middle class, as my 
colleagues keep saying, then let's cut taxes for the middle class. 
Instead of giving the money to the corporations and hoping it trickles 
down, let's cut out the middleman. Let's put the money directly in the 
pockets of working families.
  I will say that again. Instead of giving the money to corporations 
and hoping it trickles down, cut out the middleman and put the money 
directly in the pockets of working families. I will keep saying this, 
because tax reform should be that simple.
  I spent the last 2 weeks, and in particular the past 2 days, working 
with Senators Rubio and Lee on a good-faith effort to bring the child 
tax credit into this conversation.
  I don't believe their proposal goes far enough because it fails to 
index the CTC for inflation. For inflation, it is temporary. Remember, 
the tax cuts for individuals are temporary; the tax cuts for 
corporations are permanent. It continues to be tied only to payroll 
taxes. It ignores the burdens we place on working families.

  We can find trillions--trillions--for corporations. This is all we 
can do for working families?
  Unfortunately, while Senators Lee and Rubio were making a real effort 
at middle-class tax cuts, and I thought we were close to a bipartisan 
bill that could save this bill, it didn't happen. Republican 
leadership--coming down the hall from Senator McConnell's office--
swooped in and made it clear that this bill is being written to benefit 
one class of people: corporations that shift jobs overseas and their 
CEOs.
  While Senators' sons and daughters will do just fine under this 
proposal--they will get the full tax cut for their children--working 
families will pay the price.
  What we should do--frankly, what we must do--is vote this bill down 
and start over.
  Senators Rubio and Lee and I could work together, along with our 
colleague, Senator Bennet, to pass real middle-class tax cuts built 
around a compromise that begins with our shared goals on the child tax 
credit. That is where we start because, right now, this bill is not a 
tax cut for working families. Everybody on this side of the aisle knows 
it. Every single person knows it. Whether they were personally a CEO, 
whether they were an accountant, whether they were a lawyer in a small 
town, they all know this is not a cut for middle-class families.
  Right now this bill is a massive giveaway to multinational 
corporations that outsource American jobs. We know the companies shut 
down in Mansfield, OH, in Zanesville, in Lima, and in Chillicothe, they 
get a tax break, they move overseas, build a new factory, and sell 
those products back into the United States. We know that is what has 
been happening. We choose not to fix that and instead we do more of the 
same.
  Even before we take into account the loss of healthcare coverage for 
tens of millions of Americans, a full 62 percent of these tax cuts will 
go to the top 1 percent of households by the end of the decade. Sixty-
two percent of these tax cuts go to the top 1 percent of households. 
Even with the Bush tax cuts, which were clearly weighted way too much 
to the wealthiest people in our country--the most privileged--that was 
only 27 percent of those tax cuts, those benefits that went to the 
wealthiest 1 percent.
  So let's end the charade that this bill is a tax cut for ordinary 
Americans. It is simply not.
  Their CEO pals have let the cat out of the bag. Bloomberg said this 
morning: ``Instead of hiring more workers. . . .'' My friends on the 
other side of the aisle say, if we cut taxes on corporations, it will 
raise wages, and they will hire more workers.
  Bloomberg said: ``Instead of hiring more workers or raising their 
pay, companies say they will first increase dividends or buy back their 
own shares.''
  That is what they always do. They take the money for themselves. They 
take the money for stockholders and stock buybacks and more executive 
compensation. The corporate CEOs couldn't be clearer: They are keeping 
the money for themselves. It is not going into the pockets of workers.
  Again, take out the middleman. If you want to do tax cuts for the 
middle class, then do tax cuts for the middle class. If my colleagues 
mean what they say--if they want to cut taxes for the middle class--
work with us bipartisanly on a good child tax credit that will really 
work for working families and cut taxes directly for the middle class.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, today I wish to speak about the important 
legislation we are now considering.
  Earlier this week, I explained some of the reasons the Senate needs 
to consider tax reform legislation and gave a general overview of the 
bill. Today I want to talk about some of the specific provisions of the 
bill.

[[Page S7697]]

  First, I want to talk about the relief this bill provides to hard-
working Americans. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduces tax rates for 
individuals, almost doubles the standard deduction, and doubles the 
child tax credit. This will allow families to keep more of the money 
they earn in their pockets. The independent Tax Foundation estimates 
that this will amount to about $2,500 more in after-tax income for a 
middle-income family in Wyoming.
  This bill also will provide relief to small, family-owned businesses 
that currently employ the majority of the private sector in Wyoming. 
The bill cuts taxes for these businesses while enhancing deductions 
that are important to them, like the section 179 deduction that 
promotes business investment. The Tax Foundation believes changes like 
this will add more than 1,700 full time jobs in my home State.
  While these individual Tax Code provisions are important to so many 
Wyomingites and small businesses in my home State, I am also especially 
proud of the international tax provisions in this bill, which I worked 
on with Senator Portman and Chairman Hatch.
  Right now, our tax rules are written so that many businesses could be 
better off if they are headquartered outside of the United States. 
Those rules, which were written in the 1960s, are completely outdated. 
Many of the U.S. major trading partners, including Canada, Japan, and 
the U.K., have moved to what are called ``territorial'' tax systems. 
Those systems tax the income generated within their borders and exempt 
foreign earnings from tax.
  The United States, on the other hand, taxes the worldwide income of 
U.S. companies and provides deferral of U.S. tax until the foreign 
earnings are brought home. Deferring the tax incentivizes companies to 
leave their money abroad and invest it there. That is certainly not a 
recipe for U.S. growth and U.S. job creation.
  The dominance of U.S.-headquartered companies in the global 
marketplace is waning. In 2000, 36 percent of the Fortune Global 500 
companies were headquartered in the United States. In 2009, that number 
dropped to 28 percent. In 2017, we are down to 26 percent. Clearly, 
America is losing ground, and our international tax rules are part of 
the problem.
  I have been working to change that since the 112th Congress, when I 
introduced the United States Job Creation and International Tax Reform 
Act. My goal then was to incentivize American companies to create jobs 
in the United States while leveling the playing field for U.S. 
companies in the global marketplace. I believe the Tax Cuts and Jobs 
Act achieves that goal.
  This bill would reform and modernize the rules for taxing the global 
operations of American companies. These reforms, along with reducing 
our corporate tax rate, would help make America a more attractive 
location to base a business that serves customers around the world.
  With these provisions in law, families would hear fewer stories about 
how U.S. companies are moving their profits to tax haven countries and 
avoiding U.S. tax on those earnings. Families would hear fewer stories 
about how U.S. multinational companies set up post office boxes in the 
Cayman Islands and Switzerland without an employee or officer of the 
company anywhere in sight and attribute a significant portion of their 
foreign earnings to these jurisdictions. Instead, families would hear 
more stories about how U.S. companies are generating the ideas and 
inventions of tomorrow right here in America.
  The international tax rules are not easy or simple, and a lot of work 
went into these provisions. I want to again thank Senator Portman and 
Chairman Hatch for their work with me in this area. I look forward to 
continuing to work with them and the rest of my colleagues to pass this 
bill that our country desperately needs.
  Thank you.
  Mr. PORTMAN. Mr. President, I rise today to engage in a colloquy with 
the distinguished chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator 
Hatch.
  Mr. Chairman, I would like to clarify a point in connection with the 
application of the base erosion anti-abuse tax in the Tax Cuts and Jobs 
act to services companies. The act provides an exception from the base 
erosion anti-abuse tax for services. The act limits the exception to 
the ``total services cost with no markup.'' As a practical matter, 
companies account for amounts paid or accrued for services in a variety 
of ways. I would like to clarify that, if in a transaction a company 
used one account for services cost with no markup and another account 
for any additional amounts paid or accrued, that the first account 
would be subject to the exception under the bill.
  The act also excludes an amount paid or incurred for services if 
those services meet the requirements for the services cost method under 
Internal Revenue Code section 482, excluding the requirement that the 
services not contribute significantly to fundamental risks of business 
success or failure.
  Is it the intent that, for this purpose, that the business judgment 
rule under current law and regulations will not prevent an amount from 
being excluded under the act?
  Mr. HATCH. The Senator is correct. The intent of the provision is to 
exclude all amounts paid or accrued for services costs with no markup. 
Thus amounts paid or accrued in that account would be excluded from the 
base erosion anti-abuse tax. Other accounts related to the same 
transaction may or may not be excepted from this tax.
  Similarly, it is the intent that for purposes of the base erosion 
anti-abuse tax that the business judgment rule will not prevent an 
amount from being excluded under the act.
  I would like to thank my friend from Ohio for his leadership on 
international tax issues, especially since he joined this committee. I 
look forward to continuing to work with him on these important issues.
  Mr. PORTMAN. I thank the chairman for that clarification and 
appreciate his outstanding leadership and work on this historic tax 
reform measure.
  Mr. CARPER. Mr. President, I wanted to take an opportunity to clarify 
the implications of title II in the reconciliation bill before us 
pertaining to the development of oil and gas resources along the 
coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  As our colleagues recall, the Senate instructed the Energy and 
Natural Resources Committee to report legislation that reduces the 
deficit by $1 billion between 2018 and 2027. In response to those 
instructions, the committee reported recommendations to open the 
refuge's coastal plain, otherwise known as the 1002 Area, to oil and 
gas development.
  In the process of considering and ultimately reporting this 
legislation, the chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, 
the senior Senator from Alaska, Ms. Murkowski, assured members of the 
committee that, if the legislation became law, it would require such 
development be subject to the full scope of environmental review 
required by the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, as well as 
other environmental laws.
  Indeed, earlier in this floor debate, the Senator from Alaska 
reiterated an assurance that the environment and local wildlife will 
always be a concern and a priority and that this legislation does not 
waive NEPA or any other environmental laws. I take my colleague at her 
word and thank her for her commitment.
  After the Energy Committee reported its recommendations to the Senate 
Budget Committee, the Parliamentarian advised that the committee-
reported language directing the Secretary of the Interior to manage the 
oil and gas program on the coastal plain ``in accordance with'' the 
Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 and its supporting 
regulations set up a clear conflict of law with NEPA, which is the 
jurisdiction of the EPW Committee. Because any changes to NEPA 
applicability, scope, and the content of environmental reviews 
conducted under the law, especially those within a National Wildlife 
Refuge, lie exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Environment and 
Public Works Committee, the language in section 20001(b)(3) was found 
to be extraneous under the definition in section 313(b)(1)(C) of the 
Congressional Budget Act.
  It appears that this effect may have been inadvertent, given the 
assurance we have received from the Senator from Alaska, chair of the 
Energy Committee, that ``we did not waive NEPA or any other 
environmental law.'' In any event, as a result, the substitute

[[Page S7698]]

amendment if adopted, would modify section 20001(b)(3) in an effort to 
eliminate extraneous language. It does this by directing the Secretary 
of the Interior to manage the oil and gas operations in the coastal 
plain in a manner ``similar'' to the requirements of the Naval 
Petroleum Reserves Product Act of 1976. This modification, while it 
might appear to be small, is a significant change.
  The Parliamentarian has advised that the language in the substitute 
is in order, meaning that it no longer runs afoul of section 
313(b)(1)(C) of the Congressional Budget Act. The new language appears 
to achieve the stated intent of the chair of the Energy Committee to 
not repeal, modify or otherwise limit in any way the application of 
NEPA, the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the 
Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, or any other 
environmental or land management statute. Importantly, the requirement 
that oil and gas activities must be determined to be ``compatible with 
the major purposes for which such areas are established,'' as required 
by 16 U.S.C. 668dd(d)(1)(A), still applies.
  The Senate should be fully aware of the substantive difference 
produced by the perfecting amendment offered by the majority leader, 
Mr. McConnell. The change in the management regime as required by this 
amendment significantly reduces the receipts generated by lease sales 
that are mandated on the coastal plain, as shown in the amendment's 
score produced by the Congressional Budget Office.
  While the Energy and Natural Resources Committee rightly exercises 
prime responsibility to determine the scope and nature of oil and gas 
leasing activities broadly, these activities are subject to a variety 
of aforementioned environmental and natural resource statutes and 
associated regulations that fall within the Environment and Public 
Works Committee's jurisdiction. That is particularly true of activities 
in National Wildlife Refuges and most certainly true of the refuge's 
coastal plain.
  Indeed, NEPA assessments for Federal oil and gas activities in 
Alaska's Kenai National Wildlife Refuge are conducted in accordance 
with the same standards applied to oil and gas leasing in all other 
refuges. The Bureau of Land Management, in coordination with the Fish 
and Wildlife Service, will continue to apply the provisions of the 
Mineral Leasing Act and the associated regulations, memorialized in 43 
CFR part 3100, which specify that leases shall be issued subject to 
stipulations prescribed by the Fish and Wildlife Service.
  In summary, I would just say that my colleague from Alaska, as chair 
of the Energy Committee, and I, serving as the ranking member of the 
Environment and Public Works Committee, share a common understanding 
that NEPA and other seminal environmental laws will apply to potential 
leasing activities and related exploration and development on the 
coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge.
  Mr. CASSIDY. Mr. President, today I wish to discuss the historic 
rehabilitation tax credit. During the Finance Committee markup of the 
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the committee adopted my amendment to return the 
historic rehabilitation tax credit to the 20 percent level, with the 
credit now claimed over 5 years, as well as a transition rule to 
grandfather approved and underway projects under the prior law and 
regulations.
  The historic rehabilitation tax credit program provides jobs and 
investment in communities across the country. More than 40 percent of 
projects over the past 15 years have been located in communities with 
populations less than 25,000 people. Since 2002, the historic 
rehabilitation tax credit has facilitated 782 projects in Louisiana, 
bringing more than $2.2 billion of investment into cities and towns 
across the State. I am pleased this important provision will be 
preserved in tax reform.
  For purposes of the transition rule in my amendment, ``taxpayer'' 
refers to the person who undertakes the rehabilitation of a building. 
In the case where a person makes an election under section 48(d), the 
term ``taxpayer'' means the lessor, since the lessor is the person who 
undertook the rehabilitation. It is intended that the historic 
rehabilitation tax credits be available during the transition period 
only to the extent such credits would have been available under the 
prior law and regulations.
  Mr. President, I am proud of the work we have done in the Senate to 
develop a bill that delivers tax cuts to working families and 
significantly improves the competitiveness of our Tax Code. This will 
lead to greater investment, more jobs and opportunity, and an increase 
in economic growth.
  I would like to take a moment to highlight an important, unresolved 
issue that we should consider as we work toward putting a bill on the 
President's desk.
  Families in Louisiana are particularly prone to the negative impacts 
of natural disasters. From Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to historic 
flooding in multiple parts of the state during 2016, we have 
unfortunately seen some significant losses in our State; yet as we saw 
once again with the recent Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Louisianans are 
resilient and watchful of neighbors through the tragedy and the 
recovery.
  One aspect of recovery that many people don't see is the enormous 
amount of capital that flows into the storm zone from the reinsurance 
industry. In simple terms, reinsurance is insurance for insurance 
companies, and it helps Louisianans rebuild their homes, their 
businesses, and their lives.
  Reinsurance transfers risk from the balance sheets of property and 
casualty insurance carriers so those companies can provide cost-
effective solutions to consumers and businesses. A robust reinsurance 
market helps ensure that policyholders are getting the best rates 
possible on insurance for their homes and businesses. Many of the 
largest reinsurers in the world were founded in Europe 100 years ago or 
more, and a number of them do business in the United States through 
U.S. subsidiaries.
  My concern is the potential impact of the bill's base erosion 
provision on the reinsurance market and policyholders along the gulf 
coast. The base erosion provision has the rightful intent of targeting 
bad actors who implement strategies to avoid U.S. taxes; yet the 
provision may have an unintended consequence of negatively impacting 
cross-border reinsurers conducting normal transactions, which could 
affect the market and premiums.
  Reinsurance is critical to families and businesses in Louisiana, 
particularly after a natural disaster, and I hope to work with my 
Senate and House colleagues on this matter as we work to get the bill 
to the President's desk.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, today I rise to discuss the historic 
rehabilitation tax credit. The historic rehabilitation tax credit is a 
vital component of pro-growth tax reform and a shot in the arm for 
communities across the country. For instance, in my State of Louisiana, 
the credit has encouraged 782 restoration projects since 2002. This 
amounts to more than $2.2 billion in investment into cities and towns 
across the State. Many of these private investment dollars are flowing 
into small and rural communities with populations less than 25,000 
people.
  I am pleased that the Finance Committee restored the historic 
rehabilitation tax credit to the 20-percent level and ensured a smooth 
transition for approved and underway projects by grandfathering them in 
under the prior law and regulations.
  For purposes of the historic rehabilitation tax credit's transition 
rule, ``taxpayer'' refers to the person who undertakes the 
rehabilitation of a building. In the case where a person makes an 
election under section 48(d), the term ``taxpayer'' means the lessor, 
since the lessor is the person who undertook the rehabilitation. It is 
intended that the historic rehabilitation tax credits be available 
during the transition period only to the extent such credits would have 
been available under the prior law and regulations.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that my motions to 
commit be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                   Motion to Commit With Instructions

       Mr. Wyden moves to commit the bill H.R. 1 to the Committee 
     on Finance with instructions to report the same back to the 
     Senate in 3 days, not counting any day on which the Senate is 
     not in session, with changes that--

[[Page S7699]]

       (1) are within the jurisdiction of such committee; and
       (2) make permanent the tax cuts for individuals and small 
     businesses and eliminate middle class tax increases, 
     including reinstating the full State and Local tax deduction, 
     paid for by sun-setting tax cuts for domestic and 
     multinational corporations.

  Mr. UDALL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent, with the support 
of Senators Wyden, Bennet, Feinstein, and Klobuchar, that the text of 
my motion to commit be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                   Motion to Commit With Instructions

       Mr. Udall moves to commit the bill H.R. 1 to the Committee 
     on Energy and Natural Resources with instructions to report 
     the same back to the Senate in 3 days, not counting any day 
     on which the Senate is not in session, with changes that--
       (1) are within the jurisdiction of such committee;
       (2) provide for full, permanent, and mandatory funding for 
     the payment in lieu of taxes program under chapter 69 of 
     title 31, United States Code; and
       (3) provide for the permanent authorization of the Secure 
     Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 
     (16 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.).

  Mr. REED. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the following 
motion to H.R. 1, the Tax Reconciliation Act, be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                   Motion to Commit With Instructions

       Mr. Reed moves to commit the bill, H.R. 1, to the committee 
     on Finance with instructions to report the same back to the 
     Senate in three days, not counting any day on which the 
     Senate is not in session, with changes that--
       (1) are within the jurisdiction of such committee; and
       (2) preserve the value of the low income housing tax credit 
     and increase further the small State minimum allocation.

  Mr. BOOKER. Mr. President, I intend to offer the following motion to 
H.R. 1, and I ask unanimous consent that it be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                   Motion to Commit With Instructions

       Mr. Booker moves to commit the bill H.R. 1 to the Committee 
     on Finance with instructions to report the same back to the 
     Senate in 3 days, not counting any day on which the Senate is 
     not in session, with changes that--
       (1) are within the jurisdiction of such committee; and
       (2) would ensure that the bill would not result in cuts to 
     the Medicare program under title XVIII of the Social Security 
     Act.

  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I intend to offer the following motion 
to H.R. 1, and I ask unanimous consent that it be printed in the 
Record. The motion is supported by Senators Cantwell, Van Hollen, 
Cardin, and Booker.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                   Motion to Commit With Instructions

       Mr. Menendez moves to commit the bill H.R. 1 to the 
     Committee on Finance with instructions to report the same 
     back to the Senate in 3 days, not counting any day on which 
     the Senate is not in session, with changes that--
       (1) are within the jurisdiction of such committee; and
       (2) would eliminate the repeal of the State and local tax 
     deduction if State and local spending on investments in 
     Medicaid and other health care, infrastructure, or services 
     for children or seniors, education, or law enforcement is 
     reduced or taxes on the middle class are increased.

  Mr. SCOTT. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Sullivan). Without objection, it is so 
ordered.
  The minority leader.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, in just a short time, we will proceed to 
a final vote on the Republican tax bill. We understand they have the 
votes to pass their bill, despite a process and a product that no one 
can be proud of, and everyone should be ashamed of. Historians will 
mark today as one of the darkest black-letter days in the long history 
of this Senate.
  Once hailed as the greatest deliberative body, as a beacon of 
American democracy, and the envy of representative governments around 
the world, the Senate seems to have abandoned those qualities in a rush 
to pass a bill that no one is proud of. Substantively, the Republicans 
have managed to take a bad bill and make it worse. It was chockful of 
special interest giveaways before tonight, but now, under the cover of 
darkness and with the aid of haste, a flurry of last-minute changes 
will stuff even more money into the pockets of the wealthy and the 
biggest corporations while raising taxes on millions in the middle 
class.
  One provision may be a metaphor for the whole bill. One college, 
Hillsdale College, has been exempted from taxes on colleges with large 
endowments. Hillsdale College is supported by the DeVos family, one of 
the largest contributors to the Republican Party. A specific provision, 
just like an earmark, was slipped into the bill, added by a Senator who 
fought to remove earmarks from Congress several years ago. A single 
wealthy college--the pet project of a billionaire campaign contributor 
to the Republican Party--was exempted from a tax by a Senator who 
fought to get rid of earmarks. This, unfortunately, is the metaphor for 
this bill and how high the stench is rising in this Chamber as we 
debate the bill tonight.

  In my long career in politics, I have not seen a more regressive 
piece of legislation so devoid of rationale, so ill-suited for the 
conditions of the country, so removed from the reality of what the 
American people need. Working people in this country are struggling. 
Corporations and the very wealthy are doing great.
  There is no reason for rushing through a tax break for millionaires 
and billionaires, paid for by pilfering the pockets and the healthcare 
of middle-class Americans. Millions of middle-class families will get a 
tax hike next year and millions more thereafter because of this bill. 
That is why this bill is such a monstrosity, such a danger to the 
country, and the American people know it. That is why they oppose the 
bill in large majorities.
  My Republican friends will ultimately pay consequences for this bill 
in 2018 and beyond. The Republican Party will never again be the party 
of tax cuts for middle-class people. With the passage of this tax bill 
today, it will be the first day of the new Republican Party--one that 
raises taxes on the middle class, abandoning its principles for its 
political paymasters.
  With respect to the process, the bill my Republican friends hope to 
pass so soon was received by Members of this body only a few hours ago. 
Not a single Member of this Chamber has read the bill. It would be 
impossible. Some of the pages were completely crossed off, and text had 
been replaced by handwritten notes. When we got the bill, this is what 
it looked like. This is what it looked like.
  When asked before by Senator Durbin, the Senate clerk said she 
couldn't even read it, and this section is one of the most complicated 
sections of the bill, dealing with passthroughs. Lawyers are paid 
thousands of dollars an hour to find ways for their wealthy patrons to 
avoid sections just like this, and my Republican friends don't have the 
decency, the honor to let us debate it.
  Senator McCaskill was the first to discover that a list of proposed 
amendments was circulating among lobbyists. My Republican friends 
allowed lobbyists to see amendments, and likely the text of this bill, 
before their fellow U.S. Senators.
  There is no score of this bill by the Joint Committee on Taxation. 
There will be no analysis of how American businesses and taxpayers fare 
under this bill, how high taxes go up or go down, whether the economy 
grows or shrinks, whether it creates jobs or loses them. Who knows? 
Certainly no one here. No one could know because it hasn't even been 
read, let alone thoughtfully considered.
  I remember a few years back when my Republican colleagues gleefully 
scolded us to ``read the bill'' because the Affordable Care Act was a 
lengthy piece of legislation, and that bill was available for days 
before anyone had to vote on it. With this stunning deception, with 
this reckless ramrodding of a bill, Republicans are reaching heretofore 
unreached heights of hypocrisy,

[[Page S7700]]

and the Senate is descending to a new low of chicanery.
  Read the bill? They are still writing it by hand, mere hours before 
voting on it. Is this really how Republicans are going to rewrite the 
Tax Code, scrawled like something on the back of a napkin behind closed 
doors with the help of K Street lobbyists? If that is not a recipe for 
swindling the middle class and loosening loopholes for the wealthy, I 
don't know what is. I don't know if it is possible for a Senate 
majority leader to depart further from responsible legislating than the 
process we witnessed with this tax bill.
  Tonight, Mr. President, I feel mostly regret at what could have been. 
What a grave shame it is that we weren't able to work together on this 
bill. Tax reform is an issue that is ripe for bipartisan compromise. 
Democrats have spent many long hours with our Republican colleagues 
talking about our tax reform ideas. There is a sincere desire on this 
side of the aisle to work with our colleagues, particularly on tax 
reform, but we have been rebuffed time and time again. Even under these 
difficult circumstances, Senators Coons, Warner, Bennet, Manchin, 
Heitkamp, Donnelly, and McCaskill have tried in good faith to convince 
our Republican colleagues to sit down and talk to us. We have tried to 
convince you all that we want to join you in tax reform, to have a real 
debate befitting this august body.
  It is an expression of the brokenness of our politics that the 
influence of moneyed interests and the political right was so great 
that it overcame even the best of intentions of my Republican 
colleagues, so many of whom I admire, so many of whom I know, because 
they have said it to me, lament the steady erosion of bipartisanship in 
the one institution in our government designed by nature to foster it.
  I salute my friend the Senator from Tennessee for standing fast by 
his principles and having the courage of his convictions. I only regret 
that there were not more who followed his admirable example.
  After a divisive and draining battle over the future of healthcare, 
we could have moved the Senate back toward sanity, bipartisanship, 
compromise. We could have accomplished something great for the country 
and for this body at the same time.
  Although time is running short, there is still time, and I will make 
one final plea. Because this bill is so slanted toward the wealthy and 
powerful and rains tax increases upon millions of middle-class 
citizens; because the bill is laden with special interest provisions, 
some recently found and many not yet seen; because the bill was given 
to lobbyists to read and change before Senators saw it; and because the 
bill was given to us on few hours' notice and has not been read fully 
or considered fully by a single Senator, I move that we adjourn until 
Monday so we can first read and then clean up this awful piece of 
legislation.


                           Motion to Adjourn

  Mr. President, I move that the Senate adjourn until Monday, December 
4, 2017, at 12 noon, and I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 48, nays 52, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 293 Leg.]

                                YEAS--48

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--52

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young
  The motion was rejected.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Murkowski). The majority leader.


                Amendment No. 1855 to Amendment No. 1618

       (Purpose: To provide a perfecting amendment.)

  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to call up 
amendment No. 1855; that the amendment be agreed to; that Senate 
amendment No. 1618, as amended, be considered original text for the 
purpose of further amendment; and that all points of order be 
preserved. I further ask that all time be yielded back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report the amendment by number.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Kentucky [Mr. McConnell], for Mr. Hatch, 
     proposes an amendment numbered 1855 to amendment No. 1618.

  (The amendment is printed in today's Record under ``Text of 
Amendments.'')
  The amendment (No. 1855) was agreed to.


       Amendments Nos. 1720, 1854, and 1850 to Amendment No. 1618

  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
following amendments be called up en bloc and reported by number: 
Sanders No. 1720, Brown. No 1854, and Rubio No. 1850. I further ask 
consent that the Senate now vote in relation to the Sanders amendment 
and that following disposition of the amendment, the Senate vote in 
relation to the above amendments in the order listed; finally, that 
there be 2 minutes equally divided between the managers or their 
designees prior to all further votes tonight and that they be 10 
minutes in length.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report the amendments en bloc by number.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Kentucky [Mr. McConnell], for others, 
     proposes amendments numbered 1720, 1854, and 1850 en bloc to 
     amendment No. 1618.

  The amendments are as follows:


                           amendment no. 1720

  (Purpose: To create a point of order against legislation that cuts 
            Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits)

       At the appropriate place, insert the following:

     SEC. __. POINT OF ORDER AGAINST LEGISLATION THAT CUTS SOCIAL 
                   SECURITY, MEDICARE, OR MEDICAID BENEFITS.

       (a) Point of Order.--It shall not be in order in the Senate 
     to consider any bill, joint resolution, motion, amendment, 
     amendment between the Houses, or conference report that 
     would--
       (1) result in a reduction of guaranteed benefits scheduled 
     under title II of the Social Security Act;
       (2) increase either the early or full retirement age for 
     the benefits described in paragraph (1);
       (3) privatize Social Security;
       (4) result in a reduction of guaranteed benefits for 
     individuals entitled to, or enrolled for, benefits under the 
     Medicare program under title XVIII of such Act; or
       (5) result in a reduction of benefits or eligibility for 
     individuals enrolled in, or eligible to receive medical 
     assistance through, a State Medicaid plan or waiver under 
     title XIX of such Act.
       (b) Waiver and Appeal.--Subsection (a) may be waived or 
     suspended in the Senate only by an affirmative vote of two-
     thirds of the Members, duly chosen and sworn. An affirmative 
     vote of two-thirds of the Members of the Senate, duly chosen 
     and sworn, shall be required to sustain an appeal of the 
     ruling of the Chair on a point of order raised under 
     subsection (a).


                           AMENDMENT NO. 1854

 (Purpose: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the 
               Child Tax Credit, and for other purposes)

       Strike section 11022 and insert the following:

     SEC. 11022. INCREASE IN AND MODIFICATION OF CHILD TAX CREDIT.

       (a) In General.--Section 24 is amended--
       (1) by striking subsections (a) and (b) and inserting the 
     following:
       ``(a) Allowance of Credit.--There shall be allowed as a 
     credit against the tax imposed by this chapter for the 
     taxable year an amount equal to the sum of--
       ``(1) with respect to each qualifying child of the taxpayer 
     who has attained 6 years of age before the close of such 
     taxable year and

[[Page S7701]]

     for which the taxpayer is allowed a deduction under section 
     151, an amount equal to $2,000, and
       ``(2) with respect to each qualifying child of the taxpayer 
     who has not attained 6 years of age before the close of such 
     taxable year and for which the taxpayer is allowed a 
     deduction under section 151, an amount equal to $2,500.
       ``(b) Limitation.--
       ``(1) In general.--The amount of the credit allowable under 
     subsection (a) (including any increase pursuant to subsection 
     (h)) shall be reduced (but not below zero) by an amount equal 
     to 5 percent of the taxpayer's adjusted gross income which is 
     in excess of the threshold amount.
       ``(2) Threshold amount.--
       ``(A) In general.--For purposes of paragraph (1), the term 
     `threshold amount' means--
       ``(i) $250,000 in the case of a joint return,
       ``(ii) $200,000 in the case of an individual who is not 
     married, and
       ``(iii) $125,000 in the case of a married individual filing 
     a separate return.
       ``(B) Marital status.--For purposes of this paragraph, 
     marital status shall be determined under section 7703.'',
       (2) in subsection (d)(1)--
       (A) in subparagraph (A), by inserting ``, subsection (h),'' 
     after ``this subsection'', and
       (B) in subparagraph (B)(i)--
       (i) by striking ``15 percent'' and inserting ``45 
     percent'', and
       (ii) by striking ``as exceeds $3,000'', and
       (3) by adding at the end the following new subsections:
       ``(h) Additional Credit for Certain Other Dependents.--
       ``(1) In general.--In the case of a taxable year beginning 
     after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, the 
     credit determined under subsection (a) shall be increased by 
     $500 for each dependent of the taxpayer (as defined in 
     section 152) other than a qualifying child described in 
     subsection (c).
       ``(2) Exception for certain non-citizens.--Paragraph (1) 
     shall not apply with respect to any individual who would not 
     be a dependent if subparagraph (A) of section 152(b)(3) were 
     applied without regard to all that follows `resident of the 
     United States'.
       ``(i) Definition of Qualifying Child.--In the case of a 
     taxable year beginning before January 1, 2025, paragraph (1) 
     of subsection (c) shall be applied by substituting `18' for 
     `17'.
       ``(j) Inflation Adjustment.--
       ``(1) In general.--In the case of any taxable year 
     beginning after 2018, each of the dollar amounts in 
     subsection (a) shall be increased by an amount equal to--
       ``(A) such dollar amount, multiplied by
       ``(B) the cost-of-living adjustment determined under 
     section 1(f)(3) for the calendar year in which the taxable 
     year begins, determined by substituting `2017' for `2016' in 
     subparagraph (A)(ii) thereof.
       ``(2) Rounding.--If any increase determined under paragraph 
     (1) is not a multiple of $100, such increase shall be rounded 
     to the next lowest multiple of $100.''.
       (b) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (a) 
     shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 
     2017.
       (c) Offsets.--
       (1) Adjustment and termination of corporate rate.--Section 
     11, as amended by section 13001 of this Act, is amended--
       (A) in subsection (b), by striking ``20 percent'' and 
     inserting ``25 percent''
       (B) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(e) Termination of 25 Percent Rate.--In the case of any 
     taxable year beginning after December 31, 2027--
       ``(1) the tax computed under subsection (a) shall be 
     computed in the same manner as such tax was computed under 
     subsection (b) (as in effect on the day before the date of 
     the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act), and
       ``(2) this title shall be applied and administered as if 
     the amendments made by section 13002 of such Act had not been 
     enacted.''.
       (2) Adjustment of highest rate bracket.--
       (A) Joint returns.--The last row of the table contained in 
     section 1(j)(2)(A), as added by section 11001(a), is amended 
     to read as follows:


``Over $1,000,000.........................  $301,479, plus 39.6% of the
                                             excess over $1,000,000.''.

       (B) Heads of households.--The last row of the table 
     contained in section 1(j)(2)(B), as added by section 
     11001(a), is amended to read as follows:


``Over $500,000...........................  $149,348, plus 39.6% of the
                                             excess over $500,000.''.

       (C) Unmarried individuals.--The last row of the table 
     contained in section 1(j)(2)(C), as added by section 
     11001(a), is amended to read as follows:


``Over $500,000...........................  $150,739.50, plus 39.6% of
                                             the excess over
                                             $500,000.''.

       (D) Married individuals filing separate returns.--The last 
     row of the table contained in section 1(j)(2)(D), as added by 
     section 11001(a), is amended to read as follows:


``Over $500,000...........................  $150,739.50, plus 39.6% of
                                             the excess over
                                             $500,000.''.

       (E) Effective date.--The amendments made by this paragraph 
     shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 
     2017.
       (3) Global intangible low-taxed income on a country-by-
     country basis.--
       (A) In general.--Section 951(a), as added by section 14201 
     of this Act, is amended by adding at the end the following:
       ``(g) Determination of Global Intangible Low-taxed Income 
     on a Country-by-country Rather Than Aggregate Basis.--
       ``(1) In general.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     this section, the global intangible low-taxed income of any 
     United States shareholder for any taxable year shall be 
     determined separately with respect to each foreign country by 
     taking into account such shareholder's pro rata share of net 
     CFC tested income and net deemed tangible income return which 
     is properly allocable to such foreign country.
       ``(2) Application.--The Secretary shall take such actions 
     as are necessary to provide for the application of this 
     section, and any provision of this title to which this 
     section relates, on a country-by-country rather than an 
     aggregate basis.''.
       (B) Effective date.--The amendment made by this subsection 
     shall take effect as if included in the amendments made by 
     section 14201 of this Act.


                           AMENDMENT NO. 1850

 (Purpose: To increase the refundability of the child tax credit, and 
                          for other purposes)

       Beginning on page 46, strike line 5 and all that follows 
     through page 48, line 21, and insert the following:
       ``(h) Special Rules for Taxable Years 2018 Through 2025.--
       ``(1) In general.--In the case of a taxable year beginning 
     after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, this 
     section shall be applied as provided in paragraphs (2) 
     through (7).
       ``(2) Credit amount.--Subsection (a) shall be applied by 
     substituting `$2,000' for `$1,000'.
       ``(3) Limitation.--In lieu of the amount determined under 
     subsection (b)(2), the threshold amount shall be--
       ``(A) in the case of a joint return, $500,000, and
       ``(B) in the case of an individual who is not married or a 
     married individual filing a separate return, $250,000.
       ``(4) Definition of qualifying child.--Paragraph (1) of 
     subsection (c) shall be applied by substituting `18' for 
     `17'.
       ``(5) Partial credit allowed for certain other 
     dependents.--
       ``(A) In general.--The credit determined under subsection 
     (a) (after the application of paragraph (2)) shall be 
     increased by $500 for each dependent of the taxpayer (as 
     defined in section 152) other than a qualifying child 
     described in subsection (c) (after the application of 
     paragraph (4)).
       ``(B) Exception for certain noncitizens.--Subparagraph (A) 
     shall not apply with respect to any individual who would not 
     be a dependent if subparagraph (A) of section 152(b)(3) were 
     applied without regard to all that follows `resident of the 
     United States'.
       ``(6) Portion of credit refundable.--In lieu of subsection 
     (d), the following provisions shall apply for purposes of the 
     credit allowable under this section:
       ``(A) In general.--The aggregate credits allowed to a 
     taxpayer under subpart C shall be increased by the lesser 
     of--
       ``(i) the credit which would be allowed under this section 
     without regard to this paragraph and the limitation under 
     section 26(a), or
       ``(ii) the amount by which the aggregate amount of credits 
     allowed by this subpart (determined without regard to this 
     paragraph) would increase if the limitation imposed by 
     section 26(a) were increased by an amount equal to the sum of 
     the taxpayer's payroll taxes for the taxable year.
       ``(B) Payroll taxes.--
       ``(i) In general.--For purposes of subparagraph (A), the 
     term `payroll taxes' means, with respect to any taxpayer for 
     any taxable year, the amount of the taxes imposed by--

       ``(I) section 1401 on the self-employment income of the 
     taxpayer for the taxable year,
       ``(II) section 3101 on wages received by the taxpayer 
     during the calendar year in which the taxable year begins,
       ``(III) section 3111 on wages paid by an employer with 
     respect to employment of the taxpayer during the calendar 
     year in which the taxable year begins,
       ``(IV) sections 3201(a) and 3211(a) on compensation 
     received by the taxpayer during the calendar year in which 
     the taxable year begins, and
       ``(V) section 3221(a) on compensation paid by an employer 
     with respect to services rendered by the taxpayer during the 
     calendar year in which the taxable year begins.

       ``(ii) Coordination with special refund of payroll taxes.--
     The term `payroll taxes' shall not include any taxes to the 
     extent the taxpayer is entitled to a special refund of such 
     taxes under section 6413(c).
       ``(iii) Special rule.--Any amounts paid pursuant to an 
     agreement under section 3121(l) (relating to agreements 
     entered into by American employers with respect to foreign 
     affiliates) which are equivalent to the taxes referred to in 
     subclause (II) or (III) of clause (i) shall be treated as 
     taxes referred to in such clause.
       ``(C) Exception for taxpayers excluding foreign earned 
     income.--Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to any taxpayer for 
     any taxable year if such taxpayer elects to exclude any 
     amount from gross income under section 911 for such taxable 
     year.
       ``(7) Social security number required.--No credit shall be 
     allowed under subsection

[[Page S7702]]

     (d) to a taxpayer with respect to any qualifying child unless 
     the taxpayer includes the social security number of such 
     child on the return of tax for the taxable year. For purposes 
     of the preceding sentence, the term `social security number' 
     means a social security number issued to an individual by the 
     Social Security Administration, but only if the social 
     security number is issued to a citizen of the United States 
     or is issued pursuant to subclause (I) (or that portion of 
     subclause (III) that relates to subclause (I)) of section 
     205(c)(2)(B)(i) of the Social Security Act.''.
       (b) Increase in Corporate Tax Rate.--Subsection (b) of 
     section 11, as amended by section 13001 of this Act, is 
     amended by striking ``20 percent'' and inserting ``20.94 
     percent''.
       (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by

  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, the next three votes will be in 
relation to Sanders amendment No. 1720, Brown amendment No. 1854, and 
Rubio amendment No. 1850.


                           Amendment No. 1720

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is now 2 minutes of debate equally 
divided prior to a vote on the Sanders amendment.
  Mr. SANDERS. Madam President, could we have order, please?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senate will be in order.
  The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. SANDERS. Thank you.
  Madam President, tonight is chapter 1 of the Republican Party Koch 
brothers plan.
  Tonight, the Republicans provide $1 trillion in tax breaks to the 
wealthiest people in this country and to the largest corporations, 
while raising the deficit by over $1.4 trillion.
  Part 2 of their plan--probably coming in a few months--will be to 
call for massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in 
order to pay for their tax breaks to the rich. For those of us who 
don't want to cut these vitally important programs that the American 
people have paid for, this amendment establishes a 67-vote threshold to 
make those cuts.
  If you don't want to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to 
give tax breaks to millionaires, support this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Madam President, the Sanders amendment is nongermane and 
would gut this legislation. The bill before us does not cut Social 
Security. It does not cut Medicare. It does not cut Medicaid benefits. 
So I encourage my colleagues to oppose the Sanders amendment and--does 
the Senator have any time remaining?
  Mr. SANDERS. I would just say that I would be delighted to gut and 
destroy this legislation, but pursuant to section 904 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974--I am sorry.
  Mr. ENZI. I yield back the remainder of my time.
  The pending amendment No. 1720 does not produce a change in outlays 
or a change in revenues, and this is extraneous to the instruction in 
H. Con. Res. 71, the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal 
year 2018. Therefore, I raise a point of order against this measure 
pursuant to section 313(b)(1)(A) of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. SANDERS. Pursuant to section 904 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, I move to waive all applicable sections of that act for 
purposes of the pending amendment, and I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 46, nays 54, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 294 Leg.]

                                YEAS--46

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--54

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Carper
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Warner
     Wicker
     Young
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 46, the nays are 
54.
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  The point of order is sustained and the amendment falls.


                           Amendment No. 1854

  There will now be 2 minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to a 
vote on the Brown amendment No. 1854.
  The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. BROWN. Madam President, without the Brown-Bennet amendment, a 
Senator's kid gets more tax relief than the daughter of a family in 
Garfield Heights, OH, who makes $40,000 a year. I will say that again. 
A Senator's kid gets more tax relief than the daughter of a family 
earning $30,000 or $40,000.
  Brown-Bennet is permanent; Rubio-Lee isn't.
  Brown-Bennet provides more for small children at the most important 
time in their young lives.
  My wife and I live in Cleveland, OH, in ZIP Code 44105. Our ZIP Code 
had more foreclosures in 2007 than any ZIP Code in the United States of 
America. This amendment helps to answer that. ZIP Codes should not be 
the determining factor for the future of a child.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. ENZI. Madam President, while this amendment expands the child tax 
credit provisions, it makes the credit available to fewer taxpayers. It 
also raises the corporate tax rate to 25 percent. The underlying bill 
already provides for a generous enhanced child tax credit with 
increased refundability that reaches far up into the middle class, 
giving relief to millions of families.
  This amendment would undermine the balance struck in the drafting of 
this bill and diminish its potential to generate growth.
  Has all time expired?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time has not expired. The Senator has 20 
seconds.
  Mr. ENZI. The pending amendment No. 1854 would cause the underlying 
legislation to exceed the Finance Committee's section 302(a) allocation 
of new budget authority or outlays. Therefore, I raise a point of order 
against this measure pursuant to section 302(f) of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Ohio.
  Mr. BROWN. Madam President, pursuant to section 904 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, I move to waive all applicable 
sections of that act for purposes of the pending amendment, and I ask 
for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 48, nays 52, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 295 Leg.]

                                YEAS--48

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--52

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins

[[Page S7703]]


     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 48, the nays are 
52.
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  The point of order is sustained and the amendment falls.


                           Amendment No. 1850

  There will now be 2 minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote 
on Rubio amendment No. 1850.
  The Senator from Florida is recognized.
  Mr. RUBIO. Madam President, this amendment would allow people making 
primarily between $20,000, $50,000, $60,000 a year--workers, 
firefighters, police officers--to keep more of their own payroll tax 
liabilities. In a moment, there will be a point of order, and the 
objection to this has been budgetary. This is paid for. Instead of 
cutting the corporate rate to 20 percent, it cuts it to 20.94 percent. 
Instead of a 15-point cut, we are asking for a 14.06 cut. Apparently, 
American corporations at 20 percent, America will be a corporate 
utopia, but at 20.94, it is a catastrophe. That is ridiculous. Voting 
against this today you are basically arguing that a 0.94 cut is 
something corporations can't afford, and that is more important to keep 
in place than giving American families an $800 child tax credit. That 
is ridiculous.
  Apparently, American companies are allowed to immediately invest 
their investment in equipment and in land, but American parents should 
not be allowed to immediately invest their hard-earned money in our 
children and in our future. I ask all of you to fight for the American 
worker. This isn't perfect, but it is better than what we have now, and 
I ask everyone for your vote.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Madam President, with this amendment, Senators Rubio and 
Lee stopped far short of meaningful relief for millions of vulnerable 
American families and leave out altogether so many deserving children 
like the Dreamers.
  After 2025, Rubio-Lee offers a double standard. Their child tax 
credit expires, even while multinational corporations get permanent tax 
breaks for shipping jobs overseas. Democrats want to provide strong, 
permanent protection for all working families, rather than temporary 
protection for some like Rubio-Lee. The best way to protect these 
families is not through a puny bandaid approach but through permanent 
help that America's struggling families richly deserve.
  Madam President, I make a point of order that the pending amendment 
violates section 302(f) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Florida.
  Mr. RUBIO. Madam President, pursuant to section 904 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and the waiver provisions of 
applicable budget resolutions, I move to waive all applicable sections 
of that act and applicable budget resolutions for purposes of this 
amendment, and I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 29, nays 71, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 296 Leg.]

                                YEAS--29

     Blunt
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Collins
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Donnelly
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Gardner
     Heitkamp
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Kennedy
     King
     Klobuchar
     Lee
     Manchin
     McCaskill
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Nelson
     Peters
     Risch
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Stabenow
     Sullivan

                                NAYS--71

     Alexander
     Baldwin
     Barrasso
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Boozman
     Brown
     Burr
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Cochran
     Coons
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cortez Masto
     Daines
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Feinstein
     Flake
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Grassley
     Harris
     Hassan
     Hatch
     Heinrich
     Hirono
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kaine
     Lankford
     Leahy
     Markey
     McCain
     McConnell
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Reed
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Scott
     Shaheen
     Shelby
     Strange
     Tester
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wicker
     Wyden
     Young
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Boozman). On this vote, the yeas are 29, 
the nays are 71.
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  The point of order is sustained and the amendment falls.
  The majority leader is recognized.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that Senator 
Menendez be recognized to offer a motion to commit and that there be 2 
minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to a vote on the motion.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from New Jersey is recognized.


                            Motion To Commit

  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I have a motion to commit at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the motion.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from New Jersey [Mr. MENENDEZ] moves to commit 
     the bill H.R. 1 to the Committee on Finance with instructions 
     to report the same back to the Senate in 3 days, not counting 
     any day on which the Senate is not in session, with changes 
     that--
       (1) are within the jurisdiction of such committee; and
       (2) would eliminate the repeal of the State and local tax 
     deduction if State and local spending on investments in 
     Medicaid and other health care, infrastructure, or services 
     for children or seniors, education, or law enforcement is 
     reduced or taxes on the middle class are increased.

  Mr. MENENDEZ. Mr. President, I rise once again to stand up for the 
good people of New Jersey and other States to offer a motion to restore 
the State and local tax, or SALT, deduction.
  Ending the SALT deduction will subject millions of middle-class 
families to double taxation, but that is not all. It will also set the 
stage for huge cuts to education, law enforcement, infrastructure, 
public health, and other critical services. But don't take my word for 
it. Listen to the teachers and police officers, the doctors and nurses 
and firefighters.
  The National Education Association opposes it because it will hurt 
our public schools. The Fraternal Order of Police and the National 
Sheriffs' Association oppose it because it will make our streets less 
safe. The American Medical Association and the American Hospital 
Association oppose it because people will lose access to healthcare. 
The AARP opposes it because it will lead to cuts in Medicare and 
Medicaid and hurt our seniors. Even the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce 
opposes it because it will hinder investments in the infrastructure 
that businesses need in order to compete.
  My motion to commit would restore the SALT deduction if these all too 
predictable consequences happen. A corporate tax cut cannot build a 
road, care for a senior, teach a child, or help keep our streets safe. 
If corporations can keep the State and local tax deduction, so should 
middle-class families. We cannot afford to roll the dice and risk these 
investments in the middle class.
  I urge the adoption of the motion to commit, and I ask for the yeas 
and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does any Senator seek time in opposition?
  The Senator from South Dakota is recognized.
  Mr. THUNE. Mr. President, let's keep in mind that the State and local 
tax, or SALT, deduction disproportionately

[[Page S7704]]

benefits wealthy taxpayers in high tax States. More than 70 percent of 
American families currently take the standard deduction, so they will 
not even be impacted at all by this bill's treatment of SALT. Let's 
also keep in mind that our improving amendment strikes a compromise on 
SALT. It includes, as does the House bill, a deduction of up to $10,000 
for property tax paid to State and local governments.
  Democrats insisting on keeping the entire SALT deduction in place 
should explain why they have prioritized a tax deduction for wealthy 
taxpayers over middle-class tax relief. Our bill addresses this issue 
in an appropriate way, and I urge my colleagues to vote against this 
motion.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The yeas and nays were previously ordered.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 48, nays 52, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 297 Leg.]

                                YEAS--48

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--52

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young
  The motion was rejected.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.


          Amendments Nos. 1852 and 1846 to Amendment No. 1618

  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the following 
amendments be called up and reported by number: Cruz No. 1852, Kaine 
No. 1846; further, that following disposition of the Kaine amendment, 
Senator Manchin be recognized to offer a motion to commit and that 
there be 2 minutes of debate, equally divided, prior to a vote on the 
motion.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report the amendments en bloc by number.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Texas [Mr. Cornyn], for others, proposes 
     amendments numbered 1852 and 1846 en bloc to amendment No. 
     1618.

  The amendments are as follows:


                           AMENDMENT NO. 1852

(Purpose: To allow limited 529 account funds to be used for elementary 
             and secondary education, including homeschool)

       At the end of part IV of subtitle A of title I, insert the 
     following:

     SEC. 11033. 529 ACCOUNT FUNDING FOR ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY 
                   EDUCATION.

       (a) In General.--
       (1) In general.--Section 529(c) is amended by adding at the 
     end the following new paragraph:
       ``(7) Treatment of elementary and secondary tuition.--Any 
     reference in this subsection to the term `qualified higher 
     education expense' shall include a reference to--
       ``(A) expenses for tuition in connection with enrollment or 
     attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private, or 
     religious school, and
       ``(B) expenses for--
       ``(i) curriculum and curricular materials,
       ``(ii) books or other instructional materials,
       ``(iii) online educational materials,
       ``(iv) tuition for tutoring or educational classes outside 
     of the home (but only if the tutor or instructor is not 
     related to the student),
       ``(v) dual enrollment in an institution of higher 
     education, and
       ``(vi) educational therapies for students with 
     disabilities,

     in connection with a homeschool (whether treated as a 
     homeschool or a private school for purposes of applicable 
     State law).''.
       (2) Limitation.--Section 529(e)(3)(A) is amended by adding 
     at the end the following: ``The amount of cash distributions 
     from all qualified tuition programs described in subsection 
     (b)(1)(A)(ii) with respect to a beneficiary during any 
     taxable year shall, in the aggregate, include not more than 
     $10,000 in expenses described in subsection (c)(7) incurred 
     during the taxable year.''.
       (b) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsection (a) 
     shall apply to contributions made after December 31, 2017.
       (c) Offset.--
       (1) Modification of rules relating to hardship withdrawals 
     from cash or deferred arrangements.--Section 401(k) is 
     amended by adding at the end the following:
       ``(14) Special rules relating to hardship withdrawals.--For 
     purposes of paragraph (2)(B)(i)(IV)--
       ``(A) Amounts which may be withdrawn.--The following 
     amounts may be distributed upon hardship of the employee:
       ``(i) Contributions to a profit-sharing or stock bonus plan 
     to which section 402(e)(3) applies.
       ``(ii) Qualified nonelective contributions (as defined in 
     subsection (m)(4)(C)).
       ``(iii) Qualified matching contributions described in 
     paragraph (3)(D)(ii)(I).
       ``(iv) Earnings on any contributions described in clause 
     (i), (ii), or (iii).
       ``(B) No requirement to take available loan.--A 
     distribution shall not be treated as failing to be made upon 
     the hardship of an employee solely because the employee does 
     not take any available loan under the plan.".''.
       (2) Conforming amendment.--Section 401(k)(2)(B)(i)(IV) is 
     amended to read as follows:

       ``(IV) subject to the provisions of paragraph (14), upon 
     hardship of the employee, or".''.

       (3) Effective date.--The amendments made by this subsection 
     shall apply to plan years beginning after December 31, 2017.


                           amendment no. 1846

             (Purpose: To provide middle class tax relief)

       Beginning on page 95, strike line 7 and all that follows 
     through page 97, line 14 and insert the following:

  Subtitle B--Permanent Individual Income Tax Relief for Middle Class

     SEC. 12001. AMENDMENT OF INCOME TAX BRACKETS.

       (a) Married Individuals Filing Joint Returns and Surviving 
     Spouses.--The table contained in subsection (a) of section 1 
     is amended to read as follows:


 
           If taxable income is:                     The tax is:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not over $19,050..........................  10% of taxable income.
Over $19,050 but not over $77,400.........  $1,905, plus 12% of the
                                             excess over $19,050.
Over $77,400 but not over $140,000........  $8,907, plus 22% of the
                                             excess over $77,400.
Over $140,000 but not over $320,000.......  $22,679, plus 24% of the
                                             excess over $140,000.
Over $320,000 but not over $400,000.......  $65,879, plus 32% of the
                                             excess over $320,000.
Over $400,000 but not over $480,050.......  $91,479, plus 35% of the
                                             excess over $400,000.
Over $480,050.............................  $119,496.50, plus 39.6% of
                                             the excess over $480,050.

       (b) Heads of Households.--The table contained in subsection 
     (b) of section 1 is amended to read as follows:


 
           If taxable income is:                     The tax is:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not over $13,600..........................  10% of taxable income.
Over $13,600 but not over $51,800.........  $1,360, plus 12% of the
                                             excess over $13,600.
Over $51,800 but not over $70,000.........  $5,944, plus 22% of the
                                             excess over $51,800.
Over $70,000 but not over $160,000........  $9,948, plus 24% of the
                                             excess over $70,000.
Over $160,000 but not over $200,000.......  $31,548, plus 32% of the
                                             excess over $160,000.
Over $200,000 but not over $453,350.......  $44,348, plus 35% of the
                                             excess over $200,000.
Over $453,350.............................  $133,020.50, plus 39.6% of
                                             the excess over $453,350.

       (c) Unmarried Individuals Other Than Surviving Spouses and 
     Heads of Households.--The table contained in subsection (c) 
     of section 1 is amended to read as follows:


 
           If taxable income is:                     The tax is:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not over $9,525...........................  10% of taxable income.
Over $9,525 but not over $38,700..........  $952.50, plus 12% of the
                                             excess over $9,525.
Over $38,700 but not over $70,000.........  $4,453.50, plus 22% of the
                                             excess over $38,700.
Over $70,000 but not over $160,000........  $11,339.50, plus 24% of the
                                             excess over $70,000.
Over $160,000 but not over $200,000.......  $32,939.50, plus 32% of the
                                             excess over $160,000.
Over $200,000 but not over $426,700.......  $45,739.50, plus 35% of the
                                             excess over $200,000.
Over $426,700.............................  $125,084.50, plus 39.6% of
                                             the excess over $426,700.

       (d) Married Individuals Filing Separate Returns.--The table 
     contained in subsection (d) of section 1 is amended to read 
     as follows:


 
           If taxable income is:                     The tax is:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not over $9,525...........................  10% of taxable income.
Over $9,525 but not over $38,700..........  $952.50, plus 12% of the
                                             excess over $9,525.

[[Page S7705]]

 
Over $38,700 but not over $70,000.........  $4,453.50, plus 22% of the
                                             excess over $38,700.
Over $70,000 but not over $160,000........  $11,339.50, plus 24% of the
                                             excess over $70,000.
Over $160,000 but not over $200,000.......  $32,939.50, plus 32% of the
                                             excess over $160,000.
Over $200,000 but not over $240,026.......  $45,739.50, plus 35% of the
                                             excess over $200,000.
Over $240,026.............................  $59,748.60, plus 39.6% of
                                             the excess over $240,026.

       (e) Estates and Trusts.--The table contained in subsection 
     (e) of section 1 is amended to read as follows:


 
           If taxable income is:                     The tax is:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not over $2,550...........................  10% of taxable income.
Over $2,550 but not over $9,150...........  $255, plus 24% of the excess
                                             over $2,550.
Over $9,150 but not over $12,700..........  $1,839, plus 35% of the
                                             excess over $9,150.
Over $12,700..............................  $3,081.50, plus 39.6% of the
                                             excess over $12,700.

       (f) Inflation Adjustment.--Section 1(f)(2)(A), as amended 
     by this Act, is amended by striking ``1992'' and inserting 
     ``2017''.
       (g) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section 
     shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 
     2025.

     SEC. 12002. CORPORATE TAX RATE.

       (a) In General.--Section 11(b), as amended by this Act, is 
     amended by striking ``20 percent'' and inserting ``25 
     percent''.
       (b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by this section 
     shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 
     2018.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  The Senator from Texas is recognized.


                           Amendment No. 1852

  Mr. CRUZ. Mr. President, tonight I ask your support for this 
commonsense amendment, which will expand the already immensely popular 
529 college savings plan so that parents can also save for K-12 
elementary and secondary school tuition, including educational expenses 
for homeschool students.
  This change will have real and significant effects. Your vote will 
expand options for parents and children spending their own money and 
will prioritize the education of the next generation of Americans. By 
expanding 529s, which Americans already value greatly, we will help 
ensure that each child can receive an education that meets his or her 
individualized needs, and this reasonable expansion will enable hard-
working parents to better save for the educational future of their 
kids.
  This amendment was in the House bill, and it is fully paid for, and I 
urge your support.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon is recognized.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, Senator Cruz's amendment expands tax 
subsidies for upper income households to aid private or parochial 
schools by allowing 529 account balances to spend up to $10,000 a year 
on private or parochial school tuition and supplies.
  Colleagues, this is nothing less than a backdoor assault on the 
public K-12 education system. The real goal seems to be to take more 
and more children from the public schools and put them into private 
schools and shrink the funds that would be available to the public 
schools that give all of America's children the chance to get ahead.
  Members should oppose the amendment because it undermines America's 
public education system.
  I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 50, nays 50, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 298 Leg.]

                                YEAS--50

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                                NAYS--50

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden
  The VICE PRESIDENT. On this vote, the yeas are 50, the nays are 50. 
The Senate being equally divided, the Vice President votes in the 
affirmative, and the amendment, No. 1852, is agreed to.


                           Amendment No. 1846

  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Lankford). There will now be 2 minutes of 
debate, equally divided, prior to a vote on Kaine amendment No. 1846.
  The Senator from Virginia.
  Mr. KAINE. Mr. President, may I ask that amendment No. 1846 be called 
up?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. It is already called up.
  Mr. KAINE. Thank you, Mr. President.
  It is impossible to fix all the problems with this bill in a 1-minute 
amendment, but my amendment fixes two problems. It makes the middle-
class tax cuts permanent, and it takes nearly $1 trillion away from the 
massive deficit caused by this big giveaway.
  How does the amendment do these two things? First, it leaves the AMT 
where it is under current law instead of scaling it back. Second, while 
making middle-income tax cuts permanent, it provides no individual tax 
relief to those Americans currently in the top bracket. Third, it cuts 
the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25, rather than 20.
  If you care about deficit reduction, support this amendment. If you 
care about permanent middle-class tax cuts, support this amendment. If 
you believe a reasonable corporate tax cut could help grow the economy, 
support the amendment. Finally, if you believe tax reform should be 
bipartisan, support this amendment.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, taking the time in opposition, first, I 
want to acknowledge that we share the goal of making the individual tax 
rates permanent, and I hope we will have an opportunity to do that, 
but, more importantly, I want to thank the Senator from Virginia for 
acknowledging and complimenting our work, acknowledging that we have 
cut taxes for working-class and middle-income families.
  There are people who came down here during the course of the last 
couple of days suggesting that somehow wasn't true. I appreciate your 
honesty in acknowledging that we did, in fact, cut taxes for middle-
income families, for working-class families, so much so, in fact, that 
you want to make our policy permanent, and I commend you for that. 
Unfortunately, you also added a huge tax increase on the very 
businesses that are going to help drive our growth.
  By lowering our rate to 20 percent, which is what we do in our bill 
and which you would undermine, we would lose the opportunity to create 
new businesses, existing business growth, and the wage and job growth 
we want to drive.
  I would suggest we work together on making our individual tax cuts 
permanent in the future, but I would urge my colleague to oppose this 
amendment in the current form.
  Mr. KAINE. Mr. President, do I have any remaining time?
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that he be given 
a minute.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. KAINE. Mr. President, I don't need a full minute. I am just here 
to say that permanent middle-class tax cuts is more important than 25 
to 20 percent for corporations.
  The problem with the Republican bill is the priority. It prioritizes 
the corporate tax cuts over individual tax cuts for middle-class people 
and that is why we oppose it and that is why everyone should support 
this amendment. People come first.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.

[[Page S7706]]

  

  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, the pending amendment No. 1846 offered by 
Senator Kaine has unknown budgetary effects. Therefore, I raise a point 
of order against this measure pursuant to section 4105 of H. Con. Res. 
71, the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Virginia.
  Mr. KAINE. Mr. President, I am shocked to learn that at 10 after 12 
we are actually following a procedure that is a normal budget 
procedure, but since that has been raised, pursuant to section 904 of 
the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and the waiver provisions of 
applicable budget resolutions, I move to waive all applicable sections 
of that act and applicable budget resolutions for purposes of the 
pending amendment, and I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from North Dakota (Ms. 
Heitkamp) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 34, nays 65, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 299 Leg.]

                                YEAS--34

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Schatz
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--65

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Booker
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cortez Masto
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Grassley
     Harris
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hirono
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     Markey
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Reed
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sanders
     Sasse
     Schumer
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Tester
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Warren
     Wicker
     Young

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Heitkamp
       
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 34, the nays 65.
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  The point of order is sustained and the amendment falls.
  The majority leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that following 
the disposition of the motion to commit, the Cantwell amendment No. 
1717 be called up and reported by number.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.


                            Motion to Commit

  Mr. MANCHIN. Mr. President, I have a motion to commit at the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the motion.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:
       The Senator from West Virginia [Mr. MANCHIN] moves to 
     commit the bill H.R. 1 to the Committee on Finance with 
     instructions to report the same back to the Senate in 3 days, 
     not counting any day on which the Senate is not in session, 
     with changes that--
       (1) are within the jurisdiction of such committee;
       (2) make the reductions to individual tax rates for middle 
     class and working people permanent;
       (3) would maintain at existing levels--
       (A) the medical expense deduction;
       (B) the student loan interest deduction;
       (C) retirement savings incentives;
       (D) homeownership incentives; and
       (E) the historic tax credit;
       (4) provide small businesses with permanent maximum tax 
     relief; and
       (5) fully offset the changes described in paragraphs (2) 
     through (4) by setting the corporate tax rate at 25 percent.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Mr. President, I want to thank Senator Heitkamp for her 
support of this motion.
  Our motion would simply send this legislation back to the Senate 
Finance Committee with instructions to change provisions important to 
West Virginians.
  First, it would call for the reductions on individual tax rates for 
middle-class and working people to be made permanent. Currently, 
individuals receive temporary relief, while corporate changes are made 
permanent--a gimmick that provides uncertainty for West Virginia 
taxpayers and North Dakotans.
  Next, it directs the committee to maintain important priorities, such 
as the medical expense deduction, student loan interest deduction, 
retirement savings incentives, homeownership incentives, and the 
historic tax credit.
  It is important that we provide this permanent relief to American 
taxpayers who are slated to see higher taxes as rates go up in the 
later years of this bill. In my State alone, 79 percent of West 
Virginians make under $75,000 and will see their taxes spike as their 
tax relief expires.
  Finally, the amendment calls for small businesses to receive much 
needed relief and for the corporate tax rate to be set at 25 percent. 
In my State, 95.6 percent of businesses are small businesses and employ 
over 50 percent of West Virginians.
  I urge my colleagues to support sending this bill back to committee 
and to work in a bipartisan way to pass a fiscally responsible tax 
reform bill that positions this country to thrive for future 
generations.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, what our friend from West Virginia is 
proposing is to make the United States uncompetitive in a global 
economy.
  Right now, we have the highest tax rate in the industrialized world, 
and what we are doing is lowering that tax rate to make us competitive 
and in so doing, taking the advice of Barack Obama in his 2011 State of 
the Union message; advice from the Democratic leader, Senator Schumer; 
and Senator Wyden, the ranking member of the Finance Committee, who has 
recommended a lower rate than that contained in this motion to 
recommit.
  We think we should take the advice of President Obama, President 
Clinton, Senator Wyden, Minority Leader Schumer, and other prominent 
Democrats--the advice they have given us over the last few years to 
lower these corporate rates and make us more competitive so we can 
bring jobs back home, improve wages, and get the economy growing again 
so people can pursue their American dreams.
  I would encourage our colleagues to defeat this motion to commit.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. MANCHIN. If I could just say--
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is no time remaining.
  Mr. MANCHIN. I ask unanimous consent for an additional 30 seconds.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Mr. President, a 33-percent decrease from 35 percent to 
25 percent is quite substantial. I have not had a corporation yet, if 
you have spoken to any of them, that wouldn't be tickled to death with 
25 percent. That basically sustains that we can help more people. I 
think it would be great for the economy of the United States of 
America, and I ask everyone to consider that. It is a most reasonable 
request.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the Manchin 
motion to commit.
  Mr. LEAHY. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. DURBIN. I announce that the Senator from Rhode Island (Mr. 
Whitehouse) is necessarily absent.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 38, nays 61, as follows:

[[Page S7707]]

  


                      [Rollcall Vote No. 300 Leg.]

                                YEAS--38

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Wyden

                                NAYS--61

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Booker
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cortez Masto
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Durbin
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Gillibrand
     Graham
     Grassley
     Harris
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hirono
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     Markey
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sanders
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Warren
     Wicker
     Young

                             NOT VOTING--1

       
     Whitehouse
       
  The motion was rejected.


                Amendment No. 1717 to Amendment No. 1618

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the Cantwell amendment 
by number.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Washington [Ms. Cantwell] proposes an 
     amendment numbered 1717 to amendment No. 1618.

  The amendment is as follows:

                     (Purpose: To strike title II)

       Strike title II.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will be 2 minutes of debate, equally 
divided.
  The Senator from Washington.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, my amendment strikes the title requiring 
oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is 
the largest refuge in our Nation and the last pristine ecosystem for 
the Arctic in North America.
  Requiring oil development in the heart of the Arctic National 
Wildlife Refuge should not be in this bill.
  Although the bill text has been changed to address Byrd Rule 
violations, the Congressional Budget Office continues to estimate that 
it will raise less than $1 billion over 10 years.
  Opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling doesn't 
even meet the $1 billion reconciliation instruction.
  It certainly doesn't represent a serious offset to huge deficits in 
the Republican bill.
  To put this in perspective, this represents less than seven one-
hundredths of 1 percent of the $1.5-trillion-dollar increase in the 
national debt that the Republican tax policies will cause.
  Drilling in the Arctic has nothing to do with serious budgetary 
policy, but it has everything to do with evading regular order to pass 
something that could never be enacted on its own.
  In addition to drilling in the Arctic refuge, this bill would sell 7 
million barrels of oil from our Nation's strategic petroleum reserve.
  A portion of that sale is necessary simply to meet the committee's 
reconciliation instructions. The sale of oil from the reserve would 
also provide for a $300 million windfall to four States: Texas, 
Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
  So this bill is selling off oil from our strategic petroleum reserve 
in order to pay for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife 
Refuge.
  It doesn't make any sense.
  The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the crown jewels of the 
national wildlife refuge system.
  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the refuge, 
describes it as ``the only conservation system unit that protects, in 
an undisturbed condition, a complete spectrum of the arctic ecosystems 
in North America.''
  It is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife: 47 different 
species of mammals, including polar bears, grizzly bears, wolves, 
Dall's sheep, moose, musk-ox, and the Porcupine caribou herd.
  The refuge provides important habitat for over 40 species of fish and 
more than 200 species of migratory birds whose lives depend on the 
Arctic refuge.
  The refuge was first established by the Eisenhower administration. 
Congress later protected this amazing Arctic ecosystem in 1980. It did 
so specifically to protect wildlife and wildlife habitat in its natural 
diversity.
  The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is known as the Last Great 
Wilderness and is truly one of our last great wild places.
  But the provisions of this bill turn the purpose of the Arctic refuge 
on its head.
  It would make oil and gas development on the refuge's coastal plain 
one of the statutory purposes of the wildlife refuge.
  Under this bill, our Nation's most pristine national wildlife refuge 
will become the only refuge where oil and gas development is required 
by law.
  It opens up the entire 1.5-million-acre coastal plain for oil and gas 
exploration and requires leasing of at least 800,000 acres.
  It requires leasing of areas with the highest oil and gas potential, 
no matter the consequences for wildlife or the environment.
  The bill requires that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge be managed 
as a petroleum reserve, which is unprecedented and undercuts managing 
the refuge for wildlife.
  The bill includes no clear requirements to comply with environmental 
laws or to protect wildlife. Its sponsors, however, say they are not 
preempting environmental laws, and that, in fact, laws like the 
National Environmental Policy Act will ``fully apply.''
  Given the assurances that environmental and wildlife refuge laws will 
continue to apply, I do not understand why their bill adds oil 
development as a purpose of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  Adding oil development as a purpose of the refuge seems contrary to 
its primary purpose, which is to protect wildlife.
  What a no-brainer: The purpose of a wildlife refuge is to protect 
wildlife. Refuges must be managed that way.
  At every other national wildlife refuge in the country, development 
within the refuge is only permitted to the extent it is compatible with 
the primary purpose of the refuge: protecting wildlife.
  But because the bill makes oil and gas development a refuge purpose, 
oil drilling in the refuge will no longer be subject to a meaningful 
``compatibility determination.''
  This bill essentially waives one of the most important management 
protections that applies to every other national wildlife refuge.
  They have to do this because they know that oil and gas isn't 
compatible with protecting wildlife--it is just the opposite.
  This bill does not provide energy security. There is no prohibition 
in the bill against exporting oil from the Arctic refuge. In all 
likelihood, much of this oil will end up being exported.
  The Republican majority agreed to include only one amendment during 
the Energy Committee's consideration of this issue, and that amendment 
required the sale of 5 million barrels of oil from the strategic 
petroleum reserve to give $300 million to the States of Texas, 
Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
  The bill has now been amended to require the sale of 7 million 
barrels from our strategic petroleum reserve.
  So at the same time as we are being told we need to ruin a pristine 
national wildlife refuge to drill for more oil, the very same bill is 
selling off millions of barrels out of our strategic oil reserve, which 
was used most recently during this hurricane season to protect 
Americans from gas price spikes.
  The impact of oil and gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife 
Refuge and the danger to its wildlife cannot be overstated. The 
importance of the refuge for wildlife such as polar bears and caribou 
have been documented in letters I have received from biologists and 
other scientists who have worked in the Arctic.
  I ask unanimous consent that the letters be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                   The Jane Goodall Institute,

                                                November 14, 2017.
       Dear United States Senator: It seems that each day brings 
     ever more dire news about what we humans are doing to harm

[[Page S7708]]

     our planet, the animals that share it with us and, by doing 
     so, harming ourselves also. You have an important opportunity 
     to make a difference both now, and for future generations, by 
     voting to oppose oil development in one of the world's most 
     spectacular wilderness areas--the Arctic National Wildlife 
     Refuge.
       This Refuge is a truly wonderful place--nearly 20 million 
     acres of pristine and ecologically significant habitat. There 
     is compelling scientific evidence as to why it is truly 
     important to protect this place. For one thing, it provides 
     key breeding habitat for the millions-upon-millions of birds 
     that migrate there from six of our planet's seven continents. 
     It is also a calving ground for the 200,000-strong Porcupine 
     caribou herd. And it is one of the most important denning 
     habitats on earth for polar bears. Moreover it plays a 
     significant role in helping to protect us from the onslaught 
     of climate change.
       But the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is more than that. 
     Its very wildness speaks to our deeply rooted spiritual 
     connection to nature, a necessary element of the human 
     psyche. The Gwich'in people understand this and call the area 
     ``The Sacred Place Where Life Begins''.
       If we violate the Arctic Refuge by extracting the oil 
     beneath the land, this will have devastating impact for the 
     Gwich'in people for they depend upon the caribou herds to 
     sustain their traditional way of life. Around the globe so 
     many indigenous people have been harmed in the name of 
     `progress'--let us not add one more tragedy to the list. We 
     have other sources of energy.
       And so I beg you: Please use your voice and your vote as a 
     U.S. Senator to protect the Gwich'in people and the American 
     treasure that is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
       America has helped lead the world in the conservation of 
     wildlife and your voice has been so meaningful in this 
     regard, your example so powerful. Please take this 
     opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to the natural 
     world and to future generations and stand with me to protect 
     the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
       Please vote against oil development in the Arctic National 
     Wildlife Refuge.
           Sincerely,

                                     Jane Goodall, DBE, Ph.D.,

                              Founder--the Jane Goodall Institute,
     & UN Messenger of Peace.
                                  ____

                                                November 26, 2017.
     Hon. Maria Cantwell,
      Ranking Member, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
         U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Cantwell: Research across North America 
     including Alaska has revealed much about how we can monitor 
     and mitigate the effects of industrial activities on 
     migratory tundra caribou. We have learnt that, although the 
     Prudhoe Bay oilfield displaced calving and post-calving 
     caribou of the Central Arctic herd, the effects were offset 
     by reduced hunting. Consequently the herd increased but 
     between 2010 and 2016 the herd is declining at the rate of 
     halving every 4 years. We have also learnt that industrial 
     activities including roads can displace caribou by larger 
     distances than previously realized.
       Caribou across North America are part of a global decline. 
     The Porcupine herd is the only herd of migratory tundra 
     caribou in North America that is not currently declining. It 
     has the diversity of ranges and habitats that allow the 
     caribou to respond to the changing climate by choosing the 
     best habitats for their survival. This is true for calving as 
     the PCH calves in the 1002 area and the western Canadian 
     coastal plain depending on weather. The coastal plains are so 
     narrow that even a small footprint for oil and gas activities 
     may be too much for the caribou already trying to adapt to a 
     changing climate.
       The Porcupine herd is jointly managed between the Alaska 
     Department of Fish and Game (ADFG), the US Fish and Wildlife 
     Service (USFWS), and the Yukon, NWT and Canadian governments. 
     Collaboration on monitoring and research has been coordinated 
     by the Porcupine Caribou Technical Committee, a group 
     recognized in the International Porcupine Caribou Agreement 
     signed by Canada and the US in 1987.
       The question is not just what would development in 1002 
     lands mean to caribou but it is what it means to the people 
     in USA and Canada who depend on the caribou. Faced with 
     uncertainty about the caribou, the cautionary approach is to 
     do no harm until we have a better understanding. The oil and 
     gas is secure in the ground; the caribou and the people are 
     not.
     Anne Gunn,
       Retired GNWT biologist, CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring 
     and Assessment (CARMA) Network.
     Don Russell,
       Retired Canadian Wildlife Service Biologist, Past Co-Chair 
     International Porcupine Caribou Board, CircumArctic Rangifer 
     Monitoring and Assessment (CARMA) Network.
                                  ____



                                    Polar Bears International,

                                                November 28, 2017.
     Hon. Maria Cantwell,
     Ranking Member, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
         U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Cantwell: I've studied polar bears for 37 
     years--solving many of the mysteries about their life cycle. 
     I led polar bear research in Alaska for 30 years, and my 
     research team at the USGS provided the information that led 
     Interior Secretary Kempthorne to list polar bears as a 
     threatened species. I am currently the chief scientist at 
     Polar Bears International.
       I am reaching out today because I'm concerned about the 
     likely impacts on Alaska's polar bears should the Arctic 
     National Wildlife Refuge be opened to oil and gas 
     development.
       The ANWR coastal plain is vitally important to polar bears. 
     Pregnant female polar bears head to this area every fall to 
     create snow dens where they give birth to their young. In 
     fact, the region has higher concentrations of polar bear 
     maternal denning habitat than other coastal areas on Alaska's 
     North Slope. In recent years, the ANWR has become even more 
     important as a polar bear denning site because the 
     deterioration of historically stable sea ice in the Beaufort 
     Sea has forced more polar bears to den onshore, rather than 
     risk giving birth on unstable ice.
       In addition to the ANWR's importance as a critical denning 
     area for polar bears, the region faces profound impacts from 
     climate change unless we transition away from fossil fuels. 
     Warmer temperatures mean less sea ice habitat, which polar 
     bears rely on to catch their seal prey. In addition, 
     encouraging more fossil fuel usage, as opening the ANWR would 
     do, will only add to ongoing global warming.
       If we continue to follow a ``business as usual'' reliance 
     on fossil fuels, average annual temperatures in Alaska's 
     Arctic are projected to be more than 10 degrees Celsius (18 
     degrees Fahrenheit) higher, at century's end, than they are 
     now. Such high temperatures would assure ice-free summers in 
     the Arctic, with devastating impacts on polar bears and other 
     Arctic wildlife. And, of course, ramifications reach the rest 
     of life on Earth--including humans.
       With ``on the ground'' drilling activities posing a threat 
     to polar bear denning sites, and prolonged reliance on fossil 
     fuels continuing to melt the sea ice polar bears need to 
     catch their prey, oil and gas development in the ANWR would 
     serve a double whammy. Opening the ANWR to drilling, 
     therefore, is a path we should avoid--for the sake of polar 
     bears, our children, and our grandchildren.
           Respectfully,

                                            Steven C. Amstrup,

                                                  Chief Scientist,
     Polar Bears International.
                                  ____

                                                 November 9, 2017.
     Hon. Lisa Murkowski, Chair.
     Hon. Maria Cantwell, Ranking Member
     Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
     U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
       Dear Senators Murkowski and Cantwell: As scientists who 
     have either conducted research in Arctic Alaska or traveled 
     in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, we are writing to 
     highlight for you the fundamental importance of fully 
     protecting its 1.5-million acre coastal plain. Based on our 
     experience in the Arctic, we oppose oil exploration, 
     development and production in the Arctic Refuge. Such 
     activity would be incompatible with the purposes for which 
     the refuge was established, including ``to conserve fish and 
     wildlife populations and habitats in their natural 
     diversity.''
       When the original Arctic National Wildlife Range was 
     established in 1960 by the Eisenhower Administration, it was 
     done with the foresight and wisdom to protect an entire 
     ecosystem, both south and north of the Brooks Range, 
     including the rich coastal plain. Decades of biological study 
     and scientific research within the Arctic Refuge have 
     confirmed that the coastal plain specifically is vital to the 
     biological diversity of the entire refuge. Within the narrow 
     (15-40 miles) coastal plain, there is a unique compression of 
     habitats which concentrates a wide array of wildlife native 
     to the Arctic, including polar bears, grizzly bears, wolves, 
     wolverines, caribou, musk oxen, Dolly Varden char, Arctic 
     grayling, and many species of migratory birds. In fact, 
     according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Arctic 
     Refuge coastal plain contains the greatest wildlife diversity 
     of any protected area above the Arctic Circle.
       In 2003, the National Research Council (NRC) published a 
     report on the ``Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and 
     Gas Activities on Alaska's North Slope.'' Led by Dr. Gordon 
     Orians, University of Washington, this report was prepared by 
     a panel of prominent scientists following an extensive review 
     of the literature and consultations with experts. It remains 
     the best, most comprehensive synthesis of the effects of oil 
     development on wildlife and the landscape of Arctic Alaska. 
     Among the report's ``major findings'' (Chapter 11) are the 
     following:
       Three-dimensional seismic surveys require a high spatial 
     density of trails. ``Seismic exploration can damage 
     vegetation and cause erosion, especially along stream 
     banks.''
       The effects of roads, pads, pipelines, and other 
     infrastructure extend far beyond the physical footprint 
     itself, and the distances at which impacts occur vary with 
     the environmental component affected. ``Effects on hydrology, 
     vegetation, and animal populations occur at distances up to 
     several kilometers . . .''
       ``Roads have had effects as far-reaching and complex as any 
     physical component of the North Slope oil fields.''

[[Page S7709]]

       Denning polar bears are among the animals that ``have been 
     affected by industrial activities on the North Slope.''
       Readily available food supplies in the oil fields attract 
     higher-than-normal densities of predators, which then prey on 
     birds and their eggs and young. The reproductive success rate 
     of some bird species in the developed parts of oil fields 
     ``has been reduced to the extent that it is insufficient to 
     balance mortality.''
       The spread of industrial activity, especially to the east 
     where the coastal plain is narrower than elsewhere [i.e., the 
     Arctic Refuge], ``would likely result in reductions in 
     reproductive success'' for caribou.
       Although oilfield technologies continue to improve, the 
     NRC's findings are still of concern today. Indeed, proposals 
     that would limit the ``footprint'' of oil development to 
     2,000 acres on the coastal plain within the Arctic Refuge are 
     of little value, since those acres may be spread over much of 
     the coastal plain. This would be especially true if oil 
     reserves are scattered in multiple pockets across the refuge, 
     as is suggested by the U.S. Geological Survey (Fact Sheet 
     0028-01). Since the effects of industrial activities, 
     starting with seismic surveys, are not limited to the 
     footprint of a structure or to its immediate vicinity, it is 
     highly likely that such activities would result in 
     significant impacts on a variety of wildlife in the refuge's 
     narrow coastal plain.
       Development of yet another oilfield would further set back 
     efforts to limit the carbon emissions that are fueling the 
     dramatic changes in climate now affecting Alaska. Polar 
     bears--listed as ``threatened'' under the Endangered Species 
     Act--are already struggling with deteriorating sea ice and 
     increasingly are forced to den on land on the eastern 
     Beaufort Sea coast, including the coastal plain of the Arctic 
     Refuge. In fact, three-fourths of the refuge coastal plain is 
     designated as critical habitat for polar bears, which are 
     highly vulnerable to disturbance due to oil and gas 
     activities.
       The NRC report and subsequent work done in Arctic Alaska 
     strongly indicate that the cumulative impact of many 
     seemingly small changes is significant. New development on 
     the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge, one of the nation's 
     and planet's premier protected areas, will only contribute to 
     these harmful impacts on wildlife. For all these reasons, we 
     oppose oil and gas exploration, development and production on 
     the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge.
       Thank you for your consideration.
           Sincerely,
         R. Terry Bowyer, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Wildlife 
           Ecology University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, 
           Alaska; Jim Dau, M.Sc., Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game 
           (retired), Kotzebue, Alaska; Mike Boylan, M.Sc., 
           National Wildlife Refuges Association, Anchorage, 
           Alaska; Anthony R. DeGange, M.Sc., U.S. Geological 
           Survey (retired), Anchorage, Alaska; Jedediah Brodie, 
           Ph.D., Craighead Chair, Wildlife Conservation, 
           University of Montana, Missoula, Montana; Jeff Fair, 
           M.Sc., Fairwinds Wildlife Services, Palmer, Alaska.
         Stephen Brown, Ph.D., Shorebird Biologist, Saxtons River, 
           Vermont; Kathy Frost, M.Sc., Alaska Dept. of Fish & 
           Game (retired), Kailua Kona, Hawaii; F. Stuart Chapin 
           III, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Ecology, University of 
           Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska; H. River Gates, 
           M.Sc., Shorebird Biologist, Anchorage, Alaska; Dave 
           Cline, M.Sc., National Audubon Society (retired), U.S. 
           Fish & Wildlife Service (retired), North Bend, 
           Washington; Mary E. Hogan, M.Sc., U.S. Fish & Wildlife 
           Service (retired), Anchorage, Alaska; David R. Klein, 
           Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Wildlife Management, 
           University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska.
         John Coady, Ph.D., Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game (retired), 
           Fairbanks, Alaska; Jack Lentfer, M.Sc., U.S. Marine 
           Mammal Commission (retired), Alaska Dept. of Fish & 
           Game (retired), Gustavus, Alaska; Peter G. Connors, 
           Ph.D., Bodega Marine Lab (retired), University of 
           California--Davis, Bodega Bay, California; Joe 
           Liebezeit, M.Sc., Audubon Society of Portland, 
           Portland, Oregon; Joseph Cook, Ph.D., Professor of 
           Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New 
           Mexico; Lloyd Lowery, M.Sc., Alaska Dept. of Fish & 
           Game (retired), Kailua Kona, Hawaii.
         Rosa H. Meehan, Ph.D., U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 
           (retired), Anchorage, Alaska; Stanley Senner, M.Sc., 
           National Audubon Society, Missoula, Montana; Sterling 
           Miller, Ph.D., Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game (retired), 
           National Wildlife Federation (retired), Missoula, 
           Montana; David W. Shaw, M.Sc., Biologist-guide, 
           Fairbanks, Alaska; Russell M. Oates, M.Sc., Former 
           Refuge Biologist, Arctic NWR, U.S. Fish & Wildlife 
           Service (retired), Burnsville, North Carolina; E. 
           LaVerne Smith, M.Sc., U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 
           (retired), Anchorage, Alaska.
         Gordon Orians, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Biology, 
           University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Dan 
           Taylor, M.Sc., Audubon California (retired), 
           Sacramento, California; Martha Raynolds, Ph.D., Arctic 
           Plant Ecologist, Fairbanks, Alaska; Nils Warnock, 
           Ph.D., Audubon Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska.
         Martin Robards, Ph.D., Arctic Beringia Program, Wildlife 
           Conservation Society, Fairbanks, Alaska; Robert G. 
           White, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Zoophysiology, 
           University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska; 
           George Schaller, Ph.D., Wildlife Conservation Society, 
           West Lebanon, New Hampshire; Kenneth R. Whitten, M.Sc., 
           Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game (retired), Fairbanks, 
           Alaska.
         Scott Schliebe, Ph.D., U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 
           (retired), Anchorage, Alaska; John W. Schoen, Ph.D., 
           Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game (retired), Audubon Alaska 
           (retired), Anchorage, Alaska; Nathan Senner, Ph.D., 
           University of Montana, Missoula, Montana; Steve Zack, 
           Ph.D., Wildlife Conservation Society (retired) 
           Portland, Oregon.

  Ms. CANTWELL. The Arctic Refuge's coastal plain and nearby waters are 
designated as critical habitat for polar bears, which were designated 
as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 2008. 
Female polar bears head to this area every fall to create snow dens 
where they give birth to their young.
  The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is also famously known as the 
summer calving grounds for the Porcupine caribou herd. The herd's range 
extends into Canada. A treaty between our countries protects the herd 
and its habitat.
  The almost 200,000-member herd has an annual migration of hundreds of 
miles--and in some cases thousands of miles--wintering south of the 
refuge.
  These caribou are an important food source for many Alaska Natives, 
but in particular the Gwich'in people, who live south of the refuge. 
Wildlife biologists argue that the risk to the caribou herd--and those 
who rely on this herd--could be quite significant.
  Do you know what Webster's definition of stewardship is? The careful 
and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care. Since 
1960, under President Eisenhower, this iconic refuge has been 
protected. Tonight, unless you help strike this, you will be joining 
the ranks of those that believe in polluting a wildlife refuge, and you 
will be joining an administration that I guarantee you is going to go 
down in history as getting an F in stewardship.
  The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is too special and important; it 
is one of the crown jewels of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
  We should not destroy this pristine landscape and allow it to be 
turned into an oil field.
  I want to remind my colleagues of the words of the great 
environmental steward Olaus Murie.
  After decades of scientific exploration in Alaska, Olaus testified in 
the Senate in 1959 in support of creating the Arctic refuge.
  He said, ``We long for something more, something that has a mental, a 
spiritual impact on us. This idealism, more than anything else, will 
set us apart as a nation striving for something worthwhile in the 
universe.''
  What is setting us apart today, colleagues, is just the opposite. We 
are striving for short-term gains.
  In a hundred years, when the economic effects of this tax bill are 
long forgotten, we will still bear the blame for letting go of 
``something worthwhile in the universe.''
  We didn't create the Arctic coastal plain, and we cannot recreate, 
but we can surely destroy it.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose sacrificing the Arctic National 
Wildlife Refuge, and to support removing this provision from the bill.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. SANDERS. Mr. President, I would like to enter into the 
Congressional Record the scores produced by the Congressional Budget 
Office for section 20001 as it appears in Senate amendment 1618; and 
the score of section 20001 as it appears in Senate amendment 1855.
  In Senate amendment 1618, CBO estimates that opening the coastal 
plain for oil and gas leasing and managing ``it in accordance with 
requirements of the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 
(including regulations)'' will result in net Federal receipts of $1092 
million from 2018 through 2027.
  In Senate amendment 1855, CBO estimates that managing lease sales 
``in a manner similar to the administration of leases under the Naval 
Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 (including regulations)'' 
will result in net

[[Page S7710]]

Federal receipts of $910 million from 2018 through 2027, a decrease of 
$182 million compared to the language in Senate amendment 1618.
  I ask unanimous consent that the following CBO tables be printed in 
the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                      Congressional Budget Office,


                                                U.S. Congress,

                                 Washington, DC, November 8, 2017.
     Hon. Lisa Murkowski,
     Chairman, Committee on Energy,
     U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
       Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
     prepared the enclosed cost estimate for a Legislative 
     Proposal Related to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
       If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
     pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jeff 
     LaFave.
           Sincerely,
                                             Keith Hall, Director.
       Enclosure.

 A Legislative Proposal Related to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

As posted on the website of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural 
                Resources (FLO17783) on November 8, 2017


                                SUMMARY

       The legislation would direct the Secretary of the Interior 
     to implement an oil and gas leasing program for the coastal 
     plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Based on 
     information provided by the Department of the Interior (DOI), 
     the Energy Information Administration (EIA), and individuals 
     working in the oil and gas industry, CBO estimates that 
     implementing the legislation would increase net offsetting 
     receipts, which are treated as reductions in direct spending, 
     by about $1.1 billion over the 2018-2027 period.
       Because enacting the legislation would affect direct 
     spending pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting the 
     legislation would not affect revenues.
       CBO estimates that enacting legislation would not increase 
     net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
     consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
       The legislation contains no intergovernmental or private-
     sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
     Act (UMRA).


                ESTIMATED COST TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

       The estimated budgetary impact of the legislation is shown 
     in the following table. The costs of this legislation fall 
     within budget functions 300 (natural resources and 
     environment) and 800 (general government).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                       -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         2018    2019    2020    2021     2022      2023      2024      2025      2026      2027    2018-2022  2018-2027
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             DECREASES IN DIRECT SPENDING a
Estimated Budget Authority............       0       0       0       0      -725         *         *      -366        -1        -1       -725     -1,092
Estimated Outlays.....................       0       0       0       0      -725         *         *      -366        -1        -1       -725     -1,092
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Components may not sum to totals because of rounding; * = between -$500,000 and zero.
a CBO estimates that implementing the legislation also would cost about $10 million over the 2018-2022 period, assuming the availability of appropriated
  funds, for environmental reviews and the administrative costs of conducting the lease sales.

                           BASIS OF ESTIMATE

       For this estimate, CBO assumes that the legislation will be 
     enacted near the end of 2017 and that the funds necessary to 
     implement the legislation would be available.
     Description of the Legislation
       The legislation would direct the Secretary of the Interior 
     to implement an oil and gas leasing program for lands located 
     within the coastal plain of ANWR, which includes about 1.5 
     million acres of federal land on the northeast coast of 
     Alaska. Under current law, activities related to oil and gas 
     leasing in ANWR are prohibited.
       The legislation would require the Secretary to hold two 
     lease sales over a seven-year period following enactment and 
     to offer at least 400,000 acres of land in ANWR for lease at 
     each sale. Any lease sales in ANWR would be carried out in 
     accordance with procedures used to conduct oil and gas 
     leasing within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. For 
     each lease awarded, lessees would pay the federal government 
     bonus bids to acquire the leases, annual rent to retain the 
     leases, and royalties based on the value of any oil or gas 
     production from the leases. The legislation would establish a 
     16.67 percent royalty on oil and gas produced in ANWR. (Under 
     current law, the federal government charges royalties of 12.5 
     percent for oil and gas produced onshore and 18.75 percent 
     for oil and gas produced in the Outer Continental Shelf.) 
     Finally, under the legislation, Alaska would receive one-half 
     of the gross proceeds generated from the leasing program.
     Spending Subject to Appropriation
       CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost 
     $10 million over the 2018.2022 period for environmental 
     reviews and administrative costs associated with the leasing 
     program subject to the availability of appropriated funds. 
     Based on information provided by the Government 
     Accountability Office, we estimate that completing the 
     environmental reviews required under the National 
     Environmental Policy Act would cost $2 million. In addition, 
     CBO estimates that other implementation costs would total 
     between $1 million and $2 million per year over that period.
     Direct Spending
       CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would 
     increase net offsetting receipts by about $1.1 billion over 
     the 2018-2027 period.
       Bonus Bids. CBO estimates that gross proceeds from bonus 
     bids paid for the right to develop leases in ANWR would total 
     $2.2 billion over the 2018-2027 period. That estimate is 
     based on historical information about oil and gas leasing in 
     the United States and on information from DOI, EIA, and 
     individuals working in the oil and gas industry about factors 
     that affect the amounts that companies are willing to pay to 
     acquire oil and gas leases. In addition, CBO relied on 
     estimates prepared by the United States Geological Survey of 
     the amount of oil that might be produced from the coastal 
     plain of ANWR. As specified in the legislation, one-half of 
     all receipts from leases in ANWR would be paid to Alaska, 
     leaving net federal receipts totaling $1.1 billion over the 
     2018-2027 period.
       Estimates of bonus bids for leases in ANWR are uncertain. 
     Potential bidders might make assumptions that are different 
     from CBO's, including assumptions about long-term oil prices, 
     production costs, the amount of oil and gas resources in 
     ANWR, and alternative investment opportunities. In 
     particular, oil companies have other domestic and overseas 
     investment options that they would evaluate and compare with 
     potential investments in ANWR. The potential profitability 
     for a wide range of such global investment options would 
     probably be a significant factor in prospective bidders' 
     ultimate choices of how much to bid for ANWR leases. The 
     number of factors that affect companies' investment decisions 
     result in a wide range of estimates for bonus bids. CBO's 
     estimate reflects our best estimate of the midpoint of that 
     range.
       Other Receipts. In addition to receipts from bonus bids, 
     CBO estimates that the federal government would collect net 
     receipts from rental payments totaling about $2 million over 
     the 2022-2027 period. (Lease holders make an annual rental 
     payment until production begins.) CBO also estimates that the 
     federal government would receive royalty payments on oil 
     produced from ANWR leases; however, based on information from 
     EIA regarding the typical amount of time necessary to drill 
     exploratory wells, complete production plans, and build the 
     necessary infrastructure to produce and transport any oil 
     produced in ANWR, CBO expects that no significant royalty 
     payments would be made until after 2027.


                      PAY-AS-YOU-GO CONSIDERATIONS

       The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 establishes budget-
     reporting and enforcement procedures for legislation 
     affecting direct spending or revenues. The net changes in 
     outlays that are subject to those pay-as-you-go procedures 
     are shown in the following table.

                    CBO ESTIMATE OF PAY-AS-YOU-GO EFFECTS FOR THE LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL RELATED TO THE ARCTIC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                               By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                             -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               2018    2019    2020    2021     2022     2023     2024     2025     2026     2027   2018-2022  2018-2027
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact..............       0       0       0       0     -725        0        0     -366       -1       -1      -725      -1,092
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page S7711]]

  



                                MANDATES

       The legislation contains no intergovernmental or private-
     sector mandates as defined in UMRA,
       The legislation would benefit the State of Alaska by 
     increasing the generation of royalties from oil and gas 
     production on public lands in ANWR. Portions of the royalties 
     would be shared with the state under formulas specified by 
     the legislation and under federal laws governing oil and gas 
     production. Over the 2018-2027 period, CBO estimates that 
     Alaska would receive a total of about $1.1 billion in 
     royalties.


           INCREASE IN LONG-TERM DIRECT SPENDING AND DEFICITS

       CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would not 
     increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of 
     the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.


                          ESTIMATE PREPARED BY

       Federal Costs: Jeff LaFave; Mandates: Zachary Bynum.


                          ESTIMATE APPROVED BY

       H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget 
     Analysis.

   PRELIMINARY ESTIMATE OF DIRECT SPENDING EFFECTS OF TITLE II OF RECONCILIATION RECOMMENDATIONS AS PROVIDED BY THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON THE BUDGET ON
                                                              NOVEMBER 30, 2017 (MCG17C35)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                       -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         2018    2019    2020    2021      2022     2023    2024      2025       2026       2027    2018-2022  2018-2027
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                ESTIMATED INCREASES FOR DECREASES (-) IN DIRECT SPENDING
 
Sec. 20001--Oil and Gas Program
    Estimated Budget Authority........       0       0       0       0       -605       *       *       -304          *          *       -605       -910
    Estimated Outlays.................       0       0       0       0       -605       *       *       -304          *          *       -605       -910
Sec. 20002--Limitation on Amount
 Distributed Qualified Outer
 Continental Shelf Revenue
    Estimated Budget Authority........       0       0       0     150        150       0       0          0          0          0        300        300
    Estimated Outlays.................       0       0       0     150        150       0       0          0          0          0        300        300
Sec. 20003--Strategic Petroleum
 Reserve Drawdown & Sale
    Estimated Budget Authority........       0       0       0       0          0       0       0          0       -235       -240          0       -475
    Estimated Budget Authority........       0       0       0       0          0       0       0          0       -235       -240          0       -475
        Total Estimated Budget               0       0       0     150       -455       *       *       -304       -235       -240       -305      -1085
         Authority....................
        Total Estimated Outlays.......       0       0       0     150       -455       *       *       -304       -235       -240       -305      -1085
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding: * = between -$500,000 and zero.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Perdue). The Senator from Alaska.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Mr. President, I strongly oppose this motion to 
strike. This is our opportunity to provide jobs, to create revenues and 
resources, and to protect an environment that as Alaskans we know how 
to protect. We are seeking with this energy title to develop 2,000 
acres out of 19.3 million acres, one ten-thousandths of all of ANWR, 
and we are seeking to do it with a smaller, limited footprint, using 
the technologies that have become available over the decades that we 
have been seeking to advance these opportunities--opportunities for 
Alaska, opportunities for the Nation.
  I would implore colleagues. For 40 years now we have been looking for 
the opportunity to best protect our long-term energy and national 
security. This is our chance.

  The pending amendment No. 1717 would cause the underlying legislation 
to exceed the Energy and Natural Resources Committee's section 302(a) 
allocation of new budget authority or outlays. Therefore, I raise a 
point of order against this measure pursuant to section 302(f) of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, pursuant to section 904 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and the waiver provisions of 
applicable budget resolutions, I move to waive all applicable sections 
of that act and applicable budget resolutions for purposes of the 
pending amendment, and I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 48, nays 52, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 301 Leg.]

                                YEAS--48

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--52

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     Manchin
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this vote, the yeas are 48, the nays are 
52.
  Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted 
in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.
  The point of order is sustained and the amendment falls.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon.


                Amendment No. 1856 to Amendment No. 1618

  Mr. MERKLEY. Mr. President, I call up amendment No. 1856.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oregon [Mr. Merkley] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 1856 to amendment No. 1618.

       On page 289, strike lines 17 through 19
  Mr. MERKLEY. Mr. President, this amendment strikes a tax earmark that 
singles out one college in America from the university endowment tax 
set forth in the underlying bill.
  To be sure, I don't like the endowment tax in this bill. It 
diminishes the ability of colleges to provide scholarships to 
financially challenged students. But if the majority is intent on 
having an endowment tax, then no college should be exempted.
  The argument for the exemption is that this college doesn't take 
Federal funds. But remember why: They were sued in the 1980s for 
discriminatory practices, and they wanted to continue those practices. 
This school, Hillsdale College, does have powerful friends, including 
our Secretary of Education, but isn't that just the type of insider 
deal for the wealthy and well connected that we should oppose?
  A vote against this amendment is a vote for an earmark for a school 
with powerful friends and for subsidizing discrimination. A vote for my 
amendment is a vote to strike down such an earmark, a vote for fair 
treatment of schools, and a vote against discrimination, and I urge you 
to vote aye.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. TOOMEY. Mr. President, Hillsdale College has been unfairly 
maligned on the Senate floor. The fact is, Hillsdale College was the 
first college in America to prohibit in its charter any discrimination 
based on race, religion, or sex and was an early force in the abolition 
of slavery.
  But it is not really about Hillsdale college, exclusively. This is a 
broader idea. The idea here, and it is in this amendment, is that for 
any college that chooses to forgo Federal funding for its students--
chooses not to be a burden on the taxpayers that way--it is reasonable 
for us to respond by sparing that college a tax on the endowment fund. 
That is all.
  Now there are colleges, a number of colleges, including one in 
Pennsylvania, that choose this mode. They

[[Page S7712]]

would prefer to have the freedom to operate as they see fit rather than 
have to deal with Federal regulations, and I suspect that is a big part 
of what the real problem is on the other side of the aisle. But, folks, 
I think it is a perfectly reasonable proposition that if a college 
chooses to forgo the very substantial funds available to it from 
Federal taxpayers, it is OK to say that it will be exempt from this 
endowment. So I urge my colleagues to vote no on the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  Mr. MERKLEY. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 52, nays 48, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 302 Leg.]

                                YEAS--52

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Collins
     Coons
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Fischer
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     Kennedy
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murkowski
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden

                                NAYS--48

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Corker
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young
  The amendment (No. 1856) was agreed to
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Colleagues, we are moving now to final passage.
  I know of no further amendments to the bill.


                     Amendment No. 1618, as Amended

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will be 2 minutes of debate on amendment 
No. 1618, as amended.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I yield back our time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time is yielded back for the majority.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I yield back.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time is yielded back.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment.
  The amendment (No. 1618), as amended, was agreed to.
  The amendment was ordered to be engrossed and the bill to be read a 
third time.
  The bill was read the third time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There will now be 2 minutes of debate prior to 
the vote on H.R. 1.
  The Senator from Oregon.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, millions of Americans must be watching in 
stunned disbelief tonight as the Republican Senate betrays the middle 
class for the benefit of faceless, multinational corporations.
  Colleagues, how many middle-class families need to see their hard-
earned pay snatched away in tax hikes before these corporate handouts 
are no longer worth it? How many more Americans need to see their jobs 
shipped overseas before corporate paymasters no longer call the shots? 
How many Americans need to lose their healthcare or see their premiums 
shoot sky-high before this is stopped?
  What is happening tonight is the worst of the U.S. Senate. There is a 
trail of broken promises--broken promises to working families in the 
mad dash to pass this bill. The American people understand this is the 
first step of continuing attacks on Medicare, on Medicaid, and on 
Social Security. This vote will not be forgotten.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The majority leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I yield back the time on this side.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The bill having been read the third time, the 
question is, Shall the bill pass?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 51, nays 49, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 303 Leg.]

                                YEAS--51

     Alexander
     Barrasso
     Blunt
     Boozman
     Burr
     Capito
     Cassidy
     Cochran
     Collins
     Cornyn
     Cotton
     Crapo
     Cruz
     Daines
     Enzi
     Ernst
     Fischer
     Flake
     Gardner
     Graham
     Grassley
     Hatch
     Heller
     Hoeven
     Inhofe
     Isakson
     Johnson
     Kennedy
     Lankford
     Lee
     McCain
     McConnell
     Moran
     Murkowski
     Paul
     Perdue
     Portman
     Risch
     Roberts
     Rounds
     Rubio
     Sasse
     Scott
     Shelby
     Strange
     Sullivan
     Thune
     Tillis
     Toomey
     Wicker
     Young

                                NAYS--49

     Baldwin
     Bennet
     Blumenthal
     Booker
     Brown
     Cantwell
     Cardin
     Carper
     Casey
     Coons
     Corker
     Cortez Masto
     Donnelly
     Duckworth
     Durbin
     Feinstein
     Franken
     Gillibrand
     Harris
     Hassan
     Heinrich
     Heitkamp
     Hirono
     Kaine
     King
     Klobuchar
     Leahy
     Manchin
     Markey
     McCaskill
     Menendez
     Merkley
     Murphy
     Murray
     Nelson
     Peters
     Reed
     Sanders
     Schatz
     Schumer
     Shaheen
     Stabenow
     Tester
     Udall
     Van Hollen
     Warner
     Warren
     Whitehouse
     Wyden
  The bill (H.R. 1), as amended, was passed.
  The VICE PRESIDENT. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as amended, is passed.
  (Applause, Senators rising.)
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Perdue). The majority leader.

                          ____________________