(Senate - December 07, 2017)

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[Congressional Record Volume 163, Number 200 (Thursday, December 7, 2017)]
[Page S7920]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                          REPUBLICAN TAX BILL

  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I thank Senator Moran, who graciously gave 
me some time, and I want to briefly talk about one other subject.
  I am the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, and I am 
pleased to serve with my colleague from Louisiana who also serves on 
the committee and will be a conferee on the tax bill.
  I would like to bring up a matter the President introduced yesterday. 
The President has long said that there was going to be a ``fantastic 
tax bill''--his words, not mine--and obviously the American people 
don't see it that way. Overwhelmingly, we see in surveys--I saw it in 
townhall meetings over the weekend, in a community Hillary Clinton won, 
in a community where Donald Trump was extremely popular--that this tax 
bill was incredibly unpopular.
  The President admitted yesterday that there was a ``tiny little 
sliver'' of Americans who, as he said, ``just through circumstances 
maybe don't get the full benefit of the tax bill.'' I am not sure what 
tax plan he is talking about, but it sure can't be the one that hikes 
taxes on middle-class folks that Republicans are working out in the 
conference right now.
  So I want to get to the numbers, just briefly, from the independent, 
nonpartisan referees at the Joint Committee on Taxation. These are the 
folks we pay. The numbers they have given us really aren't in line with 
what the President is talking about when he says only a ``tiny little 
sliver'' of Americans are going to be hurt and come out behind.
  Thirteen million low- and middle-income Americans are facing an 
immediate tax hike of $100 or more because of this bill. Apparently, in 
the President's view, 13 million Americans is a ``tiny little sliver.''
  That is just the immediate impact. The bill gets worse and worse for 
middle-class folks with each passing year, and 2027 is when the numbers 
put your jaw on the floor. Under this plan that the President says is 
so ``fantastic,'' 150 million middle-class taxpayers either get a 
couple of crumbs or they get hit with an outright tax hike. I am going 
to say that once more. One hundred and fifty million Americans will get 
nothing but crumbs or an outright tax hike. That is what the President 
calls a ``tiny little sliver''? It is pretty close to 90 percent of the 
middle class.
  That is just the raw math of who is facing a tax hike. As I have 
said, this bill drives a dagger into the heart of the Affordable Care 
Act. Thirteen million Americans are going to lose their healthcare, and 
tens of millions more will get hit with a hidden tax hike in the form 
of higher insurance premiums. Then, of course, we all understand that 
the coverage requirement in the Affordable Care Act that Senate 
Republicans seek to remove is what makes it possible for us to get 
loophole-free, airtight protection for those who faced discrimination 
when they had a preexisting condition.
  This is pretty troubling stuff, and it sure doesn't strike me that 
when this administration says that only a ``tiny little sliver'' of 
people are going to get hurt--the reality shows something very 
  The fact is, after all the giveaways to the multinational 
corporations and the well-connected and high-fliers, this bill is going 
to cost more than $1 trillion. It is a real head-scratcher, how you can 
spend so much money, help so few people, and convince yourself that 
what you are doing is so terrific.
  Peddling the idea that there is just a ``tiny little sliver'' of 
people out there who don't benefit from this tax plan, in my view, is 
preposterous, and the tens of millions of Americans this bill is going 
to hurt deserve far better.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  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. MORAN. 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. MORAN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak in morning 
business for up to 15 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.