WASHINGTON D.C. – Widespread criticism followed the passage of the GOP tax bill on Wednesday after the Senate’s vote authorized one of the most sweeping reforms in decades.
On Tuesday, the House voted 227-203 in favor of the bill, but due to violations in Senate rules, will vote again Wednesday morning. No Democrats voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and 12 Republicans also voted against the measure.
President Donald Trump, expected to sign the bill before Christmas, tweeted early Wednesday morning calling the reform the “biggest in history.”
“Terrible Individual Mandate (ObamaCare) Repealed,” Trump tweeted. “Goes to the House tomorrow morning [Wednesday] for final vote.”
The tax bill slashes tax rates for corporations, provides new breaks for private businesses, and reorganizes the individual tax code. There’s a time limit, however, and the individual cuts will disappear by 2025.
“Tonight, Republicans all but passed the GOP tax scam,” Indivisible Project Co-Executive Director Ezra Levin said about the passing of the bill. “And in doing so they demonstrated that they care not for their constituents, or for democratic institutions, or even for objective reality. They care only about power and the short-term enrichment of themselves and their wealthy donors.”
The North Dakota Democratic–NPL targeted Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND), saying if the tax bill was a football, Cramer fumbled the ball three times. When Congressional reporter Matt Fuller asked Cramer about new tax brackets created in the tax bill, Cramer couldn’t name any of them, Daniel Tick, communications director said.
“If Congressman Cramer doesn’t know the basic details of his own tax bill, how can he possibly understand how this bill will impact North Dakota taxpayers?” said Scott McNeil, the executive director of the Democratic-NPL. “The answer is: he can’t. Congressman Cramer, this wasn’t about helping North Dakotans get ahead – it was about political survival.”
Cramer fumbled a second time when he issued a debunked statement reporting convoluted tax codes will be simplified to postcard size, a claim no tax preparers or international media so far have said will be possible.
The third time Cramer fumbled came in a Tweet late Tuesday night, after the House realized it would have to vote a second time on the same bill.
“It’s like winning the Superbowl twice in two days,” Cramer tweeted.
“Last we checked, these kinds of sloppy errors are more likely to occur on the junior varsity team,” McNeil said. “This isn’t the first time Congressman Cramer has fumbled the ball for North Dakota families, and it won’t be the last. It’s time for Cramer to take a seat on the bench.”
Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), said that as a former tax commissioner for North Dakota, she understands tax reforms are complicated issues, adding that the GOP tax reform bill became a partisan issue and is “full of broken promises to the American people.”
“We were promised middle-income tax cuts, without cuts for the wealthy. But this bill gives huge, permanent tax cuts to corporations and millionaires…We were promised a fiscally responsible bill. But this bill charges nearly $1.5 trillion on a credit card account to our children and grandchildren, without a plan to pay for it.
“We were promised a simpler tax code, so we could file taxes on a postcard. But this bill makes the tax code even more confusing and more difficult for families to understand their tax liability. We were promised no loopholes. But this bill is full of loopholes.”
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