WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, took to the floor of the United States Senate Tuesday night prior to the vote on the Republican tax bill to highlight many of the grave issues with the legislation. Video of Senator Cardin’s full remarks can be found here: WATCH: https://youtu.be/MWhGhpLWIwk DOWNLOAD: Snapstream
“The American people understand that this tax bill will hurt middle-income families. They know it will add to the deficit. This bill, which has been advertised as a tax cut, is not good for America. It’s not good for middle-income families and it’s not good for our economy.
“It’s an extraordinary thing to get a majority of Americans against a bill that is purported to be a tax cut. It’s because they understand that it is not a tax cut for middle-class families. It is a tax cut for mega corporations … You aren’t helping middle-income families when you raise the estate tax limits that affects the 0.2 percent wealthiest in America. And middle-income taxpayers will be asked to foot the $1.5 trillion bill.
“This bill will not grow the middle class … this bill will make income and wealth disparities even more extreme. Many of these tax provisions are only temporary, such as the tax relief for individuals . . . the business relief is permanent.
“Republicans are not deficit hawks when they deficit finance a tax cut. That’s not helping this country.
“This bill also is an attack on our states. It’s an attack on Marylanders. It’s an attack on the State of Maryland. Marylanders will come out much worse under this bill. There are many reasons for it, but one of the major reasons is that the bill eliminates the deduction for state and local taxes . . . It will be more challenging for state and local governments to meet their needs. They have the primary function of educating our children and keeping our communities safe. . . . Did we consider that when we took up this bill?
“When you look at the ANWR provision which opens up the pristine areas of the Artic to drilling in Alaska, you know that this bill is tilted towards fossil fuels rather than having a level playing field for America’s energy. I worry this is the first step to mid-Atlantic drilling off the Atlantic Coast of Maryland and the impact it could have on the Chesapeake Bay.
“I’ve been in conversations with some of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, asking whether we will cooperate on a corrections bill. I find that amazing. We haven’t passed this bill yet, and we’re talking about the process to correct the mistakes that are clearly in this bill. That’s not the way we should be legislating.
“The one argument I hear from — all stakeholders is make the tax code predictable so we can plan. Give us the rules. Don’t change the law all the time. Don’t put temporary provisions in here because Congress has a habit of missing extender dates . . . this bill is anything but simplifying the tax code.
“This bill is an assault on middle-income families, dangerous to our national security by increasing our deficit. It will hurt millions of people who will lose their health coverage and it should be defeated.”