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tv   U.S. Senate 11292017  CSPAN  November 29, 2017 6:00pm-8:01pm EST

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the presiding officer: on this vote the yeas are 52. the nays are 48. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the bill. the clerk: calendar number 266 h.r. 1 an act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles 2 and 5 of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018.
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate -- that senator wyden or his designee be recognized to offer a motion to commit the bill, text of which is at the desk. i further ask that the time until 8:00 p.m. be equally divided between the leaders or their designees and that at 8:00 p.m. the senate vote in relation to the motion to commit with no intervening action or debate and that following the disposition of the wyden motion, the majority leader be recognized. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. wyden: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: i ask unanimous consent that the following individuals, my personal and finance committee offices be granted floor privileges for the remainder of the congress, claudette, carmen, warren, jonathan harris, robert and mike michael cecil. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: mr. president i call up the motion that i have at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion.
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the clerk: the senator from oregon 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 three days not counting any day on which the senate is not in session with changes that, one are within the jurisdiction of such committee and two eliminate provisions that would raise taxes on millions of middle-class taxpayers. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent for six additional full floor access passes to be equally divided between the majority and the minority during the consideration of h.r. 1 for the following staffers, for the majority eric, rebecca paul vinovich and for the minority, mike jones joel harrelson josh smith. finally, that natalie reko, a fellow in senator sanders'
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office be granted floor privileges during the consideration of h.r. 1. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. enzi: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: this is a historic day as the senate begins consideration of tax reform that will help boost america's economy, that will create more jobs, and that will leave more money in people's paychecks. the house and senate passage last month of the fiscal year 2018 budget resolution marked an important first step toward tax relief for american families, job creators that will jumpstart economic growth. the resolution gave the senate finance committee the head room to come up with comprehensive tax reform, and it instructed the senate energy and natural resources committee to save $1 billion. finance committee chairman hatch
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and energy committee chairman murkowski bowt deserve praise for developing legislative recommendations that fit with the budget resolution's reconciliation instructions, and i thank them for their efforts. yesterday the senate budget committee took the next step by combining the legislative recommendations from the finance and the energy and natural resources committees and reporting the combined bill to the full senate for consideration. this put our nation one step closer to real tax reform while advancing american energy security. it is past time for us to act. a lot of things have changed since the last major tax reform in 1986. and unfortunately our tax code hasn't kept pace with those changes. it's an outdated mess that's hurting american workers and holding our economy back. that's why we need tax reform that will make our system
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simpler and fairer and allow people to keep more of what they earn. the bill before us will do that. it will help grow the economy. it will help create jobs. and it will ensure that hardworking americans aren't missing available tax relief. this bill also will provide relief to small family-owned businesses. we want to make sure that small businesses which currently employ the majority of the private sector in wyoming and are the backbone of our communities all over the country have the opportunity to grow and provide more jobs. if you care about jobs, if you care about american companies staying here and being able to compete globally, then you should also care about reforming our business tax system. america has the fourth highest corporate rate in the world. we need to encourage companies to bring back their overseas money to increase the number of
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jobs here in the united states. lowering our uncommonly high and uncompetitive business tax rate would be one of the quickest ways to solve the problem. it's time we make america a more inviting place to invest, to do business and to create jobs. we heard a lot of rhetoric yesterday in our committee meeting where we reported this bill and i expect we'll be hearing a lot more of the same arguments over the next couple of days. so i want to address some of the claims made my my colleagues on the other side of the aisle yesterday. several members complained that there have been zero hearings on this reconciliation legislation and that this has been a rushed process. nothing could be further from the truth. the entire 2018 budget reconciliation process has been open transparent and subject to regular order starting with the passage of the senate budget resolution. the senate budget committee marked up the budget over two
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days and accepted amendments from both sides of the aisle to make the resolution resolution stronger. in fact, for the first time ever the minority was given a copy of the chairman's bill five days prior to the start of the markup. according to many of my colleagues it was one of the most transparent budget resolution markups in history. the budget resolution complete with reconciliation instructions being used this week was then debated on the floor in an open process that allowed every senator the opportunity to offer and vote on amendments, to improve the resolution before its final passage. that set in motion the instructed committee's process for producing recommendations. over the last six years the senate finance committee has held 70 hearings on how the tax code can be improved and streamlined to work better for all americans. earlier this month the senate
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finance committee held a four-day markup before finally approving tax reform legislation designed to modernize our tax code. the markup lasted 23 hours and 34 minutes over the course of those four days. of the more than 350 amendments filed, 69 were asked to be considered in committee. an additional 35 amendments offered by both democrats and republicans were included in the final bill reported out of committee. on november 2 the senate energy and natural resources committee held a hearing to receive testimony on the potential for oil and gas exploration and the development in the so-called 1002 area of the arctic national wildlife refuge or anwr. and on november 15 after adopting a bipartisan amendment the committee approved with bipartisan support legislation
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authorizing responsible development in the 1002 area and meeting the $1 billion reconciliation deficit reduction target. let me explain what we're talking about here, mr. president. anwr is 19.3 million acres. it's about the size of south carolina. the 1002 area is 1.57 million acres, about the size of delaware. and the area within 1002 that we're talking about for development is just 2,000 acres which is smaller than the fargo north dakota airport. when the budget committee met yesterday consistent with our responsibility under the congressional budget act we were only allowed to combine the recommendations of the two committees. we reported the combined bill to the full senate. as provided by law no amendments were allowed because
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under the budget act our committee is prohibited from substantially changing either committee's approved recommendations. now that this bill is on the floor, however it will be subject to the amendment process. for reconciliation bills like this, the amount of amendments that can be offered is unlimited. several members yesterday accused us of no longer caring about overspending and the debt. again this is completely false. better tax policy will boost the value of everything we produce and this will mean more revenue for the federal government. the cost of this bill that you will hear my colleagues on the other side of the aisle argue assumes the bill has little effect on the economy. that assumption is based on the sluggish growth we've had recently. in 2016, annual g.d.p. growth was one and six-tenths percent.
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our historic average growth is three and two-tenths percent and under president trump's efforts our economy has grown at more than 3% the last two quarters. if we only get to 2.4% growth in the private sector, this bill will be paid for and if we reach 3.2% growth, part of the debt will be paid down from the extra revenue that will be generated. we tried stimulus and it left us at the 1.6%. we've tried cutting and in washington if you don't give the amount of increase that people are asking for but you give them more money than they had last year, that's considered a cut. so cuts haven't worked here either. so what's the other option that we have? growing the economy. i want to repeat. in 2016 the annual g.d.p. growth was 1.6% but our historical
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growth is 3.2% and president trump's efforts and the hope he's brought to working americans, our economy has grown at more than 3% the last two quarters. without this, if we only get to 2.4% growth in the private sector, this bill will be paid for. i believe that we can reach the 3.2% growth and part of the debt will be paid down from the extra revenue that will be generated. some people will say that after tax cuts before, that the deficit has gone up. i hope you check and see that the revenue has gone up but the spending went up bigger. it's like someone winning the lottery and spending their winnings twice. this reconciliation bill will make concrete reforms to the broken u.s. tax code and put the american economy back on a growth track. this tax plan is an investment in hard hardworking americans, one that will produce more jobs,
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result in higher wages and a stronger and more competitive american economy. you probably are going to hear a lot of screaming going on in sweeches this week. -- speeches this week. please don't confuse volume with veracity or truth. i look forward to working with my colleagues to help pass this bill that will not only benefit hardworking americans but will make our economy and our country stronger. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. wyden: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: i listened to the remarks of my colleague from wyoming, the distinguished senator, and he said there were 70 hearings on taxes. i think it's important that the american people know that there was not one single hearing, not one, on this bill. there were no discussions of the specific provisions in this
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legislation. there was no hearing on the personal responsibility requirement in the affordable care act that is so essential to that law and what we ought to be looking at strengthening in the years ahead with respect to cost containment. so i just want to set the record straight right at the outset of the debate, since i've heard once again that there were 70 hearings. i think it's important that the american people know that there was not one on this bill and contrast this to 1986 when democrats and republicans got together and there were more than 20 hearings, more than 20 discussions on specifics about how to work together and find common ground on this enormously important issue.
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mr. president, the senate is 20 hours of debate away from a broken promise of truly historic proportions. this was supposed to be the year -- the year -- that the working people of america regained a powerful voice in washington. instead of a strong voice what they got instead was a big con job. if this republican tax bill passes, washington is going to reach into the pockets of working americans and cut a big check to multinational corporations to tax cheats, and to the politically powerful and well-connected. the bill before the senate would enshrine an economic double standard that makes permanent
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second-class treatment of americans who work hard and do their best day in and day out to provide for their families -- for the cops, for the nurses, for the mechanics this republican tax plan is one big gamble. they don't get any special tax dodges. no cayman islands deals for them. those folks are stuck clinging to the hope that they won't be among the millions hit with an immediate tax hike. even for those lucky americans who do see some benefit, there is bad news coming down the pike pike. all they get out of the republican plan is the fleeting sugar high of temporary tax cuts. that's not the case, though, for
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the multinational corporations or powerful high flyers who wield the big political power in this town. under this tax plan, the basic message to them is, you can pay what you want when you want to. and if you're lucky really lucky, you may pay hardly anything at all. that certainly is not what working people were promised in the fall campaign of 2016. that's not what republicans have spent month after month telling americans that their tax plan would do. the republican rhetoric doesn't match the reality of this tax plan. and every day we get news reports -- frightening news reports -- about the harm it's
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going to do to working people and the middle class. just yesterday i received a letter from the independent congressional tax experts known as the joint committee on taxation and they gave us really important information about the bill. buried in one of those answers was information that ought to put a scare into millions of americans who work hard every day to get ahead. this bill showers trillions of dollars on multinational corporations but the fact is these multinational corporations are already awash in cash. what it means according to these independent congressional tax experts is interest rates
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are going up. the federal reserve will have to tighten the screws of the economy. here's the bottom line for what it means for a middle-class american in north carolina or oregon or anywhere else in the united states. if you want to buy a house this bill is going to make it more expensive. if you want to buy a car this bill is going to make it more expensive. if you want to get a credit card this bill is going to make it more expensive. if you want to take out a student loan, this bill is going to make it more expensive. and it's not just harm for typical families. the cost of doing business is going to rise for the brewery owner or the tool and diemaker who wants to build a new facility, purchase new
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equipment. they'd like it hire new workers the ones that we're talking to, but they'll find the money they need to do it is getting drained by higher interest rates. in short higher interest rates will wipe out the benefits of this bill for a lot of small businesses and add pain to the tax hikes that are going to hit millions of families. the only businesses and individuals who won't feel the effects i just described are those sitting on mountains of cash. those who will never need to borrow to get ahead. and that is just one of the latest truly frightening details about p what this destructive -- about what this destructive bill would do. now, if there was any doubt remaining it's clear based on
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those tax experts that individual working americans and families are going to be on the hook for handouts to multinational corporations. republicans have spent months shouting from the hilltops that they were bringing jobs back. the president made it a centerpiece of his campaign. jobs are coming home, he said. corporations that ships jobs overseas are going to be punished. the plight of so many mill towns and factory towns was over. it's too bad that those talking points from the stump speeches and interviews never made it into the proposals on paper because the tax plan that is actually before the senate does the opposite. under the new notion of taxes
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for american companies overseas to be called a territorial system corporations will get a bigger tax cut if they lay off their american workers -- their workers here in the united states -- pack up and move abroad. it creates colossal new loopholes, a true bonanza of new tax gifts to the tax cheats, for the people who've got the sophisticated help to cut corners. when it comes to international tax rules my view is the united states shouldn't get suckered into a race to the bottom with a bunch of no-tax, resort-lined islands to please the tax- tax-avoidance industry and their lobbyists. that is truly expensive
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competition in terms of their jocks. but this republican plan forces working americans to pay up. the tax experts that we rely on here in the congress make it clear that the republican corporate tax scheme loses revenue, but the individual tax changes raise revenue. that is a whole lot of tax lingo, mr. president for saying that working people are going to get fleeced so that multinational corporations can pay a lot less. here's how it's going to work. more and more americans will face a tax hike with every passing year. stealthy tax tricks will force people into higher brackets, higher tax brackets, over time heaping a heavy burden on their
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shoulders. millions of americans will lose their health care and their tax credits that make insurance affordable to them and their family. put it all together,, it is an immense amount of money for people who are already woking a tightrope where they balance the food costs against the fuel bills and the fuel bills against the cost of housing. an immense amount of money is being taken from them and being handed to multinational corporations that ship jobs overseas. this is not a plan to create red, white and blue jobs. this is not a plan to turn the lights back on in factories that went dark many years ago. this is a plan to sell out millions of americans and american workers and their families, and the damage will get even worse when the deficit
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climbs into the stratosphere. and as i begin to touch on the deficit, mr. president, i want to note that it didn't have to be this way. i wrote two full bipartisan federal income tax reform bills with our colleagues -- i believe they were here before the senator from north carolina joined us -- dan coats now the head of national intelligence, judd gregg the former republican chair of the budget committee. he and i -- the three of us, senator gregg first then senator coats we made changes to ensure that american companies could be competitive for red white and blue jobs. we understood that you had to have a competitive rate to grow those companies, but we certainly didn't create new
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breaks for shipping jobs overseas. and because i'm going to touch on the deficit now our proposal was revenue-neutral so it didn't have to be this way. that's what senator manchin and senator kaine said yesterday along with 17 democrats. we wanted a bipartisan alternative that didn't create new incentives for shipping jobs overseas that didn't jack up the deficit. but i certainly was surprised when i saw early on that senate republicans who had given so many speeches about their concern about the deficit said, it's kind of okay with us if we have a net deficit of $1.5 trillion and as the joint committee on taxation has
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essentially indicated to me, it would be higher than that. all of the deficit hawks in the republican party just flew away. that was surprising because it seems like just yesterday when the congress couldn't buy a lunch without a whole cast of republican deficit hawks doing some pretty serious hollering about the deficit. but based on history what's coming next is pretty predictable. we've seen the movie before. the deficit hawks come flying back after ideas like the one we're looking at in the senate become law. we already heard the speaker say, what's next? entitlement reform, which means
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medicare medicaid anti-hunger programs. the speaker said that's what's next. that's next on the docket. everybody listening ought to know that that's code for attack and multiple fronts on these kinds of programs for the most vulnerable people in our country, the lifeline programs the safety net programs that i've just described. what we're going to hear, this is the script from earlier movies is we've got these big deficits. oh my goodness, a lot of red ink. and america can't afford the safety net. and they'll say we've got to do something. and instead of being willing to go after the people at the top history says the people who
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really face the burden of those deficit reductions are the most vulnerable. the first big legislative push after the bush tax cut, for example, is an all-out assault on social security. and the fact that it was stopped doesn't mean that medicare or medicaid or other safety net programs like social security are going to be safe this time around. the policy on offer in my view is simply a disaster. it makes a mockery of the approach ronald reagan took with a big group of democrats. and this bill -- and i know so many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle admire president reagan greatly. this bill is the opposite of what president reagan did.
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what president reagan did is he said to those big multinational corporations i've got to ask you to give up some money in order to make sure that the middle class individual ratepayer would get a fair shake. this is just the opposite. 180 degrees away from what ronald reagan did. we are going to have an amendment on the middle class here pretty soon, but what could be more stark than the fact that the tax cuts for the multiinternationals are permanent and the relief for the middle class is temporary. this bill is the opposite, the total opposite of what ronald reagan worked on in 1986. now our colleague senator
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enzi and i have worked with him often and i'm sad to see us have some have such differing views on this, said that we've had 70 hearings. well, i can tell you the once storied senate finance committee never even attempted once to craft a bipartisan bill. and we said for months that was our preference. that was what was stated until in -- in the letter that a vast majority of senate democrats signed. that's what we said when we were invited to the white house to meet with the president. we said it repeatedly.
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i mentioned the two bills i wrote. they are the only two bipartisan federal income tax reform bills bills, only two we had since 1986. and by the way mr. president they didn't go as far as ronald reagan went. ronald reagan in 1986 said for purposes of taxes a dollar is a dollar is a dollar. we're going to have the same rate for those who make money on investments that we do for those cops and nurses who get that wage that ordinary income. i've indicated on the floor that senator bradley former new york knick and as i like to
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say, another tall democrat who served on the senate finance committee with a much better jump shot than mine, he's incredulous at this process. he's just slack jawed when he asks about what's being done to bring both sides together. senator bradley and others on the republican side in 1986 flew all over the united states to get together with senior republicans and jim baker and richard dorman and others to talk about the specifics of getting bipartisan tax reform together. you hear the stories and you see that's the way you tackle an issue like this. so bill bradley flew all over the country to work with republicans to get a bipartisan tax reform bill. and right now the majority on
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the senate finance committee wouldn't walk down the corridor of the dirksen building once to talk about anything resembling how we would put together a bipartisan proposal. so the process we have seen here makes a mockery out of reagan-style reform. now some have asked was this fore ordained, did it have to be? i've already made it clear that i don't think it had to be. it's hard work putting together a bipartisan bill. senator gregg, for example when he was here in the senate, i think was one of leader mcconnell's top economic advisors chairman of the budget committee and always used to say in our house judd gregg
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is scary smart. but we sat next to each other on chairs in our office for almost two years to put together a bill. so it is heavy lifting but it can be done. and a lot of that work was brought into other efforts since then. the is question of the push proposal, there is a variety of ones. but it's quite hard to do when the majority leader says on the first day the very first day up we're going to use the most partisan process. budget reconciliation. and in effect say what we're telling the other party is we don't want your ideas because we don't need your votes. and sometimes it got almost a little ridiculous because i know there were times when statements
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were made by the republican leadership that no democrats were interested in bipartisan tax reform, despite the fact that in the few instances where a white house official would call and ask our opinion senate democrats would meet. that was the point of the press conference that was held yesterday with 17 democrats from various parts of the country as well as legislation that i've described that was written. and, by the way, in the work product that republicans finally produced they took some of the ideas from the bipartisan bills. for example increasing the standard deduction. but we tripled the standard deduction without any take-aways
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like the state and local deduction or the permanent exemptions. and what that meant is in the bipartisan bills, if you pass something like that, people adjust their wages and immediately working-class folks get hundreds and hundreds of dollars more in every paycheck. so not only were there no discussions -- and i've seen republican senators stand out on the floor sometimes and hold up a sign, what we're doing is the wyden-coats bill. nothing could be further from the truth whether it's on the international provisions i mentioned or the personal provisions. and i was so proud to stand with senate democrats in a meeting yesterday put together by senators manchin and kaine once again stating that it doesn't have to be this way. i mean what's the rush to take
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taxes for multinational corporations from 35 to 20? back when i was working with senator gregg and senator coats, the republicans we didn't have multinational corporations saying that we should go to 20. the difference between 25 and 20 is $500 billion. so my colleagues yesterday were saying moderate democrats we're serious about tax reform both on the individual and the corporate side. but it ought to be based on bipartisan give and take, not something like we have seen. now republicans in congress and the administration's top salesmen have spent months and months telling the american people that in the long run their bill is going to pay for itself with explosive growth.
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and they had cheerleaders those who cooked up these phony growth forecasts based on revenue-neutral reform proposals that don't exist. but respected economists will tell you that tax cuts don't pay for themselves. and in fact, when we had a chance to have some discussion not about a specific bill, but some ideas about taxes the republican economists who were before the finance committee said that the tax cuts wouldn't pay for themselves. the honest predictions say that any growth caused by this bill is going to be modest. and after they've spent years insisting, i can't tell you mr. president, how many times i heard this, that we would have
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dynamic scores. republican senators are rushing the independent scorekeepers to try to get a thorough analysis, but we don't have it as we're on this floor debating the bill. finally, we ought to forget that this bill has been getting a rewrite behind closed doors for weeks now. a number of my colleagues on the other side said what was important to them was that we have what's called regular order. regular order is probably not a concept people talk about in too many coffee shops unless they traditionally get eggs or toast or something. but what it means is you have a process where both sides work together and you have a chance to discuss ideas and differing
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approaches are offered. we haven't had anything like that. we haven't had an open process with real debates and real amendments. what we've seen is a mad dash to pass a bill that can't stand scrutiny in broad daylight. if this bill really got scrutinized and had a chance to be examined, we'd see a lot of americans coming to their senator and saying, senator no way no way should you support that bill. what's on offer is a plan to force working people and middle-class families to pay for handouts to multinational corporations and tax chiefs. this bill does not deserve to pass. my view is that it really does not deserve the ink that was used to print it on paper. the process that has culminated
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in this scramble to just drive this through drive it through with the most arbitrary process imaginable i consider shameful mr. president, with that, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: before i speak on taxes, i ask permission to speak in morning business on a subject of national adoption month. and i'd like to have it inserted in the record outside of the debate on the tax bill. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: i rise today to commemorate november as national adoption month. during this month we're reminded of the importance of adoption to so many families and children in iowa and all across our country. as americans are celebrating the
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season of thanksgiving with family and friends adopted families are celebrating with their new families, giving thanks of course for the joy of somebody they adopted. since since the first recognition of national adoption day 16, 17 years ago nearly 65,000 kids have been adopted on national adoption day, which which has always celebrated the -- which is always celebrated the saturday before thanksgiving each year. in 2016 alone over 4,700 adoptions were finalized on national adoption day. national adoption month is certainly a time to celebrate the joys of a new family. however, it is also a reminder of the obstacles that so many children may face. nationally there are over
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425,000 children in foster care. over 100,000 of these children are hoping to be adopted. in iowa, there are about 1,000 kids in foster care who are eligible for adoption. this year, the special focus of national adoption month is older youth waiting to be adopted. teenagers unfortunately face more difficulty in being adopted than younger children. as co-founder and cochair of the senate caucus on foster youth, i have had the chance to hear directly from teenagers in foster care. in fact, our senate caucus on foster youth has a couple three seminars every year just listening to older youth in the foster care system.
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particularly those that are about ready to age out. these young people tell me that more than anything else, they want a loving family. they tell me they need a family, and that nobody is too old to be adopted. the support that parents provide to teens is critical to navigating the transition to adulthood, for -- from making decisions about higher education to finding a job or buying a car. a loving family continually provides a support that teens need to succeed. congress must continue to work towards policies that help make adoption a reality for our foster youth. we must work to ensure that all children no matter their circumstances, have a permanent loving home and consistent,
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caring adults in their lives. i'm glad that the senate preserved the adoption tax credit in the tax reform legislation, and i'm hopeful that congress will continue to work on policies that promote adoption and improves the lives of those in foster care. as national adoption month comes to an end tomorrow, i thank all those who worked to improve the lives of children. i think advocates for children who tirelessly work to make adoption possible, and i thank adoptive parents and families for opening their hearts and homes. now, as far as the tax bill is concerned, the last time congress modernized the tax code, it was 1986. that's more than 30 years quite
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obvious to anybody who can subtract. in the generation since the tax code has grown out of control. it's been a dream come true for who, the professionals and accounting and the lobbyists that protect the loopholes but it happens to be a real nightmare for most americans and i would say for most members of congress as you read regularly, very few members of congress do their own taxes. the outdated tax code helps the powerful and the well connected but hurts american workers. it hurts american industry, and it hurts americans' ability to compete with the rest of the world, and that means lower wages and less employment. the bill passed out of the finance committee moves us very much in the right direction to
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make our tax code simpler fairer and more competitive. at the heart of the legislation is a middle-class tax cut. a typical family of four with two children making $59,000 a year could see a tax cut of more than $1,700. very significant tax relief. but you would never know it by listening to the rhetoric of my colleagues of the other political party. they have repeatedly recited the tired lines that republicans are only interested in giving tax cuts to the wealthy. in fact, they began pushing that narrative even before this bill was written going way back to september, started analyzing a bill that didn't even exist.
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it was a charge made by a document that was put out called the big six framework and framework is no piece of legislation. it merely provided guidelines for tax-writing committees to start from. the partisan tax policy center then filled the gaps with policy assumptions and crafted analysis to fit their narrative their analysis of a piece of legislation that hadn't even been written. the problem is their narrative hasn't changed but the finance committee provided policy details that they should have used to change their narrative but they still keep with the same old rhetoric. i think even the tax policy center would have to agree that
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the finance committee product differs drastically from the underlying assumptions of their initial analysis. so i'm going to try to compare what tax center policy says about tax law that we ought to pass compared to our bill, and you will see there seems to be a real closeness of some of the ideas that ought to be done that we get from the left that are in this bill, but they don't even recognize it. the finance committee used all the available tools granted under the unified framework to target more relief to middle-income taxpayers and retain the progressivity of the income tax. let's take a look at some of the
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major features of the finance bill and how they provide relief for the nation's middle-class and low-income earners. first, it nearly doubles the standard deduction which means that many lower income americans will be removed from the tax rolls completely and tax-filing season will be simpler for millions more. second, it doubles the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 and moderately increases its refundability. both of these are made possible in the large part by repealing personal exemptions. personal exemptions for taxpayers and spouses help increase the standard deduction and the personal exemption for children helped with increasing the child tax credit. interestingly enough, these
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provisions mirror a proposal put out by the left-wing tax policy center in december just last year. nearly identical to the finance bill the very liberal tax policy center paper argued for repealing personal exemptions, nearly doubling the standard deduction and an increase in the child tax credit to 2,012. according to the authors of the liberal tax policy center proposal such a proposal change would, quote reduce complexity, remove inequities, and mitigate marriage penalties. that's exactly what the bill before the senate does, but they don't seem to recognize that, but they sure wanted that as a
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goal last year. the fact is these changes provide more tax relief to the middle class and at the same time simplify the tax code. as the liberal tax policy center paper points out the value of the personal exemption is largely dependent on the tax bracket of the taxpayer. the higher the tax bracket the more benefit that comes from the personal exemption. in comparison, the child tax credit generally lowers a taxpayer's tax liability dollar for dollar, regardless of the tax bracket. as a result, repealing personal exemption in favor of expanding the child tax credit makes the tax code more progressive and targets more relief to lower and middle-income taxpayers. admittedly there are some
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differences between what was suggested by the liberal tax policy center and what is in the bill before us. its proposal would have been more generous on the refundable feature of the child tax credit. but on the opposite end they would have made the child tax credit available to everyone, even including millionaires. the finance bill is less generous to the affluent because it phases out the credit for married taxpayers with incomes over half a million dollars. you would think the other side, meaning the democratic party finding fault with this bill would offer some credit for taking this rather progressive approach to providing family tax relief. but no, they continue repeating
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their lying over and over, that this bill is a tax cut for the wealthy. another major feature of the finance bill that provides relief to middle-class and lower-income earners is the reduction of the tax rates for middle-class -- middle-bracket taxpayers. first, it retains the 10% bracket, which many on the other side expressed concern about being repeated based on the big six framework. so they were wrong in using the framework, but they haven't admitted that. next it lowers the current law 15% bracket to 12% and expands its applicability. additionally it reduces what is essentially the current law bracket of 25% down to 22% and
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what is essentially today's current law 28% bracket to a much wider 24% bracket. these rate reductions target tax relief to the very heart of america's middle class. now, you may be wondering how this middle-class tax relief bill will be financed largely by repealing the state and local tax deduction also known as salt deduction. our colleagues on the other side have tried to argue the repeal of the state and local tax deduction as a tax increase on middle class. nothing further could be from the utah, considering the reduced tax brackets i just discussed in combination with
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the higher standard deduction and the double child tax credit. the repeal of the state and local tax deduction is actually a very key piece of this legislation that makes the middle-class tax cuts possible. the state and local tax deduction overwhelmingly benefits the so-called wealthy that our colleagues on the other side vehemently argue should receive no tax benefits under this bill, and i'm going to tell you now how the liberal elements in this town see the state and local tax deduction as something that should have gone away anyway, and now they're complaining because we're doing away with it. so i don't want you to take my word. here are several partisan think tanks -- here are what several
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partisan think tanks have said about state and local tax deduction in the past. according to the tax policy center -- remember, that's that left-wing organization finding fault with a bill even before it was written -- about 40% of the state and local taxes deduction benefits go to taxpayers with incomes exceeding $500,000. so we do away with the state and local tax deduction because it benefits wealthy people, and they don't give us any credit for it. keep in mind that tax filers with incomes of a half a million or more only make up about 1% of all tax filers making it a very lopsided benefit. here's what the very left-wing center for american progress has said about the state and local tax deduction.
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quote, the deduction for state and local taxes disproportionately benefits high-income taxpayers, property owners and residents of high-tax states. that's because these groups pay the most taxes at the state and local level. it also benefits high income taxpayers because any kind of deduction is worth more to people in the high tax brackets than the low tax brackets. now, i just got done quoting the center for american progress that said the state and local tax deduction ought to be done away with because it benefits wealthy people. and yet they complain to us that our tax bill is a tax -- is a tax benefit for the wealthy. to further illustrate how eliminating the state and local
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-- who eliminating the state and local tax really hits i would like to cite an article titled tech hike fears trigger talk of exodus from manhattan and greenwich. now, this article is about concerns -- is not about concerns for middle-class police officers or teachers on repeal of the state and local tax deduction. instead, it highlights concerns from wealthy hedge fund managers who may now consider moving out of the high-tech state of new york. so here's the bloomberg article quote, the problem for connecticut hedge funds set and the wall street crowd is that republican proposals in both the house and senate would drive up taxes for many high earners in
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the new york city area by eliminating the deduction for most state and local taxes and. an individual making a yearly salary of $1 million would owe the internal revenue service an additional $21,000. end of quote. so we in this legislation repeal that deduction and make this -- this person making a yearly salary of $1 million pay $21,000 more taxes and liberal groups are proposing doing away with it and we put it in our bill so that we don't let these wealthy people get the benefit of the tax deduction and they don't recognize it. so i ask my colleagues on the left, are you prepared to go to
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bat over salt deductions for millionaire head hedge fund managers? from listening to my democratic colleagues' rhetoric, i'm really surprised by this article. i thought republicans were all about tax cuts for the wealthy and giveaways to wall street. but this article suggests otherwise. in fact, these types of taxpayers are likely to experience sizable tax hikes under the proposal on the senate floor now. according to the nonpartisan joint committee on taxation, by 2023 nearly 30% of taxpayers with incomes exceeding $1 million will experience a tax hike. that does not sound like a giveaway to the wealthy to me.
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i yield the floor. mrs. shaheen: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: mr. president i agree with my colleagues that we need tax reform, but we need tax reform that simplifies the tax code, that bolsters the middle class and helps small businesses create jobs. now, i think we can do that and we can do it in a fiscally responsible way but we need to work together. republicans and democrats as they did the last time we did tax reform. unfortunately, these priorities are not reflected in the bill that's before us. instead, it is a partisan fiscally irresponsible giveaway to the wealthy and the largest corporations in this country and it comes at the expense of the middle class and small businesses. now, we know that the wealthiest americans will see massive tax
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breaks from this bill, including president trump himself. in fact, "the new york times" has estimated that president trump and his family would save more than $1 billion from this tax bill. how does this legislation pay for these tax cuts? well it asks today's middle class and future generations to foot the bill. the nonpartisan analysis from the joint committee on taxation has found that the bill will raise taxes on millions of middle-class families making less than $75,000 a year. the bill sunsets any middle-class tax breaks in 2026. and at the same time, it makes tax breaks for large corporations permanent. it increases the national debt by $1.5 trillion. and i think the headline in the current "forbes" magazine says it all. it says g.o.p. tax bill is the
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end of all economic sanity in washington. as more people look at this bill, they're beginning to see how it will hurt middle-class families across the country. over the past few weeks i have heard more and more concern from people throughout new hampshire. i just want to take a minute to highlight some of these concerns. i met recently with the new hampshire realtors and home builders. they are major advocates for homeownership in new hampshire. they told me that this bill is nothing short of an attack on homeownership. in particular, they're concerned about the impact of repealing the state and local tax deduction. that will be a huge hit to middle klaas families in -- middle-class families in new hampshire. more than 200,000 granite state homers use the tax deduction so they're not double taxed. that's about a third of taxpayers in new hampshire. and it's particularly important
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to us where property taxes account for 66% of all state and local taxes. that's a higher share than any other state in the country. homeowners are also concerned about proposals to limit the mortgage interest deduction including on home equity lines of credit where homeowners in new hampshire are going to get hurt more than nationally because we have approximately 14% of homeowners would have a home equity line of credit. that's compared to 3.8% nationally. the result is, according to the realtors and the home builders, that home values will decline significantly. according to the association of realtors, this bill will put downward pressure on home values by as much as 18% in new hampshire and 10% nationally. and if we look at this chart this is for new hampshire but you can extrapolate this across the rest of the economy. in we look at this tax bill,
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this is the impact on homeowners in new hampshire. it's going to be -- values are going to be reduced by about 18%. that's equivalent to what we saw after the financial meltdown in 2008 where again we had about that same reduction in property values about 18%. that is a huge hit for us in new hampshire and for people across the country. you know, i thought the realtors put it very well. they said, it is simply unfair to ask homeowners who pay 8 ' 3% of all federal in-- 83% of all federal income taxes to take a greater tax burden so the biggest corporations in this country can have steep tax cuts. it doesn't make sense. i've also heard significant concern from students, colleges, and businesses that this bill will raise taxes on students trying to get the skills they
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need to get ahead. and, you know, that's really crazy because when we do that, we don't create the workforce we need for the future. the house bill, for example would eliminate the ability of individuals to deduct the interest on their student loans and it would tax graduate students on tuition assistance. i heard from a graduate student who right now is making $20,000 a year and a stipend. that's what he's trying to live on. if this bill goes into effect, he will pay $5,000 of that in taxes. it doesn't make sense. we need to be encouraging our students to get graduate degrees and higher education degrees so they can take on the jobs of the future. and again in new hampshire it's a particular problem where we have student loan debt that is higher than the national average average.
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for the graduateing class of 2016, new hampshire had the highest per capita student loan debt in the country and the average debt for new hampshire graduates was $36,367. and we know that nationally, student loan debt has roughly tripled since 2004 to a stagger staggering 1.3 trillion. that's higher than the total credit card debt. what this legislation is likely to do is to make that worse for young people who are trying to get out of college have their student loans paid, get married start families, buy a house. if they continue to have this impact they're not going to be able to do any of those things. the top challenge that faces new hampshire businesses and so many businesses across this country is finding skilled workers. the last thing we should be doing is making education more
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expensive. i also serve as the ranking member on the senate small business committee. small businesses employ more than half of our workforce. they make up more than 99% of all employers. we need to work in a bipartisan way to enact tax reform that supports our small businesses. again, this bill, unfortunately doesn't provide meaningful reform for small businesses and the problems they're naysing with the tax code -- they're facing with the tax code. first of all this bill doesn't address the top issue that we've heard from small businesses. that's simplification and cutting of red tape in our tax code. for entrepreneurs, time is one of their most valuable resources resources, and every wasted hour spent filling out forms or navigating confusing tax rules is an hour they can't spend innovating marketing and growing their businesses. the tax system is so difficult to navigate that 89% of small
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businesses turn to outside tax preparers to fill out their forms and file their returns. the compliance burden for small businesses is 67% higher than it is for large businesses, and it costs about $18 billion annually. tax reform should be an opportunity to help us help small businesses focus on what they do best. that's running their business. instead this bill will result in even more red tape and complexity. according to a former joint committee on taxation economist if this bill becomes law and i quote, treasury will be writing regulations and congress will be enacting technical corrections for years. there are more ticking time bombs in this bill than in a road runner cartoon. in a recent poll of small business owners from businesses for responsible tax reform found that a majority of them oppose the plan. so this is polling that's just
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been done in the last week or so. 61% oppose. only 28% support. small businesses are even more concerned about the impact of this tax bill on our debt and deficits. in fact, 61% of small business owners oppose raising the debt by $1.5 trillion to pay for tax cuts. increasing the debt will inhibit our ability to address the real challenges facing small businesses like educating the skilled workforce building that broadband in rural areas and fixing our broken infrastructure. and then there's the repeal of the individual mandate which is part of this tax proposal. according to c.b.o., repealing the individual mandate as this bill does would cause 13 million americans to become uninsured by
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2027 and it would sharply raise premiums for those who purchase insurance in the individual market. now, we've heard from our colleagues that they think that including the alexander-murray legislation would help address that but that's not designed to address the underlying health care bill that we have in this country. all that will do is address the uncertainty in the marketplace. repealing the individual mandate is going to deny health insurance to millions of americans. it's going to cost middle-income families more, and ultimately it's going to have an impact on people's ability to provide for their families on the long-term health of this nation. that is not the kind of investment we should be making in the future of this country. there are many more issues with this tax bill, but my time is
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limited. but if we look at who's opposed to this bill, so many the fraternal order of police. they have all come out and that is just to name a few. i have heard from nearly 3000 that have expressed their opposition with the impact of this bill. as more and more people have a chance to read it, the number will continue to grow. i want to work with my colleagues here. i think republicans and democrats should genuinely reform the tax code. it is long overdue. but we need to do in a way that is transparent, looks at where we want to go in the future, what we need to be investing in this country. we need to work in a bipartisan way. that puts the middle class and
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small businesses first. and that does not leave a massive debt for our children and grandchildren. and if we pass this legislation, that is exactly what we will be doing. leaving future generations to deal with a massive debt without the benefits of the investment that we should be making in this country. it is a sad day for america, mr. president. with that, i yield the floor. >> mr. president. i will follow my distinguished colleague from new hampshire and began actually where she finished. this massive tax cut has indeed, so many ticking time bombs that are unknown at the moment because it has been rushed and ran through. this body as well as the house
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without the kind of regular order that should be given, the intense scrutiny and attention that is due a historic, massive measure of this kind. and, the idea that it has regular order is absolutely absurd. if this is regular order, it is truly regular order, there barely dip in -- has been real no opportunity for the public to be heard. no real scrutiny of the complicated and numerous provisions that rowill affect people for years, decades and maybe generations. the last tax cut was in 1985.
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the last so-called reform passed in the mid-1980s. it involved scores of hearings and meetings for the public to be heard. making a mockery of this process. this process has been a mockery of democracy. it is a classic bait and switch promised that is unfulfilled. tax cuts initially for people that then disappeared after a couple of years when the wealthy continue to enjoy their tax cuts. there are winners and losers. in this measure. let's be very blunt. the winners are the wealthy. the losers are the middle class. the swinners are special interest. the losers are the american people. the winners are people who
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already have it made. they losers are people who want to fulfill the american dream and make it for themselves. they're pulling up the ladder for others to climb and make it real for them. they measure that we have before us, is a result of a promise, middle tax class cuts and that promise was made by donald trump who said also that he would not benefit. he sent his small business administration to connecticut to say quote - everyone will experience a tax cut. this plan is a scam. yes, some people will receive a
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tax cut but if you earn more than $75,000 in the next decade you will be worse off in the plan. that means that in connecticut, 458,000 taxpayers in the bottom 80 percent of income distribution will experience a tax hike under the plan. the majority of people in connecticut are losers. even though there may be a wealthy segment, the very top of the income distribution level that are winners. our children and grandchildren are surely losers because they will inherit the whirlwind of additional debt. $1.5 trillion. it underestimates the amount that will be added in the debt. i saw a cartoon in one of the newspapers that shows a boat, a rowboat filled with water. and one of the characters says to the other, kill another hole
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in the bottom of the boat to let the one out in the sea would happens. that's what happens. this feels overbooked, and our children and our grandchildren but with additional debt. they are losers even though the wealthy are winners. and, the losers included also, first responders. earlier this month, the president of the fraternal order of police, in a letter urged members of congress to protect the state and local deduction as it is. this measure eliminates that devastatingly for connecticut but also for first responders and firemen and police across the country, our teachers who depend on the adequacy of
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federal funding for essential services which will be reduced because there is no incentive for state and local taxes that can be deducted anymore. states of connecticut, new york, california. we know are the losers and the middle class taxpayers are losers. that is why the national education association has found that getting state and local tax deductions will seriously harm already underfunded public education, risking nearly 250,000 education jobs. including over 5000 teacher jobs in the state of connecticut. and it will lead to about $250 billion in cuts to public education over the next decade. while we are talking education, eliminating the deduction for interest on student loans. what could be more stupid at a time when we are encouraging
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young people to invest in their futures and we should be investing in them. ultimately also, losers are our job creators. the folks that need infrastructure. which will go unrepaired on roads, bridges, railroads, broadband, airports, all of them desperately in need of rebuilding. not just repair. but true rebuilding and modernization and innovation. there is no requirement for opportunity for refrigeration of this trillions of dollars parked overseas. no provisions for any incentive for companies to make a treat and invest in infrastructure and self we will see, continue to see neglect and disregard.
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for that very important infrastructure. it is clear, who will be the winners. despite all these losers, corporations that move overseas. to evade taxes and benefit from special interest loopholes to lower their effective tax rates. they are going to be very richly rewarded. senate republicans have decided to open the arctic national wildlife refuge for oil and gas drilling. the special interests, they are winners. the bill borrows $1.5 trillion so that those special interests and corporations can have those benefits. but it will also line the pockets of those corporate ceos. not just the corporations but the ceos. that is equivalent to the cost of all veterans eahealthcare and benefits payments to every
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single veteran in america. over the next decade. with $1.5 trillion, by the way, you can also pay off the student loan debt in america. this makes a difference in lives. think of the difference that would make. think of all the young students. debt free! think of the dreams that could be fulfilled. think of the economic growth that will be generated. and, also again, of false promises and the bait and switch when .ecorporate ceos were asked by the president, the chief economic advisor, how many of you will create jobs with these corporate taxes? a picture that says a thousand words. i will and now with a warning.
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that americans, far from okay with this bait and switch will see the proof in their pocketbooks and wallets.they will see the result of this partisan measure. ran through without regular order, without real consideration. without the scrutiny that it needs and deserves. without support. if we move ahead and the republican leadership apparently appears intent on this. now is the time for us to show -- i urge my colleagues to do this. thank you, mr. president. i yeild the floor.
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the senator from nebraska. let's thank you, mr. president. we are talking about toxicologist so important for families in nebraska and the country. the last time congress comprehensively reformed the tax code was in 1986. we all agree is long overdue. my plan is for tax reform of always been grateful. delivering many to the middle class, unleashing small business growth and making our country competitive globally. this built before us, accomplishes these goals. american families have struggled over the past decade. and too many in our country have found themselves living paycheck to paycheck. wages for workers have
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stagnated while prices have inclined. things are only starting to just not turn around. nebraskans have been telling me that they are finally feeling confident about the economy again. that needs to continue. and the best way to do it, is by putting more money back into the pockets of regular americans. this bill does that in one of the best ways possible. by doubling the standard deduction and protecting the first $24,000 that married couples are in. in the first $12,000 individuals earn from federal taxes. increasing the standard deduction is profamily. and it helps to foster the american dream. it not only leads to americans keeping more of their hard earned money, but it also means
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that simplifying the code will help save money in tax preparation as well. according to the nonpartisan tax foundation, a married couple with two kids making $85,000 per year, will see their taxes decrease by $2224. this reform provides money that will allow americans to plan for their future. and pay their bills. it can be a down payment on a house. or it can be put away for future college tuition for retirement. it gives millions of earners ability to use these savings for their lives as they see fit. simplifying the code is not the only family focus provision included in this legislation.
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the senate bill doubles the child tax credit from 1000 to $2000 per child. according to the department of agriculture, parents of a child born in 2015, are likely to spend more than $233,000 raising a child to age 17. that is not even include college tuition. doubling the child tax credit will allow families to keep up to an additional $4000 every year if they have two children or more. this credit builds a stronger future. by helping families all across the country to keep more money, to raise happy and healthy children. in addition to these changes, this legislation will preserve many other popular deductions.
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this includes a charitable deduction. medical expense deduction, the student loan interest deduction, the mortgage interest deduction and the low income housing tax credit. this bill also continues popular savings programs. such as, the 401(k) and individual retirement accounts. these savings incentives are key tools that allow individuals to provide for their families and to prepare for retirement. it empowers americans to plan ahead. there are also common sense provisions in the bill that have been overlooked during the current debate. these are changes everyone can agree or long overdue. for example, this takes away the tax-exempt status for professional sports leagues.
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we all love sports. but professional sports leagues like the nfl and the pga, they should not be allowed to use exemptions for nonprofits to avoid paying taxes. these are for-profit leagues. where commissioners make tens of millions of dollars. they should d be treated for what they are. and that is a moneymaking enterprise. i also want to take the time to address a misconception. some have argued that this bill will tax the tuition labors graduate students receive from the universities as part of attending to their studies. there is no such provision. phd research is a stable of higher education. it drives our nations innovation. it helps us better understand our world and often leads to
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incredible technological advances. we in the senate, support graduate studies. and none of us want to make it more difficult to obtain graduate degrees or do research at the highest level. we will not be taxing you for tuition you do not pay by earning a masters for a doctorate degree. there are some other important provisions in this bill that have not done the attention they deserve. i want to take a minute to discuss some of them.the senate tax reform retains nearly all of the education incentives that are present in the current tax code for students and teachers. for example, we keep the hope credit which allows taxpayers a credit of up to $2500 per student, per year, for
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qualified tuition or related expenses. we also keep both coverdell and the 529 education savings accounts. these accounts promote savings for school. and they help parents prepare for future tuition. finally, we double the educators deductions. which helps teachers make their classrooms as probably for learning as possible. this is a proper education tax reform bill. it acknowledges education as key to our countries future success. mr. president, we must also recognize that our economy has changed over the last few decades. our tax code needs to catch up to the times. we have the chance to make
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history. one that will help working families. my strong family act which is included in this legislation, would be the first nationwide paid family leave policy in american history. if we want to build a better future for our children, we better help families juggling the responsibilities between home and the workplace. this plan has the potential to make life much easier for working families across the country. by providing a tax credit as large as 25 percent. for employers who offer up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to their employees. under programs set up by employers, employees would be able to take an hour a day for weeks off purposes like taking care of a sick child or an
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ailing parent to make sure they get to a dr. appointment. they would also take maternity or paternity leave to bond with newborns work recently adopted children. in the 21st century america, the number of dual income households is on the rise. according to the department of labor, 70 percent of mothers with children under 19 participate in the labor force. with over 75 percent employed full-time here for those without the ability to take time off, the burden of caregiving, they are a burden. a recent study found that most individuals who make higher salaries usually have access to some kind of.
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family leave. but those making less than that, they're not always covered. this is why my paid family leave plan limits eligibility to those earning below $72,000 per year. we want these benefits to target hourly and low salaried workers. we want to increase access to paid family leave for those who need it the most. while my friends on the other side of the aisle focus on the stick approach to paid family leave, pushing mandates for the creation of new government programs, this bill pursues the care approach. americans agree with this. a recent study shows 87 percent of americans supported a limited government approach
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that enables employers to benefit themselves. it is not hard to understand why the plan balances the need of my first century workers with a real-world challenges that small businesses face today. eric -- pointed the best. he told me, i want to offer my employees paid leave.but a mandate forcing me to do so it will be hard. i'd make payroll. the strong family act is much more workable and would not provide incentive to hire anyone. another one of my constituents, allison ritter, an employee is helping her companies leadership develop a pain leave policy. in reaction to my bill being included in the tax reform proposal before us, she told me
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that this concept would change again for many newborns and parents allowing them the time that they need to bind and establish a nursing routine without as much of the stress and guilt that they face today. they need the financial support in order to do what is best for their families and also help businesses that struggle, but putting a plan in place, our country will win when we focus on and invest in healthier families. -- the co-owner of a yoga video agreed. it is refreshing to see a policy that supports the family and the small business unit. as co-owner of a small business
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and a mother of two young children, i know firsthand how challenging it can be without paid leave. a mother and/or family needs time to adjust and bond. this bill will help parents, families and small business owners be more at ease with the transition and the changes that come with maternity leave. additionally, it will create more community awareness on the importance of supporting the family structure through policy. for people like eric, allison, sarah and other business owners, caregivers and working parents throughout the country. mr. president, i also set my goal in this process is to promote policies that will ensure small businesses succeed. there are over 29 million small businesses throughout our country. these small firms drive our
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economy. they have generated over 60 percent of the new jobs created over the last atwo decades. and it made up nearly 90 percent of our exports. there often the face of our country to the world. this reform will provide small businesses with additional incentives to invest and grow. when small businesses make money, they invest it back into their businesses and help grow their local economy. places like lincoln and omaha are well-known to the entrepreneurial community as bustling hubs of innovation. this bill provides a 17.4 percent deduction for the large majority of small businesses which will lower the tax bills and give them more financial flexibility. the preservation of things like the 1031 lifetime exchanges and the step up bases will further
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help our small businesses. especially agriculture businesses. small businesses don't have the professional resources to deal with the tax code that comes in at over 74,000 pages. simply doing taxes, let alone paying them has become a burden on to many of our small companies. they cannot take advantage of all the corporate deductions for the little known loopholes like big companies can. this is not fair. it hurts our competitiveness globally, our economic growth and it favors big corporations. which have offices full of lawyers and accountants. this tax reform lessons the disparity and support from everyone who wants to promote american entrepreneurialism. lastly, this legislation goes a long way toward making america competitive internationally. a large part of this is
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lowering the corporate tax rate. at 35 percent of america's corporate tax rate is a full 13 percentage point higher than the average rate of our competitors from the developed world. this is a big reason why companies are fleeing the shores and choosing to set up headquarters for invest outside of america. these so-called inversions have been on the rise in recent years and there is little reason to think that trend will reverse if we stand by and do nothing. this nelegislation will put us in line with our trading partners and once again, make america an attractive place for business. which will lead to more jobs and higher wages for our country. >> senator. >> asked unanimous consent to speak for three minutes to wrap up on the first vote we will have a membership. >> is the objection?


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