Skip to main content

tv   U.S. Senate 11302017  CSPAN  November 30, 2017 10:29am-12:30pm EST

10:29 am
programs. and if republicans come down here and say bernie, we have no intention of cutting social security, medicare and medicaid. come here, mr. president, and i will apologize.dent, my challengen right now to my republican colleagues, calm down dear, tell me, tell the american people that i am wrong. tell us all that you are not going to cut social security, medicare, medicaid and education in order to deal with the one point for trillion dollar deficit you bring about in thiss disastrous tax bill. tell us who will not cut programs that they desperately need in order to give huge tax breaks to the wealthy and large corporations. that is my challenge and i will be listening eagerly to see if
10:30 am
there are any republicans who are going to c come down and tel me that what i am suggesting is wrong. and with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. >> senator bernie sanders from yesterday, part of the 20 plus hours debate on the senate republican tax reform bill. much more today with both expect it into the evening and possibly early into friday morning. live senate coverage here now on c-span2. the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. lord of life and glory, bend your ears to hear our praise.
10:31 am
lord, deep inside, we long to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. give our lawmakers the wisdom to discover your purposes and the courage to obey your commands. as they follow your providential leading, may they discover also the reason you created them. as they strive to be instruments of your glory, use them to do your will on earth even as it is done in heaven. into each dark and trying hour, send the illumination of your mercy and grace. we pray in your merciful name.
10:32 am
amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
quote
10:33 am
mr. mcconnell: the majority leader. -- the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: from across my home state of kentucky, i heard the calls for tax reform. for too long hardworking men and women have been held back by an economy that has failed to live up to its potential. they are ready for us to get the economy going again. the east kentucky power cooperative which serves a half million families and businesses in my state recently wrote to my office in support of tax reform. the cooperative encouraged us to put more disposable income into the hands of hardworking citizens that encourage investment. in addition the kentucky chamber of commerce which represents thousands of businesses across the commonwealth recently wrote a letter encouraging us to consider relieving the tax burden of small businesses by simplifying the code and reducing costs. he concluded the letter by asking the senate to support
10:34 am
federal tax reform to achieve the economic growth that has been kentucky's potential for so long. this morning a group of small businesses and women from kentucky joined senators here on the hill with small business administrator linda mcmahon to discuss the urgent need for tax reform. i want to thank senator blunt for hosting this event and reiterate that they are at the forefront of our tax reform efforts. the people of kentucky have strug you would under our outdated and complex federal tax code. it's time to overhaul continued and deliver real relief to middle-class families and small businesses. for a number of years our friends across the aisle, including the ranking member of the finance committee and democratic leader have vocally called for tax reform. they claimed they supported efforts to close loopholes and help american businesses to become more competitive here at home. they claimed they were supporting policies to help prevent more jobs from moving
10:35 am
overseas. the good news is that's exactly what our tax reform legislation does. so passing this bill to help keep jobs and investment in the united states should be something upon which we should all agree. a group of economists from around the country pend a letter asking for tax reform. these economists agreed that the house and senate plans have the ability to grow the economy and increase the income of american families. in particular, they wrote that tax reform can reduce the incentives for companies to move investment overseas. that means the bill we're considering would discourage corporations from moving jobs and investments abroad. for working families who endured a decade of lost jobs and opportunities, this is welcomed relief indeed. why would our democratic friends support this idea in theory but
10:36 am
then oppose legislation once they finally have a chance to put the plan into action? what changed? not the ideas. not the need for tax reform. the only change has been the person in the oval office. this is our once in a generation opportunity to take more money out of washington's pocket and put more money into the pockets of hardworking families. we shouldn't let partisanship distract russ from delivering real relief to the middle class, and believe me, we won't. under chairman hatch's leadership, the finance committee passed legislation that is the product of years of hard work, dozens of hearings, and an open amendment process. i would like to once again thank chairman hatch for getting us to this pivotal point where we can consider a proposal to truly help our constituents. first and foremost the tax reform proposal before us today is good for families.
10:37 am
to a middle-class family of four in kentucky who earns a median income a nearly $2,200 tax cut could make a real difference. second, the plan is good for small businesses and job creators. it earned the support of the nfib, the national federation of independent businesses because it will help businesses to hire right here in the united states. as i said before, it will make it easier for other businesses to bring jobs and investments home. third, this legislation helps low and middle-income families by repealing obamacare's individual mandate tax. this is a good bill, and by overhauling our tax code, we can provide much-needed support to the men and women who sent us here. yesterday the senate took a crucial step toward relief. every senator who voted to proceed to this important debate has begun to answer those calling out for tax reform. now the senate will work through an open amendment process here
10:38 am
on the floor where members from both parties will have the opportunity to offer their ideas. and tonight i expect that senators will have the opportunity to vote on many of these amendments. this is our chance to deliver relief to hardworking american families and help the middle class get ahead. it's our opportunity to overhaul our complex tax code and shift our economy into high gear. we can pass many of the ideas we've discussed and supported for years and i urge all of my colleaguesor work together to get -- colleagues to work together to get this done. now, on one other matter. earlier this week north korea tested what appears to be an intercontinental blim -- ballistic missile. public reporting is that the missile achieved an altitude of 2,800 miles and traversed a lot offed trajectory landing 20 miles from the launch site
10:39 am
within north korea. the test reminds us of the single-minded determination of kim jiang -- kim yong un. that leaves our nation with limited options. the first is to convince kim that any use of nuclear weapon will result in an overwhelming response, one in which he will deem unacceptable. the second is to romney missile -- is to romney missile. these are grave considerations, but they are unavoidable. as commander in chief the president focuses on these matters on a daily basis. in facing these threats, whether through diplomatic negotiations, preparing to deter or defeat a launch or to protect the united states preemptively, the united states needs to rally our allies
10:40 am
in each of these courses of actions. that is a tough task. what makes it more challenging is the uncertainty efforts to increase funding for our military here at home. in april of this year we, as a body, attended a briefing on north korea at the white house. the administration has been forthcoming on the urgency of the threat and determination to face it through a policy of maximum pressure and preparedness. we have only a few weeks ahead of us to provide the department of defense to provide the funding needs and providing the stability and programs and resources required to fulfill our strategy. each of us talked about these goals. each of us talked about what we owe the all-volunteer force. how we work together in the coming days is the test of those statements. certainly we can set aside partisan differences at a time when north korea, iran, and the
10:41 am
taliban are questioning our will and our leadership. now is the time to come back to the table, meet our responsibility by providing the department of defense the resources and certainty it requires and answering those questioning america's resolve. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. morning business is closed. the senate will resume consideration of h.r. 1. the clerk: an act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles two and five of the concurrent resolution for the budget for 2018. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: i would like to respond briefly to the majority who touted what he claimed would be great benefits coming from the republican tax reform bill. colleagues, and i say to the
10:42 am
public that's following this, this isn't tax reform at all. what this is is a grab bag full of special interests goodies for multinational corporations, powerful political supporters, and lots of people who are in a position to have vast amounts of influence to sway the tax code their way. the fact is that the independent tax umpire, called the joint committee on taxation, has just told us that 37 million middle-class families are going to pay more in taxes in 2027. so that's the consequences of the republican bill that writes
10:43 am
into black letter law a double standard -- permanent breaks for the multinational corporations and, of course, temporary breaks for the working class. we'll have more to say, i believe, today on analyses that are being done by the joint committee on taxation, but already we have seen a variety of reports indicating that this proposal is going to produce edge -- edge in ledgable growth. that's why republicans are talking about how they would like to have some kind of trig ter to -- trigger to deal with this proposal. well, what's been in the bill is the republicans' wildest dreams which says a lot about their
10:44 am
priorities. if their wildest dreams about magical growth come true and the bill causes federal revenue to skyrocket, multinational corporations would get yet another automatic tax cut. they already get from 35 to 20. by the way, when we had our bipartisan bills, senators coats and gregg, they didn't insist on going to 20 for spending hundreds of billions of dollars more that could go to the middle class, beyond what the bipartisan bill called for, and on top of that the trigger says if republicans get their magical unicorn mathematics about growth, the growth fairy arrives, multinational corporations will get yet another tax cut. so i just wanted to respond briefly to what the republican
10:45 am
leader said because this does not resemble the kind of tax reform ronald reagan and democrats wanted. i will close by saying that is did not have to be this way, mr. president. 17 democrats, led by senators manchin, kaine, donnelly, heitkamp, mccaskill, big group, a tremendous outpouring of good faith said we'd like to have a bipartisan bill. they asked me to come because i had written a bipartisan bill. and i want to show the contrast between what ronald reagan did in 1986 with democrats and what's happened unfortunately here. in 1986, bill bradley, the one i talked about a bit on the floor, a democrat who served on the finance committee and committed to good government, growth and innovation, he flew all over the
10:46 am
united states, mr. president, all over the united states to work out with republicans the various provisions of tax law that would make the bill bipartisan. so in 1986, democrats flew around the country to meet with republicans to get bipartisan reform. this year, republicans have not been willing to walk down the corridor to discuss specific provisions about how we could move forward on a bipartisan tax reform bill. that's why our moderates are so concerned that we're missing a great opportunity. the multinationals are awash in cash. by the way, look at the first letter from the joint committee on taxation. we could be looking at interest rates that make it hard for people to buy a house, buy a car because of what this bill produces. this bill is not tax reform.
10:47 am
it's a grab bag of goodies for special interests. it embeds in the tax law a double standard with breaks for the multinational and vanishing benefits for the middle class, and most importantly, it didn't have to be, it still doesn't have to be. there is another alternative. that's what 17 moderate democrats expressed. i was proud to join them, mr. president. we'll have more debate on this over the course of the morning, but since the leader did talk about how this was sort of a textbook case of what tax reform ought to look like, i wanted to make sure that we started this morning by injecting a little bit of reality with respect to what is actually being offered, and i yield the floor.
10:48 am
the presiding officer: the senator from utah is recognized. mr. hatch: i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
10:49 am
10:50 am
10:51 am
10:52 am
10:53 am
10:54 am
quote
10:55 am
mr. schumer: mr. president. the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: well, later -- the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: mr. president, later tonight, or in the early hours of tomorrow morning, we'll vote on final passage of the republican tax bill. i'd like to make two main points about the republican tax bill in my speech this morning, first on process and second on substance. from the beginning, the republican tax bill has made a mockery, a mockery of the legislative process. republican leaders disappeared behind closed doors, negotiated a framework for a tax bill without a shred of democratic
10:56 am
input. then republican leaders wrote a bill behind closed doors without a shred of democratic input. republicans brought that bill through a markup in the finance committee when it underwent the scrutiny of one -- i repeat, one expert witness. that's it. the finance committee democrats offered 60 amendments to the bill. republicans have rejected every single one. committee republicans made it crystal clear they were not interested in bipartisanship. now that the bill is -- now the bill before us is on the floor. even further, significant changes will likely be made by the majority leader today. we will get huge changes in a bill today and try to vote on it tonight. and this is tax, one of the most complicated issues before us. even these changes and the way the majority leader is handling
10:57 am
this make it impossible for any independent analyst to get a good look at the bill and how it would impact our country. from the unsidedness with which it was -- from the one-sidedness with which it was drafted to the reckless haste with which it was c.d., the republican tax bill has failed to go through anything, anything resembling the normal legislative process. before the night is out, i hope my republican friends ask themselves if this is the way they want history to remember how the first major tax bill was passed in over 30 years. i hope they ask themselves if this process has lived up to the fine traditions of this body as they were eloquently described by my friends, the senators from arizona, both senior and junior. the american people are clamoring for us to work together. they believe our politics is broken. they think our politics is starved of common sense and compromise, and it is. the way this tax bill is being rammed through is exactly why
10:58 am
the -- why the american people believe our politics is so broken. now let me address the substance of the bill. without exaggeration, i believe that if this bill passes, it will be remembered as one of the worst pieces of public policy in decades. a vote for passage will be a vote my republican friends regret. at a time of immense inequality, the republican tax bill makes life easier on the well off and eventually makes life more difficult on working americans, exacerbating one of the most pressing problems we face as a nation, the yawning gap between the rich and everyone else. corporations enjoying record profits get a massive permanent tax break, while over 60% of the middle class will end up paying higher taxes before their benefits expire -- because their benefits expire. health care premiums will go up 10%.
10:59 am
13 million americans, fewer americans will end up having health insurance as a result of repealing the individual mandate. the c.b.o. said yesterday that even if we pass the murray-alexander bill into law, it would have little or no impact on either of those two things. and when it's all said and done, the tax bill will balloon the deficit by at least $1.5 trillion, adding to the debt burden borne by the next generation and diminishing our ability to support the military and invest in our schools, our roads, and in scientific research. let me just repeat that. the increased deficits caused by this bill will cannibalize support from everything we know is essential to economic growth and a strong middle class, including support for our men and women in uniform. ultimately, this deficit-busting tax cut will endanger social security, medicare and medicaid, as my friend, the republican
11:00 am
senator from florida admitted yesterday when he said higher deficits will mean instituting changes to social security and medicare for the future. so a win today for the g.o.p. will be a very temporary one. it would be enjoyed almost exclusively in the political media that measures who is up today and who is down tomorrow, but fails to grasp the bigger picture. it won't be long -- it won't be a long-term win politically. recent polling has shown this tax bill is less popular than previous tax hikes. let me say that again. recent polling has shown that this tax bill is less popular than previous tax hikes. but more importantly, it won't win out in the country. it won't be a win for 13 million middle-class families who pay higher taxes in 2019 or the 87 million middle-class families who pay higher taxes in 2027. it won't be a win for the single mom in the suburbs who no longer is able to deduct state and local taxes and will find it
11:01 am
that much harder to send her daughter to college. it won't be a win for the 13 million americans who go without health insurance and everyone else who will face 10% higher premiums next year. those hardworking americans have waited years for their congress to pass legislation to make things just a bit easier on them. they've watched an economy that for decades rewarded hard work and fair play turn against them, producing more wealth for the already wealthy but less pay, less work for workers. for so many, this rigged economy that benefits too few and leaves too many behind is a source of frustration, anger, and despair. donald trump and his campaign for the presidency spoke to that anger and yet his tax bill, the republican tax bill is a betrayal of the working men and women who feel that anger and would make worse all of the problems that led to it in the first place. we can do a better job on tax
11:02 am
reform, but only, only if we work together. the way this congress has careened from partisan bill to partisan bill with no attempt even made at bipartisanship has brought shame on this body and reinforced the skepticism that so many americans have about our politics. to my republican friends, today my republican friends have an opportunity to turn back from this partisan bill and this partisan process. if they do, i guarantee they will find a democratic leader, a democratic senate caucus and a democratic parties' eager to work with -- party that's eager to work with them on the kind of tax reform our country deserves. we won't sit in our corner and make unreasonable demands. as many of my colleagues know, there's a lot of sincere intent on this side of the aisle to do tax reform. i've worked with senator hatch. i've worked with senator portman. many others of my caucus have worked with republicans on tax
11:03 am
reform ideas for years. we can certainly put together a bill acceptable to both parties that reduces burdens on the middle class, makes our economy more competitive, creates jobs here at home, and do it in a deficit-neutral way. the bill doesn't do those things but we can write a bill that does together. i say let's give it a shot. if my republican friends close the door on their partisan tax bill tonight, they will find an open door for bipartisan tax reform tomorrow. i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a
11:04 am
quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
11:05 am
11:06 am
11:07 am
11:08 am
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: mr. president, i've sat here and i've listened to democrats near r year after year -- democrats year after year talk about how they're so much more committed to the middle class and to the poor as they've
11:09 am
driven us right into bankruptcy. instead of trying to work on these matters so that we're not driven into bankruptcy. it's more and more spending, more and more federal government, more and more regulations, more and more controls all of which tend to make us less and less efficient, less and less successful, less and less able to do the will of the people, less and less able to really do the things that we've been sent here to do. now, we're having a lot of complaining about what's going on right now but to make a long story short, the democrats were pushing a financial system that was bound to take us right into bankruptcy. yeah, we might have two more
11:10 am
years where payments could be made, but we have gone right straight to hell as far as being able to handle the matters that are so important to every one of us in this country. now, i admit our side has some flaws, too. some of our people think that we should do a better job without any money or that we should do a better job without any increase in taxes or we should do a better job without the federal government. both sides have been in error. both sides have been from time to time wrong, but i have to say as a former democrat when i was coming up in pittsburgh,
11:11 am
pennsylvania, when i went to brigham young university, at the university time i thought my gosh, how could i ever have believed this stuff. which is more and more government, more and more spending, more and more bureaucracy, more and more controls over all of our lives, less and less freedom. i can remember the days when we couldn't get the other side to work as hard as they should on national security issues that were critical. both sides have room to grow. both sides have room to improve. each side could do a better job here. and i have lived for the day when we both would work together arm in arm for the betterment of
11:12 am
this country, but the betterment of this country isn't to go to socialize medicine which is where the democrats actually took us until we finally pulled them back a little bit. they had the help of some republicans to do that. but the fact of the matter is that they were moving us right to socialized medicine, which really has never really worked anywhere. and it's as though they prey on the poor as though they're the only ones that can help them when in fact they're part of the reason we're poorer. the government cannot do everything. the government should not do everything. we as a people have to help ourselves and do a lot to help our country in the process. i get a little disgusted
11:13 am
sometimes when i see the lack of communication between the two sides, the lack of working together. one side believes the federal government is the last answer to everything. my gosh, you have to be a roving idiot to believe that. well, maybe i shouldn't have put it that way. the other side sometimes has trouble saying how we should help the poor, help those who are less fortunate than we are, but we've got a lot of people on the republican side who have spent a lot of time trying to help the poor, trying to get this country going again, trying to get the economy on top, trying to get it so that we really can help the poor, not just mouth off about it. i'm very concerned because if we don't get together and we don't start working together, it's going to get worse and worse and worse, but i think the crocodile
11:14 am
tears on the other side as we've watched over the last year, them pushing us more and more towards socialized medicine, something that will not work, one-size-fits-all government programs with no real restraint of growth or spending, just more and more of buying of votes, and i've come away pretty disconsulate and concerned about the directions we're going. both sides have endearing plus pluses, and both sides are wrong in some ways. we've got to sooner or later find some way of assisting the greatest country in the world which has the greatest economic system in the world which
11:15 am
believes in the free market system. to do so without government total control. now, my friends on the other side like that government control because it means more control by them. we dislike it -- we dislike it because we think they shouldn't have this kind of control. we know it's good for the country, it's not good for the people, it's not good for the future, it's not good for the economy, but that's where we are. i'd like to see us some day just start working in the best interest of the country and a little less in the best interest of our respected parties. i'm concerned about where we're going. i'm concerned about how little effort is being put forth to try
11:16 am
and bring us together. i'm concerned about the itsy-bitsy stupid partisan in fighting that goes on here constantly. it's not all bad, but it's not all good either. i'm very concerned about a lot of this being driven by a media that's one sided. it really doesn't tell the truth. it really doesn't help us in this country everybody to know what's wrong. i think the media has gotten better in recent years, but it's pretty well been one side and i don't think anybody with brains would deny that. i'm really concerned because i believe -- i believe we have great people here.
11:17 am
there are some wonderful people on the democrat side and we know we have a lot of good people on the republican side. we have to find some way of bridging the gap and getting together and making this country solid, dependable, and economically sound.and deserving -- sound, and deserving of being called the greatest country in the world. i think we can do that, but we can't do it if we don't work together. we can't do it if we can't put aside democrat and republican problems and work together. we can't do that if we don't care and we can't do it if we
11:18 am
keep having the ridiculous, stupid politics going on around here year after year after year. it's not all bad but it's certainly not all good either. i hope that -- i hope that somehow the more reasonable people here on both sides will get together and start to work together. i remember when i became chairman of the labor and human resources committee in 1981 with the advent of ronald reagan. the democrats had been in control for years and they knew it. when i got here there were 60 democrats in the senate -- 62 democrats, 38 republicans. it was hard to get a point of view across -- the republican point of view, that is. then ronald reagan came along,
11:19 am
and i have to say, brought an awareness to the public that something was wrong here and -- and was able to bring us together. i saw some of the greatest senators over the years on both sides work together. i saw daniel patrick moynihan come here and work with people like me. some mentioned senator kennedy and senator hatch. when i became chairman of the labor and human resources committee, kennedy, who had been the head of the judiciary committee came over to my committee. i have to give him credit because he was able to give and work together. he always had to have his share of whatever it was, but he -- he did move. he did come over. he was willing to.
11:20 am
and some point to that particular hatch-kennedy was a pretty good time in the senate. certainly kennedy did. he was calling me from the cape when he died knowing that i cared for him and knowing that we fought hard battles from time to time but who really respected each other because we both believed in our respective sides and we were willing to stand up for our particular beliefs. i don't see as much of that today as i did then. now, maybe i'm shortsighted, i don't know, but i don't think so, and i'm very concerned that -- that we're not doing the job here for the american people and our little bitty fights
11:21 am
around here that don't amount to a hill of beans. i'm very -- somewhat depressed because of the way things are going right now. i can't say i'm discouraged because i keep thinking we can come back, we can do better, we can win this thing, we can find ways of getting together. we can work together, but so far i haven't seen that, not for a number of years and -- and you can blame both parties for it, i'm sure. one party believes that the federal government is the almighty blessing to all of us while the other one believes, hey, we need to not allow a
11:22 am
central government to control everything. it's good that we have two differences of opinion in these areas, but i don't think it hurts the country at all to have differing opinions, but it does hurt country when one side thinks that their opinion is the only opinion that should be given any credence or consideration, and i've seen a lot of that around here and both sides are at fault, by the way. i'm very concerned about it. i look over at my colleague from oregon when he was chairman, i was his ranking member, when i'm chairman, he's my ranking member. we've gotten along well. he's a proud liberal, and
11:23 am
deservedly so, and i'm a proud conservative, and i think most people would say deservedly so. two people who can help make this place sane and who have been working together to try and help our country. but i see this two-bit partisan politics arising all the time around here and i don't think -- i don't think we benefit from it. in fact, i know we don't benefit from it. i'm not meaning to blame anybody, but i think we ought to all do some self-awareness studies and determine just what role do we have in the deterioration of what has always been great about the united
11:24 am
states senate. what role do we have? and are we living a plus role or are we living a minus role? it would be wonderful if we could all live plus roles. i love all of my democratics colleagues, -- democratic colleagues. there's not one i don't care for and i hope we can start working together and hope our eyes, our hearts, and our minds to some of the points of the views of the other side. it's hard to do around here because some are so partisan and they think there isle only one. i can -- there is only one side. i can remember when republicans wouldn't vote for any social spending program and i remember the day when democrats thought
11:25 am
everything should be a social spending program and didn't care where the money came from if it was there at all. i have seen both extremes on both sides throughout my 41 years in the senate. i've also seen times when leadership -- true leadership has brought us together where consideration was given to the democrat side and consideration was given to the republican side and we worked our difficulties. we worked together. we didn't mouth off all the time against the other side. naturally i'd like those days better than what we have today. and -- mr. brown: senator hatch. mr. hatch: yes. mr. brown: thank you, senator hatch. mr. hatch: i didn't yield to you. i would yield for a question. mr. brown: the question is this, and i appreciated the exchange
11:26 am
we had in the finance committee the other night. mr. hatch: i felt bad about that. mr. brown: i'm fine. i wanted to clarify something. when we had our little exchange in the finance committee a couple of thurses -- thursdays ago. i wanted to put a number out there and ask your opinion. the senate for budget priorities yesterday -- i believe yesterday -- said that in the bush tax cuts 27% of the tax cuts went to the top 1%. this bill they -- they wrote -- their study showed, their analysis showed that 62% of the tax cut went to the 1%. i know that in the bush days too much thought went to the top 1%, and this one 62% goes to the top 1%. i wonder if you could explain that. mr. hatch: i would like to look
11:27 am
at that particular analysis. there are other analyses that would say we could do better with this bill. -- i don't have have -- i don't have my hands on that document. we know you can come up with any outside liberal faction and come up with criticisms of anything around here, and we also know that we can find some outside conservative factions that would cause most of us to really cringe and wonder what in the world is going on. but i can tell you this -- i know what's going on and that is we're spending ourselves into bankruptcy and we're not doing a good job here. we're not watching the moneys of the american people. in fact, one reason we can't watch them very well is because they are all spent.
11:28 am
and we continuously have people come here to the floor and act like they are better than others because they want to spend all our money to help the poor. well, i'd love to help the poor. at one time i grew up in a very poor family -- poor in the sense of money, great in the sense of everything else. now, let's just be honest about it. we're in trouble. this country is in deep debt. you don't have the poor by -- help the poor by not solving the problems of debt too and you don't help the poor by continually pushing more and more liberal programs through that don't do the job anyway, and you don't help the poor by continually pushing programs that really don't work. mr. brown: would the senator yield for a further question? mr. hatch: for a question.
11:29 am
mr. brown: thank you. i accept that. but this bill is not spending money on the poor except senator lee and senator rubio want to do a child tax credit and we want to do the earned income tax credit and you supported some of this. but one of the things we could do instead of the bill is the chip program which you proudly with senator kennedy authored 20 years ago. there will soon be letters that will go out to people in virginia and ohio -- mr. hatch: i got the point. mr. brown: this is not a giveaway. this is something that we have done bipartisan -- mr. hatch: nobody believes in the chip program more than i. i invented it. i was the one who wrote it. kennedy came over and helped to put it through. mr. brown: we recognize that, mr. chairman. mr. hatch: of course. i don't think i do everything on my own here. i have to have good democrat friends to do it. i don't think you do either.
11:30 am
but let me tell you something. we're going to do chip, there's no question about it in my mind. it has to be done the right way. but we -- the reason chip is having trouble is because we don't have money anymore. we just add more and more spending and more and more spending, and you can look at the rest of the bill for the more and more spending. i happen to think chip has done a terrific job for people who really needed the help. i have taken the position around here my whole senate service. i believe in helping those who cannot help themselves but would if they could. i have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won't help themselves, won't lift a finger and expect the federal government to do everything. mr. brown: will the senator yield again?
11:31 am
mr. hatch: unfortunately, the liberal philosophy has created millions of people that way who believe everything they are or ever hope to be depend upon the federal government rather than the opportunities that this great country grants them. i've got to say i think it's pretty hard to argue against these comments, because if you look it over, for decades now, we have been spending more than we have, building more and more federal programs, some of which are lousy, some of which are well intended, and some of which are actually good like the chip program. we're going to get chip through. there is no question about that. i'm going to see that it gets through. mr. brown: if the chairman will yield for one more moment. mr. hatch: i will for a question. mr. brown: i want to make one comment about chip, if that's okay. there are letters that are going to go out -- my state -- i so
11:32 am
respect what you did with senator kennedy. i know your work was exemplary on it to chart the children's health insurance program. i get that you were -- we all so appreciate it. mr. hatch: i wrote the doggone bill. mr. brown: we so appreciate that, mr. chairman. my concern is that -- you know some of these families. when you write a bill like that, you meet a lot of these families that benefit. 209,000 in my state alone. some of those kids, those parents are going to get a letter in the mail if we don't move on chip in the next week or so, they are going to get a letter in the mail that says sorry, your child's health insurance is going to expire while we're sitting here dressed pretty well. i know you said you grew up with the poor people, with the poor people is how you said it the other night. but i worry that families -- and these are families with jobs. you know that about chip. these are families making $8 or $10 or $12 an hour that don't have insurance. they will get letters saying your insurance is canceled. how can we let that happen? how can we let that happen, mr. chairman? mr. hatch: i don't intend to let
11:33 am
that happen. i think we will get chip taken care of, and hopefully a number of other things, too. but we are going to have to resolve some of these big problems around here it seems to me before we get those problems solved. but to prey upon the chip program as the be all and end all here of every aspect of this bake, that isn't quite right either. i don't know anybody here who is not going to support chip when we bring it up. i am one who wants to make sure we bring it up. i appreciate my friend's feelings on this matter. look, i like my friend from ohio. he is sincere, he's dedicated, he's liberal and well-meaning. but i'd like to see him be a little more concerned about everybody else. let me just finish by saying that i'm happy to be in this body.
11:34 am
it's the greatest deliberative body in the world, but we're not living up to our potential. and we're not doing the job. we're getting into these little snits and fights around here that don't amount to a hill of beans in the final analysis. i'd like to see us all get together and start running this country in a good manner, living within our means, finding ways of increasing our economy so that we can take care of the poor better than we are right now, and doing the things that we all know we should be doing. with that, i will -- with that, i will yield the floor. mr. wyden: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: just to respond briefly to the chairman. the chairman i think said about eight times that what really ought to be the focus here is working together. i so share that view, and i
11:35 am
would just like as we start voting today for the public to understand that this side was never given the chance on this tax bill to work together, never once. the majority leader announced right at the outset that the most partisan process would be used. it's called reconciliation. it means it's our way or the highway. we've got the votes. that's the end of it. so i have appreciated what the chairman said about emphasizeing working together. that was put off the table, off the table by the majority leader when we started when it was declared we would use the reconciliation process. now, there are other areas that i just touch on.
11:36 am
the chairman made mention of the fact that everybody over here is for socialized medicine. right now, what we're trying to do is ensure that we don't have upheaval in the private insurance marketplace because of the majority's effort to unravel the affordable care act. the affordable care act, not socialism. it focuses on private sector choices through the exchange. and what the challenge is going to be is if you further hammer this effort to increase choices in the private sector marketplace, you're just going to cause more problems for our people and make it more difficult for us to hold down the costs of medicine. and i'll close this section of the discussion simply by
11:37 am
clarifying again this point about the middle class because senator brown was right with respect to the number of families that are going to get hammered under the republican bill, but when the republicans said that's a partisan group, the figures that senator brown talked about are supported by nonpartisan organizations as well. the joint committee on taxation, which are the people who are our independent tax referees have indicated that by 2027, more than 50% of middle-class persons are going to see a tax hike. now, that's not a democratic group, that's not a republican group. that's an independent group. so i think that this has been instructive this morning, and as one who has tried to dedicate my
11:38 am
time in public service to try to find common ground -- i see senator cornyn, senator toomey, both of whom i have talked with about bipartisan tax reform again and again. when the chairman, who i very much enjoy working with, and this tax bill has really been an anomaly, it's so different, and everything else that it's important that the public knows in the discussion about working together, the majority leader put that prospect off the table. it was ruled out, not going to happen. this was going to be a partisan bill. this would be just the opposite of what democrats and ronald reagan have wanted, and that's why 17 moderate democrats earlier this week made one more plea as we will continue through the day to talk about, that if you want to do tax reform right, it has to be bipartisan to bring
11:39 am
certainty and predictability to the private sector. it's not about socialism. it's about certainty and predictability for private sector growth. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. toomey: mr. president, i just want to respond to my friend from oregon. i have enjoyed the many, many conversations he and i have had on tax reform and other policies, but i want to strongly disagree with his characterization of this process. what our friends on the other side of the aisle want to do is they want to be able to kill tax reform by filibuster. that's their goal here. that's what they want to do. and, in fact, they were kind enough to be explicit about it in a letter that they made public where 45 of the 48 democratic senators stipulated the terms under which they would be willing to work with us on tax reform, and one of them, one of those terms included that we had to use a process that would allow them to kill it by
11:40 am
filibuster. that was -- they put that in writing. 45 of the 48 signed the letter. now, how could we proceed and deliver the tax relief and the tax reform we want to provide for the american people and our economy with the democrats holding this threat over our head that they would be able to kill it by filibuster? mr. brown: senator toomey. mr. toomey: let me finish my point and i will be happy to yield. obviously, it would be malpractice for us to allow them to kill this that way. and so we have taken an approach that fully allows unlimited democratic participation, but at the end of the process, it's a simple majority vote, and a minority will not be able to kill this bill by filibuster. every step along the way, our democratic colleagues have every opportunity to weigh in, to engage. we had, i don't know, how many hearings on this. we had a full markup in the committee. unlimited amendments were
11:41 am
offered. debated, voted on. and here over the next, i don't know, day or two, i expect we'll have many more amendments. there is no limit to the amendments our democratic colleagues can offer. it is not true to say that the reconciliation process precludes bipartisan participation, and i hope it doesn't, because this bill cuts taxes for middle-class families. that's a fact. it's not a convenient fact for some of my friends on the other side of the aisle, but it lowers taxes for working class families, for middle-class families. that's a fact. it's going to help encourage tremendous economic growth by allowing our business to be competitive, that's a fact. and we'll get into why and we'll get into the details. but the fact is this is exactly what our economy needs right now. more importantly, it's exactly what our constituents need right now, and there is nothing about this process that precludes my democratic colleagues from offering amendments, engaging in
11:42 am
the debate and supporting the product. by the way, i'm hopeful this will still be some support in the end because i think it's going to be pretty hard to explain opposition to working class and middle-class tax cuts and corporate tax reform that's going to generate strong economic growth. and i would be happy to yield to the gentleman from ohio. mr. brown: i think that his time has expired, mr. president? the republican time has expired? the presiding officer: the majority's time has expired. mr. brown: thank you. mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i am so amused at how any of my republican colleagues can talk about this as a legitimate process, that they wanted democratic support. i sat at the white house with senator wyden, with senator cornyn, with senator toomey. a number of probably 11 or 12 republican senators on the finance committee, six on the democratic side of the finance committee, and i went up to the president. i had a copy of two bills in my hand. i brought it up to the whole group, the patriot corporation act on which i will speak in a moment that does exactly what
11:43 am
president trump wants to do. he will reward corporations that pay good wages, that pay decent benefits and then keep their production in this country, and the president said he liked it. he had had an interview with either "forbes" or "fortune" magazine not too much earlier talking about it. then i brought up to the president the working families tax relief act which puts money directly in the pockets of people making $25,000 and $50,000 and $75,000 a year. the president said he liked that. but you know what happened? he said it then, he said it in a phone call that a group of us were on a little later. but do you know what happened, mr. president? you know exactly what happened. they all went down the hall here to the majority leader's office, all my republican friends. they walked into the office. he had had their wall street lobbyists with them, drug company lobbyists, tobacco company lobbyists. that's where they wrote the bill. there was no light of day on this. and then my colleagues on this committee tell us it was a legitimate process the night we had the markup in the finance committee. if you call it legitimate, you give us a bill with almost no
11:44 am
warning, you try to jam it through, you change it in the middle of the night. then we talk about it the next day. then you change it in the middle of the night again. you add a health care provision that the congressional budget office said 13 million people will lose their insurance, rates will go up, premiums 10% a year. if you're paying $500 a month today, you will pay $550 the next year, $605 the next year. don't even insult us by saying this is a legitimate process. but i don't even want to talk about the process because that really doesn't mean much to people. this letter that my friend mentioned, the first line is we're writing to express our interest in working with you on bipartisan tax reform. that's what senator wyden said. that's fact. look at it if they would like to look at it. mr. president, i want to talk about my amendment, which is exactly what president -- candidate trump campaigned on, exactly what pretty much everybody on this side of the aisle stands for, but most importantly, it is exactly what the american people have asked for. it's simple. it's called the patriot
11:45 am
corporation act. if you do the right thing, if you're a company that pays good wages, that provides decent health and retirement benefits to your employees and you do your production in the united states, you get a significant tax break based on the number of employees you'll hire, a significant tax break. president trump said he liked that. he wanted a bill with economic incentives for companies. he has said repeatedly, the president has, i want legislation, i want a tax bill where we support companies that stay here and are patriotic and we -- he said we penalize companies that don't do their production in this country. this bill now, comments from my friend from pennsylvania notwithstanding, gives a massive permanent -- permanent tax cuts to large corporations as it gives them more incentive to move offshore. the prifer grew up in the cleveland suburbs. a plant shuts down in cleveland or garfield heights or mansfield where i grew up, it moves
11:46 am
overseas, it gets a tax break now. don't you think we should fix that? instead this bill greases the wheels to send more jobs overseas. of all the things to fix, that's it. that's what the president wants to do. that's what senate democrats want to do. instead senate republicans again that deal was cut back there in senator mcconnell's office. senator republicans were writing a bill that gives huge tax cuts to the wealthiest people in this country. the congress -- the senator for budget priorities just yesterday came out -- this was done precisely according to the numbers. 27% of the bush tax cuts went to the top 1%. i thought that was too high at the time. 27% of the bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 went to the top 1%. this bill has more than doubled that, 60-plus percent of the benefits. it doesn't mean a tax break for the middle class. they know that when they say that over and over again. in addition it kicks 13 million off their insurance. we know that.
11:47 am
this bill -- let me say it this way. under this bill, a u.s. company would pay a rate of 20% on profits earned in a manufacturing plant in akron, ohio, or that same plant could shut down its plant, lay off those workers, build a new factory in asia, get a tax deduction for the cost of moving. you know what they pay? they potentially likely pay zero percent tax rate. so what are they going to do? even in the senate, even in the senate finance committee where people are not as quick as you might think they are, 20 is a larger number than zero. even we can figure that out, mr. president. so a 20% -- what that means? it means there's even a greater tax incentive to move overseas. the presiding officer knows cleveland well. he knows i live in a neighborhood, cleveland, ohio, with my wife and i, in our neighborhood zip code 44105 there were more foreclosures in my neighborhood in the first half of 2007 than any zip code in the united states of america.
11:48 am
you know why? it wasn't the wall street scam that caused so much foreclosure later. it was mostly, mr. president, about lost manufacturing jobs. you know why that is? partly because of trade agreements like nafta and other trade policies with china and all that. but it was much about tax legislation, giving incentives to move overseas. why are we doing more of it, mr. president? this bill now rewards companies for sending jobs overseas. our legislation, the patriot corporation act will work to keep jobs here. we know these corporate tax cuts are not going to end up in the pockets of ordinary working americans. senator hatch and i had a very public discussion in the finance committee a couple thursdays ago when the bill was voted out. and one of the things we talked about -- a number of things we talked about, but one of the things we talked about is this promise, this assertion, this myth that if you give a company a big tax cut, you know what
11:49 am
they're going to do? they're going to hand it out to their employees. they're going to get a $4,000, $5,000, $6,000 raise. that's not going to ham. that's never happened. when this body passed a tax holiday a decade ago, the money that was brought back overseas at a low tax rate, that went to executive compensation. that money went to stock buybacks. that money went to dividends. almost all of it, workers didn't get raises. they didn't invest more in our economy. companies are sitting on large numbers, large stacks of dollars now, huge cachets of cash. they could raise wages now. they're not doing any of that, mr. president. what we ought to do here instead of shoveling more money to the top to these large corporations that outsource jobs, what we ought to do is cut out the middleman. put the money directly in the middle class. if my friends here want to give a tax cut to the middle class, why don't we give a tax cut to the middle class? why don't we directly put the money there? i know the president said he's a
11:50 am
big loser on this bill personally, it will cost him zillions of dollars. whatever we said. we also know that's not even close to true. if we want to do this right, if we really care about the middle class, i ask my colleagues let's give a tax break to the middle class. think about it. they're not even hiding what they're doing here. these cuts go to corporate stockholders. they don't go to raise wages. they go to executive compensation. they don't go to create jobs. they grow to stock buybacks. they don't go to middle-class klaas ohioans, oregonians, pennsylvanians or ie alaskans. we know what will ham. after bepass this bill, the president signs into law, the budget deficit explodes. you know what will happen? senator wyden knows this. you guys will all say, you know, we got this budget deficit. we're going to have to raise the social security retirement age. you know what that means to a barber in farfield heights, to a construction worker in warren, ohio or you know what it means to somebody that's working in
11:51 am
manufacturing in mansfield, ohio? they can't work til they're 70 but we can all work til we're 70 if the voters allow us because we have these jobs. a lot of our constituents can't. if that's the scenario and that's almost inevitable, we do this bill, we pass this bill, big tax cuts for the wealthiest people in this country. we drive a hole in the budget deficit. we come back and make the middle class and working families pay to fill that hole. that's irresponsible. that's morally reprehensible, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: majority whip. mr. cornyn: i ask unanimous consent that senator brown be recognized to offer a motion to commit which is at the desk and that there be 30 minutes of debate on the motion, and that following the why or yielding back of time, 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 be recognized. i'd ask that the 30 minutes be equally divided in the usual form. the presiding officer: is there objection?
11:52 am
without objection. mr. brown: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i call up the amendment that senator cornyn mentioned and i ask to dispense with the reading. the clerk: the senator from ohio mr. brown moves to commit the bill h.r. 1 to the committee on finance. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. 30 minutes of debate equally divided on the motion. who yields time? mr. cornyn: mr. president, i'd yield to the senator from pennsylvania for such time as he may use up to 15 minutes.
11:53 am
i will take that back. the presiding officer: majority whip. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i know that our friends across the aisle have offered a motion to commit to send this back to the senate finance committee, but as the ranking member knows, as the senator from ohio knows, the senate finance committee has delivered a bill that received a vote of the majority of that committee which considered this tax bill in a bipartisan basis in the committee. so it strikes me as odd if not just outright fallacious to suggest that we are somehow keeping them out of a bipartisan process. just the opposite is true. they are taking themselves out of the process by obstructing, blocking, doing everything they can to prevent us from actually delivering tax reform and tax cuts to the american people. that's what's happening here. and just as the senate ranking
11:54 am
member of the senate finance committee, the senator from oregon, offered a motion to commit last night, just as the senator from ohio is offering a motion to commit here today, they are participating in the process while claiming to have no part of the process. the only problem is they're not contributing anything positive. all they're trying to do is to blow the process up. they must like the fact that we have the highest business tax rate in the world which forces jobs and investments overseas rather than encourages that money to come back home. they must like the fact that wages in america are stagnant. they must like the fact that working american families have not seen a pay increase because of those stagnant wages. they must like the fact that there are many people looking for work who can't find work because they refuse to consider an alternative that might provide better wages and more
11:55 am
jobs to people looking for work. and they must think that 1.9% economic growth is the best we can do. this is the new normal after the obama years, since the great recession of 2008. but i'll tell you, the economy grew at 3.2% since world war ii. this is not the new normal. we don't have to accept this. we can do better but we can't do better when you've got your head? the sand and the only -- head in the sand and the only thing you want to do is blow up our efforts to improve the quality of life, the standard of living, the take-home pay and reawaken the slumbering giant which is the american economy, to restore this country to greatness and leadership in the world economically, militarily, and in every sort of way. mr. president, i would yield to the senator from ohio such time as he requires. the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania.
11:56 am
mr. toomey: i thank the senator from texas and the president. look, let's describe what's really going on here. there's two big things that this legislation does, two big accomplishments that i am really proud of and they're the reason that this is going to succeed and this is going to be a big success for the american people. the first thing we do is we absolutely directly lower the tax on lower income, middle income americans, the hardworking families, the folks who live paycheck to paycheck. the fact is virtually all of them are going to have a significant tax cut. that's fact number one. and the second fact is we fundamentally restructure the way we tax business so that we can be competitive, so that our workers can compete and win against companies from anywhere in the world so that we'll have more jobs, more companies, existing companies are expanding. those are the two things we're trying to do here.
11:57 am
that's what's in this bill, and that's why this is a great deal for the people that i represent. let me go through these individually. the first is the individual side of the tax code. i have said it before. i'm going to say it again. it doesn't matter how many times my colleagues on the other side get this wrong, the fact is we are lowering taxes for every single income category. absolutely no exceptions. every category. and they know it and they absolutely know it. now, we do it through a number of mechanisms. we double the standard deductions so the first $24,000 that a couple earns, they may no tax at all. none, zero, nothing. and then income above that is taxed at a very low rate. and there are other deductions that are available beyond that. but the fact is that's one of our tools. another is that we lower the rates, the rates that are applied to income are lower under our bill than under current law.
11:58 am
we increase the child tax credit dramatically. that is another huge source of savings for people who have children in our country. so that's the fact. let me just start with this simple chart which is a simple and compelling fact. it's going to be hard for our colleagues on the other side to ignore. a family of four that earns a median income, that's $73,000 in america, a family of four. mom and dad, to kids, $73,000. they're going to save $2,200 a year in a lower tax bill. their taxes go down by $2,200 a year. how is that not a tax cut? how is that not good for that family? it is. that's a fact and that is absolutely typical. that's just one illustration. the second fact -- now, this is a little bit harder to read, mr. president. but the folks quantify whether
11:59 am
peep in gif different income categories are going to pay more or less. it's broken down into very narrow incremental changes in income. people who earn less than $10,000, people who earn between $10,000 and $20,000, $20,000 and $30,000, all the way up. if you notice, mr. president, it says change in federal taxes. every single category, the dollar amount goes down. it's negative because every category of americans is going to have a savings. we designed it that way. by design there's a tax saving for all working families, all categories of income, all middle-income families. that's the reality. that's the fact that's illustrated. it's not my word. it's the joint tax committee. it's their report on november 27. finally, we'll take a look at that last chart.
12:00 pm
what this shows is who gets the biggest percentage relief? because it's not uniform across all the different categories of income. what do we see? the biggest tax cuts tend to be for the folks who have more modest income. that's -- again, this is not my data. ness the joint committee on -- this is from the joint committee on taxation, completely independent of us. and the higher income folks, getting some tax relief. it is just not as much, relative to the savings on lower- and middle-income folks. these guys want higher folks. we like lower tax deduction. these guys like to distribute wealth. we like people to be able to keep more of what they earn. let's stick to the facts. these are the facts. let me move ton a discussion -- let me move ton a discussion about -- let me move on to a
12:01 pm
discussion about u second is making the changes to our business tax code so we can actually have the economic growth we have been waiting for, have the prosperity we've been waiting for. the fact is, madam president, as you know, we have lived through the weakest economic recovery in american history. every past severe recession, even ordinary recessions, the economy has always come roaring back, and we've achieved economic growth that put us back on the path we were on before the recession. that's what's normal for america, strong economic growth. didn't happen this time. didn't happen after the great recession, and it's not just a coincidence. as my colleague from texas pointed out, there are some folks on the other side who think, well, america isn't the country it was and can't nearly have strong economic growth anymore. madam president, that's nonsense.
12:02 pm
it's ridiculous. we are capable of restoring the robust growth that allows our constituents to have a better standard of living. there is nothing about america that that is lost that ability to progression sper and growth. we've had the wrong policies. president obama and our democratic colleagues got everything they wanted whe wanty had complete control of the government. government virtual takeover of health care, massive overregulation of the whole economy and, lo and behold, the result was exactly what we feared -- really weak economic growth. actually, unprecedented weak growth for an extended period of time. but one of the problems that they inflicted on us was some really bad tax policy, multiple tax increases, and while the rest of the world has been making their tax code on the business side more competitive and more aggressive, we've actually gone backwards, haven't a major reform since 1986. and the incremental changes have
12:03 pm
been counterproductive. and so here's a big chance to make a huge improvement. one of the things i'm most excited about this i am completely convinced that the passage of our bill is going to address one of the most persistent and really maddening challenges that we have, which is stagnant wages of working americans. they've been stagnant for years. so you might ask, why are they stagnant? it's -- again, it's not a great mystery. it is not an accident. under the obama administration era, we saw a collapse in the growth of invested capital. that means investment in the kind of equipment that makes workers more productive. it's growing worker productivity that allows us to have higher wages. think about it this way. you go to a construction sexual assault you got two guys digging -- you go to a construction site. you got two guys digging holes.
12:04 pm
one guy is getting paid more. it is not because there is a minimum wage that forces it. it is because the guy that's operating the backhoe is more productive. he's using his skills on a big piece of expensive equipment and able to dig a lot more dirt than any unit of dirt than the guy swinging the shovel. that's what's going to happen under our bill. one of the things that we do fundamentally about the business side of our tax code is we lower the cost of investing in that new equipment. that new tractor, that new vehicle, that new machinery. filling that new plant with the ability to produce more goods and services. our bill makes that more affordable. and when you make that more affordable, guess what? businesses buy more tractors and factories and backhoes. and when they buy those things, someone has to operate them. that means they're creating new jobs. and guess what? someone else got to have a job
12:05 pm
and building it in the first place. i know some of my colleagues don't understand how this leads to growth. if you have more invested capital, you increase the invested capacity of the economy, you produce more goods and services, you have more workers needed to do that and more wages. and guess what? businesses don't go out and raise wages because they want northbound generous. what happens is they want to compete for ways,. they need more employees. so they start bidding up wages we're going to see that. we're going to see so much demand for workers that companies have no choice but to offer more compensation, better terms. that's how people have a higher standard of living. that's how they get the pay raise they ought to v let me mention another provision in our bill that's extremely constructive. we're fix ago badly flawed international treatment for our
12:06 pm
multinational companies. and i think our senator from oregon, our colleague, our democratic colleague, has acknowledged real problems in the way our system works. the short version is we've got a system that encourages companies to move overseas. has anybody heard of inversions? i think we all have. why do companies invert? it is because there is a tax code that drives t it is now very hard to explain and why you would headquarter a multinational company in the united states when we uniquely put multinational companies at a competitive disadvantage because of our tax system. so we're changing that so that we can compete. it is very good to have multinationals headquartered in america. i have a number of them in pennsylvania. there are great jobs in pennsylvania supporting all their business domestically and supporting a lot of their business internationally. now, in order to cover the cost of what we're doing -- the tax reductions, the rate reductions,
12:07 pm
allowing the lower cost for deploying capital -- we've got some offsets, we've got ways that we are asking businesses to pay more taxes in some respects where it will not be harmful for economic growth. we limit the amount of interest that a business is going to be able to deduct going forward. we limit deductions that favor certain industries over others. we limit deductions for certain fringe benefits, and we close a lot of loopholes. that helps us generate the revenue that allows us to have the constructive pro-growth features like lower marginal rates and lowering the cost of putting capital to work. so that's what we're trying to do here. that's what we do in our legislation. madam president, the effect of this is very, very clear and a large number of economists have acknowledged it's going to mean more business investment, more -- new businesses being launched, business moving back from overseas, back to america,
12:08 pm
expansion of existing businesses, and all that activity requires more workers -- all of this -- more workers to fill the additional jobs that are going to be created. that means more jobs, but it also means upward pressure on wages of everyone who has a job now because workers are going to have -- the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. wyden: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator oregon. mr. wyden: i first want to respooned to the senator from texas. then i will pose a question to the senator from ohio. the senator from texas talked about how everybody on this side was obstructing bipartisan tax reform. i'm a little puzzled by that, having written the only two bipartisan tax reform bills that have been before the senate. maybe the senator from texas will bring his bipartisan tax reform bills over and we could look at them at some point. one of the keystone x.l. to that bipartisan -- one of the keys to that bipartisan proposal and it relates to the point made by the
12:09 pm
senator from pennsylvania is our cosponsor, senator gregg, our former colleague, very knowledgeable about economics, said that what he wanted to do was make it more attractive to do business in the united states. heart of that bipartisan bill was to make it more attractive for small businesses, businesses of all sizes to create red, white, and blue jobs. this bill does just the opposite. it makes it more attractive to do business overseas. it's not what the bipartisan bill was all about. it's not what our former colleague, senator gregg, signed on to when he went on to our bipartisan bill. and i think i'd like now to pose a question to my colleague, a very valuable member of the finance committee, about why the
12:10 pm
patriot corporation legislation is so important because i think my colleague believes it's so important, as i did with senator gregg, the republican from new hampshire, that we ought to make it more attractive to have red, white, and blue jobs. is that really what my colleague is working on here? mr. brown: yes. i thank the senator from oregon, and i appreciate the time as we wind down this debate, that -- the answer is yes. we have a tax system right now in place -- and when i hear my colleagues on the other side of the aisle disingenuously say, well, the democrats because they don't like our tax plan, that means they're for the tax system the way it is. of course we don't like it the way it is. we particularly don't like it in states like mine and i would said especially in places like earn oregon where companies shut down production in lima or springfield and move to beijing and go a tax break for doing t we want to close that loophole, but you know what, this bill
12:11 pm
explodes that hoop hoax as i said a -- explodes that loophole. if a plant shuts down, the company understand this bill would pay a rate of 20% on profits. if it shuts down and moves to asia, it can build a new factory and get a tax deduction for moving and still pay a u.s. tax rate of zero. so why wouldn't they move? a senator: would the senator yield? mr. brown: very briefly. mr. sullivan: so the issue on economic growth -- we're talk about growth. growth, growth, growth. and i have not in three years -- three years -- heard my colleagues on the other side of the aisle say that economic growth of 1.5% for almost ten years is good for the country, good for workers in ohio, good so here's my question. mr. brown: madam president, i take back my time.
12:12 pm
mr. sullivan: will you yield for a question? mr. brown: i will yield for a question if it is a question. mr. sullivan: do you believe that the new normal is ^1.5% like c.b.o., like the obama administration said, for the entire future? is that what you believe? and if you don't, how do we get to faster growth? mr. brown: of course i don't believe that's the new normal. it's the same old game they played before. if you're not for our tax plan, then you're not for tax reform. nobody believes that. i'm not -- of course we don't think 1.5% is the new normal. but you know what else we know? we know the last time 20 years ago when we focused on the middle class and cut taxes on the middle class during the clinton years, the economy exploded. 22 million private-sector jobs. but you know what happened a dozen years ago? president bush did two tax cuts for the wealthy under the view that it trickles down and everybody will do better. eight years of president bush,
12:13 pm
no economic -- no net job growth. yeah, the president during the last few years we've had this low level of job -- of g.d.p. growth for a whole lot of reasons. but you don't fix it, you don't grow the economy by giving tax cuts for the rich with the hope of it trickling down. one of the ways you fix that is you do the patriot corporation act. if a company does the right thing. if a company pays good wages, if a company provides decent health benefits and retirement benefits, that company -- and keeps its production in the united states, that company gets a better tax rate, $1,500 per worker is the way this amendment would work. that's what president trump said to me in a meeting with me and all my finance committee colleagues. we know that. that just goes without saying despite of the myth on the floor. before i turn to senator durbin, i want to say one other thing. we've seen some pretty charts on
12:14 pm
this floor about middle-class tatax cuts. what we didn't hear mentioned was about the third year of this bill, the tax cut go down and down and document then they cross zero and then you got tax increases. the tax policy center said in 2019, 13 million households will have a tax increase. 2025, 19 million households will have a tax increase. 2027, 87 million -- those aren't the trump family that'll have tax increases. those aren't senators' families that'll have tax increases. those are working families in toledo and dayton and working families in omaha and in east st. louis, illinois. those are who's going to get hit with these tax increases while the wealthy continue to get more tax bracing. i'll yield the remainder of the democratic time to the assistant democratic leader, senator durbin. mr. durbin: let me thank my
12:15 pm
colleague from ohio for raising this issue. we have a tax code that creates incentives and penalties for certain conduct. we encourage americans to give to charities. we give them a deduction. we encourag -- we encourages americans to own homes and let them deduct the cost of interest. we encourage them in so many ways. why shouldn't we encourage american businesses to hire american workers? why shouldn't we reward american businesses that keep their businesses in america and not move them overseas? why shouldn't we incentivize businesses and corporations to pay a decent living wage to their employees to provide basic benefits when it comes to health insurance and health care, a good retirement plan? why shouldn't we incentivize american companies to hire veterans? why don't we put in our tax codes ?embts -- incentives that
12:16 pm
create stronger, better american corporations? i'm going to wave the flag here. i think there are great corporations in america that really do care for this country. some don't. i don't think they should be rewarded for turning their back on america. but we do. in the current tax code, if you decide to ship your jobs off overseas, put your factory overseas and put americans out of work, you know what the tax code says? be my guest. the provision says you can deduct the cost of moving. so we incentivize and reward companies that want to leave america. what senator brown and many on this side of the aisle believe, as i do, why don't we incentivize the companies that want to stay in america? why don't we incentivize those who say we want to hire american people and pay them a decent wage? that's what a tax code is all about, i think. create incentives for good things for the american economy. discourage bad things. and so i introduceed this bill
12:17 pm
several years back, a congressman from chicago joined me in this effort. senator brown has been such a leader in this area. i was proud to stand with him today and do this jointly and offer this as part of the tax plan. it's a basic, basic proposition for president trump and for the republicans. do you believe, do you believe that american businesses that stay in this country deserve a break? do you believe that american businesses that pay a decent wage to their employees deserve a tax break? do you believe that american companies that put together health insurance and retirement plans that are fair and just for the workers and their families deserve a break in our tax code? do you think that we ought to give a helping hand to those companies that will hire a veteran, put a veteran to work? do you think that our tax code should also recognize that some companies are going to hire disabled people and give them the chance of a lifetime? do you think all of those are
12:18 pm
good conduct by corporations that deserve not only a pat on the back, but a helping hand when it comes to the tax code? that's what this is about. it's very basic. that's what i believe. i think that's what most of the people in illinois believe. i think that's what president trump might have been speaking to during the course of his campaign about creating jobs in america. now this president and those who are in his party have a chance to put a vote on the board and show that they believe that too. how in the world would you explain when you go home if you vote against this? oh yeah, i voted against patriot corporations. i don't think we ought to reward american companies that hire american workers and treat them fairly. how do you explain that? this tax code is loaded with incentives. it's loaded with special interests. the special interests we're focusing on are american workers and their families with this amendment. and we're focusing as well on the companies that respect them, treat them fairly, pay
12:19 pm
them a decent wage and give them a fighting chance to make it in america. it sounds to me like a middle-class issue. it sounds to me like a middle-income issue. it sounds to me like a good economic growth policy not just to increase corporate profits by reducing their taxes, but to make sure that the company's business model is based on what's good for the future of america and what's good for our economy. yes, i'm waving the flag here, proud to do it. i want to wave a flag at every company that respects american workers and treats them the way they deserve. and i think this is a good way, a good step in that direction. i thank senator brown. mr. brown: how much time remains on the democratic side in. the presiding officer: three and a half minutes. mr. brown: i appreciate the leadership of senator durbin on this issue. i want to ask democratic ranking member wyden a question as we wrap up. we have heard p in order to sell this scam that we see rushed through negotiated in the majority leader's office with his wall street and drug company
12:20 pm
lobbyist friends, we've seen to sell this scam for the 1% and their billionaire crib contributors, republicans continue to say the democrats didn't want to contribute, do this bipartisanly. senator wyden and i were at the white house when i handed the president the corporation act and tax relief for working families act, and other democrats were saying here's some ideas that can make this truly a bill aimed at the middle class, helping the middle class in expanding the economy. but i keep hearing him say we didn't want to do this. really. i want to ask senator wyden -- he's the senior democrat on the tax committee -- would you expand on that. what really happened? mr. wyden: i very much appreciate what you and senator durbin are seeking to do because not only have you tried to generate bipartisan support for it, i was there at the white house when you handed it to the president. that was what the moderate democrats tried to do again a couple of days ago, to say
12:21 pm
look, we want to show enormous good faith behind the cause of bipartisanship. i sure wish the republican leader, senator cornyn, stayed on the floor because he was attacking democrats as obstructing the cause of bipartisan tax reform. he knows full well that i've written two bills. and, by the way, republicans who said as part of that bill, unlike this one, they want everybody in america to get ahead, not just the folks at the top, the senior republicansg from new hampshire, the republican chairman of the budget committee, he made the agreement with me to make it attractive to create red, white, and blue jobs. not to make it more attractive to ship jobs overseas. so i want to give my colleague the last word with respect to the importance of this, but people ought to understand,
12:22 pm
one, democrats have been showing for months, for months how strongly we feel about doing this in a bipartisan way, a. b, my colleague, on this particular issue -- patriot corporations -- handed this proposal to the president asking for bipartisanship. and we have had a bipartisan proposal for years. senator cornyn has never had a bipartisan tax reform proposal. and i'd like to let my colleague finish up. mr. brown: really, really simple debate, madam president. candidate trump, then-president trump who said we reward corporations that do the right thing. they pay good wages, they provide decent benefits, they keep their production in the united states. he then went on to say you penalize companies that don't. but if you're patriotic, you give them a tax break. the durbin-brown bill, the brown-durbin amendment bill provides $1,500 roughly for every employee when companies do the right thing. why would we not want to reward american companies that are
12:23 pm
making things in america? this suit i wear, madam president, made by union workers ten miles from my house. why wouldn't we want to reward companies that do that instead of reward companies that go overseas? vote for the brown-durbin patriot corporation act amendment. i yield back my time. the presiding officer: all time has expired. the question is on the motion. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
12:24 pm
12:25 pm
12:26 pm
12:27 pm
12:28 pm
12:29 pm

60 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on