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tv   U.S. Senate 12012017  CSPAN  December 1, 2017 7:34pm-9:35pm EST

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overseas somewhere else and not being invested in eric m i have had conversations with c.e.o.'s overseas who have told me they want to invest in the united states. but the tax makes it prohibitively expensive to bring it home and therefore they're looking for opportunities overseas. mr. president, we have to end this and we're going to end this in this bill. and that is going to put an end to the tax incentive for these inversions, the movement overseas of corporate headquarters, it's going to make america a great place to invest and to headquarter a multinational company, and it's going to encourage the kind of growth. it's one of the central pillars of our business tax reform that is very constructive and very important. and i see my colleague from south dakota is with us and i will yield the floor now for him. mr. thune: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: i would thank the senator from pennsylvania for outlining and highlighting what
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are -- i should say -- some of the many reforms that are included in this legislation. what he talked about is critically important. if america is going to be competitive in the global marketplace, we have to change our tax code, because it is completely outdated, completely antiquated relative to any of the countries with whom we compete. so as the senator from pennsylvania pointed out, the reforms that we make in this bill allow american companies to compete and win against those other countries around the world. the chinas of the worked the russias of the world, those countries that america has to compete with on a daily basis have a huge advantage over american companies today simply because we have a tax code that doesn't recognize and reflect what's happening in the global economy. and that's why modernizing and updating our tax code was such a critical part of our tax reform efforts. mr. president, this is, i would say, contrary to -- i was listening to my colleague from vermont. i think this is a really great
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day in the united states senat. we're getting close to the finish line this tax bill. and over the past 24 hours i think we've made a really great bill even better with more middle-class tax relief and more relief for small businesses and we've moved our bill closer to the house bill in key areas where i think will help us get this bill to the president's desk in the very near future. but i'm excited about what this tax bill is going to do for the american people. mr. president, america has always been about opportunity, a place where you could start from nothing and become anything. generations of people have come to this country to build a better life for themselves, and an even better town where forechildren. my grandparents were those people, came from norway in 1980, worked for a while on the -- came from norway in 1906 work
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for a while in a hardware store. it is an example of the millions of americans -- or millions of people who came to this country, came to america in search of opportunity, mr. president. unfortunately, in recent years, those vast horizons that so many people came to this country for seem to have shrunk. the american dream has dimmed. the american dream has been replaced with getting biment we have watched idly as our jobs get shipped overseas, as other countries drop their tax rates. as emerging economies and nations grow faster thank the united states. american now spend more time worrying about their future than looking forward to it. mr. president, we're turning that around starting today with this tax bill. i'm reminded of ronald reagan's presidential ad noting that it was morning in america again. well, mr. president, it may not be morning yet, but the dawn is
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peeking over the horizon. the tax bill is going to provide immediate relief to hardworking americans, it is going to immediately lower their tax bills. it is going to immediately mean more money in their pockets. but this bill is about much more than that. this bill isn't just about helping americans today, mr. president, although it is most certainly going to do that. this bill is about helping americans for the long term. it's about restoring the american dream. it's about giving americans access to the kinds of wages, jobs, and opportunities that will set them up for a more secure and prosperous future. and it is about sending a message to the world that america is finally serious about competing for 21st century jobs and innovation. for years our tax laws have kept american businesses at a disadvantage in the global economy. as other nations have changed their tax codes to strengthen their businesses, our tax code
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has kept american businesses struggling. but, mr. president, that ends now. this legislation makes a tremendous investment in american businesses and american workers. under this bill, american businesses will no longer face the double taxation that is hadt has kept them hat a disadvantage next to their foreign counterparts. it will no longer face the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world. they will no longer be playing catch-up with their foreign competitors. instead, american businesses will have money to invest in american workers. they will be able to expand their domestic operations and they will be able to compete with and beat their competitors around the globe. and what's the result of that? more growth here at home. more jobs. more opportunities. and higher wages.
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and an america that can lead the world in innovation, job creation, and economic growth. mr. president, america may have been through a rough patch lately, but she is coming back stronger than ever. america led the world in the 20th century, and this tax bill makes it clear that she is going to do the same in the 21st century. mr. president, i hope that our colleagues, when i it comes time to vote on this tonight, will vote in favor of tax relief for middle-income families, of a stronger growing, vibrant economy that is creating better-paying jobs, raising wages for american workers and american families and a brighter and more prosperous future for future generations of americans. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. wyden: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: i'd just like to
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set the record straight ton a couple of points. i have a response to my colleagues who continually say that this corporate tax cut is going to raise workers' wages by $4,000. now, i asked the head of the joint committee on taxation whether that was the case. he essentially said no, he did not believe it was the case and referred us to tables that document it. perhaps even more egregious is tonight we heard our colleague from ohio say that a congressional budget office report claims that workers are going to get 70% of the benefit from a corporate tax cut. so it was raised even higher. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a report from the congressional budget office making it clear on the cover where it says the analyses and conclusions
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expressed there should not be interpreted. it directly contradicts the comments made by the senator from ohio on wages and corporate tax cuts. i ask unanimous consent that be included. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: thank you, mr. president. and if i could have the attention of my colleague from pennsylvania, i'd like to pose a question to him on a matter we have, as we've indicated, been digging through the amendments. and as far as i can tell, what we have is the earlier language, which imposes a new excise tax on the investment income of large university endowments. that has been in the bill. so be it. now there seems to be a new exception on page 289, the bill says that the new tax does not apply to a university otherwise subject to the tax if it is
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described in the first section, which is 511-a-2-b and which does not receive federal funds. this is new. and i'm trying to figure out why there is this special exemption -- can't seem to find other people who are getting it or who it benefits. and i thought perhaps my colleague from pennsylvania could enlighten me on this. mr. toomey: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. toomey: i'd be happy to enlighten the senator from oregon. what my provision does is it applies to any college that chooses not to receive federal funds under title 4. which is a very big category of funding for higher education. it's the provision that authorizes federal financial student loan programs, for instance. so the theory is, which you may or may not agree with, but my view is, if a college chooses to
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forego federal money and the students that attend have to find their own way to get in, it is diminishing the burden that that college would otherwise impose on the taxpayers and so it's perfectly reasonable in my view, to exempt such a college from the tax on endowments that we're applying generally. that's the answer to your question. mr. wyden: but, if my colleague would yield further, what is your analysis of how many colleges would benefit from this? and the reason i ask is, it is my view, there are a lot of deserving oregon schools. and i seem to remember quite a few colleges in pennsylvania that also are very deserving. they would not benefit from this, and i would like my colleague's assessment of how many colleges would benefit from this particular provision. mr. toomey: i think there are very few probably who choose now
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to forego all of this taxpayer money, but any college in america that wanted to could do so. so any college that decided to adopt the policy that i am allude being to here would choose to forego the taxpayer money subsidizing their students and if they choose to do that then they wouldn't are to pay tax on their endowment. it would apply to any college who made the choice. mr. wyden: so is this hills dale college? because that is what i have been led to believe. and i would just like my colleague's analysis of whether they would benefit. mr. toomey: i believe that hills dale college would qualify for this, as would any other college that chooses to forego title 4 funding. mr. wyden: i just am not aware of it. mr. toomey: there are other colleges that choose to forego the funding.
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i'm not sure how many of them also have an endowment large enough at the moment that it would have an impact on them, and i have no idea how long it might take them to develop an endowment. but the point is anybody that is in this category would have this same treatment. mrs. mccaskill: mr. president, would the senator answer a question about this provision? do you know who the biggest donor was to the hillsdale college endowment? would that be the deboss family? do you know who put this provision in here? mr. toomey: i advocated this provision? mrs. mccaskill: what does it have to do with taking title 4 money as to whether or not your endowment is going to be taxed? how is that apples and apples? it sounds like to me apples and oranges? what in the world do those two have in relation to each other? mr. toomey: are you finished with your question? mrs. mccaskill: yes. mr. toomey: i'll answer it again because i already answered this. you may choose to disagree and that's fine but my view is that
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a college that chooses to say we don't want to take any federal taxpayer dollars and therefore saves the taxpayer i don't know how many millions all together, usually thousands per student, i think it's quite reasonable a college that chooses to not put that in position on -- put that imposition on federal taxpayers ought to be able to be exempt from this tax. it would be available to any college that made that choice. several colleges in america make this choice, and any others that choose to would be able to participate. mrs. mccaskill: so the rationale is if you choose not to take federal money, then your endowment is no longer subject to any tax? even though the endowment money doesn't come -- it comes from people that get a deduction for the tax, for the money they give; correct? the endowment comes from donors. it doesn't -- it is people that have in fact -- i thought the reason we were taxing the endowments is because the people who were giving the money were getting a tax deduction when they put it there.
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mr. toomey: the point is the college that is qualifying for this is choosing not to impose a tax burden on the american taxpayer. they are not accepting, they are not allowing their students to take the federal taxpayer benefits that are available to them. they choose not to. this -- they save taxpayers a tremendous amount of money when they make that choice, and i think it's reasonable to allow them not to also have to pay this tax on their endowment. mrs. mccaskill: one more question. are the people who are giving to the endowment, are they still allowed to take the tax deduction? mr. toomey: i think people who give to the endowments are treated the same as people who give to any other endowment. mrs. mccaskill: so it doesn't matter in terms of the people giving to the endowments whether or not they get a tax deduction, just whether or not the school takes money from the federal government? mr. toomey: if the school chooses to save federal taxpayers very substantial amounts of money by foregoing the title 4 funds, then the school would not have to pay the
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tax. mrs. mccaskill: my point, senator, is that the people who are giving to the endowment get the exact same tax benefit as people who give to any endowment in the country. mr. toomey: and it's a completely irrelevant point. the fact is the school is choosing to save the taxpayers a lot of money by foregoing money that would be available to its students. so it's very reasonable to have this modest savings that is available to the school that makes that choice and saves the taxpayers this money. mrs. mccaskill: it doesn't feel that way to us. it feels like this is a very limited provision written for a very special person. mr. toomey: universal provision available to any school that chooses to take it. mr. merkley: would my colleague from pennsylvania yield for a question? mr. toomey: sure. mr. merkley: is this hillsdale college the same one sued for discrimination in the 1980's? mr. toomey: i don't know the history of the litigation.
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mr. merkley: i know you introduced this provision so i assume you probably researched it some. isn't the reason that this college has not taken federal funds is because they were sued for discrimination? mr. toomey: so, mr. president, this is not my understanding. i do understand that my colleagues on the far left do not have a fond opinion of hillsdale, but i do. i actually think it's a wonderful institution. and i commend them for their choice, as other colleges, of foregoing taxpayer money that they could be taking. the burden they could be imposing on taxpayers. but they choose not to. and i think any college in that category, whether it's hillsdale or any other college, ought not to have to pay the tax on the endowment. mr. merkley: your colleagues on the left don't have a fond opinion of this particular college, but my point is we don't have a fond opinion of discrimination and of giving a tax provision for just one college that happens to be funded by one of the wealthiest
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families in america because they happen to be a republican donor. why would that be a good provision in terms of the united states of america to subsidize a college that quit taking federal funds because of discrimination? mr. toomey: why would you choose to mischaracterize this provision the way you just did? you said it's for one college and you know that's not true. there is a criteria that is available to any college in america, and any college that takes it will get that benefit. mr. merkley: provide a list of all the colleges that qualify. our understanding is this is written for one to qualify. that's why it shouldn't be done at the last minute just stuffed into the tax code. mr. toomey: the college does not like that -- if he does not like that provision he can strike it. this is a wide open process. mr. wyden: i'd ask unanimous consent for three additional minutes to complete this with one question. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection.
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mr. wyden: thank you, mr. president. i was concerned at the beginning because there are so many deserving schools in oregon, in pennsylvania, and elsewhere who don't get this special treatment. and obviously you've heard my colleagues express their concern, and i think it transcends somebody's politics. so my question now would be the perfecting amendment has not yet been filed. would my colleague be willing to take his provision out of the perfecting amendment and offer it as a separate amendment so he can actually have an up-or-down vote and perhaps by that time we'll know how many colleges, if any, other than this one benefit? mr. toomey: mr. president, so the senator from oregon referred to many other deserving schools. i don't know which of them choose to forego this taxpayer
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money, and if any of them do, then they qualify. if you do not like the provision, you are free to offer an amendment to strike the provision. and that would be my recommendation. mr. wyden: the answer is no? mr. toomey: just like the provision, you can offer an amendment to strike it. mr. wyden: let the record show that my colleague has said no, and i can't find anybody else in america who benefits from this particular provision. and that doesn't strike me as right to have it airdropped at the last minute into a bill. mr. president, i believe i'm out of time on my consent request. mr. toomey: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. toomey: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that there now be 30 minutes equally
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divided for debate only with no amendments or motions in order and with the majority leader being recognized at the conclusion of that time. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. who yields time? if no one yields time, time will be equally assigned to each side.
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the
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senator from utah. mr. lee: mr. president, i stand in support of the child tax credit, something that this bill goes a long way toward promoting. this is a great day in the sense that the senate is moving forward with promoting the interests of the american family. doing something to weaken, to soften the impact of a little-known feature called the parent tax penalty. a lot of people are familiar with the marriage tax penalty in the tax code. it's a pernicious feature, one that punishes people for getting married, one that can produce a series of adverse effects simply by saying i do. that's wrong. most americans acknowledge that it's wrong, and this bill goes a long way toward undoing that. there is a different thing called the parent tax penalty that like i say is less understood, less frequently discussed than it should be. here's how the parent tax
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penalty works. it is a basic function of the interaction between the federal income tax system on the one hand and our federal senior entitlement programs on the other, social security and medicare. here's how it works. imagine two hypothetical couples. couple a and couple b. couple a and couple b are identical in every respect but one. that is, they are identical in their income patterns, charitable contributions, mortgage interests, so on and so forth. except for one characteristic. couple a has four children. couple b chooses to remain childless. over the course of their lifetimes and while raising their children, couple a will on average, according to what some have described as lowball estimates produced by the u.s. department of agriculture, incur around a million dollars in child-rearing expenses. just the costs of raising their children. couple b, of course, being
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childless won't incur those same expenses. at the same time, they are paying more or less at the same tax rate. there were a few differences in the existing tax code, but nothing to offset the disparity between the two couples in the sense that couple a, while incurring these $1 million in child-rearing expenses while they are raising their children. they are also paying into security and medicare. they are also paying taxes, and they're not having their contribution to the solvency of social security and medicare adequately taken into account. er in other words, because social security and medicare are funded on a pay-as-you-go basis, we have to remember that it's today's workers who are paying the retirement benefits of today's retirees. it is today's children who will be tomorrow's workers, who will be funding the retirement benefits under social security and medicare of today's workers, tomorrow's retirees. this is what the parent tax penalty is all about. you see, the federal tax code
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doesn't adequately take into account the enormous contribution of working parents and contributing toward the solvency and sustainability of social security and medicare. this is why, mr. president, a little over four years ago, back in 2013, i started pushing this idea of the need to increase the child tax credit, to help soften the impact of the parent tax penalty. this is not to be sure something that is intended to incentivize or compel parenthood. that is not our purpose at all. this is not social engineering. it is one thing for the government to tell people they have to do something or to incentivize them to do another. it is quite another thing to simply tell people we're going to punish you less for bringing about the possibility of sustaining medicare and social security, for bringing children into this world and raising tomorrow's generation of workers who will pay for the social
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security and medicare benefits of today's workers, tomorrow's retirees. this is important, and this is something that i am thrilled to see as part of this tax reform package. this tax reform package does, in fact, increase the child tax credit to $2,000 per child. what i would like to see and what i have been working on with senator rubio is also to increase the refundability of the child tax credit, move that refundability all the way up to $2,000 per child and make it refundable up to the amount of taxes paid, including payroll taxes. in other words, up to 15.3% of earnings. what would this -- what this would do, mr. president, is that it would result in an effective cut in the payroll tax liability of middle-class, hardworking
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american moms and dads, some of whom might see that their payroll tax liability exceeds their income tax liability. they are still paying taxes. tell a construction worker or a secretary or a police officer that he or she is not paying federal taxes simply because their biggest tax liability is found in the payroll tax. in this circumstance, this amendment is needed in order to give these people significant tax benefits under this bill. it's important to remember that some 70% of the benefits under this bill go to america's corporations. 30% individuals. it's our desire to help spread out some of the benefits of this and to help spread it out in particular to america's hardworking middle-class moms and dads.
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now, the rubio-lee amendment in its current formulation would involve a very slight adjustment to the corporate tax rate, taking it from 20% to 20.94%. this is not an enormous difference. it reminds me a little bit of a story i first heard told by emo phillips. emo phillips described himself as walking across the golden gate bridge one night very late. he was alone on the bridge or so he thought until he got about halfway across the bridge when he discovered he was not alone. he found somebody else standing on the outside of the guardrail of the golden gate bridge. he said i could tell right away this man was in trouble. the thought occurred to me, maybe this man is thinking about taking the unfortunate step of ending his life by jumping off the bridge. he said i stopped and asked the man the first thing that came to mind, do you believe in god. the man said yes. i said me, too. are you a christian? the man said yes, i said me, too. what denomination?
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i'm a baptist. me, too. are you northern or southern baptist? a senator: i'm a northern baptist. me, too. mr. lee: are you a northern fundamentalist baptist conference of 1857 or a northern fundamentalist conference of 1812. he said the other, and emo said die you hair particular and pushed him off the bridge. the point here is that sometimes we have to acknowledge that very minor differences between us do not make us heretics. there is a minor difference between a corporate tack rate of 24.9% and 25%. that would make all the difference in the world to america's hardworking moms and dads. many are on the cusp of where americans find themselves especially when their children are young. imagine a construction worker, police officer, or schoolteacher who is just barely making ends
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meet and who realizes that if they were to take themselves out of their workforce, they might be able to receive government benefits that they are currently not receiving. they might in some ways find their quality of life going up, at least in the sense that they wouldn't have to go to work. we don't want them to have to do that, you see, because when they get into that circumstance, they might forgo other career opportunities. without that job, there won't be the next job, the next promotion, and the next promotion after that. they might find themselves trapped in a web of poverty. held down by the very government programs that are there to help them. that in turn might contribute to the sprawling expanse of the federal government. it might inhibit economic growth. you see, mr. president, sometimes we have to remember that america's ultimate and most important investor class are not necessarily just those people gathered around the board room. they are often in maternity
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wards or at the altar in a church, saying i do. sometimes the most important investments we make are in those children who we rock to sleep at night, who we raise to be the next generation of taxpayers, the next generation of contributors to our great society. this is why making sure that the child tax credit is there for them, is available to them, is refundable up to the amount of taxes paid is so important. these are not free loaders. these are not people who would be seeking a welfare benefit because their only benefit available to them under this child tax credit would be there for them, only to the extent that they had been working and paying taxes, paying into the system. this is an eminently reasonable request. in any event, mr. president, this is a great moment in the very sense that we're having this conversation, in the very
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sense that we are poised right now to increase the child tax credit to $2,000 per child. this will go a significant way toward offsetting the parent tax penalty. it's my hope and my humble request that my colleagues will heed this call to make it even more meaningful by making the child tax credit refundable up to the amount of taxes paid, including payroll taxes. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. wyden: how much time remains on our side? the presiding officer: five minutes. mr. wyden: i yield five minutes to my friend from ohio. mr. brown: thank you. mr. president, if we want to cut taxes for the middle class, as my colleagues keep saying, let's cut taxes for the middle class. instead of giving it to
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corporations and letting it trickle down, let's put the money directly in the pockets of working families. i will say that again. instead of giving the money to corporations and hoping it trickles down, cut out the middleman and cut the money directly in the pockets of working families. i'll keep saying this because tax reform should be that simple. i spent the last two weeks and in particular the past two days working with senators rubio and lee on a good-faith effort to bring the child tax credit into this conversation. their proposal -- i don't believe their proposal goes far enough because it fails to index the c.t.c. for inflation, it's temporary, and it -- remember, the tax cuts for individuals are temporary. the tax cuts for corporations are permanent. it continues to be tied only to payroll taxes. it ignores the burdens we place on working families. we can find trillions, trillions for corporations. this is all we can do for working families? unfortunately, while senators lee and rubio were making a real
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effort, a real effort at middle-class tax cuts, i thought we were close to a bipartisan deal that could save this bill, but it didn't happen. republican leadership coming down the hall from senator mcconnell's office, down the hall, swooped in. they made it clear this bill was being writtenning to benefit one class of people. corporations that ship jobs overseas and their c.e.o.'s. senators' sons and daughters will do just fine under that proposal. they'll get the full tax cut for their children. working families will pay the price. what we should do, frankly, what we must do is vote this bill down and start over. senators rubio and lee and i could work together along with our colleague senator bennet to pass real middle-class tax cuts, build around a compromise that begins with our shared goals on the child tax credit. that's where you start. because right now this bill is not a tax cut for working
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families. everybody on this side of the aisle knows it. every single person knows it, whether they were personally a c.e.o., whether they were an accountant, a lawyer in a small town, they all know this is not a cut for middle-class families. even right now this bill is a massive giveaway to multinational corporations that outsource american jobs. we know, mr. president, that in -- companies shut down in mansfield, ohio, in zanesville and lima, chill kofi. they get a tax break, move overseas, build a new factory and sell those products back into the united states. we know that's what's been happening. we choose not to fix that. instead we do more of the same. even before you take into account the loss of health coverage for tens of millions of americans, a full 62% of these tax cuts will go to the top 1% of households by the end of the decade. 62% of these tax cuts go to the top 1% of households.
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even with the bush tax cuts which were clearly weighted too much to the wealthiest people in our country, the most privileged, that was only 27% of those tax cuts, those benefits went to the wealthiest 1%. so let's end the charade that this bill is a tax cut for ordinary americans. it's simply not. their c.e.o. pals have let the cat out of the bag. bloomberg reported this morning, quote, instead of hiring more workers, my friends on the other side of the aisle say you cut taxes on corporations, they'll raise wages, hire more workers. well, a bunch of c.e.o.s said -- bloomberg said instead of hiring more workers or raising their pay, companies say they'll first increase dividends or buy back their own shares. that's what they always do. they take the money for themselves. they take the money for stockholders. it's stock buybacks, more executive compensation. the corporate c.e.o.'s couldn't be clearer. they're keeping the money for themselves. it's not going into the pocket
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of workers. again, mr. president, take out the middleman. if you want to do tax cuts for the middle class, then do tax cuts for the middle class. if my colleagues mean what they say, if they want to cut taxes for the middle class, work with us. work with us partisanly on a good child tax credit that will really work for working families and cut taxes directly for the middle class. i yield.
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mr. scott: mr. president? thank you. i ask unanimous consent that there now be 30 minutes equally divided for debate only -- i note the absence of a quorum.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call: quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the minority leader. mr. schumer: mr. president, in just a short time, we'll proceed to a final vote on the republican tax bill. we understand they have the votes to pass their bill, detain spite a process -- despite a process and a product that no one can be proud of and everyone should be ashamed of.
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historians will mark today as one of the darkest black-letter days in the long history of this senate. once hailed as the world's greatest deliberative body, as a beacon of american democracy and the envy of representative governments around the world, the senate seems to have abandoned those qualities in a rush to pass a bill that no one is proud of. substantively, the republicans have managed to take a bad bill and make it worse. it was chock full of special-interest giveaways before tonight, but founder the cover of darkness and with the aid of haste, a flurry of last-minute changes will stuff even more money into the pockets of the wealthy and the biggest corporations while raising taxes on millions in the middle class.
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one provision may be a metaphor for the whole bill. one college -- hillsdale college -- has been exempted from taxes on colleges with large endowments. the specific provision just like an earmark was slipped into the bill added by a senator who fought to remove earmarks from congress several years ago. a single wealthy college, the pet project of a billionaire campaign crib tor to the -- contributor to the republican party exempted by a tax who fought to get rid of earmarks. this unfortunately is the metaphor for this bill and how high the stench is rising in this chamber as we debate the
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bill tonight. in my long career in politics, i have not seen a more regressive piece of legislation so devoid of rationale, so ill-suited for the conditions of the country, so removed from the reality of what the american people need. working people in this country are struggling. corporations and the very wealthy are doing great. there is no reason for rushing through a tax break for millionaires and billionaires paid for by pilfering the pockets and the health care of middle-class americans. millions of middle-class families will get a tax hike next year and millions more thereafter because of this bill. that's why this bill is such a monstrosity, such a danger to the country, and the american people know it. that's why they oppose the bill
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in large majorities. my republican friends will ultimately pay consequences for this bill in 2018 and beyond. the republican party will never again be the party of tax cuts for middle-class people. with the passage of this tax bill, today will be the first day of the new republican party, one that raises taxes on the middle class, abandoning its principles for its political paymasters. now with respect to the process, the bill my republican friends hope to pass so soon was received by members of this body only a few hours ago. not a single member of this chamber has read the bill. it would be impossible. some of the pages were completely crossed off and text has been replaced by handwritten notes. when we got the bill, this is
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what it looked like. this is what it looked like. when asked before by senator durbin, the senator clerk said she couldn't even read it, and this section is one of the most complicated sections of the bill dealing with pass-throughs. lawyers are paid thousands of dollars an hour to find a way for their wealthy patrons to avoid sections just like this. and my republican friends don't have the decency, the honor to let us debate it. senator mccaskill was the first to discover a list of proposed amendments was circulating among lobbyists. my republican friends allowed lobbyists to see amendments and likely the text of this bill before their fellow u.s. senators.
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mr. president, there is no score of this bill by the joint committee on taxation. there will be no analysis of how american businesses and taxpayers fare under this bill, how high taxes go up or go down. if the economy pros or shrinks, if it creates jobs or loses them. who knows? certainly no one here. no one could know because it hasn't even been read, let alone thoughtfully considered. i remember a few years back when my republican colleagues gleefully scolded us to read the bill because the affordable care act was a lengthy piece of legislation. and that bill was available for days before anyone had to vote on it. with this stunning deception, with this reckless ramrodding of a


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