tv U.S. Senate 12012017 CSPAN December 1, 2017 9:34pm-11:35pm EST
senators. 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 bill, republicans heretofore
unreached -- republicans are reaching heretofore, unreached heights of hypocrisy and the senate is descending to a new low of chicanery. read the bill? they're still writing it by hand mere hours before voting on it. is this really how republicans are going to rewrite the tax code? scrawled like something on the back of a napkin behind closed doors with the help of k street lobbyists? if that's not a recipe for swindling the middle class and loosening loopholes for the wealthy, i don't know what is. i don't know if it's possible for a senate majority leader to depart further from responsible legislating than the process we witnessed with this tax bill. tonight, mr. president, i feel
mostly regret at what could have been. what a grave shame it is that we weren't able to work together on this bill. tax reform is an issue that is ripe for bipartisan compromise. democrats have spent many long hours with our republican colleagues talking about our tax reform ideas. there is a sincere desire on this side of the aisle to work with our colleagues, particularly on tax reform. but we have been rebuffed time and time again. even under these difficult circumstances, senators coons and warner and bennet, man chin, height camp, donnelly, mccaskill tried in good faith to convince our republican colleagues to sit down and talk to us. we tried to convince you that we want to join you in tax reform, to have a real debate befitting
this august body. it's an expression of the brokenness of our politics that the influence of moneyed interests and the political right was so great that it overcame even the best of intentions of my republican colleagues, so many of whom i admire. so many of whom i know because they've said it to me, they lament the steady erosion of bipartisanship in the one institution, in our government, designed by nature to foster it. i salute my friend, the senator from tennessee, for standing fast by his principles and having the courage of his convictions. i only regret that there were not more who followed his admirable example.
after a divisive and draining battle over the future of health care, we could have moved the senate back towards sanity, bipartisanship, compromise. we could have accomplished something great for the country and for this body at the same time. though time is running short, there is still time. and i would make one final plea. because this bill is so slanted toward the wealthy and powerful and rains tax increases upon millions of middle-class citizens, because the bill is laden with special interest provisions, some recently found and many not yet seen, because the bill was given to lobbyists to read and change before senators saw it, and because the bill as given to us on a few hours' notice and has not been read fully or considered fully by a single senator, i move we
adjourn until monday so we can first read and then clean up this awful piece of legislation. mr. president, i move to adjourn until monday, december 4, 2017, at noon. i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. is there a sufficient second? there is. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
the presiding officer: the yeas are 48, the nays are 52. the motion is not agreed to. mr. mcconnell: madam president? the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent to call up amendment number 1855, that the amendment
be agreed to and that senate amendment number 1618, as amended, be considered original text for the purpose of further amendment, and all points of order be preserved. i further ask that all time be yielded back. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the clerk there report the amendment by number. the clerk: the senator from kentucky, mr. mcconnell, for mr. hatch and ms. murkowski, proposes an amendment numbered 1855 to amendment number 1618. mr. mcconnell: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the following amendments be called up en bloc and reported by number. sanders 120 -- 1720, brown 1854, rubio 1850. i further ask consent the senate now vote in relation to the sanders amendment and that following disposition of the amendment, the senate vote in relation to the above amendments in the order listed. finally, that there be two
minutes equally divided between the managers or their designees prior to all further votes tonight and that they be ten minutes in length. the presiding officer: objection? without objection so order. mr. mcconnell: sow so, madam president the next three amendments will be in relation to the sanders amendment 17 20, the brown amendment 1854 and the rubio amendment 1850. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendments en bloc by number. the clerk: the senator kentucky, for oh, proposes amendments numbered 1720, 1854, and 1850 to amendment number 1618. the presiding officer: there are now two inminutes of debate prior -- equally divided prior to the vote on the sanders amendment. sanders sanders mada --
mr. sanders: madam president, could we have order, please? the presiding officer: well, well. the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: madam president, tonight is chapter one of the republican party-koch brothers plan. tonight the republicans provide $1 billion in tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country and to the largest corporations while raising the deficit by over $1.4 trillion. part two of their plan probably coming in a few months will be to call for massive cuts to social security, medicare, and medicaid in order to pay for their tax breaks to the rich. for those of us who don't want to cut these vitally important programs that the american people have paid for, this amendment establishes a 67-vote threshold to make those cuts. you don't want to cut social security, medicare, and medicaid to give tax makes to millionaires, support this amendment.
mr. enzi: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: the sanders amendment is nongermane and would gut this legislation. the bill before us does not cut social security. it does not cut medicare. it does not cut medicaid benefits. so i encourage my colleagues to oppose the sanders amendment and -- does the senator have any time remaining? mr. sanders: i would just say, madam president, that i would be delighted to gut and destroy this legislation, but pursuant to section 094 of the congressional budget act of 1974 -- i'm sorry. mr. enzi: i'd yield back the too many balance of my time. the pending amendment does not produce a change in outlays and revenues. this is ex-strangeious to the instruction in h. con. res. 1678 the congress current resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018.
therefore, i raise a point of order against this measure pursuant to section 313-b-1-a of the congressional budget act of 1974. mr. sanders: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: pursuant to section 094 of the congressional budget act, i move to waive all applicable sections of that act for purposes of the pending amendment and ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
the presiding officer: on this vote, the yeas are 46. the nays are 54. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn have not voted in the affirmative. the motion is not agreed to. the point of order is sustained and the amendment falls. there will now be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on brown amendment number 1854. mr. brown: will the senate be in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. brown: thank you, madam president. without the brown-bennet amendment a senator's kid gets more tax relief than the daughter of a family in garfield heights, ohio, that makes $40,000 a year. say that again. a senator's kid gets more tax relief than the daughter of a family earning $30,000 or $40
,000. brown-bennet is permanent. it provides more for small children, the most important time in their young lives. my wife and i live in cleveland ohio, zip code 44105. our zip code had more for closures in 2007 than any zip code in the united states of america. this amendment helps to answer that. zip codes should not be the determining factor for the future of a child. mr. enzi: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: while this expands the child tax credit provisions it makes the credit available to fewer taxpayers. it also raises the corporate tax rate to 25%. the underlying bill already provides a very generous enhanced child tax credit with increased refund ability that reaches
far up into the middle class, giving relief to millions of families.
this amendment would undermine the balance struck in the drafting of this bill and diminish its potential to generate growth. has all time expired? the presiding officer: all time has not expired. the senator has 20 seconds. mr. enzi: the pending amendment number 1854 would cause the underlying legislation to exceed the finance committee's section 302-a allocation of new budget authority or outlays. therefore, i raise a point of order against this measure pursuant to section 302-f of the congressional budget act of 1974. mr. brown: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: pursuant to section 904 of the congressional budget act of 1974, i move to weigh all applicable sections of that act for purposes of the pending amendment. i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there is a sufficient second. the clerk will call the roll.
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, on this vote, the yeas are 48, the nays are 52. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to. the point of order is sustained and the amendment falls. there will now be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on rubio amendment 1850. the chamber will be in order. mr. rubio: madam president? can the senate be in order? the presiding officer: the chamber will be in order. the senator from florida is recognized. mr. rubio: madam president, this amendment would allow people making primarily between $20,000, $50,000, 60,000 a year, workers like firefighters, teachers, police officers to keep more of their own payroll
tax liabilities. in aempt, who there will be a point of order and the action to this has been budgetary. this is paid for. instead of cutting the corporate rate to 20%, it cuts it to 20.94%. instead of a 15-point cut, we're asking for a 14.06 cut. apparently american corporations -- at 20% america will be a corporate utoetopia but at 20.49% it is a catastrophe. that's ridiculous. you're basically arguing by voting against it that a .94 cut is something a corporation can't afford. that's something more important to keep in place than giving american families and $800 tax credit. that's ridiculous. apparently american companies are allowed to invest their investment in equipment and land but american parents should not be allowed to invest their hardearned money in our children and future. i ask you to fight for the american worker. this isn't perfect. but it's better than what we have now. i ask everyone for your vote.
mr. wyden: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: madam president, with this amendment, senators rubio and lee stop far short of meaningful relief for millions of vulnerable american families and leave out altogether so many deserving children like the dreamers. and after 2025, rubio-lee offers a double standard. their child tax credit expires even while multinational corporations get permanent tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas. democrats want to provide strong, permanent protection for all working families rather than temporary protection for some, like rubio-lee. the best way to protect these families is not through a puny band-aid approach but through
permanent help that america's struggling families richly deserve. so, madam president, i make a point of order that the pending amendment violating section 302hf of the congressional budget's a act of 1974. mr. rubio: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from from florida. mr. rubio: pursuant to section 904 of the congressional budget after the of 1974 i move to waive all applicable sections of that act and applicable budget resolutions for the purpose of this amendment i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to change their vote? if not, on this vote the yeas are 29. the nays are 71. three-fifths senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to. the point of order is sustained and the amendment fails. mr. mcconnell: mr. president.
the presiding officer: the majority leader is recognized. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that senator menendez be recognized to offer a motion to commit and that there be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on the motion. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. menendez: mr. president, the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senate will be in order. the gentleman is recognized. mr. menendez: mr. president, i have a motion to commit at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: the senator from new jersey, mr. menendez, moves to commit the bill h.r. 1 to the committee on finance with instructions to report the same back to the senate in three days not counting any day in which the senate is not in session with changes that one are within the jurisdiction of such committee and two would eliminate the repeal of the state and local tax deduction if
state and local spending on developments and medicaid and other health care infrastructure or services for children or seniors, education, or law enforcement is reduced or taxes on the middle class are increased. mr. menendez: mr. president, i rise once again to stand up for the good people of new jersey and other states to offer a motion to restore the state and local tax or salt deduction. ending the salt deduction will subject millions of middle-class families to double taxation. but that's not all. it will also set the stage for huge cuts to education, law enforcement, infrastructure, public health and other critical services. don't take my word for it. listen to the teachers and police officers, the doctors and nurses and firefighters, the national education association opposes it because it will hurt our public schools. the national fraternal order of police and the national sheriffs association oppose it because it makes our streets less safe.
the american medical association and the american hospital association oppose it because people will lose access to health care. the aarp opposes it because it will leads to cuts in medicare and medicaid and hurt our seniors. even the new jersey chamber of commerce opposes it because it will hinder investments and infrastructure businesses need to commit. my motion to commit would restore the salt deduction if these all too predictable consequences happen. a corporate tax cut can't build a road, care for a senior, teach a child or help keep our streets safe. and if corporations can keep the state and local tax deduction, so should middle-class families. we can't afford to roll the dice and risk these investments in the middle class. i urge adoption of the motion to commit and i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be.
who yields time in opposition? mr. thune: mr. president. the presiding officer: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thune: mr. president, let's keep in mind that the state and lolling tax or salt deduction -- local tax or salt deduction disproportionately benefits wealthy taxpayers. more than 70% of american families currently take the standard deduction, so they're not going to be impacted at all by this bill's treatment of salt. let's also keep in mind that our improving amendment strikes a compromise on salt. it includes as does the house bill a deduction of up to $10,000 for property tax paid to state and local governments. mr. president, democrats insisting on keeping the entire salt deduction in place should explain why they have prioritized a tax deduction for wealthy taxpayers over middle-class tax relief. our bill addresses this issue in an appropriate way, and i urge my colleagues to vote against