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tv   Senate GOP Tax Reform Plan  CSPAN  November 16, 2017 2:34pm-4:07pm EST

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. meeting will come to order. we've had a lively back and forth. the one thing we haven't done is process any amendments. i want to talk about the plan for how we will proceed this afternoon. before that, i'd like to say just a few words in summation of this morning's debate. so far today the debate has been almost entirely about the meeting of the latest jct distribution table. as the discussions went on, we've seen in some smoke and mirrors and we've seen members
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talk past each other and we've heard our share of strong arm arguments. cutting through all of this, here are the basic facts that should at this point be beyond dispute. first, nothing in the mark impacts the availability of the insurance premium tax credits. we've heard the chief of staff of jct specifically tell us that was the case. second, nothing in the mark discourages anyone from taking advantage of available tax credits to sub sidize the purchase of insurance. mr. barthold confirmed that. third, the distributional effect we've seen that results in an increased tax burden in lower brackets is recorded -- rooted entirely in jc it's behavioral assumptions about tax care voluntary choices. that was confirmed as l. but it
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doesn't end there. fourth, the behavioral assumptions regarding the yutlization of tax credits do not result in more taxes being paid by those in lower brackets. we all heard mr. barthold say the volunteer decision to forego a premium subsidy credit does not increase the taxpayer's income tax liability. as a senator from pennsylvania indicated, when someone chooses on their own accord to not take advantage of a tax subsidy, one that is not, not to them but to an insurance company, they don't owe the government a single additional dime in taxes. so distributional table or no, it's absurd to call that a tax hike. i haven't heard any of my colleagues really try to argue otherwise. most of them have conveniently side stepped that particular plan -- plain basic truth.
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the final fact that was plainly established this morning was this. when this specific behavioral impact of repeating -- repealing the individual mandate which no one can reasonably argue is a tax increase, is isolated and removed. the chairman's modified mark cuts taxes for every income bracket with the largest proportional benefit going to those in the middle class. there is a jct boudocument to t effect and we've all looked at it. so let me state the plain conclusion that stems from these facts which at this point should also be beyond a reasonable dispute. under our plan, every income group will get a tax cut. and the biggest proportional tax cuts will go to those in the middle class. and quite certain of my colleagues will want to respond by once again citing the number from the table absent any context and ignoring the fact
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that our interpretation of the data has been confirmed by the expert at the table. but at this point, it is time to move on. this morning once the distribution table was released, i gave members of the committee an additional hour to go through it. knowing that it contained a lot of information they'd want to discuss. then we had roughly an hour and a half of upscheduled debate entirely on the information contained in the distribution table. so i think i've been more than accommodating on this particular point. in a moment i intend to turn it over to senator wyden for any additional comments he'd like to make. after that we're going to start processing amendments. we have an agreed upon cue of amendments, so we'll begin there and keep going for as long as it takes. if that means coming in tomorrow, so be it. but i have a feeling some members would rather finish this evening. we'll have to see where it leads. with that i'll turn to my friend
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and the ranking leader senator wyden. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i'm going to be brief. and just point out that the joint committee on taxation, those are the folks the taxpayers, all the people listening to this, watching it, they have their tax dollars go to the joint committee on taxation to analyze these kinds of proposals. what we got in effect tuesday night at 10:30. and i know the majority has done somersaults to try to dismiss the findings. i have enormous respect for the economic talents of our colleague from pennsylvania. i told them during the break i
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thought he was in -- a tax ability, my partner on the first bipartisan one. but despite his psychoanalysis of a joint committee on taxation table, and he certainly made a case that might sound attractive to some, the figures on the bottom of page 6 of this distributional table don't lie. what the joint committee said is money is going to come right out of the middle class's pockets to the folks, for example, who make $1 million and over. and i will tell you, colleagues, i had a sense for quite a while that the majority's numbers didn't really add up.
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and i thought what would happen is the majority would say just go to the multi nationals and tell them you're going to take a haircut. you're just not going to get all the benefits originally promised. they didn't do that. in effect, they went to the middle class and couldn't just give them a haircut. they kind of got scalped. they're going to, if you look at the bottom of page 6, if you're making $40,000 to 50,000nd, you're going to pay $4,070 more. that's what you lose. and if you make $1 million or more, you get a tax cut of getting close to $6,000. so everybody's entitled to their own opinion.
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i don't think you're entitled to your own set of facts. as i touched on today. and i think we also know that this does relate to behavior. i've said from the very beginning, in my conversation with senator toomey, a lot of us over here feel that behavior does matter. but behavior also involves the chance to get affordable health coverage and because of the majority's desire to repeal the individual mandate, the congressional budget office has said that for millions of middle class people, health care will no longer be affordable. that their premiums will go up by 10%. and that's what my colleagues have said. so that was really the point. maybe you get a little break on the income tax side, but you go even further in the hole because of the increase in your health insurance premiums.
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so i'm not going to continue this, mr. chairman. you and i have talked about the process going forward. we've got some discussion that we will have. i just want colleagues to know before anybody talks about dismissing the work of the joint committee on taxation, there was a reason why i said tom barthold and his staff are very professional. and now we see it in the facts that they have given us with respect to the fact that not only are the tax cuts permanent for the multi-nationals, for the multi-national corporations and temporary, to the middle class we see a very unfair distribution of that revenue. mr. chairman, that will conclude my remarks. i understand that you wanted to describe the process going forward. we'll have a discussion about that. >> we're going to go to
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amendments now on each side. there will be five minutes to each side equally divided. on any amendments that come up. so i'm prepared to vote. >> mr. chairman, can i be recognized on that point? >> sure. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as the chairman and i have discussed, the chairman has the power to call for a vote on an amendment if as the rule says, quote, he determines that the amendment has been adequately debated. he or she. but i hope that the chairman will exercise this power as he historically has in a reasonable and fairway. that is, what the chairman has always done in the past and as he and i have discussed, i have tried to be supportive of efforts to be fair to both sides. now, the markup began on monday. we didn't get the real text of the chairman's proposal until
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tuesday night at 10:30. following the schedule established by the chair, we began offering maamendments yesterday morning. we considered 14 amendments. i do not believe, colleagues, any member was dilatory. just trying to stall things out. i believe it is appropriate for the chairman to allow i reasonable debate on each amendment without arbitrary time limits. there are issues, colleagues, today with extraordinary implications. we're going to consider the proposal to repeal the state and local tax deduction which involves $1 trillion in tax revenue and would be the most significant change in the fiscal relationship between the federal and state governments in more than a century. possibly ever. we're going to consider the majority's decision to make the tax cuts for families temporary. the tax cuts for multi-nationals
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permanent. we're going to consider how this midnight health care repeal amendment is going to affect the health care coverage of millions of americans. i feel strongly that members should get a full and fair opportunity to debate. as i've indicated to the chairman, and we've talked about it with our colleagues, if somebody's dragging thing out or saying something that's just repetitive, we understand we'll work with the chairman to move things along. on the affordable care act, we started our markup on tuesday, september 22nd, 2009. the final vote to report the bill out of committee was on tuesday, october 13th, 21 days later. markups of eight days. 64 hours. over 500 amendments filed. consideration of 120 amendments 70 roll call votes. on the '86 tax reform bill which always used to be considered the
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gold standard for bipartisanship the time from the beginning of the markup until the end was 48 days. we recognize your power to call for votes. you've always been reasonable and fair and i just want to take this moment to say particularly on some of these votes that are especially important, that are precedent setting, i hope you and i can work together so that members can get a bit more than five minutes. >> i hope so, too, but i intend to allow five minutes for each side on the amendments . if we need more time, ask for it. >> we will. count on it. >> count on it, but i don't want to have that happen on every dog gone amendment. if that's the case, then we're going to set more rigid rules. i don't intend this to go on forever. it's just the way it is. as far as i'm concerned, the mark is open for amendment. >> mr. chairman.
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>> senator brown. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this is listed as brown casey bennett number one. for the past four days, democrats, one after another, have had one piece of advice for a republican colleagues. if you want to cut taxes from the middle class, then cut taxes for the middle class. we started with a bill that gave most of the tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy. then in the middle of the night, mr. chairman, you gave us a bill that made the tax cuts for corporations permanent and the tax cuts smaller, of course, but the tax cuts for working families temporary. now you have a bill that raises taxes on every working family in the country and takes away health care for millions. it's all to finance permanent tax cuts for corporations and as we've demonstrated from the questions and answers we've had with the professional staff, many of these tax cuts go for corporations that outsource jobs as this new bill accelerates the
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outsources of jobs. there's another bipartisan way. this amendment, the brown casey bennett amendment does three things. to put more money back in the pockets of working people. rewa work. by expanding the earned income tax credit to workers without kids. right now, these workers literally, because of the payroll tax -- these workers -- single workers can be taxed into poverty, taxed into poverty by the government. this amendment will fix that. second, mr. chairman, it expands the child tax credit to help working families. it lets them start applying the credit on the very first dollar they earn. why would you not want to incent that? third, it creates a tax credit to help families afford children, which is critical for working parents. i want to thank senators casey and bennett for their work on this. we have been on this for a long time. they both during their careers devoted a lot of effort to
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children's issues and especially something like this. every single democrat on this committee supports this amendment. i've heard it said over the past two days, that republicans want this process to be bipartisan. that they want democrats to be part of the process. well, this idea has universal democratic support. it's an idea that president trump at the white house, and we were in the library of congress on the telephone, told me he supports. most importantly, it's something that puts real money into the pockets of working families. families making 25, 50, 75, up to $100,000. include this amendment, and we change the conversation on tax reform. build this whole process -- build this -- this is a major, major amendment that will put real dollars in the pockets of working families and middle class workers. build from this. we can have a bipartisan process. we show the people we work for tax reform that really is about cutting taxes for the middle class. and i yield to my two co
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sponsors. >> thank you, senator brown, for your leadership. recently, i met a mother in rifle, colorado, at a daycare center. we were having some conversation earlier about single moms. she told me, i've got a job so i can have health insurance. and every single dollar that i earn goes to pay for this early childhood center. and there's so many people in our states that are like that. too many americans face this vicious cycle forced into impossible choices their parents and grandparents never had to make. consumer spending drives 70% of our economy. and when costs rise and wages stagnate, as they have for middle class families in this country, families cut back on gracious, be on school supplies, even on health care. and that hurts our economy. that's why our economy has been slow. not -- and that's the problem that we should be addressing. and with that, i'll turn it over to senator casey for the last minute and five seconds.
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>> let's have the chair recognized. >> i'm sorry. >> okay? >> i'm sorry, mr. chairman. >> that's okay. but from here on in, let's ask the chair. >> i apologize. >> that's okay. no problem. i just want to establish a situation. >> i understand. >> so we don't run into just a constant hubbub of irritation to everybody, okay? go ahead, senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. just in one minute, the child independent care tax credit is the only federal tax credit that specifically assists parents with child care expenses, but very few families are able to benefit from it. just in 2016 alone, 65% of the benefits were estimated to accrue to families with adjusted gross incomes of above -- above $60,000. we want this to apply to most working families. we want to make sure that families can benefit so they can go to work every day, if that's what they choose to do.
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and be able to benefit from the security of knowing they're going to get help with child care, which, for most families, most working families, might be their number one worry. thank you, mr. chairman. >> let me say a word or two. the mark is designed to reduce tax rates across the board with a specific focus on providing overall tax relief for the middle class. we've all worked to maximize child tax credits, as well as other tax benefits, for families in the form of lower rates. and increase standard. we've increased the refundability and the overall availability of the child tax credit so that larger credit can be claimed by more middle class families. i guess what i'm getting to is, let me ask the -- i understand the people -- if people believe we shouldn't have been more generous, but i believe we have balanced the necessary factors
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and resources to arrive where we are. therefore, i urge my colleagues to vote no on the amendment. but let me just ask mr. barthold just one question. does the amendment score as revenue positive? >> we have not been able to do a formal estimate. but all of the provisions in it, as i read them, would reduce the -- would reduce revenue relative to the chairman's mark. >> so it does not score as revenue positive? >> mr. chairman, if i could. mr. chairman? over here? the offset or the exit tax in striking the amt -- the individual amt repeal, according to a letter from mr. barthold.
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>> well, are you prepared for a vote? >> yeah. >> the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. grassley. >> no. >> mr. crapo. >> no. >> mr. roberts. >> no by proxy. >> mr. enzi. >> no. >> mr. cornyn. >> no by proxy. >> mr. thune. >> no. >> mr. burr. >> no by proxy. >> mr. isaacson. >> no by proxy. >> mr. portman. no. mr. toomey. no. mr. heller. >> no. >> mr. scott. >> no by proxy. >> mr. cassidy. >> no by proxy. >> mr. wyden. >> aye. >> miss stab now. >> aye. >> ms. can't well. >> aye. >> mr. nelson. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. menendez. >> aye by proxy.
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>> mr. carper. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. carden. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. brown. >> aye. >> mr. bennett. >> aye. >> mr. casey. >> aye. >> mr. warner. >> aye by proxy. >> mrs. mccaskill. >> aye. >> mr. chairman. >> no. >> chairman votes no. >> the report. >> the final tally is 12 ayes, 14 nays. >> the amendment is defeated. >> mr. chairman? we're going to keep trying to be bipartisan. and this was an amendment that really did give the middle class a tax break. all kinds of working families. and the president supported the idea. and i don't know where we go to become bipartisan. we're going to keep trying. i hope you'll give us some guidance. >> keep trying. >> real tax policy that's bipartisan. >> senator wyden. >> senator wyden. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i guess apropos of senator brown's comment, we'll have a chance now to be bipartisan. i have amendment 161.
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i guess it's senator wyden 17. several of my republican colleagues have said they're on board with making the individual tax cuts in the bill permanent. this amendment is your chance to do it. and to pay for it. what we would do here is make the individual tax cuts permanent and make the corporate tax cuts temporary. and before we get to debate, here's why i think this is necessary. the individual -- the middle class person drives 70% of the economic activity in our economy. these are the people who buy houses and they buy cars and they pay for education and they pay for child care. and it just seems to me to give them short shrift with a temporary break, and say that the multinational corporation should get their relief
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permanent, shows that what this has been about from day one is to write into black letter law a double economic standard. and it seems particularly unfair, given the spectacle that we watched on television involving mr. gary cohn, who is the white house point person, along with secretary mnuchin, on taxes. mr. gary cohn, a couple days ago, we all saw it on tv, went to a program with corporate leaders, and he said, look, we're giving you all these big tax cuts, and he wanted a show of hands of how many of the people in the room, the ceos, the leaders of these major multinational companies, would put the money into creating more red, white and blue jobs. and we all watched on tv -- this has been kind of a loop on a lot
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of the shows, that virtually nobody raised their hands. and the reason why is because the multinationals are awash in cash, and we've been listening to investor calls, and they said that they would be using the tax breaks in order to help shareholders and the like. so it just doesn't seem right to have a bill, given these circumstances, that in effect says that the typical middle class family is going to get short shrift, compared to multinational corporations who, if you just have watched a little tv in the last couple of days, have made it clear they aren't going to put this money into creating more jobs. if we make the relief permanent for the middle class guy, and you accept my view -- and i'm
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sitting here with senator stabenow. henry ford, the great auto industrialist, said, look, i want to be successful. i want to do well. for me to do well, my people have got to have enough money to buy my cars. well, that's what this amendment really does. now, i'm sure that some on the other side aren't going to support this amendment that would make the individual cuts for families permanent and sunset the corporate code. i've said that what we can do is say, with my amendment, we're going to make them permanent for the families, and we're going to pay for it. we shouldn't make tax relief for america's hard-working families in effect held hostage to lock
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in this huge array of new tax breaks for multinationals, who have shown us at least based on these investor calls they aren't going to put this into jobs. and i'm going to close with a point i haven't made. i think we talked about a lot of stuff. but we're now, colleagues, doing the opposite of what was done in 1986. in 1986, in effect, the corporations took steps to give up some of their benefits to help the middle class families. that was the heart of 1986. ronald reagan and democrats. this is just the opposite. this means individuals -- individual families in michigan and washington. they're going to have to give something up to help the multinationals. so what i'm saying is, let's put the middle class families first, and for colleagues that are serious about -- and there have been some challenges over there, saying that folks were willing
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to make the break for middle class families permanent. let's do it with this amendment. let's pay for it, and we provide a path to do that. mr. chairman, i yield. >> well, thank you, senator. i understand my colleague's desire to make the individual rates in the market permanent. we share that goal. and i hope that minority members will help us out in the end. once the bill is on the floor, we can file an amendment to make the individual rates and reforms permanent and enough democrats are willing to vote in favor of that amendment, we're going to get it done. we need 60 votes to waive the budget act for that amendment. the democrats won't even have to vote for the final bill. but they can vote to make individual cuts permanent. for now, this amendment is a poison pill. it's designed to take down the mark, not to improve it. as mr. barthold noted yesterday, sunsetting the corporate reforms
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in the bill would significantly diminish the positive economic impact of the mark. mr. barthold, your operation has not -- that's not changed, i don't think, your particular opinion hasn't changed, has it? >> mr. chairman, we noted yesterday in response to your question, positive investment in the sense it was under the business provisions and no reason to change that assessment. >> okay. so i urge my colleagues to vote no. but i hope the ranking member and the other democrats on the committee will commit to working with us down the line to help lock our middle class tax cuts in permanently. i would be happy to work with my -- >> mr. chairman? >> -- good friend. >> if i could wrap it up, unless -- >> before you do.
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let's let senator toomey have a chance. >> oh, i thought you had one crack at it. >> no, no. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm going to be very brief. i take this as a -- an acknowledgment that we are providing middle class tax cuts and that the ranking member wants to make them permanent. and that's terrific. we all want to make them permanent. or at least most of us, i think. and there will be an opportunity to do so on the floor, is my understanding. in a way that will not jeopardize the bill. but it's also essential that the business side be permanent, as well, so that the billions -- hundreds of billions of dollars of investment that i think we're going to attract by virtue of making america an attractive place to invest and do business, that only comes if people have the certainty of knowing that they're going to have a stable tax regime that extends well into the future. that is a precondition for making large investment decisions like the kind we want, opening new factories, hiring new workers, expanding existing businesses and creating new ones.
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that comes with tax certainty. so i think we should vote no on this amendment. we should keep the business side permanent. and then let's work together on the senate floor and make the individual side permanent. >> i think that's a good suggestion. senator wyden? >> if any of my colleagues want to say anything, this is one of those amendments that's important. i'll let them. otherwise, i'll wrap it up. >> mr. chairman, again what this comes down to is whether middle class families are going to be held hostage to lock in tax cuts for multinational corporations. my amendment ensures that that is not the case. and because i share senator toomey's view that behavior matters, what we saw with gary cohn and this televised spectacle here a couple days ago, where he asked for a show of hands from the multinationals -- the multinationals and the decisions they're going to make. goes right to the heart of the
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behavior that my colleague and i have been talking about here for several years. they said they weren't going to if they got the corporate tax cuts put it into creating more red, white and blue jobs. so what i have said is, let's make sure we don't do -- by the middle class, something that will really harm the people who drive our economy, who drive 70% of economic activity in our country. this gives us a chance to do right by those folks. i ask for my colleagues to support the amendment, and i yield back. >> okay. the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. grassley. >> no. >> mr. crapo. >> no. >> mr. roberts. >> no by proxy. >> mr. enzi. >> no. >> mr. cornyn. >> no. >> mr. thune. >> no. >> mr. burr. >> no by proxy.
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>> mr. isaacson. >> no by proxy. >> mr. portman. >> no. >> mr. toomey. >> no. >> mr. heller. >> no by proxy. >> mr. scott. >> no by proxy. >> mr. cassidy. >> no by proxy. >> mr. wyden. >> aye. >> ms. stab now. >> aye. >> ms. can't well. >> aye. >> mr. nelson. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. menendez. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. carper. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. carden. >> aye. >> mr. brown. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. bennett. >> aye. >> mr. casey. >> aye. >> mr. warner. >> aye. >> mrs. mccaskill. >> aye. >> mr. chairman. >> no. >> the chairman votes no. >> the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, the final tally is 12 ayes, 14 nays. >> the amendment is defeated. who is next? >> mr. chairman.
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>> senator from michigan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to offer stab now number 7, which would make sure that the tax reform benefits go to the middle class. >> go ahead. >> you have heard my colleagues and i express deep concern that this bill goes far too much -- gives far too much benefits to the wealthy and minimal benefits to the middle class. we have seen that. and the jct reports, we have seen that. in had other analysis of this bill. just one example. on the individual side alone, just two of the changes that benefit the wealthy, cost a staggering $800.5 billion. under this bill, a couple with $10 million in taxable income would see their tax cuts go down -- their taxes cut by more than $130,000. so if you make $2 million as a couple, you would get tax cuts
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of $130,000. my amendment is very simple. it would repeal all of the tax benefits for millionaires and billionaires. it would use those to send a rebate check to middle class taxpayers at the beginning of next year. our republican colleagues have said this bill is going to be the biggest middle class tax cut ever. well, i think we should make sure that happens. my amendment would make sure that starting the beginning of the year, middle class taxpayers would get a big tax cut. if we took away the tax cuts for households making over $1 million a year, my wealth estimate is that we would send every middle class family about $1,100. but that's pretty significant for families who have seen in too many cases their wages stagnant, not go up, while we have seen huge explosions on the stock market and the incomes of the wealthy go up and up and up.
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too many people in the middle class and working class families are not seeing that. they're not feeling that kind of growth. let's really give. let's really give the middle class tax cut to people, and this amendment would do that. >> well, thank you, senator. as i view it, this bill is designed to provide tax cuts across the board. with a focus on the middle class. the top rate comes down by roughly a single percentage point. and most itemized deductions used by high-income earners are repealed. translation. that means a slightly lower top rate applied to a broader base of income. jct has made it clear that the middle class will receive a large proportional tax cut than those at the high end. in fact, the taxpayers targeted in this amendment, those making over $1 million a year, will pay a higher share of the overall tax burden under this bill.
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jct has made that clear, as well. the notion that the bill -- by slightly lowering the top rate is a massive give-away to the rich is simply false and i think it's time to put that mislocation to bed. anybody else? >> mr. chairman, if i could, unless there are other colleagues -- if i might. >> go ahead. >> just follow up. thank you. the reality is, and, again, according to the new jct analysis, when you look at various incomes, 2021, the latest version of the bill that we're going to be voting on, gives families earning less than $30,000 a year a tax increase. of -- that doesn't mean everybody gets a tax increase, but as a group, a tax increase of almost $6 billion in increase. millionaires and billionaires
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get a $28 million tax cut. we have seen this in every part of the bill, including the fact that the help for families goes away. is time-limited. the help for the large multinational corporations continues on. even to the point where people are going to have to give up health insurance to pay for that permanency. for the largest corporations. so i think this is very straight forward, mr. chairman. if we're serious about giving a middle class tax cut, well, let's give a middle class tax cut. if you are doing well as a millionaire, or above, you don't need another tax cut. but $1100 in the pocket of somebody making 30, 40, $50,000 a year is a big deal. and would help them pay for that child care that they're going to have to worry about, because the other amendment from my colleagues did not pass. and so if we mean it, let's
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start with a real middle class tax cut, and let's give everybody a check and mail it out in january. >> okay. let me turn to senator toomey first, and then senator portman. >> senator portman first. >> senator portman first, and then senator toomey. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'll be brief. i know we've had this discussion several times today and yesterday. but i would just ask tom barthold to confirm again that there is substantial middle class tax relief in this legislation. it's at every income bracket. it is the biggest middle class tax cut that we have ever done. certainly in our careers. it includes doubling the child tax credit. it includes making it more refundable than it already is. it results in for a family in my home state of ohio, at least a $2400 tax cut for the median family income. the issue that we discussed
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earlier today is how you score the fact that some people will choose, without the individual mandate, not to move forward with the affordable care act insurance. and the way that scored is that means that they don't get the refundable tax credit that would go along with that. that's not a tax increase. it means they aren't getting as much of a refundable tax credit as they would get from other refundable tax credits, which make it as mr. barthold said earlier, likely no one in that category -- you mentioned $30,000, a year, $20,000 a year, would have any tax liability. so just to make sure we're not talking past each other, the tax relief is substantial. i point you to the tax forms that you can all find on another advertisement for them. because it shows at all these income tax levels, substantial tax decreases, with the exception of the effect of this
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refundable tax credit, which, again, is something that people would choose not to proceed with. and, by the way, this is based on joint committees estimation of what people's behavioral changes would be. rational individuals who you represent and i represent are going to say, you know, yeah, i would get a tax credit if i were to get the health care that the government is telling me to get. but i also would have other costs associated with that. sometimes co-pay, sometimes a deductible or other costs. so i'm going to choose to get my health care elsewhere. that's their choice. but it's not a tax increase on that person. it's less of a refundable tax credit that they choose not to access. i would ask mr. barthold again, is there anything in this legislation which would keep those individuals from pursuing that refundable tax credit, should they choose to pursue it? >> as we've discussed, senator portman, the chairman's mark, as modified, does not change the code section 36 b, which permits
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taxpayers to avail themselves of the advance exchange credit. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman? >> you want to comment about this? >> just briefly, mr. chairman. it is a fact that we have established repeatedly today that our bill, lower taxes for on average, every income cohort there is. it is also a fact that the savings accrue on a bigger percentage terms for the lower and middle income folks, which means that the high-income taxpayers will pay an even greater share of the total tax burden than they do today. i know that's not good enough for some people. they have to be punished further. but i just disagree with that. i think it's okay to lower the tax burden for everyone, especially at a time when we are giving the greatest savings to working and middle income families. so i would urge people to vote against this bill. this amendment. >> mr. chairman, if i might conclude.
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first of all, to my friend from pennsylvania, it's -- i don't see that anywhere in the numbers. i mean, honestly, when the public looks at this, when people look at what the motivation is for this tax bill, most middle income families don't believe that this is for them. and when we hear colleagues -- colleague in the house saying, i'm not going to be able to call my donors any more unless i can get this tax cut passed, we know -- we know what this is about. in terms of who receives the additional dollars. but let me respond to my -- my friend from ohio, who is my friend. we worked together on many things. great lakes manufacturing, many things. here's the problem i have with talking about on the one hand the fact that people can choose to have insurance or not. i understand what you're saying. but in the calculation, on the
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one hand, what's being said is that people won't be hurt, even though they have pounded 13 million people will have less health insurance. it will actually create money, because you're using the money to be able to fill the hole to extend the corporate tax cuts. so it has to create money, and that money must come from somewhere, if it actually creates money. and where it's coming from is middle class and working class people as it relates to their health care. and so i understand what you're saying. except that it doesn't add up, if on the one hand it doesn't hurt anybody, and they're not losing anything, and yet we're going to get all this money, in order to be able to permanently extend the corporate tax cut. somewhere along the line there, that just doesn't work. >> senator thune. >> thank you, mr. chairman. well, it's interesting to me,
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every i think democrat over there just voted to make these tax cuts permanent. and now you're already talking about raising taxes. i mean, kind of plays into the stereotype. but let me just show you. this is the income tax cuts by income category under the chairman's modified mark. so if you look at every category, everybody is getting tax relief. and it kind of distributes all the way through the different income categories. people 50,000, $75,000, 8.3% cut. $75,000 to $100,000, 7.5% cut. those a million and over, 5.4% cut. but as you can see, everybody gets tax relief here. and this is -- and this is what, again, every democrat just voted to make permanent. so it seems to me, at least, that we're in a pretty good place where we're delivering tax relief, meaningful tax relief to middle income americans, which was the purpose of this whole
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exercise in the first place. and is consistent with what the chairman's modified mark does. >> mr. chairman, if i might just say, this amendment would give approximately $1,100 to every middle income household -- taxpaying household, and would simply say that for those who earn $1 million or more, our priority is going to be middle income people. and this amendment would make sure that that went out right away next year. and i think for -- certainly folks in my state, that would be a big help. >> all right. the clerk will call the roll. >> grassley. >> no. >> mr. crapo. >> no. >> mr. roberts. >> no by proxy. >> mr. enzi. >> no. mr. cornyn. >> no. >> mr. thune. >> no. >> mr. burr. >> no by proxy. >> mr. isaacson. >> no by proxy. >> mr. portman.
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>> no. >> mr. toomey. >> no. mr. heller. >> no by proxy. >> mr. scott. >> no. >> mr. cassidy. >> no by proxy. >> mr. wyden. >> aye. >> miss stab now. >> aye. >> miss cantwell. >> aye. >> mr. nelson. >> aye. >> mr. menendez. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. carper. >> aye. >> mr. carden. >> aye. >> mr. brown. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. bennett. >> aye. >> mr. casey. >> aye. >> mr. warner. >> aye. >> mrs. mccaskill. >> aye. >> mr. chairman. >> no. >> the chairman votes no. >> the clerk will read the vote. >> mr. chairman, the final tally is 12 ayes, 14 nays. >> the amendment is defeated. i think our next -- our next person to offer an amendment is senator carper. >> yeah, thanks, mr. chairman.
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mr. chairman, i want to call up amendment number 217. it's carper 1. and our co supports include bennett, stabenow and wyden. our colleagues have heard -- probably ad nauseam, whenever confronted with a tax reform proposal, i always ask four questions. is it fair, does it foster economic growth, does it simplify the tax code or make it more complex, is it fiscally responsible. what is the effect on the budget deficit? the amendment that i'm offering this afternoon reflects my serious concerns with two of those questions. one of those is with fairness, with respect to fairness. the second is with respect to fiscal responsibility. under current law, as we know, there is a 39.6% tax on top earning couples in the country. that's for couples that earn
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more than $470,000 per year. the chairman's mark lowers that tax rate from 39.6% to 38.5%. while also increasing the rate's threshold to $1 million. this tax cap is expensive and i think it's unnecessary. but fitting only couples who earn about $1 million or more per year. i don't believe that's fair. i don't believe that's fiscally responsible. the amendment that i'm offering at this time reverses this change. restores current law using the revenue saved from restoring the top tax rate, in a revenue-neutral way to cut the 10% bracket so that all taxpayers are subject to it. eight years into our country's longest-running economic expansion, we ought to be reducing last year's $666 billion budget deficit, not exploding it with another 1.5 or
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more trillion dollar tax reform proposal that cuts taxes for the wealthiest among us, while raising taxes on middle class. i don't think that's fair. i don't believe that's fiscally responsible. and by the way, i would just remind us that a reduction in the 10% bracket is something that every one of us who pays taxes -- in federal income taxes, would benefit from. it would help people at the lower end of the income spectrum and it would also help the wealthiest. as well. but if the instructions under the budget resolution require tax cut, i believe we ought to be putting money back into the pockets of middle class families, not just those in the top bracket. i would encourage our colleagues to join me on this amendment today to increase the number of middle class families who get a tax cut and to ensure that those at the top of the income spectrum pay the same top rate. >> okay.
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anybody care to comment? >> mr. chairman? >> yes. >> i'd like to support senator carper's amendment. i think this is very important, because all of the individual tax title, except for the slower inflation adjustment in the tax bracket turns into a pumpkin. a midnight december 31, 2025. even the tax cuts for small businesses expire. and i think it is very important that we try to address the needs of this particularly vulnerable group. it is basic fairness. and i urge colleagues to support this proposal offered by senator carper. >> let's -- the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. grassley. >> no. >> mr. crapo. >> no by proxy. >> mr. roberts. >> no by proxy. >> mr. enzi. >> no. >> mr. cornyn. >> no. >> mr. thune. >> no. >> mr. burr. >> no by proxy.
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>> mr. isaacson. >> no by proxy. >> mr. portman. >> no. >> mr. toomey. >> no. >> mr. heller. >> no by proxy. >> mr. scott. >> no. >> mr. cassidy. >> no by proxy. >> mr. wyden. >> aye. >> miss stabenow. >> aye. >> miss cantwell. >> aye. >> miss nelson. >> aye. >> mr. menendez. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. carden. >> aye. >> mr. bennett. >> aye. >> mr. casey. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. warner. >> aye. >> mrs. mccaskill. >> aye. >> mr. chairman. >> no. >> chairman votes no. >> the clerk will announce the tally. >> mr. chairman, the final tally is 12 ayes, 14 nays. >> the amendment is defeated. our next amendment is senator nelson's, i believe. isn't it? >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, may -- when you
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broke for lunch, i was trying to get recognized to put into the record a correction that mr. barthold had made to me of a statement that was made yesterday. may i enter inthat into the record? >> sure. >> and the bottom line, it confirms the fact that there is an increase in deductions for the oil industry. now, my amendment has to do with the personal exemption. and what you have done in the chairman's mark is that you take away the personal exemption, which under current law is $4,050 per person. my amendment would restore that.
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and i would simply point out that, you know, folks that are going to really get it in the neck are the people who have a lot of children, and otherwise they would be getting a personal exemption of everyone in their taxpayer household. and you might see that anybody under $200,000 a year annual income would see their taxes go up. because of the loss of personal exemptions. basically, what personal exemptions do is help the taxpayer to lower their taxes because they have got other dependents in the household. the taxpayer, the taxpayer's spouse. and all of the dependents. and so that means that a family
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of five can get an immediate tax break of in excess of $20,000. even before claiming the standard deduction, or any itemized deductions. that certainly seems to me to be a good thing for hard-working families trying to earn a living. and so i'd simply say, if there's enough money in this bill to cut corporate taxes, there ought to be enough money to keep personal exemptions for ordinary people. >> senator, i agree, the bill is designed to provide tax relief across the board. with a focus on the middle class. the bill accomplishes that by, among other things, lowering rates, nearly doubling the standard deduction, which expands the zero tax bracket and significantly growing the child tax credit. and the jct has indicated,
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americans in all income brackets, particularly those in the middle class, are going to see their taxes go down under the mark. the mark repeals personal exemptions to make those kinds of reforms possible. simply reinstating them would blow a hole in the cost of the plan. this amendment is a -- in my view, a poison pill. it's designed to bring down the bill, not improve it. so i urge my colleagues to vote no. clerk will call the roll. >> may i close on my amendment? >> happy to have you close. >> thank you. >> hesitated for a minute. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thought you didn't want that. >> are so it would blow a hole in the plan, but what we're trying to do is to get relief to ordinarily hard-working people that are in the middle class. and if you're one of those
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hard-working people, and you have a bunch of children, your taxes are basically being hiked up here by taking away this personal exemption of $4,050 that's in the current law. thank you, mr. chairman. >> but make a lot of other reforms possible that are even more important and better than that. >> not your reforms for corporations, mr. chairman. >> not really. no. for individuals. the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. grassley. >> no. >> mr. crapo. >> no by proxy. >> mr. roberts. >> no by proxy. >> mr. enzi. >> no. >> mr. cornyn. >> no. >> mr. thune. >> no. >> mr. burr. >> no by proxy. >> mr. isaacson. >> no by proxy. >> mr. portman. >> no. >> mr. toomey. >> no. >> mr. heller. >> no by proxy. >> mr. scott. >> no.
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>> mr. cassidy. >> no by proxy. >> mr. wyden. >> aye. >> miss stabenow. >> aye. >> miss cantwell. >> aye. >> mr. nelson. >> aye. >> mr. menendez. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. carper. >> aye. >> mr. carden. >> aye. >> mr. brown. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. bennett. >> aye. >> mr. casey. >> aye. >> mr. warner. >> aye. >> mrs. mccaskill. >> aye. >> mr. chairman. >> no. >> chairman votes no. >> the clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, the final tally is 12 ayes, 14 nays. >> the amendment is defeated. >> let's go to casey number one. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this is casey amendment number 1, and it's about a promise that i think has been made in this process. the amendment's aim is very simple. and i'll describe it in a moment. to make sure that this tax plan keeps the promise that was made
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to the american people that their wages would increase by $4,000. i'm holding in my hand a "usa today" article dated october 11th, "white house $4,000 more for families with business tax cuts." so that's the promise. 4,000 bucks a family. in fact, the promise is based upon a story out of harrisburg, pennsylvania. we know that on november the 11th, in a joint -- a jct table that was presented to us, it indicated in pertinent part the bill would increase taxes -- increase taxes on 13.8 million americans making under $200,000 a year in 2019. this amendment simply ensures that now that that promise has been made, that for taxable years beginning after 2019, this amendment would require that the
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real median household income must increase by $4,000, compared to december 31st of '17. so that's the base comparison. if not, the internal revenue code of 1986 shall be applied and administered. so in essence, it reverts back to the prior internal revenue code. the reason i think we need this amendment is to ensure that this promise that was made, that huge corporate tax breaks are going to lead to an increase in wages. that promise has to be fulfilled. we know that the economic policy institute tells us that in 2016, the ceos of america's largest firms made 271 times the annual pay of the typical worker. in 1989, the ratio was 59-1. so after 37 years, the ratio
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between ceo and typical workers, 271 times the annual pay of the worker. after being a fraction of that, 37 years earlier. we know that worker pay has stagnated. and this is one way to hold the bill and the proponents of the bill accountable to the promise that was made to the american people. and mr. chairman, i want to leave some time in my period of time here for senator stabenow. and i'll yield at this moment. >> well, thank you, sir. mr. barthold, what are the economic effects of this? or what would be? >> if the test were -- if the test were satisfied, it would turn off the provisions of the bill. and so it would raise revenue relative to the chairman's mark. >> i see. and mr. west, is this
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administrable? >> senator, if the definitions were adequately defined in the statute, we could administer this, i think. >> but it may not be. >> it would depend on how these different measures of income were defined, sir. >> what's your betting on this? >> mr. chairman, i'm not a gambling man. >> mr. chairman? >> i understand that. i just want to show how ridiculous -- you know, i understand -- >> mr. chairman, could i -- >> yes. >> could i recapture maybe just 20 seconds of my time? i want to leave some time for senator stabenow. >> of course, you can. >> i'm heartened by what mr. west said. i would be willing to work with the administration or anyone else who wants to work on any procedures that would make this administrable. >> mr. chairman? >> yes, the senator from michigan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm very pleased to be joining with senator casey in this amendment. i would like to call this the proof is in your paycheck
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amendment. because we've heard the president, we've heard others in the administration say that, in fact -- in fact, a recent report by administration promise's that the corporate tax cuts in this bill will cause the average family's annual income to go up by at least $4,000. maybe as much as $9,000. so i think we should make sure that promise is kept. and this would simply say that after five years, after five -- if that hasn't happened, after five years, then -- it would end the corporate tax rate cuts. i also want to say, mr. chairman, i'm glad the corporations are doing well. profits after taxes in recent years have been higher than at any other time in the last 50 years. that's good. we want business to do well. but it's not good that wages are still at an all-time low. it's the differential. it's the problem. it's the ongoing promises that workers are given over and over
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and over again that never happen. that's the problem. so mr. chairman, i think the proof is in their paychecks, and i would hope that we would all want to keep this promise by the president. >> well, i'm concerned about the jobs going overseas. am i misconcerned here? mr. barthold? >> i'm sorry. i misunderstood your question. >> i'm concerned about losing jobs overseas. >> the -- in having the provisions return to present law, it would in and of itself turn off some of the incentives that you discussed earlier. >> yeah. >> it would also -- i guess an added feature of it in terms of planning is it creates uncertainty. >> that's right. and undermine a lot of what we're trying to do. well -- >> mr. chairman, i thought what we were trying to do is put more
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money in people's paychecks. >> no, that's not what we're trying to do. we're trying to have a tax system that means something, that works well, that is honest and decent, and isn't just a playoff for votes. the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. grassley. >> no. >> mr. crapo. >> no. >> mr. roberts. >> no by proxy. >> mr. enzi. >> no. >> mr. cornyn. >> no. >> mr. thune. >> no. >> mr. burr. >> no by proxy. >> mr. isaacson. >> no. >> mr. portman. >> no. >> mr. toomey. >> no. >> mr. heller. >> no. >> mr. scott. >> no. >> mr. cassidy. >> no by proxy. >> mr. wyden. >> aye. >> miss stabenow. >> aye. >> miss cantwell. >> aye. >> mr. nelson. >> aye. >> mr. menendez. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. carper. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. carden. >> aye. >> mr. brown. >> aye by proxy.
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>> mr. bennett. >> aye. >> mr. casey. >> aye. >> mr. warner. >> aye. >> mrs. mccaskill. >> aye. >> mr. chairman. >> no. >> the chairman votes no. mr. carper. mr. carper aye. >> the clerk will tell us the tally. >> mr. chairman, the final tally is 12 ayes, 14 nays. >> the amendment is defeated. >> senator casey, you have number 12? you want to bring that up? senator casey? >> mr. chairman, i want to bring up casey number 12. >> okay. >> this amendment simply states that the legislation would not go into effect if taxes go up for americans earning under $50,000 a year. we've heard a lot about that dollar -- that income amount this week.
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that there's a concern that's been expressed by republican senators about people making under $50,000 a year. so we'll see how strong that concern is. folks have repeatedly indicated that they want to provide a tax cut for the middle class. and i believe that their intentions are sincere. but the bill doesn't reflect those expressions of solidarity with the middle class. as it stands now, the joint committee on taxation's november 13th assessment of the bill finds that 6.8% of americans making between 40 and $50,000 a year will see a tax increase of $100 or more, just in 2019. this translates to 873,000 americans earning between 40 and $50,000 a year.
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mr. chairman, i would again just want to restate generally that the amendment indicates that the bill would not go into effect if taxes increase on individuals making less than $50,000 annually, and this does not require an offset. >> okay. does anybody care to comment on our side? >> mr. chairman, i mean -- it's really just more of the same. i mean, the fact is, and, again, anybody can look at the joint committee on taxation, november 16th, 2017. jcx, 58-17. every income group gets a tax cut. everybody is going to be saving on their taxes in terms of the various income groups, and as senator thune observed, i don't see the chart at the moment, but as a general matter, the greatest percentage reductions occur in the lower income brackets, which mean that the
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upper income brackets are going to bear an even greater percentage of the total tax burden than they do today. that's what our bill does. and we have an agreement on that. and i think this amendment disrupts that bill in a way that's unconstructive, and we should reject it. >> chairman, just very quickly. i hope colleagues will support senator casey on this. the republicans' bill manages to spend $1.4 trillion and still raises taxes on 14 million taxpayers in 2019 alone. and many, many more by 2027. what senator casey is saying, let's have some basic fairness. i hope my colleagues will support it. i'm pleased to be one of senator casey's co sponsors. >> mr. chairman? >> let's address the chair, if you want to be heard. before i turn to you for final remarks, i think senator enzi has some comments. >> in just one sentence, the amendment is too broad, the way
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i read it. and it would gut the bill. if it one single person who earns $50,000 saw a tax increase. i already established in my questions before that within any of the cohorts, there are some people that gain and some that lose. and to say that all have to gain is pretty broad to destroy something. >> mr. chairman? >> yes, sir. >> mr. chairman, i'll go back to the data that my colleague from pennsylvania noted. we've been talking about most of the day. jcx-58, dated november 16th, if you go through the tables by year, it -- it says what the "washington post" today said it would. it indicates -- the headline says, tax bill cuts taxes of wealthy and hikes taxes on families earning under $75,000 a year over a decade. after indicating that it raises
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taxes on american families earning $10,000 to $75,000 over the decade, the second paragraph indicates the portion of the debate which we probably haven't gotten to today, which says, quote, tax hikes for households earning 10,000 to $30,000 would start in 2021. so even though 2019 might look good for some of those families, starting in 2021, it starts to erode to the point where you get to 2027, after that erosion, and folks in the $20,000 to $30,000 income have a change in their federal taxes of 25%. in the wrong direction. so that erosion, which is inexorable over the next couple of years starts in 2021. >> mr. chairman? . >> yes, sir. >> mr. chairman? >> that's what i said. senator toomey. >> i would just point out that
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the erosion that my colleague and good friend from our state points to is only arrived at if you take the payments to insurance companies and pretend that that's somehow a tax increase on people who don't owe a dime in taxes with respect to those payments to insurance companies. >> mr. chairman? >> senator from pennsylvania. >> i think my colleague's quarrel is not with the numbers, not with the data, but with the joint committee on takxation. it's pretty clear what the numbers say. >> okay. the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. grassley. >> no. >> by proxy. >> mr. crapo. >> no. >> mr. roberts. >> no by proxy. >> mr. enzi. >> no. >> mr. cornyn. >> no. >> mr. thune. >> no. >> mr. burr. >> no by proxy. >> mr. isaacson. >> no. >> mr. portman. >> no by proxy.
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>> mr. toomey. >> no. >> mr. heller. >> no. >> mr. scott. >> no. >> mr. cassidy. >> no by proxy. >> mr. wyden. >> aye. >> miss stabenow. >> aye by proxy. >> miss cantwell. >> aye. >> mr. nelson. >> aye. >> mr. menendez. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. carper. >> aye. >> mr. carden. >> aye. >> mr. brown. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. bennett. >> aye. >> mr. casey. >> aye. >> mr. warner. >> aye. >> mrs. mccaskill. >> aye by proxy. >> mr. chairman. >> no. >> the chairman votes no. ms. stabenow. >> aye. >> clerk will report. >> mr. chairman, the final tally is 12 ayes, 14 nays. >> the amendment is defeated. >> carper number two. >> should we go to carper number two? >> why not?
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>> sure. it's okay. >> thanks, mr. chairman. this would be amendment number 218. and carper amendment number 2. i wanted to express my thanks to senators bennett and wyden for co sponsoring this particular amendment. i sometimes joke with mark warner and others in the room who are like me, recovering governors. we once said if we had a dollar for every time we started a sentence that was, "when i was governor," we would have enough money to almost balance the budget. >> i got that money. >> but when -- it was my privilege to serve as governor -- i became governor in '93, elected in '92. and i mentioned yesterday, before that i -- right out of the navy, mba at delaware, and chance to be state treasurer. i was all of 29. and we had the worst credit rating in the country. we were tied for dead last with puerto rico. they were embarrassed to be in the same league with us.
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we had -- we were really good at overestimating revenue, underestimating spending. we had no pension fund. we had no cash management system. we had no cash. and we were acash. we were a mess. and mr. paul was elected governor in 1986, and i was pleased to serve as independently elected treasurer. i believe i helped a little bit by being treasurer. 19.6%. we had the lowest rate of startups and small businesses. later on, mike caskell succeeded him as governor and i succeeded mike as governor. and our last year as governor, our credit rating, which used to be the worst, became the best across the board. and the years that i served as governor, 1993 to tw2001, we
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balanced our budget eight years in a row. we managed to balance our budget, and paid down debt and a aaa credit rating. we still enjoy that. i compare the way that we behaved in delaware all those years and in terms of fiscal responsibility, and look at what we are proposing to do here and the chairman's mark with respect to fiscal responsibility. friends, we're well into the eighth year, and i think it's the longest running economic recovery in the history of our country. we had it pretty good when back in the 1990s, during the clinton administration, but i think this recovery has lasted longer. i learned in the economics i studied at ohio state and later at the university of delaware in business school, that the idea of deficit spending, when you're
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in an economic crunch, you're in a downturn, recession, depression, when we're in a war, a national emergency. it makes a lot of sense to deficit spend. we're in the eighth year of this economic expansion and we're proposing with the chairman's mark to add another $1.5 trillion to our debt. that just doesn't seem wise. that's not the way we do things in delaware, my guess it's not the way you do things in your states either. so i my first cousin who lives down in indiana, and relatives throughout the country, if i send them advice on email or texting or whatever. and every once in a while, i hear from my cousin, shouldn't you be cutting the deficit? this is one of the wise people. he thinks that people like him ought to pay their fair share.
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and what i propose in this amendment is simply not to give to people, to individuals whose income is over $470,000, not to give them a tax break. basically retain the same rates that we have under currently law. under current law, 39.6 for folks earning more than $370,000 a year. and increase the threshold to $4 million. let's just maintain the status quo. we don't -- if we're going to roll up some more debt, i wouldn't give tax breaks to, truth be known, they don't need it that much. what we do need to spend money
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on, we have plenty of roads, highways and bridges across the country that do need to have money spent on them. we have airports. a couple of them don't have much access to broad band. and in the country, we have a huge problem with the economic growth is not strong, and they could use a big boost for simply deploying broad band. if we're going to blow $1.5 trillion, that's the kind of thing we ought to blow it on. because what will happen is we really will go gdp, and we'll put a boat load of people back to work that would like to be working. that's what we call the delaware way, and it's probably what you do in your states as well. that, mr. chairman, is the long and short of it. no fiscal note here, it's a way to actually reduce the deficit, and we maintain the status quo. folks who are doing real well
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for themselves right now, they would continue to pay the same taxes and maybe the only comfort is to know that by doing that, we wouldn't be adding another $1.5 trillion to the deficit. we would still be adding, but not $1.5 trillion. >> i hope my colleagues will support the carper amendment. senator carper is saying that main street counts more than wall street. that's what this is all about and hope senators vote for it. >> the benefits are focused on the middle class, under the mark, the top rate goes down by about 1%. but at the same time, many itemized deductions used by high income earners are repealed. don't anybody have any misconceptions about it.
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the mark gives a 1% tax cmore t to those in the middle class than those in the top 1%. millionaires and billionaires will see their margin of the tax cut go up. nobody can truthfully call this a massive tax cut for the rich. nobody can. >> mr. chairman, i would like to make a comment too. senator carper talked about the recovery we're in. i understand that we have been getting better over the last few years, but our economy has not performed above 2% for eight years. >> that's right. >> and cbo estimated as we did our budget this year, that if we maintain current law, if we do
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nothing, that we will not get over 2% for another decade. we must do something that will generate growth and strength in our economy. this bill as we have said repeatedly, does provide real tax relief for every income category. and we'll, i'm sure, argue that another dozen times today. but what it also does is, it generates economic growth, it generates capital formation, investment, and grows the economy. i know we don't have -- i don't think we have the joint tax scoring on this yet, but there are other entities that have scored this bill and have indicated that we can expect to see growth in our economy, which will benefit everybody in the economy. in my opening remarks in this
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markup, i indicated that those studies that have already been put out suggest that the average income for every middle class family in america, and this is an average, will be up about $4,000 just because of the growth in the economy, that there will be about a million new jobs generated. and this is that that we are seeking to protect and strengthen here, in addition to the drop in taxes across the board for every income category. i just think we need to not take our eye off the ball. we are trying to do something that will get us out of a stagnant economy. >> mr. chairman, may i have a closing word? >> the gentleman is recognized. >> i have great respect for my friend from idaho and he knows that. i'll say again what i said before. i'm not sure that the corporations are going to realize a tax break, if they're going to put that money back in investments and growth, i like to think they would.
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but i think most of the people that will get a break in their taxes, they're not going to put that money back into the economy. i would like to think they would, but history suggests they won't. i know this, if we put $1.5 trillion into the things we talked about earlier, roads, highways, bridges, rail, airports, broad band deployment, if we did that, we would see a huge growth. and if we had cbo at the table, they would tell us that's true. if we had cbo at the table, they would tell us how much. global entities said that we would grow gdp about 1% a year, and we would add about 2 million jobs if we would do that. and that's what we ought to be doing. thank you. >> senator widen? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and this has been a good discussion, this is a senate caliber discussion, the way we used to talk about big matters. and what senator crapo is saying
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is that if you want to generate growth and it's essentially going to be the corporations at the folks at the top, and senator carper and all of us over here, is that really is not really is not our view. i start with the proposition that the middle class are driving 70% of the economy and the way you generate growth and opportunity is to have those folks buying homes and cars and sending kids to school and paying for child care. and i contrast that because when i'm home having a town meeting that my friend and i are in the same part of the country, that's what people say they would do with the money, and then i contrast that with that gary cohn clip on tv with all the country's ceos, where he said i would like a show of hands of all of you who will put this into jobs and he was essentially embarrassed on national television when they didn't raise their hands. so this is a good conversation, and it's a real conversation,
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that reasonable people can have a difference of opinion on it. but senator carper, in my view is talking about the middle class that are the key to growing prosperity in the country, and those numbers, just like the jct numbers do not lie. the middle class writes 70% of the economic activity and you better believe, they're not like the folks sitting in that room with gary cohn, they're people who want to see roads improved, they want to buy houses, they want to buy cars, i hope my colleagues will support the carper amendment. >> mr. chairman, 30 seconds more to prolong this enlightened discussion? >> go ahead. >> i think sometimes we shortchange the value that we get from investing in technology and r & d and particularly in technologies that could be commercialized and turned into profits and into income and jobs in this country.
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and there are those here who know that and i would just remind of that as well. >> mr. chairman? >> okay, senator from idaho. >> could i just have 30 seconds to respond? i don't disagree with my colleague who is say investment in our infrastructure is critical. i don't disagree with the notion that the middle class, that the wage earners, that the individuals in this country, the consumers are a huge driving force for growth. >> right. >> i do disagree that our business sector of our economy is not a major sector of growth as well. our bill does both. we do re -- i know we'll go through this again and again and again. we do reduce the tax burden on our middle class. but we also reduce the corporate rate that makes us so noncompetitive today globally. and both of those are going to be stimulants to our economy.
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i don't understand why we have to continue to try to cut out one major growth factor in this bill. >> mr. chairman? >> who's next? >> mr. chairman? >> senator from pennsylvania. >> yeah, i would just -- thank you, mr. chairman, a good case can be made for infrastructure legislation and i'm virtually certain that there's going to be an awful lot of work done on that probably next year, there will be an opportunity for that discussion. middle class clabsolutely gets tax cut, every income group, we have certainly made that, mr. bartow has confirmed that. let me say something about this notion, first of all our ranking member has referred to a tv clip with gary cohn, i'm very certain that the ranking member understands very well that that is not exactly a systematic representative sampling of american business. there were a handful of people in a room who for whatever
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reason may or may not raise their hand about a question. who knows? there's a fundamental reality. in our economy, like every big economy, capital is invested every year, invested capital takes the form of people putting machines and vehicles and equipment to work, that's what expands the capacity of our economy, that's what generates jobs, that's what's creates higher productive and higher jobs and wages. every year that's what happens. and every year, every ceo is making a decision about how much more capital to invest. what we're doing with this bill, we're making it more economically attractive to invest capital. we allow full expensing, rather than gradual depreciation. in other words we allow for persons to recognize for tax purposes the cost of buying that new equipment when they inkwur the cost, rather than having to wait many years, that is unambiguously a tool to lowering the cost of purchasing that equipment.
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on the margin, more equipment is going to be purchased. that's just what happens when you change the incentives. when that happens, guess what? somebody gets to make that equipment. and it's often middle income workers at a factory. and then someone else gets to use that equipment when it's put to work and that expands the productive capacity of the economy. this is the dynamic that we want in addition to the middle class tax relief that's also in the bill. that's why we're doing this together. that's why this is so important. and that's why we should stick with the underlying bill. thank you. >> i think you summed that up very well. the clerk will call the roll. >> in grassley. >> no by proxy. >> mr. roberts. >> no by proxy. >> no by proxy. mr. cornyn, no. mr. >> no. >> mr. burr? >> no by proxy.
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mr. toomey no. mr. helder, no. >> mr. scott? >> no by proxy. mr. cassidy. no by proxy. >> mr. widen? >> aye. >> miss cantwell. >> aye. >> mr. carper. >> aye. >> mr. brown? >> aye by proxy. >> mr. casey, aye. >> mr. chairman? >> no. >> political report. >> mr. chairman, 12 eayes, 14 nays. >> the senate finance committee continuing its work on the senate republicans tax proposal. you can continue watching the committee's action on


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