Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05) today issued the following statement after voting against the Republican tax bill. The bill, which was written behind closed doors, and has not received any bipartisan support or input, passed in the House by a thin margin, 227-205.
"I've been asking for weeks now: where are my self-proclaimed fiscally conservative friends?" Rep. Schrader said. "This partisan bill, which was shoved through in a closed process with no public or bipartisan input, is going to inflate our national debt to the tune of more than $2 trillion. Where's the conservativism in that? The idea that we'll just grow our way out of that $2 trillion hole is pure fantasy. The last big budget-busting tax cut we passed in 2015 didn't improve our rate of growth at all.
"Oregonians deserve better than this bill which strips vital deductions for seniors' health care and debt-fraught students. As a former small business owner, I know that every penny counts--especially when you're getting your feet off the ground. Rather than encouraging and rewarding growth, innovation, and education, this bill doles out major tax breaks to the wealthiest in our country rather than to the middle class. And instead of fairness for cash-strapped small businesses, this bill is a big win for larger corporations. This is irresponsible legislation that's going to hurt our economic future and continue to drive the socioeconomic imbalance even further apart."
Days before the vote, the Wharton School of Business estimated that the bill would grow our GDP "between 0.0% and 0.8%" which is lower than the projected growth under the current system. The school also projected that the bill will add roughly $2 trillion to the national debt within the next 10 years due to lost revenue.
Earlier this fall, Rep. Schrader's Blue Dog Coalition introduced a set of tax principles that address the national debt, prioritize the middle class, create jobs, and invest in infrastructure. The principles call for a bipartisan, open process; a tax reform plan that is revenue neutral; and a more competitive corporate tax rate that also accounts for the needs of small businesses.