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Letter to the Hon. Paul D. Ryan, Speaker of the House - Don't Count on Us to Fix the PAYGO Problem You've Created with the GOP's Tax Bill

Letter

By: Gwen Moore, Ron Kind, Mark Pocan, Denny Heck, Adam Smith, Pramila Jayapal, Derek Kilmer, Rick Larsen, Suzan DelBene, Peter Welch, Stacey Plaskett, Gerry Connolly, Don Beyer, Jr., Donald McEachin, Bobby Scott, Lloyd Doggett II, Filemon Vela, Jr., Marc Veasey, Eddie Johnson, Gene Green, Joaquin Castro, Sheila Jackson Lee, Beto O'Rourke, Vicente Gonzalez, Al Green, Steve Cohen, Jim Cooper, Jim Clyburn, Jim Langevin, David Cicilline, Matt Cartwright, Mike Doyle, Jr., Brendan Boyle, Dwight Evans, Bob Brady, Kurt Schrader, Peter DeFazio, Suzanne Bonamici, Tim Ryan, Marcia Kaptur, Joyce Beatty, Brian Higgins, Louise Slaughter, Paul Tonko, Sean Maloney, Nita Lowey, Eliot Engel, José Serrano, Joe Crowley, Adriano Espaillat, Carolyn Maloney, Jerry Nadler, Yvette Clarke, Hakeem Jeffries, Nydia Velázquez, Grace Meng, Gregory Meeks, Kathleen Rice, Thomas Suozzi, Ruben Kihuen, Jacky Rosen, Dina Titus, Ben Lujan, Jr., Michelle Lujan Grisham, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Don Payne, Jr., Bill Pascrell, Jr., Albio Sires, Frank Pallone, Jr., Donald Norcross, Ann Kuster, Carol Shea-Porter, Alma Adams, David Price, G.K. Butterfield, Jr., Bennie Thompson, Kilili Sablan, Emanuel Cleaver II, Lacy Clay, Jr., Rick Nolan, Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, Tim Walz, Brenda Lawrence, Debbie Dingell, Sandy Levin, Dan Kildee, Chellie Pingree, Jamie Raskin, Elijah Cummings, John Delaney, Anthony Brown, John Sarbanes, Dutch Ruppersberger, Bill Keating, Stephen Lynch, Mike Capuano, Seth Moulton, Katherine Clark, Joe Kennedy III, Niki Tsongas, Jim McGovern, Richard Neal, Cedric Richmond, John Yarmuth, André Carson, Pete Visclosky, Cheri Bustos, Bill Foster, Brad Schneider, Jan Schakowsky, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Danny Davis, Mike Quigley, Luis Gutiérrez, Dan Lipinski, Robin Kelly, Bobby Rush, Dave Loebsack, Tulsi Gabbard, Colleen Hanabusa, Madeleine Bordallo, David Scott, John Lewis, Hank Johnson, Jr., Sanford Bishop, Jr., Frederica Wilson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings, Sr., Kathy Castor, Val Demings, Darren Soto, Al Lawson, Jr., Lisa Blunt Rochester, Eleanor Norton, Elizabeth Esty, Jim Himes, Rosa DeLauro, Joe Courtney, John Larson, Ed Perlmutter, Jared Polis, Diana DeGette, Susan Davis, Scott Peters, Juan Vargas, Alan Lowenthal, Lou Correa, Nanette Barragán, Maxine Waters, Mark Takano, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Linda Sánchez, Karen Bass, Raul Ruiz, Norma Torres, Jimmy Gomez, Ted Lieu, Grace Napolitano, Pete Aguilar, Brad Sherman, Tony Cárdenas, Adam Schiff, Judy Chu, Julia Brownley, Salud Carbajal, Jimmy Panetta, Zoe Lofgren, Anna Eshoo, Ro Khanna, Jim Costa, Eric Swalwell, Jackie Speier, Barbara Lee, Nancy Pelosi, Mark DeSaulnier, Jerry McNerney, Ami Bera, Doris Matsui, Mike Thompson, John Garamendi, Jared Huffman, Ruben Gallego, Raul Grijalva, Tom O'Halleran, Terri Sewell, Steny Hoyer
Date: Dec. 15, 2017
Location: Washington, DC

Dear Speaker Ryan:

The irresponsible tax cuts you are pursuing will explode the federal deficit, violating the principle, enshrined in the 2010 Statutory PAYGO law, that tax cuts should be paid for. Under that law, your unpaid-for tax cuts, if enacted, will trigger automatic, across-the board cuts to Medicare, the farm safety net, and other programs. Given the lack of bipartisanship to date in your effort to provide massive tax cuts to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class while adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit, it will be your responsibility to deal with these consequences.

With that in mind, we read with interest your recent joint statement with the Senate Majority Leader suggesting that these required across-the-board cuts "will not happen." These cuts would be a direct consequence of your massive $1.5 trillion deficit increase from tax cuts for the wealthy, so it is confusing to hear that you and Leader McConnell "will work to ensure these spending cuts are prevented." We are curious how you plan to do that, as the obvious solution would be not to pass those tax cuts in the first place.

In addition to the looming $25 billion Medicare cut next month, enacting your tax bill will result in widespread chaos to the health insurance market. The Senate bill's elimination of the individual mandate, according to the Congressional Budget Office, will increase premiums and 13 million Americans will lose their health insurance coverage. Likewise, seniors and those preparing for retirement are rightly nervous that your recent pronouncement that "we're going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit" means that cuts to Medicare and Social Security benefits are the necessary next step to pay for the added deficits your tax cuts would produce.

Overwhelming uncertainty looms over our entire health care system and throughout our economy as a result of these developments. Should you enact a tax bill by the end of the year that adds $1.5 trillion to the deficit and, as a result, triggers PAYGO cuts next month, any effort to mitigate those cuts must also remove these other catalysts of uncertainty. At a minimum, that must include rejecting the elimination of the individual mandate as well as the use of reconciliation procedures next year for Medicare benefit cuts in order to fill the fiscal gap left by your tax bill.

We will not be complicit in any effort to undermine access to affordable coverage or increase costs for millions of Americans, just as we will continue our strenuous opposition to your reckless tax proposals.

Sincerely,

STENY H. HOYER
House Democratic Whip

NANCY PELOSI
House Democratic Leader

JAMES CLYBURN
Assistant Democratic Leader

JOE CROWLEY
Chair
House Democratic Caucus

LINDA SANCHEZ
Vice Chair
House Democratic Caucus

RICHARD NEAL
Ranking Member
Committee on Ways and Means

FRANK PALLONE, JR.
Ranking Member
Committee on Energy and Commerce

JOHN YARMUTH
Ranking Member
Committee on the Budget

Alma Adams
Pete Aguilar
Nanette Barragan
Karen Bass
Joyce Beatty
Ami Bera
Donald S. Beyer Jr.
Sanford Bishop
Lisa Blunt Rochester
Suzanne Bonamici
Madeleine Bordallo
Brendan Boyle
Robert Brady
Anthony Brown
Julia Brownley
Cheri Bustos
G. K. Butterfield
Michael Capuano
Salud Carbajal
Tony Cardenas
Andre Carson
Matt Cartwright
Kathy Castor
Joaquin Castro
Judy Chu
David Cicilline
Katherine Clark
Yvette Clarke
Wm. Lacy Clay
Emanuel Cleaver
Steve Cohen
Gerry Connolly
Jim Cooper
Lou Correa
Jim Costa
Joe Courtney
Elijah Cummings
Danny Davis
Susan Davis
Peter DeFazio
Diana DeGette
John Delaney
Rosa DeLauro
Suzan DelBene
Val Demings
Mark DeSaulnier
Ted Deutch
Debbie Dingell
Lloyd Doggett
Michael Doyle
Keith Ellison
Eliot Engel
Anna Eshoo
Adriano Espaillat
Elizabeth Esty
Dwight Evans
Bill Foster
Lois Frankel
Tulsi Gabbard
Ruben Gallego
John Garamendi
Jimmy Gomez
Vicente Gonzalez
Gene Green
Al Green
Raul Grijalva
Luis V. Gutierrez
Colleen Hanabusa
Alcee Hastings
Denny Heck
Brian Higgins
Jim Himes
Jared Huffman
Sheila Jackson Lee
Pramila Jayapal
Hakeem Jeffries
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Hank Johnson
Marcy Kaptur
William Keating
Robin L. Kelly
Joe Kennedy III
Ro Khanna
Ruben Kihuen
Dan Kildee
Derek Kilmer
Ron Kind
Raja Krishnamoorthi
Annie Kuster
James Langevin
Rick Larsen
John Larson
Brenda Lawrence
Al Lawson
Barbara Lee
Sander Levin
John Lewis
Ted Lieu
Dan Lipinski
Dave Loebsack
Zoe Lofgren
Alan Lowenthal
Nita Lowey
Ben Ray Lujan
Michelle Lujan Grisham
Stephen Lynch
Carolyn Maloney
Sean Patrick Maloney
Doris Matsui
Betty McCollum
Donald McEachin
James McGovern
Jerry McNerney
Gregory Meeks
Grace Meng
Gwen Moore
Seth Moulton
Jerrold Nadler
Grace Napolitano
Rick Nolan
Donald Norcross
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Tom O'Halleran
Beto O'Rourke
Jimmy Panetta
Bill Pascrell
Donald Payne
Ed Perlmutter
Scott Peters
Chellie Pingree
Stacey Plaskett
Mark Pocan
Jared Polis
David Price
Mike Quigley
Jamie Raskin
Kathleen Rice
Cedric Richmond
Jacky Rosen
Lucille Roybal-Allard
Raul Ruiz
C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger
Bobby Rush
Timothy Ryan
Gregorio Sablan
John Sarbanes
Janice Schakowsky
Adam Schiff
Brad Schneider
Kurt Schrader
David Scott
Robert Scott
Jose Serrano
Terri Sewell
Carol Shea-Porter
Brad Sherman
Albio Sires
Louise McIntosh Slaughter
Adam Smith
Darren Soto
Jackie Speier
Tom Suozzi
Eric Swalwell
Mark Takano
Mike Thompson
Bennie Thompson
Dina Titus
Paul Tonko
Norma Torres
Niki Tsongas
Juan Vargas
Marc Veasey
Filemon Vela
Nydia Velazquez
Peter Visclosky
Tim Walz
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Maxine Waters
Bonnie Watson Coleman
Peter Welch
Frederica Wilson


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