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Unanimous Consent Request--H.R. 9051 and S. 5085

Floor Speech

Date: Jan. 1, 2021
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. THUNE. The Senator from Illinois makes a good point.

Would the Senator yield for a question?

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Mr. THUNE. So if the same formula is used, and you are increasing the amount by $1,400 per person--so you are going from, basically, for a family of four, what would be a $2,400 payment to an $8,000 payment, and you phase that down using the same formula, does the Senator from Illinois understand the math and why that skews toward people who make a lot more money than they would under the other formula?

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Mr. THUNE. Well, I just think that you are making a point in the statement which is not accurate because you are saying the formula is the same. The formula is the same, but the inputs change, and so the way it ramps down means that somebody who makes $350,000 gets a payment under the Sanders-Hawley proposal that they wouldn't--but they wouldn't--no, and it phases out a lot sooner, as you know.

So let's be clear about how that formula works. You are misrepresenting the way that formula works.

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Mr. THUNE. I have not seen the Tax Policy Center, but I know math, and I know as a basic principle that when you stick bigger numbers in there and you are using the same formula to phase something out, you are going to make it available to people who make a lot more money. That is a mathematical fact.

And what you are saying, when you talk about the same formula, it skews entirely different in the income scale, and you know that.

And all I am saying is don't misrepresent the facts.
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Mr. THUNE. Well, very simply, what you are suggesting--what you are saying here is that the owner of the Washington Post, who said this is really bad policy and shouldn't be done in this way at the end of this year--is that what you are saying? That because he is a wealthy person, that somehow that is why he is making that statement?

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Mr. THUNE. I think the Washington Post editorial board, in most cases, has been very sympathetic to the argument of the Senator from Vermont.

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Mr. THUNE. In fact, they take a liberal point of view on almost every issue.

My point, very simply, is that we have a limited amount of resources. This is borrowed money, as the Senator from Vermont knows. And when we spent months--literally months--and you ask: Why can't you guys just come down here, why can't you just come down here and debate this, we tried for months to get the Democrats down here to debate a bill. We put a bill on the floor in September, we put a bill on the floor in October, a coronavirus relief bill, and you guys blocked it. You didn't even want to talk about it. You didn't want to have an opportunity to amend it.

We have been working at this for months, and we finally arrived, after months, at a proposal that helps people who need it the most, including nutrition assistance, including rental assistance, and including checks to people--

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