January 2018 — The Hastings Monthly Report
Last month, Republicans in Congress pushed through a tax reform bill that will affect every person in our country. I strongly opposed this measure, H.R.1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law before the New Year.
The tax code enshrined by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is one that favors wealthy corporations and the richest people in our nation. It established new tax breaks for corporations that ship American jobs overseas, undercuts healthcare, and cut billions from Medicare and Medicaid. In addition to ending critical tax deductions that hardworking families rely upon, the tax plan added an estimated $2 trillion to the national debt.
Even worse, when automatic deficit-saving components of this bill take effect in 2027, more than 80 percent of lower income Americans will see their taxes increase.
I am very disappointed that Republicans pushed this bill through using a completely closed process, without a single hearing, and without allowing a single Democratic amendment to be considered. Make no mistake: this was not a bipartisan effort in any shape or form, and it was orchestrated this way from the very beginning.
Republicans are ignoring the tens of millions of Americans who rely on federal programs, including education, affordable healthcare, homeownership assistance, unemployment insurance, veterans benefits, loans for small businesses, food assistance to prevent hunger, and support for farmers growing essential crops. Eviscerating spending for these programs will not reduce the deficit or solve our long-term financial difficulties. They have punted on critical issues like the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and disaster relief because they can’t agree on how to pay for it. And yet, they have no problem exploding the debt and raising taxes on 86 million middle class households to provide handouts for the one percent.
I believe that it is past time to close the tax loophole that permits corporations to dodge their fiscal responsibility to pay their fair share of taxes. I have consistently fought to close this tax loophole and support small businesses. I will continue to prioritize investments in vital programs, as well as a tax code that spurs job creation, helps us achieve energy independence, provides for the public health, supports education, and implements the policies that enable our country to maintain its global leadership. Our nation succeeds when the middle class prospers.
For more information on the various issues that I am working on, visit my official website at www.alceehastings.house.gov. With warm personal regards, I remain,
Alcee L. HastingsMember of Congress20th District of Florida www.AlceeHastings.house.gov