Pelosi Floor Speech on Republicans’ Job-Killing, Seniors-Betraying Budget

Oct 27, 2017
Press Release

Contact: Ashley Etienne/Henry Connelly, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks of the Floor on the House of Representatives to express her appreciation for the first responders to the wildfires in California and her opposition to the Republicans’ job-killing, seniors-betraying budget which paves the way for a billionaires-first tax plan.  Below are the Leader’s remarks:

Leader Pelosi.  Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.  I join my colleagues, Congressman Thompson and Congressman Hoffman in paying tribute to the first responders who responded to the fires in Northern California and, indeed, in Southern California as well.  The spirit of our community is so magnificent to see people come together to help each other. 

I salute our colleagues [Congressman] Mike Thompson who was just – his whole district – so much of his district was like an inferno but much of his district is still thriving and one group helping another and Mr. Hoffman there with him side by side the whole time.  This is very tragic – this loss of life is heartbreaking – the loss of livelihood is devastating and loss of homes, of course, take a while to replace. 

We’ve seen other natural disasters in the rest of the country – Harvey and Irma and Maria and Nate, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana – so many of the people in our country devastated in a short period of time. 

So in a time of natural disaster it is very important for the federal government to honor its social compact with the American people and to be there for them.  I look forward to working in a bipartisan way for us to have the resources for FEMA to do its job – for FBA to its job to help businesses and homeowners recover their losses and again, pray – our hearts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their loved ones, their livelihoods and some who are still in need of recovery. 

With that, Mr. Speaker, I just want to go to another subject.  I rise in opposition to the devastating tax cut plan that the Republicans are putting forth.  If you are in the middle class, you will most likely be having your taxes increased.  If you have a family member on Medicare or Medicaid, you will most likely be devastated by the impact of this.  This is a bill that the Republicans are putting forth that will add trillions of dollars to the national debt while they sing the praises of fiscal responsibility.  The fiscal hawks have become an endangered species.  No longer are they there to say, ‘we are not going to borrow from our future in order to give tax cuts to the wealthiest people in our country.’

Indeed, 80 percent of the Trump-GOP Tax Framework net tax cuts go to the top one percent of Americans – the top one percent of Americans get 80 percent of the Trump-GOP framework net tax and, as they increase the deficit, anyone who might be haunted by the thought – well we better cut some place – where do you think they are going to go?  They will devastate Medicare.  They will devastate Medicaid. 

What does that mean in the lives of the American people?  It means that middle class families in our country will be subsidizing tax cuts for the wealthiest families and wealthiest corporations in our country.  This is completely wrong.  It will also have a devastating impact on our budget priories. 

In our budget priorities, our budget should be a statement about our national values – what is important to us as a country should be reflected in the budget – investments in education so that children and families can reach their aspirations, so that communities can reach their economic success, so that America can continue to be number one globally, competitively, and that we, again, have the resources to invest in science and technology and our national security to keep America number one.  Infrastructure – so talked about – infrastructure – build, build, build – build across America – roads, bridges, broadband.  Build water systems and the rest of the need we have.

Human infrastructure in America by investing in education, healthcare, and the rest.  Build our democracy by making sure that our democratic process has the resources necessary to be conducted in a way where every person vote is counted as cast.  So all of this connected to governance. All of this is harmed by the assault on our budget that this tax proposal will present.

Middle class taxes will increase.  The middle income families will pay more.  Tens of millions of middle class families will pay higher taxes.  One of the ways they will is because of the “great idea” the Republicans have to stop the deduction from state and local taxes.  This is a big hit on middle class families and our country.  It steals trillions of dollars, borrows from the future, our children’s future, to give tax cuts to the wealthiest.  80 percent of tax cuts go to the wealthiest 1 percent at the expense of our children, working families, and our children’s future.  It would devastate Medicare and Medicaid after adding trillions to the deficit.  The GOP will use the deficits to justify destroying Medicare and Medicaid.

They’re on it.  They’re already on the bill saying that they’re going to test Medicare.  It’s keeping with their theory that Medicare should wither on the vine.  Democrats are for a better deal.  A real, bipartisan tax reform.  Any business will tell you that what they want from tax reform is some level of certainty.  This is going to last for a while.  The only way to do that is to have bipartisanship at the table.  Go to the table.  What will create growth?  What will create good paying jobs?  What will reduce the debt?  This bill does exactly the worst.  Don’t let them tell you that even though they’re adding trillions of dollars to the debt, that it is going to be paid for by economic growth.  It has never happened. Trickle-down economics, President Bush tried that, it’s been tried before.  It has never done that.  It has never paid for itself.  In fact, it has only increased the national debt.

In that regard, Bruce Bartlett, who was an economist in the Reagan years as well as worked very closely with Jack Kemp and supply-side economics as an advocate for supply-side economics, said it would never pay for itself.  Anyone who tells you that these additions to the debt will pay for themselves by growth, it’s not true.  It’s nonsense and he said ‘BS’.  Forgive me, Mr. Speaker, I’m just quoting.  I’m just saying what he said.

So this is a moment of truth for our country.  What are our values?  How are they reflected in our budget?  How do we grow the economy in a way that increases the paychecks of America’s working families so that they have consumer confidence, they spend, they inject demand into the economy, they create jobs, they bring revenue to the Treasury.  How is it a good idea to cut education to give tax cuts to the wealthiest people in our country?  Nothing brings more money to the Treasury than investments in education, childhood, K-12, higher ed., post grad., lifetime learning for our workers.

So with stiff competition, mind you, having tax cuts which will steal from our budget, investments in education is, with stiff competition one of the worst ideas that the Republicans have to offer.  But this is something that people should be alerted to.  For what?  For getting the policy, all the rest of it, what it means in your life.  Most likely, middle class family, you will pay more taxes.  If you have a family member who’s dependent on long-term healthcare, whether in a nursing home or at home, most likely, you will pay a price.  If you have a family member that’s on Medicare or you are, Social Security, disability, you will be affected by it.

The President said in his campaign, “The system is rigged”, this is the rigging of the rig.  This is taking the rig to a step that is almost impossible for us to return from.  They take us down this road to ruin, this path to a severe increase in the national debt to the tune of trillions of dollars, not even counting the debt service on it, at the cost of investments in our future, in our children, in our families, in fairness, in our economy, in opportunity for America.  This is something that must be stopped.  And we can start by stopping the assault on the estate and local tax deductions.  Let’s hold Members of Congress accountable for what they do that affects your pocketbook and your future.

We’ll be continuing this conversation and we’ll have charts and the rest to visually demonstrate what this is.  Governance is about how you raise the money and how you invest it.  And this is the dialogue that our country needs to hear very clearly for not only the policy aspects of it, but the personal consequences in their lives.  This is a very bad deal for the American people.  For middle class families.  Democrats want A Better Deal: better jobs, better pay, better future, and by the way, to do this in a very bipartisan way.

With that Mr. Speaker, I yield back.

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