Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Representing the 12th District of California

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Pelosi Remarks at Press Availability on #GOPTaxScam

Dec 4, 2017
Press Release

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

Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Democratic Leaders at a press availability on Democrats’ Motion to Instruct House conferees for the #GOPTaxScam.  Below are the Leader’s remarks:

Leader Pelosi.  Good evening everyone.  As you know, shortly we will go to the floor to discuss going to conference on the Republican tax bill.  Forgetting politics – Democrats or Republicans – just talking about America and our future – the bill the Republicans are bringing forth to go to conference is probably one of the worst bills in the history of America.  It robs from the future.  It rewards the rich, in terms of individuals and corporations, at the expense of tens of millions of working-class families in our country.  It is really important for people to know how this legislation affects their lives.  It affects our country’s future.

Our colleagues in the leadership are here to talk about the violence that it exacts on our country – present and future – and I want to yield to our distinguished Whip in the House, Democratic Whip of the House, Steny Hoyer.

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I thank my colleagues for the clarity in their presentations.  There is so much more we could be talking about – how it harms people if you’re a student and lose your deduction on interest on student loans, if you’re a senior or have a family member with dementia to lose the tax deduction on extraordinary medical costs – the list goes on and on.

I couldn’t be prouder of the House Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee – how they have made a fight in the interest of how this legislation affects individuals in our country – how important it is for us to come to the table in a bipartisan way to do something that commands respect, that has sustainability so there is certainty in our economic security in our country.  

Leading the way on the committee is our very distinguished Ranking Member from the state of Massachusetts – with great admiration and appreciation, I yield to [Congressman] Richie Neal. 

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It will be interesting to see how the Republicans vote on the Motion to Instruct because it has such impact on the lives of their constituents.

In my view, the Republicans are in a lose-lose situation: if you they don’t pass a bill they lose with their donors – they’ve said their donors said, ‘Don’t call us if you don’t pass a bill.’  They’ve said that very clearly.  Gary Cohn in the White House said, ‘The people most excited about this bill are the big corporate CEOs.’  That’s who is happy.  You see the market reacting with glee to the prospect of a bill that undermines the security of America’s working families – so sad.  And I am one who has watched the markets since I was a teenager – a long time – but to see it react in a way that is harmful to our country as if that is some triumph for our economy.

So, again, as I said without hesitation, this is probably one of the worst pieces of legislation – either House put together – worst pieces of legislation to come before the Congress.  Hopefully, as the public learns more about it by you being our ambassadors of our message, they will weigh in.  Lincoln said, ‘Public sentiment is everything.’  The public certainly opposes this legislation.  Let’s hope the Republican Members on the other side are listening. 

Questions on this subject?  

Q:  Can I ask about another subject?

Leader Pelosi.  No, right now we are – anything on the tax bill?  You are all so satisfied by the impact that is has immediately on the lives of the American people?

Whip Hoyer.  The Leader said, ‘Public sentiment is everything’ – the majority of the American people know this is not for them – they know it is for the most well-off in America.  This is not about class warfare, this is about fairness, this is about helping those struggling working families in our country who are living paycheck to paycheck and they need the help and that’s what we ought to be doing and we are not doing it.

Q:  Madam Leader, on this press conference and on the Floor, Democrats talk about this in apocalyptic terms, but isn’t it the case that many people will get a modest tax cut and some get a tax increase while a lot goes to business but it is not the end of the world?

Leader Pelosi.  No, it is the end of the world.  The debate over health care is life and death.  This is Armageddon.  This is a very big deal because you know why?  It is very hard to come back from this.  They take us further, more deeply into debt – what can you do?  It is a gift to corporate American up to a trillion and a half dollars will be paid for by the growth it creates and even their own people say, ‘Nonsense.  Not true.’  

So let’s be truthful to the American people about that.  They throw a few crumbs to the middle class.  They give with one hand and take away in bounty with the other – why?  Because it is in their DNA to give tax cuts to the rich – that’s their purpose in coming to Congress.  That’s why they are so thrilled.  Donald Trump is President because he is a trickle-down guy and this has never paid for itself, it’s never created jobs and it’s always increased the debt.

So as Mr. Hoyer and all our colleagues have said, we want to have legislation and work in a bipartisan way to create growth, to generate good-paying jobs, to reduce the deficit.  Not to say to the American people, ‘This is about you – that’s why we are making it easier to take jobs overseas by giving them a tax incentive to do so.’ 

This is very serious not only for what it does but for how hard it would be to roll it back.

Whip Hoyer.  May I just add, Nancy, look, I’m not going to say it’s the end of the world and Nancy did not mean it’s the end of the world but one ought not to diminish the consequences of passing this bill.  

This is a debt tax.  It is a debt tax that will deeply undermine the ability of the United States to protect the security of Americans both abroad and here at home, deeply adversely affect the ability to invest in priorities that we need to grow the economy and create jobs and it will be a hole, the deepest hole dug by a single bill in the years since I’ve been in Congress of the United States being passed with the greatest amount of hypocrisy that I have seen since I have been a Member of this House.  People who have said day after week after month after year that we ought not to pass a bill that increases the national debt.  

As a grandfather and as a great-grandfather, I grieve for the debt that is being put on the heads of my children, my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren.  So we ought not to diminish the adverse effects that this bill will bring us and all you have to do is read the economists of America, the former Secretary of the Treasury Bob Rubin, in particular, who was the only Secretary of the Treasury who brought to us four years of balanced budget in the last century.  So do not diminish adverse consequences of this bill.  They are very substantial, very harmful and we ought to defeat this bill and come together in a bipartisan way and do something productive, and positive and responsible for the American people.

Leader Pelosi.  The only reason it isn’t the end of the world is that America is a great country, and the greatness of America and the fact that God is always with us is what gives us hope. But it’s very important for the American people to know how adversely personally affected by all of this.  And as Mr. Hoyer referenced they’ve been deficit hawks, what happened to them are they endangered species now?  Or perhaps they’ve been extinct, but they’re nowhere to be found on the Republican side or the aisle.

Q:  Can we ask you about the CR for a moment?

Leader Pelosi.  Sure.

Q:  Obviously you’re going to the White House on Thursday, isn’t that a little late to have a meeting about funding the government?  And are you going to adhere to an insistence to have DACA and CHIP in this bill come Friday?

Leader Pelosi.  Did you see our statement?  

Q:  I did see your statement.

Leader Pelosi.  We talked about opioids, we talked about veterans, we talked about childrens’ health, we talked about community health centers, we talked about relief for millions of Americans still suffering from natural disasters.  We talked about the DREAM Act too.  We have an array of concerns that we will bring to the White House and we’re glad now that the President seems to be open to having a conversation as last week he was not.  

Q:  Will you support the two week CR that is coming to floor this week?

Leader Pelosi.  We’ll see what they have, we’ll see what they have.

Q:  The bill has been introduced now, can you vote for it?

Leader Pelosi.  I haven’t seen it.  Thank you all very much!


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