Pelosi Remarks at Press Conference Highlighting GOP Tax Scam’s Harmful Effects on American Families

Nov 14, 2017
Press Release

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

Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), Ways & Means Committee members Terri Sewell (D-AL), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Judy Chu (D-CA) and MomsRising families to highlight real examples of the GOP Tax Scam’s disastrous impacts on American families and children across the nation.  Below are the Leader’s remarks:

Leader Pelosi.  I’m honored to be here with tremendous leaders on this issue: Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene and Congresswoman Judy Chu.  We’ll be hearing from them and we will be hearing from Lisa and Pete Witzler, Nikki Berlew O’Meara, Suzanne Garwood, and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner – who has been such a leader on protecting the Affordable Care Act and many things.  Thank you, MomsRising for the tremendous, tremendous leadership.  

This is what this is about – MomsRising – it’s about families in our country.  For that reason, we have very serious concerns about the tax bill, I call it the tax scam that the Republicans have put forth.  It is very serious.  It is not Democrats or Republicans – it is about families and our future – it’s about a moment of truth for what this bill does and its impact on our families and our country’s future.

In every way, you’ll hear from our guests about how families are affected.  It is a stunning thing that will tax millions of middle class families, it will increase our deficit harming our future – all this to give tax breaks to corporate America – $1.5 trillion and provisions for them to send jobs overseas.  It has an initiative that relates to state and local taxes that is very harmful to America’s working families and it not being able to be deducted, but if you’re a corporation, it can deducted.

So for these and other reasons, which will be spelled out by our colleagues and our special guests, this bill must be defeated.  But it is really important for the American people to know why – to know why – what the damage is to their prospects.  So we are very grateful for those who are here, we will hear from them, we will be happy to take questions as we go forward.

But it is, again, necessary for us to correct the record in many ways.  As I’ve said, Lisa and Pete Witzler are here – their son has spina bifida – they’ll speak to you about the medical expense deduction.  Nikki, a mother of two, uses SNAP.  Suzanne, with two children with down syndrome – she’ll talk about the Medicaid cuts.  Kristin, CEO and co-founder of MomsRising, will give us an overview.  We thank you, we thank you for taking time to speak truth.  It is my honor to present Lisa and Pete Witzler, thank you. 


Leader Pelosi.   I join my colleagues in thanking our very special guest.  Weren’t Ted and Jackson just remarkable?  And Audrey?  Thank you for being with us today as well as for what you do.  

To my colleagues on the Committee – thank you for making the case for America’s working families.  Much of what you heard them say was so eloquent I’m not going to even dare to repeat it.  I will just preface it in this way.  This tax plan is predicated on a budget that [does] violence to our country’s future as well as the wellbeing of America’s working families.  

That’s when you hear about – they give $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to corporations as well as in that budget they take $1.5 trillion away from Medicare and Medicaid –  $1.5 trillion away from Medicaid.  It’s immoral, indecent, it’s shameful.  

Much of what we heard here today are the consequences of what this tax bill will do, as it again undermines – now this past weekend, we had a weekend of action all over the country.  Groups participated as did our Members.  Candidates participated in Republican districts to talk to them about what this means to families.  

And while we talked about children largely here today, much of [what] we heard in those meetings are about seniors.  Families that are caring for elders with Alzheimer’s [disease] – enormous medical expenses and that opportunity to deduct being eliminated.  It’s again very, very frightening and harmful and must be stopped.

Again, if you’re a family, and you want to adopt, you use the tax credit.  If you want to adopt children with special needs, you lose that tax credit.  If the firm that you work for wants to help you with your adoption – they lose the deduction.  It’s stunning.  If you’re a teacher and you bring supplies to the school, she is, as she pointed out, to millions of people, they lose that deduction as has been mentioned about student loan deduction interest.  All of it to give tax breaks to the high end.  The list goes on and on.

Again, to families, even in terms of adoption, early on, into senior years with families and those with Alzheimer’s suffering.  It’s just not fair.  With that, I’m pleased to take some questions.  Any questions?  Did our special guest do such a good job anticipating what you might ask?  Oh yes, ma’am?

Q: The Republicans are saying today that the elimination of a lot of these deductions will be balanced by the rest of the bill.  People will still have more in their pockets without those deductions.  What would your response be to that?

Leader Pelosi. I would say that the Republicans don’t know what they’re talking about.  Either they don’t know or they don’t care to see the facts.  But you hear what people are saying, they understand the consequences to be in their lives.  The unfairness of a bill that gives 80 percent of the benefit to the top 2 percent in our country and 50 percent to the top 1 percent – to shamefully go in and do that and then, thank you for your question, try to sell a bill of goods.  That’s why we’re calling it a scam, a sham, a flimflam.  Anything that rhymes in that direction.  But it’s a pity and a shame that they would try to not only do harm to Americans and middle income families, but to do so in a way that is untruthful.

Just to say, and we’ve said to them over and over, if you’re going to try to do tax reform, we should sit down in a bipartisan way, in a thoughtful way, and go through this as has been done before years ago.  And that lasted 30 years.  And now they want to do this at the speed of light in the dark of night.  One of the issues to their point is they don’t want anyone to know what’s in the bill.  That’s why they’re going so fast.  Thank you for studying it so carefully.  But the less people know, the better the chance they have to pass it.

What’s sad is, is that we have a better deal.  Better jobs, better pay, better future.  And a better way to sit down in a bipartisan way to get this done.  So again, the Republicans are taking a very, very bad vote when it comes to representing America’s working families.  One of my colleagues, mainly all of them, talked about the fact that Republicans are also saying that this pays for itself.  While the Republican architects of trickle-down economics said:  ‘We never said it would pay for itself. Anybody who says that, you must know that it’s not true, it’s nonsense, in fact, he went on to say that it’s BS.’  So thank you all for coming and thank you for being so eloquent in presenting what the truth is about all of this.  Thank you all.

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