Pelosi Remarks at Press Conference Highlighting the Consequences of the #GOPTaxScam
Contact: Ashley Etienne/Henry Connelly, 202-226-7616
Woodhaven, NY – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley and New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul at an press conference to help New Yorkers to highlight the negative consequences of the #GOPTaxScam. Below are the Leader’s remarks:
Leader Pelosi. Good morning, everyone! I thank Nydia for accommodating and inviting me to this – changing the time and then so many people showing up. Let me tell you how honored I am to be with you and what an honor it is for all of us up here, to have this conversation with you this morning.
Storms, sleet, rain, wind, trees going down, power going off, and you’re here this morning even, again, with a change in time – that makes you very special people. You take responsibility to be engaged in decision making that effects the future of our country.
It is an honor to be with so many members of your beautiful family here. And my family is here too, I have a few of my grandchildren in New York, four of my five children were born in New York and my daughter Alexandra and my grandchildren Paul and Thomas are here.
Paul said he was coming, and his friend said, ‘I will come to,’ so his friend is here too.
This is really important because this is a family conversation about our family, our nation’s budget and how it effects our children.
I’m honored to be here with Congressman Joe Crowley, the Chair of our Caucus. I talked about my great colleagues here, I want you to know one word that described them, courage. Joe Crowley’s got that courage which you can see in the Ways and Means Committee. Relentless! And he’s a great chair of our caucus.
You should know about your Lieutenant Governor [Kathy Hochul], that when she ran in the Congress it was in a district that was hopelessly Republican, but she ran against what Speaker [Paul] Ryan, he was Chairman of the Budget Committee then, was doing to take the guarantee away from Medicare. Medicare is a guarantee, without the guarantee, no Medicare. She went out there. Fought the fight. No one thought it was possible to win but she did on that subject. So thank you for everything you do!
Let me just say this on a quick note about [Congresswoman] Nydia Velázquez: the important package of support that we have in the bill for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands would not have been there without Nydia Velázquez.
She withheld votes to hold out for more, and in the end, she got a tremendous increase in what the Republicans were considering before. But not only that she determined to get even more.
She’s done it all while maintaining the integrity of support for our DREAMers. So again, it’s an honor to be with her in her district with our colleague and our former colleague. And also, to be here with our special guests Charles Khan and Jonas Shaende and Tracey Kavanagh who will be filling us in on care.
So I won’t go into details except to say this, a tax bill is part of the budget process. A budget, since we’re in church, and I want to thank Dr. Rev. Norman Whitmire Jr. for his hospitality, his guidance for how we have this discussion, but to have it in a beautiful venue. A venue of values. And a budget is supposed to be a statement of our national values, what’s important to us as a nation should be how we allocate our resources. It’s always about the future, about our children.
And I think if you look at the budget they [Republicans] proposed, predicated on this tax cut you will agree that it is not a statement of our values. We must do better for our children.
We will talk about more about the specifics. The Governor [Cuomo] has talked about the impact on the state, we will get more specific. But not before saying this: this is a statement of our values. They passed a tax bill that had 83 percent of the benefits going to the top one percent. Eighty-six million middle class families will be paying more in taxes as a result of this bill while they are trying to sell this tax scam as a middle class tax cut. It takes us into over two trillion dollars into debt in order to give a trillion and a half tax benefit to corporate America – even giving them a tax break to ship jobs overseas.
It increases the deficit. It robs from our children’s future to increase the deficit to that extend. So, then they say, ‘Oh, well now that we have created a two trillion dollar plus deficit, we have to pay it for by exactly cutting two trillion dollars of Medicare and Medicaid.’ Five hundred billion dollars from Medicare, 1.5 trillion dollars from Medicaid – in addition to over 200 billion dollars out of food stamps. Out of food stamps. Another two hundred billion out of housing initiatives and cuts in support of other initiatives that help working families in our country.
So, wait a minute, you create a deficit and now you’re going to pay for it by making all of these cuts – cuts in educations – Medicaid and other health initiatives. Two hundred billion dollars out of HUD [Housing and Urban Development] and all of the impact that that will have. I will be more specific but I just wanted to give the broad context.
But understanding this, many of the people on Medicaid are veterans. Many people who receive unemployment are veterans. So, they are hurting the people in very specific ways that are the source of the strength of our country.
It was recently President’s Day. Mount Vernon, a bipartisan tribute to our founders. As young schoolboy, George Washington transcribed ‘110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior’ – a list of Jesuit-inspired moral maxims. The final rule reads: ‘Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.’
Conscience. Values. Liberty and justice for all. Economically. Economic justice.
So, we have a moral responsibility to do the right thing by the budget for our country, for our strength, most importantly, for our children. It’s all about the future. This is a budget that takes us backward. It is not a statement of values and we must repeal and replace those tax cuts. Until we do, we have to understand, obviously you are here so you have some understanding of how unfair it is. We will have more discussion from our experts and will take some of your questions.
So, thank you. Thank you all.
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