Pelosi Remarks at Press Conference on Elimination of Student Loan Interest Deduction in GOP Tax Scam

Nov 7, 2017
Press Release

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

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Congressman Eric Swalwell, Congressman David Price, Congressman Brendan Boyle and students and advocates at a press conference on the proposed elimination of the student loan interest deduction in the GOP Tax Scam.  Below are the Leader’s remarks:

Leader Pelosi Opening Remarks

Leader Pelosi.  Good afternoon, everyone!  Thank you for being here.  I’m honored to be here with my colleague, Representative Eric Swalwell, who is the head of our Future Forum, which goes around the country listening to the concerns of millennials.  He heads up a 30-somethings group – some start in the late 20’s and 30’s – he’s bringing us all here together today.

[Congressman] David Price is with us, he was the person who originated, legislatively, the tax deduction for interest on student loans, a professor at [University of North Carolina] Chapel Hill, a Member of Congress for a long time.

[Congressman] Brendan Boyle, our colleague from Pennsylvania who is going to tell us about his student loans and the rest, and again a champion for our future.

Our special guests – and I’m sure my colleagues would agree – our special guests are my colleague Max Ruben, a George Washington University Medical student who will tell his story, RaeAnn Pickett, advocating for our students, as well as, Maggie Thompson.  They will give their credentials.  I just wanted to welcome them as well as the eloquence of their reports on why what the Republicans are doing is so wrong.

It is a ruinous tax scam that devastates students who are the future of our nation and the foundation of our strength.  And I thank the students and advocates who are speaking out against the disastrous impact of the Ryan-McConnell Tax Scam because of the affect it will have on their lives.

Republicans are saying up and down that they are cutting taxes on the middle class but that really is not the fact.  The Ryan-McConnell bill is a middle class nightmare on millions of families, by an average of $2,000 dollars.  It raises taxes again on the middle class, gives massive tax breaks to the wealthiest and corporations, increases tax incentives to send jobs overseas, can you believe that?  Did you hear President Trump say that in the campaign, that he was going to give jobs overseas?  But he does and that’s trillions to the deficit, robbing from the our children’s future.

This is a legacy issue for us because it’s about the future.  And again I just want to say about education – nothing brings more money to the Treasury than investing in education.

Early childhood education, K-12, higher education, post grad, lifetime learning for our workers.  This bill is destructive in so many respects.  The SALT, the state and local tax deductions, which they are attacking, helps fund our schools.  This is very essential to not only the education, but the safety of our young people in our communities.

How about this one, try this one on for size.  You’re a teacher in a school and you bring supplies, arts and crafts, other needs that the school district just can’t afford to supply.  Up until now you got a tax deduction for that.  No more in this bill.  Why?  Why?  They are ending lifetime learning credits and tax free tuition assistance from employers.  Employers wanting to train and educate their workers for the jobs of the 21st century.  They are taking that opportunity away.

This is what we’re talking about here.  Why are they ripping away the lifeline of student loan interest deduction for 12 million graduates.  12 million graduates.  Affording an education is hard enough.  The bill would be crushing.  A generation of graduates under a mountain of debt, and this casts an even longer shadow over this future.  It must be stopped.  At the same time, as they’re taking away this opportunity from young people, they are giving new tax breaks to the wealthy and well-connected while cutting off vital tax credits and deductions for students and workers, as I’ve described.  They’re stealing from the future so they can write a bigger check to ship jobs overseas. 

The people deserve real bipartisan tax reform.  This is about cuts for the wealthy and corporate America and cuts in opportunity for the American people.  Instead, we should be sitting down, doing this in a bipartisan, thoughtful way that creates growth, which creates good-paying jobs, as it reduces the deficit.  We call that A Better Deal.  A Better Deal for Better Jobs, Better Wages, and a Better Future.  And now it is my honor to yield the floor to a very special guest from George Washington University, a medical student, Max Ruben.  Welcome Max, thank you for being with us.

Leader Pelosi Closing Remarks

Leader Pelosi.  On behalf of my colleagues, I thank Max Ruben, RaeAnn Pickett and Maggie Thompson for their presentations today and I express gratitude to our visionary, Congressman Price, for putting this in motion in the 1990s with Congressman Etheridge and Congressman Martin Lancaster – this is a North Carolina pride moment.  

You heard the case that was made personally and in a more general way and, legislatively, by our colleagues and our guests.  I just want to make one further point: nothing, as I said earlier, brings more money to the Treasury – nothing reduces the national debt more than the investment in education – early childhood, K-12, higher education, post-grad, lifetime learning and, on almost any level, in this tax plan, Republicans have made an assault on that.  

And that, is about the aspirations of the American people, helping them reach their potential.  It is also about number one in the world because everything, whether it is research and development – innovation begins in the classroom – so this is central to who we are as a nation: an informed electorate, helping people reach their aspirations, keeping our country at the forefront militarily, keeping us strong economically, keeping us number one in every way, making the future better.  

Any questions?  No?  Well, thank you very much. 

# # #