“PRESS RELEASE ● GOP TAX PLANfacebooktwitterbirdemail
Hoyer Remarks at the People’s Filibuster in Opposition to the GOP Tax Scam
For Immediate Release:
November 30, 2017
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined the People’s Filibuster organized by Not One Penny, Tax March, Center for American Progress, Americans for Tax Fairness, and CREDO Mobile, and others to speak out in opposition to the Senate GOP tax scam. Below is a transcript of his remarks:
“I was walking down the hall just a few minutes ago, going to a meeting on the Senate side. And Ed Markey, with whom I’ve served for many years in the House of Representatives was walking by. He and I have been here a long time, and we stopped and we looked at one another, sort of shaking our heads. And both of us said, ‘This is the worst bill for America that I have seen in all the years that I have been here.’
“This is a disinvestment in the people of the United States. This is a disinvestment in our country. This is putting millions and millions and millions of children, of grandchildren – and I have four great-grandchildren. And what it is doing for them is adding extraordinary amounts of debts on their heads. This is not only an intellectually bankrupt bill, this is an immoral bill.
“Not One Penny, Americans for Tax Fairness, the Center for American Progress, all the groups – organizing this ‘People’s Filibuster.’ Now you know, a filibuster requires tenacity, persistence, staying power. And there’s no doubt in mind that you’re standing out here exactly because you’ve got it. Keep it!
“We’re here today outside of the United States Senate, with a distinguished member of the United States Senate, [Senator Merkley], and we’re sending this message: do not pass this dangerous bill!
“Every time you hear one of these Republican Senators who says he’s going to vote for the bill, or she, and then says ‘and I am for fiscal responsibility.’ There’s a word for that. The polite word, which I’m going to use, is hypocrisy. They’re saying one thing and doing another; saying you want to keep your country solvent and safe and doing the opposite – making it insolvent and not safe.
“This is a tax increase on 82 million middle class Americans. Eighty-two million. They say it’s a tax cut, it is for the very wealthiest in America. I made an analogy on the Floor, you listen to this, Paul Ryan got up and said ‘this cuts $1,182 a year from the taxes of working Americans.’ Some working Americans. Hear this, it is a tax cut for the 1% of $1,198 dollars per week – 52 times as much as they’re giving to the poor, struggling, working person that Paul Ryan talked about on the Floor of the House of Representatives. Fifty-two times as much money going to wealthiest people.
“I’m not against the rich. Who here doesn’t want to be rich? Is there anybody? Raise your hand. I want to be rich. I’m not against the rich, but what I am for is, ‘and I want to pay my fair share and make America great.’ It is great, and we want to make it great. This bill does not make America great. It hurts people. And it will demand, if we pass this bill, for a $25 billion cut in Medicare next year. Seniors ought to be outraged by such a proposal.
“All of that to pay for tax cuts that will benefit the most wealthy. Well over half of the benefits, 62%, are going to those who make over $900,000 per year. Now I must tell you, folks, every town meeting I have, every time I go the grocery store, every time people come up to me and say, ‘you know, I’m worried about those people making over $900,000 a year…could you please give them a tax cut so they can get by?’ You think any rational human being in the world says that to any Member of Congress? Well, that’s what we’re doing. How do you figure that? Economists and corporate leaders agree it will do nothing to significantly help our economy.
“Senators have a chance now to listen to the American people, who are struggling paycheck to paycheck, to get by – in hopes of eventually being able not only to get by, but to get ahead. When we did tax reform in 1986, it was bipartisan, and it was permanent, and it was paid-for. We didn’t add any debt to these children, and you young people. We passed a bill that helped grow America. We ought to do the same.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you’re not Members of the House and Senate. You were not given a single opportunity in either the House or the Senate to come and give us your opinion. This is a democracy. We’re talking about transparency and openness and listening to people. Republicans didn’t listen to people for one second, in either the House or the Senate. And what are we doing? We took over a year to pass the last 1986 reform bill. Now, we’ve taken less than a month, essentially.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you keep on filibustering. You keep on speaking up, you keep on speaking up for my kids, my grandchildren, and my great-grandchildren. They need your voice, they need your help, and they need the help of the Senators. And I’m now glad to yield to Senator Merkley who is standing tall, speaking strongly, and is effectively advocating for working people in America so they get a fair shake and America is a greater and better country for it.” https://www.democraticwhip.gov/content/hoyer-remarks-people’s-filibuster-opposition-gop-tax-scam. (Emphasis our own.)