Missouri’s Republican delegation in Congress is trumpeting the tax cut that passed for a second time in the House Wednesday. 4th District Representative Vicky Hartzler likened it to a present under the tree for all Americans and businesses while speaking to Missourinet affiliate KSSZ.
“(It’s a) wonderful Christmas present for them that will lower taxes for every income level in this country, will make American business competitive again,” said Hartzler.
The House passed the tax plan for a second time in two days due to technical changes made in the Senate to conform to the chamber’s rules. The bill now heads to the President Trump for his signature before the Christmas holiday, making good on the Republican Party’s promise to enact tax relief by the end of the year.
Democrats quickly pounced on the complication that required a second House vote as an example of Republicans rushing through legislation without checking for flaws.
The House vote Wednesday was 224-201, with eight Republicans joining all 193 Democrats in opposing the proposal. The Senate passed the bill, 51-48, on party lines overnight Wednesday morning.
Congresswoman Hartzler told KSSZ Americans will enjoy the most sweeping change since legislation passed under the Reagan administration in 1986. “It’s about time,” Hartzler said. “It’s been 31 years. I’m really looking forward to it, and know the American people will be pleased to receive this help.”
The tax plan has not been well received in recent polling. According to a survey by NBC News released Tuesday, 24 percent of Americans say the measure is a good idea, versus 41 percent who believe it’s a bad idea.
Vicky Hartzler thinks Americans will embrace the package once they notice that they have more money to spend. “That’s going to be good news. They can help pay off another car payment, or save for their kid’s college, or go on a much-deserved family vacation. I think people, once they sit down and they see the final version, they like what they see.”
Missouri GOP Congressman Jason Smith of southern Missouri’s Salem points out the plan keeps some families free from paying any income tax, while it also strips out a requirement for most people to buy health insurance.
“Whether you are a family of two making $24,000 a year or a family of four making $55,000 a year, the (plan) means you will not have to pay a single penny in income tax,” said Smith. “It also repeals one of the most burdensome parts of Obamacare, the Individual Mandate, which forced Missourians to buy something they didn’t even want – government run healthcare.”
Republican U.S. House member Sam Graves represents a large swath of north Missouri. He identified the proposal by its official name, and claimed it would bring economic growth and larger paychecks for all citizens.
“Americans at every income level deserve to keep more of their paycheck. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act overhauls America’s tax code to deliver historic relief for workers, families and job creators and invigorates our nation’s economy,” said Graves. “This truly is a tax cut for everyone and I look forward to bringing much-needed relief to families across the country and building for a stronger America.”
Democratic Congressman William Lacy Clay called the tax package the “Trump-GOP TaxScam”. The eight term House member from St. Louis contends the plan is skewed toward the rich while it cuts services for working people and hikes the deficit.
“83% of the tax cuts in this deeply flawed and fiscally irresponsible bill will pad the pockets of the top 1%,” said Lacy Clay. “This terrible and destructive bill will rob seniors by cutting over $25 billion from Medicare to help pay for tax cuts for billionaires. It will strip away healthcare coverage from 13 million Americans. And it will explode the debt by putting at least $1 trillion more on the national credit card which our children and grandchildren will pay for.”
On the Senate side, 2nd term Republican Roy Blunt said people will keep more of their pay and see an increase in their wages.
“By doubling the standard deduction, by doubling the child tax credit, and lowering tax rates, we’re helping working families keep more of what they earn,” said Blunt. “And, by increasing U.S. competitiveness and giving small businesses the opportunity they need to reinvent, to reinvest and to grow, we’re paving the way for more jobs with higher wages. Americans have waited three decades now for real tax reform and they don’t have to wait any longer.”
Meira Bernstein, a spokesperson for Democrat Claire McCaskill’s campaign, said the tax plan only rewards the rich, while failing to come through on key promises made by Republicans.
“Claire has been clear that she supports real, bipartisan tax reform — but that is not what Senate Republicans forced through on a party line vote,” said Bernstein. “The current tax legislation is all about millionaires and billionaires and most Missouri families will only get crumbs off the table. It is not simpler, it is not fairer, there are lots of new loopholes, and there will be trillions of dollars in new debt for future generations.”