U.S. Senators Representing Pennsylvania Respond to Passage of Ta - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

U.S. Senators Representing Pennsylvania Respond to Passage of Tax Reform Legislation

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The two U.S. Senators representing Pennsylvania are reacting to the passage of tax reform legislation early Saturday morning.

The vote was 51-49, mostly along party lines. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee was the only Republican to vote against the bill, citing concerns about growing the deficit.

Congressional negotiators continued to make changes to the bill -- including handwriting alterations on to the document -- up until just hours before the final vote, with Democrats sharply criticizing Republicans for not giving members enough time to read the sweeping legislation that would overhaul the US tax system.

The House of Representatives approved its own tax reform plan last month, and the two chambers are expected to go to conference to reconcile the two bills, but passing the legislation Saturday was a huge victory for Senate Republicans and President Donald Trump, both looking for significant legislative achievements.

READ MORE: Senate passes sweeping GOP tax plan in early hours of Saturday morning

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R) released the following statement:

“Passage of this pro-growth tax reform bill brings hardworking Pennsylvanians one step closer to seeing a direct pay raise and better job opportunities.

“Our bill directly lowers the tax burden for middle income families and fundamentally restructures the business tax code so American workers and businesses can compete globally. It transforms one of the world’s worst business tax codes into one of the most competitive, making it easier for entrepreneurs to start new businesses and giving employers greater incentives to buy new capital equipment and bring operations home from overseas. I am confident these reforms will unleash a surge in economic growth and job creation.

“I hope the House and Senate soon come together to finish our work on this bill, and deliver on our promise of a better and brighter economic future for all Americans.”

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D) also issued a statement on the legislation:

“This is an insult to the many middle class families in Pennsylvania who will pay more in taxes under this scheme while the super-rich and big corporations get a windfall. Congress should be working in a bipartisan way to make our tax system simpler and fairer, but the Senate Republican plan does just the opposite. In 2019, the country’s 572,000 richest households will see $34 billion worth of tax cuts, while the 90 million Americans making under $50,000 a year will see a fraction of that. That is both obscene and grossly unfair.

The bill rewards companies who outsourced jobs by giving them a big tax cut and may actually encourage more outsourcing in the future. What’s worse is that this tax plan will trigger $25 billion in automatic cuts to Medicare unless Congress acts. Now, after creating a huge hole in the deficit by giving tax cuts to the super-rich, top Republicans are saying they are planning to go after Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Adding insult to injury, the bill also includes a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which will result in 13 million Americans losing their health care while premiums increase for families across Pennsylvania by an additional 10% per year. That’s wrong and I will fight against it. 

The Republican tax plan that just passed the Senate rewards companies who outsource jobs and ends tax deductions that help the middle class. I will continue to fight for real bipartisan tax reform that helps the middle class. What passed today is a big Republican giveaway to corporations and Republican corporate donors.”

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