The four members of Hawaii’s all-Democrat congressional delegation roundly denounced the Republican tax bill — “the biggest changes to the tax code in decades,” The Hill reported — which was approved almost entirely with party-line votes in both the House and Senate Wednesday.

“The Republican tax bill is a scam,” said U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono. “After months of empty promises to the middle class, the president has been caught in another big fat lie. This bill will not help the middle class. It is nothing more than a fulfillment of the Republican Party’s mission to eventually gut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to pay for trillions of dollars in tax cuts to the richest Americans and corporations. The American people will hold them accountable.”

White House Washington DC with US flag lowered to half staff after the US deadliest shooting in modern history.
President Trump celebrated his first major legislative victory Wednesday with passage of a massive tax bill. But Hawaii Democrats warned that the bill is a giveaway to corporations and the wealthy. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2017

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said, “The tax code is an expression of what Americans care about and what Americans value. This bill foundationally changes our tax system so that it rewards wealth over work, at the expense of the middle class and our children and grandchildren. I am deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans rushed this through.”

“I am deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans rushed this through.” — Sen. Brian Schatz

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said, “This bill is not sound, thoughtful tax policy, it was crafted to fulfill a campaign promise made by Donald Trump and to give the Republicans a talking point for the upcoming election cycle. It is truly unfortunate that the House approved a $1.5 trillion tax cut that benefits the wealthiest Americans by lowering the top individual tax rate from 39.6 to 37 percent and encourages federal tax avoidance by providing a complex legal framework and incentives.”

Hanabusa added, “I will not support a bill that doles out 83 percent of the tax breaks to the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans while raising taxes on 86 million middle-class households. That is more than half of America’s middle class.”

‘The American People Lose’

And U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said this: “As long as Congress continues to pass legislation for partisan, political reasons that serve special corporate interests instead of the families that are struggling just to get by every day, where lobbyists have more input in the writing of this legislation than many members of Congress, the American people lose. I oppose this legislation today. It’s a disappointment and a huge lost opportunity to actually help so many struggling families all across the country.”

That statement was made Tuesday, when the House first voted for the bill. A second House vote came Wednesday, when the chamber voted on a revised version that comported with Senate rules.

Gabbard subsequently issued another statement on the tax bill, saying in part: “While industry giants see the largest corporate tax cut in American history made permanent, 86 million low and middle class families will pay higher taxes in eight years than they do today.”

She continued:

“In Hawaii, where the average cost of a single-family home is well over $700,000, lowering the mortgage interest deduction means many local families will find it even more difficult to achieve their dreams of homeownership in our home state, as the cost of living continues to rise.”

‘Big, Beautiful Tax Cut’

According to The Hill, “No Democrats in either chamber voted for the bill, a bet that its unpopularity in polls will stick and hurt the GOP in next fall’s midterms. Republicans think the legislation’s popularity will rise as taxpayers see its benefits, and only 12 House Republicans voted against the bill. Most of them were from New York, New Jersey and California districts that would be hit by new limits on deductions for state, local and property taxes.”

But President Trump is very pleased with his first major legislative win.

“I promised the American people a big, beautiful tax cut for Christmas,” he said. “With final passage of this legislation, that is exactly what they are getting.  I would like to thank the members of Congress who supported this historic bill, which represents an extraordinary victory for American families, workers, and businesses.”

He added:

“Unemployment continues to fall, the stock market is at a record high, and wages will soon be on the rise.  By cutting taxes and reforming the broken system, we are now pouring rocket fuel into the engine of our economy. America is back to winning again, and we’re growing like never before. There is a great spirit of optimism sweeping across our land.  Americans can once again rest assured that our brightest days are still to come.” 

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