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In Senate floor speech, Senator Murray blasts Republicans’ “terrible, partisan, fast-tracked” tax plan, citing multiple aspects of the bill that would benefit the wealthiest few while hurting middle class families

Senator Murray also slammed Republican tax plan’s health care sabotage and backdoor attempt to open up Arctic Nat’l Wildlife Refuge to drilling

ICYMI: Senator Murray Blasts Tax Hikes on Middle Class Families, Health Care Sabotage in Republican Tax Plan

ICYMI - Seattle Times Op-Ed: “If the tax overhaul passes, expect America to fall further behind”

***WATCH VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S FLOOR SPEECH HERE***

(Washington, D.C.) Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) took the Republican tax bill to task in a speech on the Senate floor, slamming numerous provisions in the bill that would raise taxes on working people, increase the nation’s debt, worsen economic inequality, and pave the way for cuts to critical safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. According to independent analyses, recent tax plans proposed by Congressional Republicans would result in massive tax cuts for the richest Americans while increasing taxes on middle class families over time.  

In her speech, Senator Murray blasted the Republicans’ proposal for increasing taxes on middle class families while simultaneously cutting taxes for wealthy individuals and massive corporations. Additionally, Senator Murray underlined her opposition to Republicans’ attempts, led by President Trump, to sabotage health care for millions of Americans in the tax bill, and made clear that the bipartisan bill negotiated with Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to lower health care costs and stabilize individual markets won’t undo any of the damage that this latest Republican health care repeal effort.

Excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

“…[T]his is so wrong—and I’m glad phones across the Capitol are lighting up with constituents demanding to know how anyone promising to represent them could possibly put their name on this terrible, partisan, fast-tracked bill. Because they see the same non-partisan reports. They know expert after expert has confirmed what we all know: the Republican tax plan will hurt millions of everyday Americans, including those who are already falling behind in an economy that tilts further and further in favor of the wealthiest few. They know the Republican tax plan takes money out of their pockets. They know it guts their health care by spiking premiums and leaving millions of Americans without coverage they need. They know it papers over our nation’s paid family leave problem, instead giving corporations a massive giveaway and leaving families who need to care for loved ones in a lurch. They know it adds trillions of dollars to the national debt, setting up – once again—the perfect foil for Republican to come after Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other middle class priorities when the bill comes due. And in case that wasn’t enough, the Senate Republican tax bill adds a backdoor attempt to open up ANWR to drilling – just for good measure.”

“…Republicans are even trying to pay for tax cuts for those at the top by sabotaging families’ health care in this bill in a way that would spike premiums, cause 13 million people to lose coverage, and create even more chaos in the health care system. I know they are claiming that the bipartisan bill I reached with Chairman Alexander can fix this if they sign that into law, and that other bipartisan legislation to help states cover the costs of enrolling very sick patients could help too. But let me be clear that they are wrong. This is the classic example of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole – and would be cold comfort to the people across the country who will struggle even more to get care they need while massive corporations get more tax breaks they don’t need.”

“…[I]f anyone was still under any illusion that Republicans were concerned about the middle class, fiscal responsibility, or regular order—that ends here and now…[T]his is shameful. This is wrong. But it’s not too late.”

“I say this to my Republican colleagues: let’s move—right now—to the bipartisan work that we know our constituents want and expect. Let’s return to a process that allows a true debate about our values and priorities as a nation.  Let’s talk about ways to help workers and grow the economy from the middle out, like: ensuring access to high quality child care and pre-K to every working family, providing meaningful paid family and medical leave for every American, making college more affordable, investing in retirement security for our workers, supporting our veterans, and making health care higher quality and more affordable and accessible. Those are the conversations we should be having. Those are the people we should be investing in. And we won’t stop reminding you of that every day—until you give up this cruel tax plan.”

Watch video of Senator Murray’s floor speech HERE.

Full text of Senator Murray’s floor speech below.

M. President, the American people have gotten a whole lot of lip service over the past ten months.

Remember “draining the swamp” and fighting for the forgotten families?

Well, the president apparently forgot them when he filled his cabinet with a Who’s Who of Wall Street.

Or how about every single American having better, cheaper health care?

That was of course, before Republicans tried to kick millions of people off of their coverage, increase costs for millions more, and gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

You’d think it would be tough to top those whoppers.

But here we are, watching as Republicans – led by President Trump – twist themselves into knots trying to convince hardworking families that the GOP tax plan is anything but a high-priced giveaway to millionaires, billionaires, and the biggest corporations.

A high-priced giveaway paid for by – you guessed it – the middle class and those who can least afford it.

M. President, this is so wrong—and I’m glad phones across the Capitol are lighting up with constituents demanding to know how anyone promising to represent them could possibly put their name on this terrible, partisan, fast-tracked bill.

Because they see the same non-partisan reports.

They know expert after expert has confirmed what we all know: the Republican tax plan will hurt millions of everyday Americans, including those who are already falling behind in an economy that tilts further and further in favor of the wealthiest few.

They know the Republican tax plan takes money out of their pockets.

They know it guts their health care by spiking premiums and leaving millions of Americans without coverage they need.

They know it papers over our nation’s paid family leave problem, instead giving corporations a massive giveaway and leaving families who need to care for loved ones in a lurch.

They know it adds trillions of dollars to the national debt, setting up – once again—the perfect foil for Republican to come after Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other middle class priorities when the bill comes due.

And in case that wasn’t enough, the Senate Republican tax bill adds a backdoor attempt to open up ANWR to drilling – just for good measure.

M. President—Republicans are even trying to pay for tax cuts for those at the top by sabotaging families’ health care in this bill in a way that would spike premiums, cause 13 million people to lose coverage, and create even more chaos in the health care system.

I know they are claiming that the bipartisan bill I reached with Chairman Alexander can fix this if they sign that into law, and that other bipartisan legislation to help states cover the costs of enrolling very sick patients could help too.

But let me be clear that they are wrong.

This is the classic example of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole – and would be cold comfort to the people across the country who will struggle even more to get care they need while massive corporations get more tax breaks they don’t need.

So M. President—if anyone was still under any illusion that Republicans were concerned about the middle class, fiscal responsibility, or regular order—that ends here and now.  

M. President, this is shameful. This is wrong.

But it’s not too late.

I say this to my Republican colleagues:

Let’s move—right now—to the bipartisan work that we know our constituents want and expect.

Let’s return to a process that allows a true debate about our values and priorities as a nation.  

Let’s talk about ways to help workers and grow the economy from the middle out, like: ensuring access to high quality child care and pre-K to every working family, providing meaningful paid family and medical leave for every American, making college more affordable, investing in retirement security for our workers, supporting our veterans, and making health care higher quality and more affordable and accessible.

Those are the conversations we should be having.

Those are the people we should be investing in.

And we won’t stop reminding you of that every day—until you give up this cruel tax plan.

Thank you, I yield the floor.