News Releases

Senator Murray takes GOP tax plan to task during Senate budget committee hearing, highlights bill’s negative economic impact on working families & communities in Washington state, nationwide  

Senator Murray also criticized GOP plan to further sabotage families’ health care in tax bill by repealing provision to keep coverage affordable for middle class families, questioned tax bill’s backdoor attempt to open up Arctic Nat’l Wildlife Refuge to drilling

Senator Murray: GOP tax plan great for billionaires and massive corporations, “but for workers, patients, the middle class, and those who go to work every day trying to join the middle class—it’s awful”

ICYMI: Senator Murray: Tacking Bipartisan Murray-Alexander Health Bill to Partisan Republican Tax Reform “Like Trying to Put A Fire Out With Penicillin”

The Columbian Editorial: “In essence, Senate Republicans are attempting to trade the health coverage of 13 million Americans for corporate tax cuts while relying upon a specious argument to justify that deal”

***WATCH VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S REMARKS HERE*** 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) sharply criticized the Republican tax plan as a “massive giveaway to the rich” and highlighted how the bill would hurt middle class families, including provisions in the bill that would raise taxes on middle class families in exchange for a tax cut to the richest Americans and spike health care premiums for millions of working people. Senator Murray, a senior member of the Senate Budget Committee, questioned the Republican tax plan’s purported benefits for middle class families during a committee hearing, citing how the GOP tax plan would dramatically 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. During the hearing, Senator Murray urged her Republican colleagues to reject the partisan proposal and begin working with Democrats to craft a tax plan that actually benefits middle class families.

Senator Murray also underlined the GOP tax bill’s negative impact on working people earlier in the day, voicing her strong opposition to Senate Republicans’ most recent proposal to include a provision in the tax bill that would strip millions of their coverage in order to pay for tax breaks for the wealthy. Responding to reports that Senate Republicans may now support a bipartisan plan negotiated by Senators Murray and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to stabilize health care markets and lower costs for patients, as an incentive for their votes for the Republican tax plan, Senator Murray made clear that the Murray-Alexander stabilization plan, currently backed by 60 Senators and counting, won’t undo any of the damage that this latest Republican health care repeal effort would cause and will ultimately take money out of the pockets of middle class families.

Excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

“I have sat next to so many Republicans over the years who have told me—with straight faces—that they care passionately about the deficit and debt, who have sat here in this room and gone to the Senate floor with charts and graphs and big arrows pointing to the sky, talking about how much the deficit will increase under Democratic proposals to invest in the middle class. Presenting this as not just a budget issue—but a moral issue. It’s about our children and grandchildren, they said. It’s about the future of our country—they insisted. Well—where are all those so-called deficit hawks now? Where are those charts and graphs? I would like to see them today. Where is the moral outrage? Where is the concern for our children, grandchildren, and the fiscal health of our nation? When Democrats wanted to increase investments in education, health care, and middle class tax cuts, deficit hawks were front and center, leading the opposition. But now that Republican leaders are trying to jam through this massive tax cut for the rich, which every analysis has shown would blast a historic hole in our deficit. Well, the silence, so far, is deafening.”

“This is an issue that should be bipartisan. There is absolutely no reason that Republicans leaders had to try to jam this partisan bill through. There is no reason this had to be such a massive giveaway to the rich. There is no reason—absolutely no reason—that this has to include a health care provision that would lead to 13 million more people without insurance, showing up in emergency rooms, and increasing premiums for everyone else. There is no reason for this—because Democrats have made it very clear: if Republicans want to work with us to cut taxes for the middle class—we are ready to get to work! If they want to work with us to actually deliver on the promises President Trump made on the campaign trail to put workers and the middle class first, which he has spent every day breaking, we will be there. And it’s not too late.”

“This is a bad bill. Not if you’re a millionaire or a billionaire—then it’s fantastic. But for workers, patients, the middle class, and those who go to work every day trying to join the middle class—it’s awful. If you truly care about the deficit and debt—it’s a disaster. And there are Republicans on this Committee who have the power to stand up, do the right thing, and get to work in a bipartisan way on a bill they can truly be proud of. I know it won’t be easy for them to buck the leadership of their party who have already made a terrible mistake by going down this path. But I am hopeful it happens. And I am ready to get to work with them if it does.”

Watch video of Senator Murray’s remarks HERE.

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks below.

Thank you Chairman Enzi and Ranking Member Sanders.

Before I start I want to make some quick clarifications—since it sounds like some of my Republican colleagues are confused and may be at the wrong hearing.

If anyone is here to mark up a bill that cuts taxes for the middle class—this is the wrong room, sorry.

If anyone is here to mark up a bill that actually creates jobs and invests in our workforce, and doesn’t just pay lip service to it—this isn’t the right place.

If anyone is here because they care about the deficit and debt—and want to vote for a bill that reduces it—again, wrong room.

I’m not sure where you want to go—but I can tell you that it’s not here, and it’s not this bill.

But if anyone is looking for the markup of a bill that RAISES taxes on the middle class, hands another massive tax cut to the richest Americans, increases health care premiums for millions of patients, makes a back-door attempt to drill for oil in one of our planet’s most pristine regions, and blasts a massive hole in our deficit that puts Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in grave danger, well—then you are in the right place!

Chairman Enzi—I know I shouldn’t be shocked any more—but I have to admit, I am.

I have sat next to so many Republicans over the years who have told me—with straight faces—that they care passionately about the deficit and debt, who have sat here in this room and gone to the Senate floor with charts and graphs and big arrows pointing to the sky, talking about how much the deficit will increase under Democratic proposals to invest in the middle class.

Presenting this as not just a budget issue—but a moral issue. It’s about our children and grandchildren, they said. It’s about the future of our country—they insisted.

Well—where are all those so-called deficit hawks now? Where are those charts and graphs? I would like to see them today. Where is the moral outrage? Where is the concern for our children, grandchildren, and the fiscal health of our nation?

When Democrats wanted to increase investments in education, health care, and middle class tax cuts, deficit hawks were front and center, leading the opposition.

But now that Republican leaders are trying to jam through this massive tax cut for the rich, which every analysis has shown would blast a historic hole in our deficit. Well, the silence, so far, is deafening.

So once again, I shouldn’t be shocked any more—but I really am.

This is an issue that should be bipartisan. There is absolutely no reason that Republicans leaders had to try to jam this partisan bill through.

There is no reason this had to be such a massive giveaway to the rich. There is no reason—absolutely no reason—that this has to include a health care provision that would lead to 13 million more people without insurance, showing up in emergency rooms, and increasing premiums for everyone else.

There is no reason for this—because Democrats have made it very clear: if Republicans want to work with us to cut taxes for the middle class—we are ready to get to work!

If they want to work with us to actually deliver on the promises President Trump made on the campaign trail to put workers and the middle class first, which he has spent every day breaking, we will be there.

And it’s not too late.

This is a bad bill. Not if you’re a millionaire or a billionaire—then it’s fantastic.

But for workers, patients, the middle class, and those who go to work every day trying to join the middle class—it’s awful.

If you truly care about the deficit and debt—it’s a disaster.

And there are Republicans on this Committee who have the power to stand up, do the right thing, and get to work in a bipartisan way on a bill they can truly be proud of.

I know it won’t be easy for them to buck the leadership of their party who have already made a terrible mistake by going down this path.

But I am hopeful it happens.

And I am ready to get to work with them if it does.

Thank you.