Democratic champion Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) filled in for all of us who couldn’t be on the Senate floor Thursday, during the debate on the Republicans’ radical far-right social engineering project masking as a tax bill. He spoke for all of in his outrage at the dishonesty of the Republicans in jamming this bill through and what their true intentions are for it.
First, he demolished Sen. John McCain’s rationale for supporting the bill. In his statement, McCain said “For months I have called for a return to regular order, and I am pleased that this important bill was considered through the normal legislative processes.” Brown:
“I am so amused at how any of my Republican colleagues can talk about this as a legitimate process, that they wanted Democratic support. […]
“But do you know what happened, Mr. President? You know exactly what happened. They all went down the hall here to the majority leader’s office, all my Republican friends. They walked into the office. He had had their Wall Street lobbyists with them, drug company lobbyists, tobacco company lobbyists. That’s where they wrote the bill.
There was no light of day on this. And then my colleagues on this committee tell us it was a legitimate process the night we had the markup in the finance committee. If you call it legitimate, you give us a bill with almost no warning, you try to jam it through, you change it in the middle of the night. Then we talk about it the next day. Then you change it in the middle of the night again.
Don’t even insult us by saying this is a legitimate process.
He also had more than a few words for the end game that Republicans have made little effort to keep quiet—they are going to balloon the deficit so they can come back and cut social insurance programs.
We know what will happen. After we pass this bill, the president signs into law, the budget deficit explodes. You know what will happen? Sen. Wyden knows this. You guys will all say, you know, we got this budget deficit. We’re going to have to raise the Social Security retirement age. You know what that means to a barber in Fairfield Heights, to a construction worker in Warren, Ohio or you know what it means to somebody that’s working in manufacturing in Mansfield, Ohio?
They can’t work until they’re 70 but we can all work until we’re 70 if the voters allow us because we have these jobs. A lot of our constituents can’t. If that’s the scenario and that’s almost inevitable, we do this bill, we pass this bill, big tax cuts for the wealthiest people in this country. We drive a hole in the budget deficit. We come back and make the middle class and working families pay to fill that hole. That’s irresponsible. That’s morally reprehensible.
Morally reprehensible is putting it mildly, but you have to be careful about the language you use on the Senate floor.
Jam your senators’ phone lines at (202) 224-3121. Tell them to vote “no” on the Republican tax bill.