Representative Paul Tonko (D-New York) is furious about a secret addition to the Senate approved tax bill, and he is not alone. Tonko tweeted a photo of the addendum, scribbled into the margin of the document literally at the last moment, which turned out to be an inclusion of personal perks for Republican senators.
The 470-page Senate tax reform bill, which barely passed 51-49 just before 2 a.m ET Saturday morning, also provides tax breaks for private jet owners. Because that is important for the good of the American people.
Last minute handwritten edits, scribbles, and cross-outs.
Late into Friday night, congressional negotiators continued to make changes to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, with handwritten edits in the margins and entire pages completely crossed out, in a mad dash into the eleventh hour before the final vote.
Democrats criticized Republicans for not giving all Senate members enough time to read the sweeping tax legislation (in which so much more than taxes are affected) that would overhaul the United States tax system at a time when such changes are not even needed.
But President Trump, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, and Republican congressional leaders all insist that reform and "tax cuts" are necessary - even though the Senate bill will actually increase taxes for millions of middle-class Americans, raise the number of uninsured by 13 million, and explode our deficit by more than a $1 trillion, just in the first decade.
People are furious.
This is just the beginning. Many believe that increased voter suppression in blue states by Republican leaders is next, ultimately setting up fixed votes for every forthcoming election.
Just when you have worked hard for years and finally have a living wage, only for the rug to be swept out from underneath you.
Some feel hopeless and ineffectual.
"Paul, respectfully, what hope does my opinion matter?"
While others plead.
Now that both a Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a Republican-controlled Senate have approved separate tax reform bills, Congress will now go to a conference committee to reconcile the bill before both houses vote again.
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