WASHINGTON — Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) voted against H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a bill to provide major tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. The legislation, released just hours before the vote, was passed in the dead of night on a 51-49 vote.
After the vote during the wee hours of the morning on Dec. 2, Hirono released the following statement:
“Republicans are living in an alternative universe. There is no other way to explain why they are touting this huge tax bill, which will hurt millions of American families, as the bill to end all bills to benefit the middle class. This is shibai, a sham.
“This bill gives over $1 trillion in tax cuts to the richest one percent of individuals and corporations in our country, while eliminating health insurance coverage for more than 13 million Americans and raising the premiums for everyone else, and setting the stage for massive cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security — all to pay for this huge giveaway for corporations and the mega-rich like Donald Trump.
“The American people don’t buy this Republican tax scam, and the coming days and months will reveal just how badly they are being hurt.”
Under the Senate’s version of the Republican “tax scam,” Hirono said, corporations will receive permanent tax cuts while working families and small businesses only see temporary relief. In addition, the relief working families receive is far less than the very wealthy.
In Hawaii, she said, less one percent of taxpayers with incomes over $1 million would see an average tax cut of $59,000 in 2019, while the 60 percent of taxpayers who make under $50,000 would only see an average of $160. Most would see even less under the Republican bill.
Tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy will cost over $1 trillion in the next 10 years, limiting needed resources to invest in national security, education, transportation, housing, and other critical priorities, according to Hirono, and in 2018, the bill could lead to an immediate $25 billion cut to Medicare, and $100 billion in cuts to other critical programs.
The legislation also includes provisions that allow for oil companies to drill in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. Hirono opposed these provisions when they were considered by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.