Bryant Daniels, Director of Public Affairs, Office of Congressman Eliot L. Engel
Nov. 15, 2017: Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, took to the House to condemn House Republicans’ plan to overhaul the tax code by providing large tax breaks for millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations while eliminating critical deductions for New Yorkers like state and local income tax, mortgages, and charitable donations, among others.
“It’s a classic bait-and-switch,” Engel said in his remarks. “It may look like middle class people are getting a tax break, but when you add on all the deductions that they will no longer be able to take, it’s a negative for the middle class.”
The full transcript of Congressman Engel’s floor remarks can be found below.
Thank you Mr. Speaker, and let’s put rhetoric aside when it comes to the Republican tax bill. This is a bill that gives tremendous tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires, while it hits the middle class. It may look like middle class people are getting a tax break, but when you add on all the deductions that they will no longer be able to take, it’s a negative for the middle class.
Government is always accused of giving you something in one hand and taking it back the other hand, a classic bait-and-switch. That’s what this bill is about, and in my home state of New York, which is a high-tax state, people will no longer have the ability to deduct state and local taxes or deduct mortgage interest to the degree that they have now.
So when you add it all up, what does it do? Higher taxes for the middle class and lower taxes for millionaires and billionaires like our president—a classic bait-and-switch. New York is a donor state. We give more money to the federal government than we get back, and this is just hitting New York in the head again. We should be protecting the middle class and letting people who can afford to pay more – millionaires and billionaires – pay more and not the other way around. And finally, whatever happened to the fiscal responsibility of the Republican Party? This blows a hole in the deficit, $1.75 trillion over 10 years.
Photo courtesy Office of Congressman Eliot L. Engel