Carper Statement After Voting Against Republican Tax Bill

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), former governor of Delaware, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee and a member of the conference committee instructed to reconcile the Senate and House-passed tax bills, released the following statement after voting against the Republican tax bill in the Senate.

“When I served in the U.S. House of Representatives, I had the opportunity to sit on several bicameral conference committees tasked with finding consensus on various pieces of legislation. On the conference committee for the Republican tax reform proposal, Republicans running the show didn’t even permit amendments to be offered. It was a farce. From the start, Republicans’ race to get partisan tax reform across the finish line has made a mockery of our legislative process. The American people have been robbed of the substantive and exhaustive debate in Congress they deserve on a $1.5 trillion bill that will shake up our entire economy and cripple our nation’s spending power for decades to come.

“Tonight, after stripping provisions that didn’t meet Senate rules, Republicans approved a proposal that makes permanent, trillion-dollar corporate tax cuts under the guise of economic growth and job creation. In reality, this bill will just ensure that wealthy shareholders and executives will take an even bigger cut of corporate profits. Within ten years, the top 1 percent of earners will receive 83 percent of this bill’s tax relief. By the same time, Americans earning less than $75,000 will actually see their taxes go up.

“My Republican colleagues are desperate for a win, and clearly willing to call anything a win. But people in Delaware and across the country will soon see that this bill is grossly unfair. In the years to come, as the Republican tax bill blows up our deficits, squeezes our budgets and raises taxes on millions of Americans, it will hang like an albatross around the neck of every member of Congress who voted for it.

“It didn’t have to be this way. From doubling the standard deduction for families, to increasing the child tax credit and making it refundable, to making common sense changes to our tax code that ensure businesses large and small can compete and win in today’s global economy—done right, a number of things in this bill could’ve provided the basis of a historic bipartisan agreement on tax reform. If Republicans had allowed Democrats to come to the table, we could’ve worked together to enact reforms to our tax system that are fair, encourage economic growth and job creation, simplify the tax code and do it all in a fiscally responsible way.

“Sadly, it’s a missed opportunity.”