Carper Statement on Republican Tax Bill

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement after Republicans on the committee approved legislation to remake our entire economy and begin dismantling the Affordable Care Act.

“This evening, Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee approved a bill to repeal a critical part of the Affordable Care Act, and blow a hole of at least $1.5 trillion in our federal deficit over the next 10 years in order to give millions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans. It’s shocking. In fact, it’s almost unbelievable. 

“When my Republican colleagues unveiled their tax reform proposal last Friday, we knew they’d rejected our pleas for true bipartisan negotiations, and chosen instead to force through a bill in mere days that would remake our entire economy. That alone was incredibly disheartening. To learn this week that their effort would also include a sleight of hand maneuver that will begin dismantling our country’s health care system was beyond the pale.

“I have a great deal of respect for our chairman, Senator Hatch, and for our friends on the other side of the aisle. Many of us have worked together for a long time. Unfortunately, however, the process that’s been followed over the past few days makes a mockery of the bipartisan tradition of this committee.

“We can—and, more important, we should—do better than this.

“This process stands in stark contrast to the bipartisan efforts led by Senator Lamar Alexander and Senator Patty Murray on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to find principled solutions to stabilize the health care exchanges in all 50 states. If my Republican friends are motivated to work on health care legislation, we should build on those efforts.

“It’s not surprising that a flawed process has produced a flawed product, but we can change course. I implore Chairman Hatch and our colleagues on the other side of the aisle: Let’s go back to the drawing board and start anew on a real bipartisan basis. Let’s write something that can be permanent, that will endure. Let’s write a tax reform bill that is truly fair, fosters broad-based economic growth, is simpler and is fiscally responsible. On behalf of all Americans, let’s do tax reform right.”