Ruppersberger Issues Statement Following “No” Vote on House Tax Reform Bill
(Washington, DC) – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger today issued the following statement after voting against H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The bill passed the House of Representatives 227 – 205 in a party-line vote.
“Since last November, I have listened with hope to President Trump and Congressional Republicans’ promises for real tax reform. The goal of a simple and modern tax code focused on rebuilding the middle class is one that I share with many of my constituents and colleagues in Congress.
Unfortunately, that goal is not achieved by the bill passed by the House today. Instead, its primary purpose is to lower the corporate tax rate at the expense of middle-class families, millions of which would see an immediate tax increase averaging $2,000.
Maryland would be among the four hardest-hit states in the nation with a $430 million tax increase thanks to the repeal of the state and local tax deduction. Marylanders claim this deduction more than any other state in the Union. Scaling back the mortgage interest deduction would also hurt Marylanders in areas with high property values and discourage new homeownership and home building.
The bill does not increase the child tax credit and standard deduction enough to offset the elimination of the personal exemption. I also oppose the removal of an exemption for bonds used by state and local governments to build hospitals, schools, housing and roads, including the Purple Line here in Maryland.
Not only does this bill add $1.4 trillion to our national debt, it pays for steep cuts to marginal tax rates by deleting valuable incentives like the deductibility of student loans and moving expenses, reimbursements for teaching supplies, and repeal of the adoption, historic building, and electric vehicle tax credits. It eliminates the deductibility of medical expenses – which could devastate millions of seniors – and ends tax benefits for charitable giving, affecting hospitals, universities, churches and nonprofits across the country.
I think we can do better when it comes to offsets.
We all agree tax reform is necessary. I want to be clear that I did not vote against this bill simply because it was developed by Republicans, although I am angry Republican leadership refused to allow Democrats to participate in its drafting and debate. I sincerely want middle class families in my district to see some tax relief. I hope that my colleagues in the Senate can work together to improve this measure to provide meaningful tax reform for middle class families."