RECENT VOTES

Budget Blues

Yesterday the House passed H. Con. Res. 71, a Concurrent Resolution Establishing the Congressional Budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2018 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2019 through 2027. This is the Senate-passed budget resolution. Like the House budget resolution, it paves the way for the passage of tax cuts through reconciliation, which requires 50 Senate votes with Vice President Pence casting the deciding vote. Instead of establishing a conference committee to resolve the differences between the House and Senate budget resolutions, the House is simply passing the Senate’s work because that helps them get to the debate on taxes more quickly.

There is still not much detail on what exactly this tax package will include. More information is apparently coming next week. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center (TPC) has taken the information that is available and concluded people earning more than $900,000 a year will receive about 80% of all the tax relief. Taxes will increase for a third of those earning between $50,000 and $150,000 a year. Overall, the TCP estimates that the tax plan will add about $2.4 trillion to the deficit.

This budget resolution cuts $5 trillion from non-defense spending over ten years. So what would this mean? $200 billion in transportation funding is eliminated. The Pell Grants that so many college students rely on to help ease their tuition burden are slashed by over $100 billion. Head Start loses $3 billion and 25,000 children then lose access to it. This budget cuts Medicare by almost $500 billion over ten years and Medicaid by $1 trillion. Of course, the budget also repeals the Affordable Care Act. Virtually every domestic program you can think of loses out to tax cuts for the top 1% including affordable housing, scientific research, home heating assistance, nutrition assistance and so much more.

This is a heartless and irresponsible budget and the so-called tax “reform” is nothing more than a gift to the wealthiest among us. I voted NO. H. Con. Res. 71 passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
REPUBLICAN

216

20

0

3

DEMOCRAT

0

192

0

2

TOTAL

216

212

0

5

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

0

9

0

0