Times staff report
A Republican tax overhaul signed on Wednesday by President Donald Trump is a gift for the wealthy that will hurt working families, said Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama.
The House gave final approval to the $1.5 trillion measure on Wednesday and sent it to the president for his signature.
The tax bill “is a giveaway for the wealthy paid for by America’s working families,” said Sewell. “Real tax reform should put working families first, make our workforce more competitive, and it should simplify the tax code in a fiscally responsible way. Today’s tax bill does the opposite.”
In Alabama, the bill will give the richest 1 percent a $4,450 tax cut, while the bottom 80 percent will see a $117 tax increase, Sewell said.
“In total it will increase taxes for an estimated 545,000 working families in Alabama. This bill is a raw deal for working families, and it cannot in good conscience be called tax reform. I am deeply disappointed that Republicans threw away this opportunity for bipartisan cooperation.”
She added, “the GOP tax scam would add $1.5 trillion to the national deficit at the same time Republicans are refusing to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) without finding a budgetary offset.
“In my state, the CHIP program is called ALL Kids, and it will stop enrollment on January 1st if Congress fails to act. There should be no doubt in the minds of the American people – this tax bill is a statement of values, and it values wealthy individuals over working families.”
Kimble Forrister, executive director, of Arise Citizens’ Policy Project, said also the bill would adversely impact families and children.
Arise is a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of congregations, organizations and individuals promoting public policies to improve the lives of low-income Alabamians.
“Nearly 84,000 Alabama children are about to lose their ALL Kids coverage because lawmakers allowed federal funding for it to expire months ago,” Forrister said. “But instead of solving that problem, Congress hurried to create a new one by increasing the deficit to give huge tax cuts to big corporations and wealthy people.
“This tax plan is a massive giveaway to the rich at the expense of everyday Americans. Over time, it will raise taxes on tens of millions of families at low and middle incomes. It will increase health insurance premiums for millions of people and leave millions more uninsured in exchange for permanent tax cuts for big corporations. And it will drive up the federal deficit, setting the stage for calls to cut Medicare, Medicaid, education, food assistance and other vital services next year.
Forrister continued, “struggling families shouldn’t have to pay for tax cuts for rich people. And tens of thousands of Alabama families can’t afford for Congress to wait any longer to renew federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Lawmakers across Alabama and across the country should commit now to renew CHIP funding before a single child loses coverage and to reject budget cuts that would make it harder for families to make ends meet.”