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They were still writing amendments designed to bribe reluctant members mere moments before they jammed it through on a party-line vote with zero hearings and absolutely no meaningful input from a nervous public that hasn’t even seen the text of this twisted legislation.
Who had seen it? Those who wrote it: the lobbyists. Tax reform had more than half of the lobbyists slithering around Capitol Hill this year. They had a shared goal, following the disappointing healthcare reform loss earlier this year, and that goal was to make their wealthy sponsors even more wealthy, and to set the stage for the destruction of Medicare and Social Security.
What does this actually mean? Well, for every member of Congress, there were approximately 11 lobbyists working on taxes. The Public Citizen’s report was released on Friday, just ahead of the expected passage of Senate Republicans’ tax bill, which would give massive tax cuts to corporations and wealthy Americans.
The report notes that 31 lobbyists who worked to rally support for tax reform were members of the Trump campaign or his presidential transition team. It also found, unsurprisingly, deep ties between lawmakers, donors, and lobbyists.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which had 100 registered lobbyists working on tax reform alone, gave nearly $200,000 to congressional Republicans during the 2016 campaign.
On Wednesday, John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced he was just fine sending this diabolical, 479-page Dybbuk through the Senate. It didn’t matter to him that no one in the chamber had time to read it even once. Democratic pleas to at least postpone the vote until Monday so that our national leaders might actually skim the legislation were ignored.
How about protecting Medicaid for vulnerable Alaskans? When it came time to vigorously screw the poor, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski was totally cool with it as long as she could trash the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge with oil drilling in return. Susan Collins, who was wavering Thursday, ultimately voted for this monstrous bill, all but giving the finger to the Mainers who gave her those airport standing ovations after she stopped TrumpCare. Senator Jeff Flake got on board when the White House made some meaningless promise to him that he would be part of any “conversation” about a DACA resolution later this year. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) was the only final holdout.
It’s important to note that Senate Republicans still might have “Jonestowned” themselves for nothing, as House Republicans in committee must work this last-minute monstrosity out and then put it through both chambers, again, for a final floor vote. So, they will have to endure at least another week of voters finding smoldering little pieces of coal under their tax Christmas tree, and to figure out ways to deny the obvious: that they have sold out the American people for nothing.
Make no mistake, there will be hell to pay for what happened last night, and the worst is still clearly yet to come, for the Republicans who voted for this steaming piece of excrement, and, of course, for the American people.Click here for reuse options!