This is your December 18 update on fighting the GOP tax bill.
First, a thank-you to all of you. We at OTYCD have been reshuffling the publication schedule for weeks, bumping planned posts forward in favor of focusing your attention on stopping this bill. We thank you for your patience and your persistence.
First off, if you work in the medical field and you’re near Washington, D.C., think about going to the Protect Patients! protest on Monday (today) and Tuesday:
Now, updates on members of the Senate GOP.
Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee flipped from no to yes. It might be due to the change described in this article–a change that was added after the bill’s language was finalized. Seems hinky:
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has announced he’s satisfied with some changes that expand the child tax credit, and is now a yes. We’re looking for specific comment from Senator Mike Lee of Utah on his position, but he was pretty much in the same boat as Rubio, and has probably gone from undecided to yes.
Senator Collins appears to be a yes even though the fixes she demanded probably won’t happen.
Senator John McCain is ailing. As of December 16, he was at Walter Reed hospital in D.C. for complications arising from his brain cancer, and the treatment of his brain cancer. The GOP can’t pass the bill without him–the margins are that narrow. This newspaper article from December 14 cites unnamed sources describing him as “looking increasingly frail and said he has not spoken up in recent GOP meetings the way he had before.”:
So as of now [we’re typing this on December 16], it looks like the GOP members of the Senate have enough votes to pass this thing in their chamber.
Also worth noting: Back on Friday, Politico reported that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is mulling retirement:
Ryan denied the rumors:
…but this makes Ryan look like a lame duck. This is good and bad. It means Ryan will be even more hell-bent on getting this thing passed, and he’ll be seen as powerless from now on–a politician who won’t be around to return favors is damn near to useless to his colleagues.
The Republicans are steaming ahead despite the rampant unpopularity of their bill:
It should be noted that during reconciliation, some of the worst provisions in the GOP tax bill were in fact removed (for which you can thank Democrats, mostly). On December 15, Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur), a national reporter with Bloomberg, tweeted:
Provisions REMOVED from final tax bill, per Hill sources familiar with it: —
Higher ed tuition waiver tax —
Student loan deduction removal —
Medical expense deduction axing —
Johnson amendment repeal —
Fetal “personhood” language
…this doesn’t represent formal confirmation, however, and there are still a lot of bad things in the bill.
The House of Representatives will vote on the reconciled GOP tax bill on Tuesday, December 19.
When you make your calls, call your house rep first, and then your senators. And ask your friends and family to call, too.
Here is a calling script for your House Rep and Senators, from @Celeste_Pewter, who you should be following on Twitter if you aren’t already:
And here are more things you might want to know:
#NotOnePenny has GOP tax bill protests scheduled until December 21 at least. Check this link to find one near you:
If any of these Republicans are your senators, it is super-extra-important for you to call and make your opposition known. They sit on the Tax Conference Committee.
Orrin Hatch of Utah
Mike Enzi of Wyoming
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
John Cornyn of Texas
John Thune of South Dakota
Rob Portman of Ohio
Tim Scott of South Carolina
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
If any of these folks are your reps, it is super-extra-important for you to call. All are Republicans, and they sit on the counterpart tax committee:
Kevin Brady of Texas
Devin Nunes of California
Peter Roskam of Illinois
Diane Black of Tennessee
Kristi Noem of South Dakota
Rob Bishop of Utah
Don Young of Alaska
Greg Walden of Oregon
John Shimkus of Illinois
Here also are several other folks aside from @MichaelSLinden, @Celeste_Pewter, @TopherSpiro, and @aslavitt who you should be following on Twitter to stay on top of the GOP tax bill, which is morphing constantly, like a suspect science experiment in a horror movie. Some of these people are old friends from the Trumpcare fights. Some are tax experts.
Ben Wikler @benwikler
Seth Hanlon @sethhanlon
Sunjeev Bery @sunjeevbery
Lily Batchelder @lilybatch
Greg Leiserson @gregleiserson
Chad Bolt @chadderr
Here also are two more recent posts that relate to the GOP tax bill and its effects that you should see if you haven’t yet:
One last note, which we’ve stated before: Even if this bill ultimately implodes and never becomes law, we still need to vote out every Republican that we can in 2018. This whole process has been nothing less than legislative malpractice. They should be punished for aiding and abetting it. Period.