by Cristina Marcos · December 4, 2017
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared unequivocally on Monday that the GOP tax overhaul is the worst legislation ever considered by Congress.
“I have said that this was stiff competition by some of the other things they have put forth, is the worst bill in the history of the United States Congress,” Pelosi said during House floor debate on the tax proposal.
Pelosi cited the rushed process and impact on the deficit to justify her assertion.
“Now, how can I make that claim? Well, because it involves more money, hurts more people, increases the deficit by so much more, and just because everything is bigger in our country, the consequences of this bill, a multi-trillion dollar economy being addressed by a bill that had no hearings, no expert testimony, just the speed of light, as [Rep.] Jamie Raskin [D-Md.] says, the speed of light in the dark of night, here we are,” Pelosi said.
House Republicans unveiled the legislation in early November, passed their version on the floor two weeks later, and hope to send a final bill to President Trump by the end of this month.
The Senate GOP passed its tax overhaul early Saturday morning. House Republicans voted earlier Monday night on a motion to go to conference to reconcile the two chambers’ bills.
Among other differences with the House bill, the Senate version includes a repeal of the individual mandate, a key feature of the health care law that requires people to buy insurance or pay a penalty.
Pelosi repeatedly described the legislation in apocalyptic terms on Monday.
At a press conference before Monday’s vote, a reporter asked Pelosi about Democrats’ hyperbolic descriptions of the legislation, even though many people may see a modest tax cut despite others getting a tax increase while a lot of the benefits go to businesses.
“No, it is the end of the world. The debate over health care is life and death. This is Armageddon,” Pelosi replied.
“This is a very big deal because you know why? It is very hard to come back from this. They take us further, more deeply into debt – what can you do? It is a gift to corporate American up to a trillion and a half dollars will be paid for by the growth it creates and even their own people say, ‘Nonsense. Not true,’” she added.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) did not go as far. After Pelosi spoke, Hoyer said: “I’m not going to say it’s the end of the world and Nancy did not mean it’s the end of the world, but one ought not to diminish the consequences of passing this bill.”
A spokesman from the National Republican Congressional Committee said Pelosi had “no shame” after her comments.
“Nancy Pelosi has no shame. The only Armageddon she’s facing is the one from her own caucus after Democrats fail to take back the House for the fourth cycle in a row,” the NRCC’s Jesse Hunt said in an emailed statement.
The Hill · by Cristina Marcos · December 4, 2017