Senate Tax Bill heads to floor with same damaging policies despite changes

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12/1/ 17 Update: The Office of the Parliamentarian, who decides the rules of order, said that tax trigger policies were not allowed under budget reconciliation.  This demonstrates how rapidly this bill is changing and why its important for your voice to be heard. 

After passing Senate committees on Tuesday, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will head to Senate floor for a vote, likely to occur on Thursday. If it passes, it will have to be reconciled with the House version before it heads to the President’s desk for signature. 

Passing committees means that Republican leadership was able to make changes to the bill to appease some of their members were reluctant to support the bill. These changes include deal sweeteners for some members, as well as some policy changes for others.

One politically significant change is the introduction of a tax trigger system, designed to address the concerns of deficit hawks. To assuage some (not all) fears that the tax bill could cause ballooning debt, the final legislation will include some type of trigger that would require certain taxes to increase if the tax package doesn’t deliver the unlikely revenue its authors expect. 

While these tweaks to the periphery of the tax bill may help shepherd the bill through the political process, it does not fix the fatal flaws and faulty assumptions the bill is built on.  Your voice is needed now more than ever. 

Reflecting the harmful priorities seen in the Unified Framework released earlier this year, this tax bill benefits profitable corporations and the highest income households, by providing them with tax breaks that come at the expense of services vital to communities. 

This tax bill also threatens the nonprofit sector through changes that will impact charitable giving, the promise of nonpartisanship, and weakening the ability of nonprofits to partner with governments to serve the needs of our constituents.  

"Hello, I'm [NAME], and I live at [ADDRESS]. I am calling to ask my [SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE] to oppose any tax package that would lead to deep cuts to programs that support families, seniors, students, and working families. The tax plans put forward to date take our nation and state in the wrong direction by making irresponsible tax cuts, instead of supporting the services that are vital to so many. Please start over and advance tax policies that invest in everyday Minnesotans and their families, rather than provide large tax cuts and benefits for the highest incomes and profitable businesses."

Before this harmful and irresponsible bill moves any further, it is important for nonprofits to voice their concern.  These last minute, unexamined policy tweaks will not fix the damage this bill will cause. Please call your members of Congress and let them know you support communities, and therefore oppose this tax bill. Phone numbers for each office can be found here

Please feel free to use our sample script provided here, or use your own.

MCN’s policy shop has also created shareable social media posts, available for download here. Please share with your Members of Congress, with #taxreform to help create visibility for these issues. 

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Thank you for all the work you do! Your advocacy matters!