Rep. Sewell Statement on GOP Tax Bill Markup
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee passed the Republican tax bill after just four days of markup. During markup, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) offered three historically bipartisan amendments. All Democratic amendments, including the three offered by Rep. Sewell, were rejected without a single Republican vote. The tax bill passed the Committee by a 24-16 vote, without any bipartisan changes allowed by Republicans.
“I’m disappointed that all Democratic amendments, even the most modest, bipartisan changes that I offered to help ordinary, middle-class Americans, were reflexively opposed by Republicans,” said Rep. Sewell. “Republicans have thrown away an opportunity for bipartisan work on tax reform, and chose instead to pass a bill that provides tax breaks for powerful special interests at the expense of working Americans, small businesses, and local economies . In order to cut taxes for Washington special interests, the tax bill adds $2.3 trillion to the national debt and cuts popular tax deductions like the medical expense deduction, the student loan deduction, limits the mortgage interest deduction, and erases incentives that have been proven to spur local economic development.”
“The tax code is a reflection of our values, and this week’s Republican tax bill valued special interests and the wealthy over everyday Americans. That is why I introduced amendments to refocus the tax bill on helping working families and middle-class Americans. My amendments to promote workforce development, to equip state and local governments with the tools needed to invest in infrastructure and public works, and to save the historic preservation tax credit were commonsense solutions. I was truly disappointed to see Republicans reject our input and rush this severely flawed bill out of Committee. As this bill heads to a vote before the full House, I will continue fighting for real reform, and against cuts that will harm Alabama’s working families.”
On Tuesday, Rep. Sewell offered an amendment to create a tax credit encouraging employers to invest in human capital and workforce training through apprenticeships. The amendment is modeled after the Workforce Development Tax Credit Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Sewell to reduce the skills gap and train American workers to compete in 21st Century jobs.
On Wednesday, Rep. Sewell offered an amendment to restore the ability of state and local governments to save taxpayer money and increase their ability to invest in infrastructure projects by refinancing debt.
On Thursday, Rep. Sewell offered an amendment to restore and expand the historic preservation tax credit, a key redevelopment tool that encourages private sector investment in rehabilitation and reuse of historic buildings. Nationwide, the historic preservation tax credit has restored over 42,000 buildings, and in Alabama the tax credit has funded 128 restoration projects since 2002.
The workforce development and advanced bond refunding amendments offered by Rep. Sewell were rejected on party-line votes. For more information on this week’s markup, see a complete run-down of the tax bill markups on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) is serving her fourth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional district. She sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was recently appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Sewell is a Chief Deputy Whip and serves on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee of the Democratic Caucus. She is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, and Vice Chair of Outreach for the New Democrat Coalition.