Rep. John Larson (D-CT) unleashed a fiery condemnation of his Republican colleagues on Monday for writing a tax reform bill behind closed doors and without allowing Democrats to call experts to testify.
At a tax reform bill markup hearing, Larson accused Republicans of making the process into “theater.”
“Since this is theater, and that’s all this is today, is theater,” Larson began. “And without a hearing, you’re going to proceed with the great charade.”
The Democratic congressman accused Republicans of writing the bill “behind closed doors.”
“The transfer that’s going to take place — the transfer of wealth from one region of the country to the other,” he said. “On the backs of hardworking people of the middle class. You talk about taxing success, all of our working professionals, whether you’re a machinist or teacher — and in the case of a teacher, if they reach into their pocket to pay for their students, you get rid of that deduction as well. So you can give it to somebody who’s already gotten an $11 million deduction on the estate tax.”
Larson called the process of writing the bill “outrageous.”
“You just went through this with the health care act,” he explained. “The American public just witnessed again what happens when you jam [a bill] down.”
“It’s been stated over and over again that they need a political win,” Larson said of Republicans. “You know who needs a win? The American people need a win. They need to see us acting in regular order responsibly.”
According to the lawmaker, “no one from the administration will even sit in front of us.”
“Members on this side of the aisle aren’t even entitled to bring an expert witness?” he asked. “A hundred percent of the economy is effected and people in my state in the middle class are going to get a tax increase thanks to the myriad of list of of things that you’ve decided behind closed doors that they, because they make itemized deductions, will no longer have.”
“They’ve made a decision behind closed doors — not with any experts or testimony — but they’ve made the decision that this is the way it’s going to be and the vote will proceed like that in the committee,” Larson charged. “All of the way until they can get this on the floor of the House. And then on the floor of the House, they will continue to perpetuate this great myth that somehow we went through any kind of regular order or there was any bipartisanship that was alluded to.”
“This is not an an honorable time or day for this committee or for democracy in America,” he concluded. “Not a single hearing or a single expert witness.”
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