Press Releases

Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) voted against the Republican tax bill that was pushed through the U.S. House of Representatives on a party-line vote. The bill raises taxes dramatically for Californians, increases the deficit by $1.5 trillion through unpaid tax cuts that will shrink the economy and lead to fewer good jobs for America’s working families.

According to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), no estimate that accounts for the economic impression of higher debt has found the bill would not grow the economy by more than a quarter of the Republicans’ declared 0.4-point growth target. Republican economist Greg Mankiw has stated that tax cuts only pay for 15% to 32% of their cost. These findings will lead to a staggering increase to our national debt that already equals 77% of our gross domestic product and the CRFB estimates the cost of this bill will likely exceed the size of our economy by 2028.

The bill caps the state and local tax (SALT) deduction at $10,000. Californians will be severely hurt from this cap and are among the biggest beneficiaries of this deduction, claiming 17% of all SALT deductions in the country. In 2015, more than 6 million California households claimed an average SALT deduction and had an average deduction of $18,400. That means each Californian claiming this tax deduction will lose thousands of dollars; in San Diego, roughly a third of all households will be affected by this. The proposal also limits the tax benefits of homeownership by reducing the size of loans that qualify for deductions of mortgage interest to $750,000. In 2017, 8.2% of new mortgage loans in San Diego were more than the proposed cap.

Rep. Peters released the following statement:

“I understand that the American people absolutely need real tax reform,” said Rep. Scott Peters. “That does not mean we should balloon the debt by passing an overwhelming antigrowth tax bill through a rushed and partisan legislative process. The long-term consequences to our economy include decreased budget flexibility, less private investment, higher interest rates, and slower wage growth. For San Diegans, that means less opportunity for business and families to create jobs or build better lives—all while leaving future generations with crippling debt.”  

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Rep. Peters laid out his proposed reforms in a statement and speech on the House floor that can be viewed HERE.

Peters added that when constructing long-lasting tax reform, there must be a full, transparent, and bipartisan legislative process. The GOP tax overhaul underwent zero formal hearings other than the House Ways and Means Committee markup and no amendments were accepted when on the House floor. In comparison, the Affordable Care Act underwent 100 hours in hearings, a total of 121 amendments were accepted, and there were 30 days of review of the original House bill before the first markup.

Rep. Peters continued, “Congress must restart the legislative process, and work together to achieve a bipartisan plan that actually provides American families with tax relief. I wholeheartedly call on my Republican friends in the Senate to vote this bill down and urge my Republican colleagues in the House to work with me to form real, fiscally responsible tax reform that actually spurs growth.”