Delaware Public Media

Delaware's Congressional delegation blasts tax bill and the process

Dec 19, 2017

Congress passed tax legislation Tuesday reducing individual and corporate tax rates. It had no Democratic support in either chamber, including from Delaware’s Congressional delegation.


Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Delaware) was one of the 203 House members who voted no on the measure. She said it eliminates tax breaks for Delawareans like the ability to deduct state and local taxes.

“Many of us had some common goals, but you know in terms of simplification and making sure we had economic growth, but the bill that was before us really did the opposite of many of the things that were talked about,” she said.

Rochester said the House will have to vote again on the bill because a couple of provisions violate Senate rules.

Delaware’s junior Sen. Chris Coons (D- Delaware) told Delaware Public Media before the Senate’s vote he opposed the measure because corporations and the wealthiest Americans will benefit most from the cuts. While some Republicans like Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Democrats refused to help craft legislation, Coons said that’s not true.

“I tried hard to offer bipartisan alternatives," he said. "Met with repeatedly and drafted options with a number of Republicans who were really concerned about the impact on the deficit of this massive tax bill.”

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware) was a member of the committee that drafted the final version of the bill, and said Democrats couldn’t propose amendments.

"I was just astounded," he said. "Democrats felt like we'd been stiff-armed throughout the process. And now we'd got to the conference committee where at least we should be able to offer amendments and we couldn't. I was furious."

The legislation make the corporate tax cut permanent while the individual rate cuts disappear by the end 2025. It also repeals the requirement that all Americans buy health insurance or pay a penalty.

The Joint Committee on Taxation found the bill adds $1.4 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years.