Paving way for Republicans in achieving President Donald Trump’s goal of slashing taxes for businesses and the rich while offering Americans a mixed bag of changes, the U.S. Senate narrowly approved a tax overhaul.
However, looks like penning down the bill wasn’t an easy task for the GOP as democratic senators complained that not only did the tax bill come late to them, it was handwritten which made it very difficult for them to read.
Even just hours before the final vote, Republicans were still unable to present to a final version of the bill as they made last-minute changes to it.
Appalled by the situation, Democrats took to Twitter and started sharing pictures of the handwritten notes.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) tweeted, “Trying to review the #GOPTaxScam but they are making hand-written changes to brand new text as we speak.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and several others also took to Twitter to share copies of the handwritten scribbles.
Okay this is absurd. One page of the new #GOPTaxPlan is crossed out with an ex. Another page is just a line. Is that a crossout? Is this page part of the bill?— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) December 1, 2017
WHY AM I ASKING THESE QUESTIONS HOURS BEFORE WE VOTE ON IT?? #GOPTaxScam pic.twitter.com/57Qbi7gT5F
.@SenateMajLdr, if you are so intent on forcing middle class families to foot the bill so your donors can have a tax break, at least have the decency to find a printer. #GOPTaxScam pic.twitter.com/qFkfaru6ml— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) December 1, 2017
Senate Republicans are trying to force a vote in the next few hours on a 479-page tax bill whose final text includes handwritten edits in the margins. That's ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/w3iRZbSN9D— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 2, 2017
I was just handed a 479-page tax bill a few hours before the vote. One page literally has hand scribbled policy changes on it that can’t be read. This is Washington, D.C. at its worst. Montanans deserve so much better. pic.twitter.com/q6lTpXoXS0— Senator Jon Tester (@SenatorTester) December 2, 2017
This is how we’re writing legislation now? pic.twitter.com/kfy7yghtJA— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) December 2, 2017
Any handwriting experts out there? I'd like to know what this says before they call for a vote. This is absurd. pic.twitter.com/6UkiJmuY9T— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) December 1, 2017
While speaking to CNN, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said, “Nobody knows what’s in it. They should be ashamed of themselves that they are willing to pass a bill that is this big with nobody really knowing what’s in it.”
In what would be the largest change to U.S. tax laws since the 1980s, Republicans want to add $1.4 trillion over 10 years to the $20 trillion national debt to finance changes that they say would further boost an already growing economy.
Even though the plan has garnered widespread criticism, Republican leaders predicted the tax cuts would encourage U.S. companies to invest more and boost economic growth.
The Senate approved their bill in a 51-49 vote. No Democrats voted for the bill, but they were unable to block it because Republicans hold a 52-48 Senate majority.
Although the bill is a Senate tax bill, there are several controversial items added to it.
One of them includes oil and gas drilling in Alaska. It would open part of the Arctic to Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, to oil and gas exploration. It would also pave way for drilling oil and gas on the coastline – an act that has long been opposed by Democrats and environmentalists.
The move would generate around $2 billion in revenue for Alaska.
Under the “protections of the unborn child,” critics say the Republicans are using the tax bill to protect the views of abortion opponents. The measure will allow an “unborn child” to have a people to use funds and college savings for children they don’t have yet.
In the bill, an unborn child is called “a child in the utero.”
Keeping up with one of Trump’s campaign promises, the so-called GOP tax plan would also repeal the Johnson Amendment, which bans non-profit groups from engaging in political activism.
These measures raise questions as to if the tax plan bill is really determined to cut taxes or is the GOP using it to achieve some of its controversial goals.
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters, James Lawler Duggan