Senator Charles Schumer is urging his peers on Capitol Hill to reject the tax reform bill now under consideration, one he says will hurt the middle class as well as local governments.
Critics of the Senate plan say many within the middle class would actually see a tax increase over the next 10 years. Schumer says while the House version allows some state and local tax relief, those deductions are eliminated entirely from the Senate version.
"It will also greatly hurt our state budgets," Schumer said during an appearance Monday in Orange County. "Police, fire, water, sewer, roads, parks will all be hurt in this proposal. It's very nasty. It's unfair."
Senate Republicans have hinted they are willing to give a little if it means passing tax reform. Tennessee's Bob Corker, for example, says he'll support taking out a provision that repeals a key component of the Affordable Care Act.
"Yeah, there's some give. I've been talking to my Senate Republican friends," Schumer said. "They don't like parts of this bill. And there's give in the House, because when it comes back from the Senate it's probably even going to be worse."
President Donald Trump has said he wants tax reform passed before Christmas, but critics including Senate Republicans aren't comfortable with such a fast deadline. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is among them. He told the Wall Street Journal the bill unfairly favors corporations over other businesses. He also called the process for this bill "offensive."
Schumer insists his opposition to the bill is not mere partisan politics. He looked to the 1980s when, he said, he was willing to go against his own party leadership in a bill that also threatened the removal of SALT deductions.
"In 1986 there was a Democratic bill put forth by (then Congressman Richard) Gephardt and (then Senator) Bill Bradley, the basketball player, for tax reform," Schumer recalled. "I led a charge of Democrats and Republicans saying we're not voting for it until state and local is taken out. We got it taken out and tax reform passed. We should do the same thing here."