Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries represents the eighth district of New York. He believes the Republican tax plan will protect millionaires and hurt middle-class Americans. The Congressman says that, despite an emphasis on reducing the federal deficit, the current plan will increase it by over a trillion dollars.
"This is really a smokescreen that has been put forth to pretend as if it's going to benefit everyday Americans," he says, "when the GOP tax proposal is really all about helping out millionaires, billionaires, and big corporations and showering them with a massive tax cut, exploding the deficit by about $1.5 trillion."
One of the key points of the GOP's policy is the elimination of state and local tax deductions for individual Americans, which could hit the constituents of high tax states like California and Jeffries' own New York. The White House argues that it's the states' decision to tax residents so much and that they shouldn't get a break because of it.
But Jeffries points out that the GOP's plan still allows corporations to deduct their state and local taxes. "The only reason it's being done, is because this is all about big business and wealthy Americans."
Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi declined an invitation by President Trump to meet with him at the White House and discuss tax reform. Congressman Jeffries believes that was a wise decision, because the President is not actually interested in reaching a bipartisan agreement.
Republicans also need to pass a short-term spending bill to fund the government, or it will shut down on December 8th. Congressman Jeffries says it would be unreasonable if Republicans try to blame a government shutdown on Democrats when the GOP holds both houses of Congress and the White House.