Earlier this afternoon, the House Republican conference moved to make tax reform quicker to implement in the future, which according to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, “paves the way for comprehensive tax reform” next year. Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel was confused by this maneuver, however. In a floor speech, he wondered why the Republicans were so focused on a “pathway to reform” instead of actual reform.
“Some of us will if home and our friends and constituents would say, well, how long are you going to be home?” he began his speech, according to his office’s transcription. “And I guess we have to say for close to a month. They say, so you mean, Thursday, today, was the last day? Yes. What were you doing? We were doing taxes. Oh, what are you doing about taxes? Were you talking about reforming it? I would say, I heard the word reform being used, but, no, we are being asked by the Republican majority to vote for a pathway to reform. I wish I had the Republican statements on this floor stamped to my press release so I could explain what the heck is a pathway to reform.”
In a speech laden with “hecks,” most of which were bolded in the press release he sent out, Mr. Rangel continued to ramble about the vagueness in the Republican plans, in addition to other topics – former President Richard Nixon’s name appears at one point, for example:
“First let me thank Ranking Member Levin for giving me this opportunity. And thanking the Chairman for bringing up the idea that this Congress is concerned about taxes.
I say that because some of us will if home and our friends and constituents would say, well, how long are you going to be home? And I guess we have to say for close to a month. They say, so you mean, Thursday, today, was the last day? Yes. What were you doing? We were doing taxes. Oh, what are you doing about taxes? Were you talking about reforming it?
I would say, I heard the word reform being used, but, no, we are being asked by the Republican majority to vote for a pathway to reform. I wish I had the Republican statements on this floor stamped to my press release so I could explain what the heck is a pathway to reform.
Since 1986 what we had thought reform was to cut out from that tax code obscene provision that shouldn’t have been there, certainly there is no reason for them to be in there now, to save trillions of dollars and to take that savings by reduce — reducing the high rate we pay corporations so that we can be competitive in the international market.
Someone outside of the Congress said that, to close these loopholes and to raise revenue is the wrong thing to do. So I don’t know where this weekly path is to reform, but I know one thing we are not going to be dealing with this path in August or September, and it’s hard for me to believe we are going to it this year.
So what the heck we need a path for when the American people are jobless and looking for a way to some type of relief, and all they think they believe is somewhere along the line the Republicans want to get rid of Obama. And they don’t care how they get rid of him. They don’t care whether it’s jobs, education, air pollution don’t be cooperative and be involved with anything that’s good for the country, that Congress, stop the President from getting the chance to sign it for the United States of America.
How in the heck we could be on a path of reform with basically what we are talking about is that tax reductions that were supposed to be temporary expire at the end of this year? What reform is there for those people who see a dramatic increase in their taxes, that liberals and conservatives say we don’t want that to happen.
What we don’t want that to happen, why don’t we do something about it today so that they and businesses would know what tomorrow’s going to look like beyond today which for all practical purposes is the end of our legislative session?
It’s my understanding that 98% of the people will get dramatic increases under this pathway, this roadway, their taxes will go up. Now, we have to admit that some wealthy people belong to the less than 2%. And it’s abundantly clear that if the reason why they have to hold hostage to 98% is because they have created all of the jobs. Well, they certainly haven’t proven it in the past. They are not proving it now.
And very few of them hold small businesses so they would be adversely affected. But I would assume that is controversial 2%. I would assume that’s what we should fight about. But I hate to be a Republican that has to go back home to my district and explain that the reason 98% of hardworking taxpayers are going to get an increase in their taxes is because we felt so strongly about the top wealthiest people that we said the heck with them. We are not giving that up until we make certain that you are protected. Wow.
Sometimes the party asks too much of its members. And I really hope that somewhere along the line that the hatred and animosity for this President at least will be reduced to the voting booth and not to the country. Someone once said that the goal of the Republican Party is to get rid of Obama and to make him a first term president.
I understood that. I started saying these things about Nixon and Bush and all of those things, but I never dreamed that it meant having the country to go down with the captain. I never dreamed that it meant that you don’t let the President increase the debt ceiling. I never dreamed that it included millions of jobs and tax relief for people as it seems that they mean.”