The GOP tax bill is absolutely devastating for the middle class in California. It would strip millions of families of health insurance and take away crucial deductions, all while giving billions to the wealthy.
And the most incredible part is that House Republicans from California cast the deciding votes to make it law.
The bill passed the House 227 to 203 on Tuesday, and after a revote on Wednesday due to resolve procedural issues, passed again 224 to 201. The bill would have failed if 12 more Republicans had voted against it — which happens to be exactly the number of Republicans representing California who voted in favor of it. Had all 14 of them voted to kill the bill, it would be dead.
Despite the overwhelming evidence that this bill is a terrible deal for their constituents, Republicans in the Golden State largely unified to help Donald Trump and Paul Ryan — even Rep. Tom McClintock, who had opposed the initial version of the bill that passed the House.
Also among the Republicans who caved on the tax bill is Rep. Steve Knight of Palmdale.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Knight boasts, “I fought hard with my colleagues from California to secure a deal on State and Local Tax deductions to retain the ability to use these deductions.” He fails to mention that the “deal” he secured only allows households to write off $10,000 per year in state and local taxes, which is a massive cut from the current average deduction per tax unit of $18,437 in California.
Knight also boasts he voted for the “strengthening of the Child Tax Credit,” but does not bother to mention the numbers. Under the GOP bill, a family of four making $24,000 would only get an extra refund of $800 from this change — less than $70 a month. And it isn’t even adjusted for inflation.
California voters are not fooled. A recent poll finds they oppose the tax bill 51 to 30.
As soon as this bill takes effect, Republicans will have to answer to the rage of middle-class Californians who have to deal with paying for a handout to billionaires. That rage will only grow when voters realize they could have singlehandedly stopped it.