“When it came to the tax bill, Steve Knight chose to side with Donald Trump rather than the people of his district, and that is unacceptable,” Julie Hannant of Santa Clarita told SoCal Daily.
Hannant is far from alone in her frustration.
Rep. Steve Knight’s constituents were unequivocally and adamantly opposed to the Republican tax bill as it was rushed through Congress at the tail end of 2017.
Multiple polls showed that voters in California’s 25th Congressional District were not just opposed, but vehemently opposed to a bill that would shower the wealthy with millions of dollars, paid for by tax hikes on working class Californians.
As the discussion around the bill was getting off the ground, a poll from Public Policy Polling showed opposition at a staggering 58 percent, with only 30 percent supporting the bill.
That 28-point difference did not stop Knight from aligning himself with Donald Trump and supporting the bill.
A few weeks later, a different poll showed a majority of Knight’s voters continued to oppose the bill, and that voters who have “heard, seen, or read ‘a lot’ about” the Republican House plan opposed it by a 61 percent to 39 percent margin.
Opposition was easy to see on Knight’s social media page, where constituents were not shy about telling their elected representative exactly what they thought of his support of the tax bill.
Both polls showed Knight trailing a generic Democratic opponent by a 4-point margin, 44-48.
Knight’s constituents knew that the tax bill was a bad deal for Californians. The evidence was overwhelming.
The House bill tried to punish teachers by taking away a deduction allowing them to deduct the cost of school supplies they paid for out of their own pocket. Knight enthusiastically supported that version of the bill.
Business leaders lined up in opposition as well. The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce warned that the Knight-backed bill “would damage the economy of California, our taxpayers and our prospects for future growth.”
Voters know a bad deal when they see it, and knew that the bill was not a “tax cut.” Rather, it was a bill that would raise taxes on working class Californians. In fact, the bill will raise taxes on working-class Californians by $2.8 billion.
“I don’t know why Steve Knight supported a bill that will hurt so many of his own constituents,” Santa Clarita’s Logan Smith lamented to SoCal Daily. “I thought he represented all of us, but I guess he only cares about the wealthy people who donate to his campaign.”
Smith and others saw Knight voting for a bill that would stick middle-class Californians with a tax hike, but lavish $8.4 billion in tax giveaways to the 1,100 richest California families.
As if a tax hike wasn’t bad enough, Knight was warned that the bill he backed would “make it harder for families to afford college and for graduates to pay off their loans.”
To make it all worse, the bill rolls back provisions of the Affordable Care Act. This part of the bill will cause 34,000 of Knight’s constituents to lose their health care.
When Knight cast his multiple votes in favor of every single version of the tax bill, he was voting for: higher taxes for the middle class, billions of tax breaks for the very wealthy, punishing teachers who bought their own supplies, more expensive college tuition, hurting the California economy, and taking health care away from thousands.
Voters are unlikely to forget the fact that Steve Knight ignored their voices.
“I opposed the tax bill, and had hoped Steve Knight would do the right thing,” Bryan Banuelos of Palmdale told SoCal Daily. “Come November, his vote on the tax bill will be top of mind when I vote him out of office.”