Congressman Steve Knight clams up about new GOP tax bill

Congressman Steve Knight

Rep. Knight won't come clean to the press about the new Republican tax bill, even though he championed the original bill last year.

Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) enthusiastically embraced the Republican tax bill last year even though it raised taxes on many of his constituents.

But now that Republican leaders are pushing forward a new bill to make some of the provisions in the GOP tax bill permanent, Knight is suddenly coy about his intentions, unwilling to let his constituents know where he stands.

“A spokesman said Knight’s not committed yet on the new tax legislation,” reports the L.A. Times.

One of the provisions the new Republican bill would make permanent is the cap on state and local tax deductions. That provision raised taxes on many Californians, especially homeowners. Because of Knight and most Republicans in Congress, new homeowners in Los Angeles will pay up to $76,000 more for a 30-year mortgage.

As recently as July 2018, Knight defiantly declared he has no regrets about his vote for the tax bill. But when it comes to making the very same provisions he backed permanent, Knight is at a loss for words.

Knight has repeatedly bragged about his vote to raise taxes on Californians, even as wealthy Wall Street corporations garner most of the benefits from the bill. And despite pledges from GOP leaders, including Knight, that working class families would dramatically benefit, wages are falling across the country after adjusting for inflation.

The Times reports that Republicans leaders “will be making some of their own vulnerable lawmakers in California and elsewhere take a difficult vote on a tax overhaul that hasn’t proved to be as popular with voters as party strategists had expected.”

Knight is one of those lawmakers, struggling against a tough challenge from Katie Hill in the 2018 midterm.

According to the Times:

Knight’s Democratic opponent, Katie Hill, said she’s happy he’s going to have to take another tax vote in the weeks before the election to permanently limit the state-and-local tax deduction used by many residents in the Antelope Valley district.

 

“If he doesn’t vote for it this time, then he’s being hypocritical,” said Hill, who opposed the tax cuts because of the deduction limit and large benefits for the wealthy and corporations. “If he does vote for it, it’s a fresh reminder of whose side he’s on.”

Experts note the new Republican tax bill will continue to favor the wealthy. The Center for American Progress (CAP) reports, “the proposed bill would provide more than $40.3 billion to the richest 1 percent of Americans.”

Knight has been a reliable rubber stamp for the Trump agenda, voting to support Trump 99 percent of the time.  Even when votes would hurt his own constituents, as with the tax bill and health care votes, Knight has put the Trump agenda ahead of those he was elected to represent.

His voting record speaks for itself, even if Knight himself plays coy.