Rep. John Lewis Repudiates Tax Reconciliation Package
Congressman John Lewis denounced the tax reconciliation bill as immoral and unjust. In brief, the economic growth touted by Administration interests has come at the expense of the American worker. Real income for a typical household has fallen by more than $1600 since President Bush has been in office while costs for healthcare, insurance, gasoline, utilities, food, education and all the costs necessary to manage a successful family have risen. Congressman Lewis believes the Congress should be assisting working Americans, instead of heaping them with more financial responsibility. He made these comments on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives today:
Mr. Speaker, there is a time when politicians must put politics aside. There is a time when we must stand up and meet our moral obligation as servants of the people.
Millions of Americans are struggling today. They work hard. They are just trying to make ends meet. They are trying to make a way out of no way. And they are looking to Congress for a little bit of light, a little bit of hope after a hard day's work. They don't want a hand out, they just need a fair shake. But with this tax bill, we have abandoned our responsibility to the people who elected us. We have shut the door in their faces. We have told them there is no room in the inn.
In this bill, you have cut off the orphaned, the old, the poor, the weak, and the sick. In this bill, you cut Medicaid, Medicare, veteran's benefits and housing programs all in the name of financial discipline. Then how can we, in good conscience, pass a tax bill that helps the rich get richer and drives millions of our citizens into financial despair? We are asking the poor to sacrifice! Shouldn't the rich sacrifice too?
Where is the mercy? Where is the compassion? Where is the fairness? Our tax policy should be fair. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, is it right to have a tax bill that saves hard-working American families only $10 a year, while millionaires save thousands?
With $10 you can't even fill a tank full of gas! You can't pay the light bill. You can't put food on the table or clothes on your children's backs. Mr. Speaker, this bill is not right. It is not fair. It is not just.
It demonstrates shameful disregard for the people of this nation. As a nation, as a people, and as a Congress, we must do better, and we can do better. I ask my colleagues to vote against this tax reconciliation bill.