How Colorado leaders reacted to the GOP tax bill

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Washington, D.C., December 20, 2017 | comments

Political corks were figuratively popped and crying towels moistened Tuesday night as Republicans gained the votes they needed in the U.S. House and Senate for conservative-colored tax reform and President Trump’s first major legislative victory.

The GOP majorities in the House and Senate are expected to send President Trump a bill that represents the nation’s first comprehensive tax reform legislation since the days of Reagan in 1986.

Longtime media critic and left-leaning blogger Jason Salzman made an interesting connection about how Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner felt about the bill in a column on the Huffington Post Tuesday, under the headline “Echoing Trump, Gardner Says Passage Of Tax Bill Will Be A ‘Great Christmas Celebration Across The Country.’”

Salzman listens to the all the conservative talk radio stations, and he picked up on Gardner’s comment Friday on Ross Kaminsky’s show on 630 KHOW.

A few days earlier President Trump called the tax bill “one of the great Christmas gifts to middle-income people,” Salzman recalled.

In an audio statement Tuesday night, Gardner called the relic Republicans are replacing an “Atari-era tax code.”

Colorado Democratic Party executive director Pilar Chapa said while rich folks and corporations enjoy their merry gifts, “hardworking Coloradans get a lump of coal.”

She promised Democrats would be “laser-focused” on contrasting her party’s agenda to those reflected in the GOP plan in next year’s elections.

Gardner doesn’t always agree with the president, and sometimes sharply disagrees, but both like the tax bill.

Another Republican frenemy of the president on board with tax bill was Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora.

“I am proud to support H.R. 1 because it will help working families by lowering their tax rates, doubling the child tax credit and standard deduction, and even more importantly it will increase jobs and wages by reducing the tax burden on American small businesses,” he said.

One of Coffman’s Democratic opponents in the the 6th Congressional District race next year, Jason Crow, said Coffman failed to live up to his campaign ad, in which Coffman said he would stand up to Trump.

“But today he stood with him, Speaker (Paul) Ryan and his corporate donors who will benefit most from this tax bill,” Crow said in a statement. “Rather than invest in middle class tax reform that helps us, Mike Coffman voted to kick 30,000 of his constituents off of their health care plans and raise the national debt by at least $1.5 trillion. He chose to raid our children’s futures while enriching his corporate benefactors.”

Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado Springs and an ally o the president, pointed to the increase in standard deductions and doubling the child tax credit He lauded the demise of the Obamacare individual mandate and the use of the “abundant oil reserves” in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

“Congress listened to the American people and simplified our complicated tax code,” Lamborn said in a statement. “This is a historic day for our country. Moving forward we can expect bigger paychecks and filing taxes will be as easy as sending a postcard. The middle and lower classes, for the first time in decades, will see more of their hard-earned money staying in their bank accounts. I’m looking forward to seeing the boom Colorado’s economy will experience. More jobs will be created, which means more opportunities for our region’s small business to expand, hire more workers, and invest.”

Liberal Colorado-based journalist David Sirota was on CNN pointing to his work for the International Business Times that indicated about 1 in 4 members of Congress had a vested financial interest in how the bill turned out.

Neither Gardner nor Democratic Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet were on the list.

Rep. Scott Tipton, a Republican from Cortez, said the bill reflects the feedback he received from constituents.

“This week’s vote to reform our broken tax code is historic, but more importantly, it puts the needs of the American people before special interests,” he said. “I look forward to seeing the bill signed into law before the New Year, so Coloradans and all Americans will experience the benefits immediately.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Arvada, said it was “plain and simple” that the bill does the most for corporations and rich people, not families, will piling on to the nation’s debt.

“This bill may save a few hundred dollars per person on their tax bill, but it will put more than $7,100 on the credit card for every man, woman and child in the U.S. which will lead to deep spending cuts on important programs like Medicare and Medicaid and jeopardize investments in infrastructure, education, healthcare, science and much more,” Perlmutter stated. “While corporations will continue to reap the benefits after 10 years, individuals will see their tax rates change and could even pay more than they are today. Meanwhile, the repeal of the individual mandate means health care costs will rise for everyone.”

Content originally published by Colorado Politics on December 20, 2017.
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