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The Senate Tax Bill Is Corruption At Its Worst

December 1, 2017 | Laura Friedenbach

Washington, D.C. — The tax bill U.S. Senators are trying to ram through today is our broken, corrupt campaign finance system at its worst, said money-in-politics watchdog Every Voice.

“This bill is nothing more than an early Christmas present to the wealthy donors and corporations Republicans need to fund their re-election campaigns and super PACs next year,” said David Donnelly, president and CEO of Every Voice. “Instead of a bipartisan policymaking process aimed at giving a voice to all Americans, the Senate is ramming through legislation that takes money from hardworking families and puts it in the pockets of the elite few wealthy Americans who write campaign checks.”

Republicans themselves have admitted the bill is aimed at appeasing big donors:

  • On November 7thRep. Chris Collins—who voted for the House tax bill—said, “My donors are basically saying, ‘get it done or don’t ever call me again.’”
  • On November 9thSen. Lindsey Graham—who plans to vote for the Senate bill today—said “the financial contributions will stop” if the tax bill doesn’t pass.
  • GOP donor and presidential bundler Dan Eberhart told Mother Jones this week, “I don’t know why donors should give to the NRSC until tax reform is passed.”
  • Steven Law, a former chief of staff to Mitch McConnell and head of Senate Republicans’ main super PAC, said last month, “[Donors] would be mortified if we didn’t live up to what we’ve committed to on tax reform.”
  • Josh Holmes, another former chief of staff to Mitch McConnell, told CNN in October, “The donor class like most of the activist class has concluded that the inaction of this administration and Congress is totally unacceptable and they need to see progress toward legislative goals that were talked about.”
  • In October, after Republicans failed to repeal Obamacare, Iowa donor Bruce Rastetter told Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst—who both plan to vote for the tax bill—that he wouldn’t donate again “unless they pass new legislation or get new leadership.”
  • At a Koch brothers-aligned summit in October, a Republican donor told the LA Times, “Absolutely, they’ll give less money,” if tax reform failed.
  • Politico reported a donor sent a GOP fundraiser a note that read, “The GOP leaders should know, no movement on remaining agenda: tax reform, infrastructure, deregulation, etc. means no funding from supporters like me.”

Voters understand that wealthy donors are getting what they want in Washington. Over the past few weeks, Every Voice has collected letters to the editor across the country tying the tax bill to our broken campaign finance system.

“If we don’t fix our broken political system, this tax cut for big donors will hardly be the last time politicians in Washington disappoint voters back home. Americans fed up with a government that doesn’t work for them must push their representatives for a fairer, more just political system in which the voices of everyday people can he heard above those of big campaign donors,” said Donnelly.

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Every Voice is a national organization fighting for a democracy that works for everyone.