Faso among 12 Republicans who voted 'no' on tax cut

WASHINGTON, DC — For better or worse, the controversial Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that has been pushed through Congress in recent weeks was given final passage by the House of Representatives on December 20, by a 224-201, mostly party-line vote. Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law in early January.

None of 189 voting Democrats supported it. Nine of the 12 Republicans opposing it came from California, New York and New Jersey. Area Rep. John Faso (NY19), was among them.

Republicans celebrated the victory, which will, in part, provide seven years of middle-income tax reduction, nearly double the standard tax deduction (but eliminating the individual exemption), give permanent business and corporate tax reductions, repeal the individual mandate that provides health insurance funding for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and double the estate-tax exemption from $5.6 million to $11.2 million. The change expires in 2025 and will increase with inflation. Republicans say the tax losses will be made up by growth in the economy.

Democrats condemned it for a variety of reasons. They say the law is a series of measures, some written by lobbyists, to pay back ultra-rich conservative corporate campaign sponsors, disguised as the middle-class tax-cut Trump had promised. They say the repeal of the individual mandate, without replacement funding, amounts to gutting of the ACA, which will cause millions of persons to lose their health insurance coverage. The cuts to federal revenues have been estimated to add $1.5 trillion to the national debt.

The law greatly reduces the allowable exemptions for mortgage interest. Many legislators from both parties in east- and west-coast states with high state and local taxes opposed the law, because it greatly reduced the exemption formerly allowed for those taxes, effectively raising taxes in those states.

CNN Money reports that together, California and New York receive around one-third of the total value of the deduction, according to the Tax Foundation. Filers in California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas and Pennsylvania claim more than half of the value of the deduction.

New York has nine Republicans among its 27 House members. Four of them—Claudia Tenney (NY22), Tom Reed (NY23), John Katko (NY24) and Chris Collins (NY27)—supported the tax cut.

Pennsylvania has 17 House seats, of which 12 are held by Republicans. Rep. Tom Marino (PA10), voted “yes” with the rest of GOP delegation. Five minority Democrats were opposed.

New Jersey has 12 House seats. Five of its members are Republicans, but only one, Tom MacArthur, NJ3, voted “yes” on the bill.


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