TOWN OF HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Congressman Peter King says the speed at which lawmakers on Capitol Hill are rushing through the tax overhaul plan is “insane.”
He joined other Long Island lawmakers from both sides of the aisle Tuesday urging colleagues to slow the process and consider the ways they’re hurting the northeast.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, families on Long Island watch and wonder has the tax overhaul bill hurtles through Congress. Meanwhile, their elected politicians share the urgent message: slow the tax bill trigger.
“We are united here as Democrats and Republicans to say this would be a punch in the gut,” said Rep. Thomas Suozzi, D-N.Y.
A ‘punch in the gut’ because of the removal of state and local taxes, including income and property taxes, known as SALT deductions, which prevent New Yorkers from being double-taxed.
“The people of Long Island did not vote for Donald Trump so that he could raise their taxes,” King said. “I am sending a message to the White House: They say they want to put a win on the board, this is a big loss.”
King says his constituent homeowners could suffer the most.
“It is a disaster for the real estate industry,” said Mitch Pally, of the Long Island Builders Institute. “Not only will they see an increase in their taxes, they will see a reduction in their home values.”
So it’s crunch time to for the Congressmen convince their Senate Republican colleagues who are on the fence to restore SALT, resolve student loans and health insurance before the bill goes to conference committee.
“We should not be increasing taxes on any middle income Americans, regardless of whether they are in your state or they’re in mine,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y.
The Congressmen are warning the White House the GOP in Trump’s home state may be vulnerable if the bill passes.
“It’s going to have political impact, because we will be going into a campaign where Republicans will be running for reelection,” King said.
“You’re proposing to take more money from a place like New York in order to pay for deeper tax cuts elsewhere,” said Zeldin. “This is a deduction that’s been around for over 100 years. The state and local tax deduction – that was one of the ways that Abraham Lincoln helped finance the Civil War.”
The Long Island delegation says it benefits the ruling class, not the middle class. They’re putting pressure on the White House and GOP leaders to improve the bill before a probable vote on the Senate floor this week.
King told McLogan that if Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who is on the fence, restores SALT to the tax plan, he can come up with 12 ‘yes’ votes from Republicans.