December 01, 2017

Hirono, Booker, Markey Introduce Amendment to Hold Republicans Accountable for Pledge to Avoid Medicare Cuts

Amendment would snap-back corporate tax cut to prevent cuts to Medicare

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) today introduced an amendment to the Republican tax plan that would hold Senate Republicans accountable for their pledge that their tax plan will not result in any cuts to Medicare.

Under the Senate’s “pay-as-you-go” rules, Congress is required to offset the cost of each piece of legislation or risk across-the-board spending cuts to various government programs. Under this rule, the Republicans’ tax plan would trigger $150 billion in spending cuts, including a $25 billion annual cut to Medicare.

The Senators’ amendment would roll back the corporate tax rate to its current level of 35 percent (the tax plan would lower the corporate rate to 20 percent) should there be any cuts to Medicare as a result of the tax plan.

“Putting the needs of Hawaii's seniors over corporate profits seems like a common sense priority, but the GOP tax bill could lead to cuts from Medicare just so that big corporations can get even richer,” said Senator Hirono. “Our amendment would protect Hawaii's kupuna from the consequences of this corporate giveaway.”

“Republicans have promised repeatedly that critical safety net programs like Medicare won’t be affected by their disastrous tax plan,” said Senator Booker. “Our amendment simply puts those promises in writing. Senate Republicans should back up their words with action.”

Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), also cosponsored the amendment.