In the late hours of Friday night as Washington’s streets were swelling with holiday party-goers, Republican senators were frantically pushing through a tax bill that promises Reagan-era cuts, and Democrats wasted no time attacking the legislation. Just about every elected official on the left side of the aisle condemned the bill, but they were caught in a nasty bind when they admitted unanimously that they hadn’t actually read the piece.
Democratic icon Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., uploaded a video to Twitter in which she blasted the bill and used the hashtag “#GOPtaxscam.” In the three-minute clip, she cried, “The [Republicans] have just released the tax bill–it is about 500 pages, and they want us to vote on this thing in about an hour.”
Warren continued, “They’re sending around their edits as we speak,” she then tried to read the edits, claiming multiple times that she couldn’t decipher the handwriting.
Of course, Warren wasn’t the only Democrat to weigh in on the bill, a number of senators blasted the legislation. Joe Manchin of West Virginia wrote that he was going “off the grid for a few hours ” to read the bill. When he spoke on the floor, he declared that the bill “has been designed not to have even me as one Democrat on the bill. And I want to be.”
In his remarks following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the notion that the process was rushed, declaring, “Everybody had plenty of opportunity to see the measure. You complain about process when you’re losing, and that’s what you heard on the floor tonight.” In the final tally, all the Democrats voted against it and the only Republican to vote against the legislation was Bob Corker of Tennessee.
Republicans gleefully pointed to Nancy Pelosi’s famous quote about the Obamacare bill when she said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
The nonpartisan congressional budget office didn’t give an entirely sunny outlook of the bill, and their estimates showed that the law will increase the national deficit by $1.4 trillion. Like most bills that find their way on the floor of the house, the tax bill was partially the brainchild of Washington’s lobbying corps–there are roughly 11,000 registered lobbyists in Washington and over 6,000 of them worked on the GOP’s tax bill.