REPUBLICAN TAX BILL; Congressional Record Vol. 164, No. 73
(Senate - May 07, 2018)

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[Page S2507]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                          REPUBLICAN TAX BILL

  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, finally, a word on the Republican tax 
bill. From the very beginning of our debate on taxes, Republicans 
insisted that their bill was about helping the American worker, even 
though the GOP tax bill directs 83 percent of its benefits to the top 1 
percent. President Trump and the Republicans said it would be ``a 
middle class miracle.''
  Their theory was to give the big corporations and the wealthy a 
massive tax cut, and the benefits would trickle down to everyone else, 
even though that theory has been debunked over and over and over again. 
Still, President Trump repeatedly promised that workers would see a 
raise of $4,000 or more as a result of the Republican tax bill.
  I would like to ask most Americans if they have gotten the $4,000 
raise as the White House promised because, according to the April jobs 
report, hourly earnings have not increased significantly and are 
actually up just 2.6 percent over the past 12 months. Last month, 
average hourly earnings increased by just 4 cents--hardly $4,000. No 
matter how you look at it, the Republican tax bill has failed to 
deliver anywhere close to the wage growth that was promised.
  The harsh fact is that corporations aren't using the bulk of their 
tax savings to boost worker pay or provide additional benefits or hire 
more workers or buy more equipment. They are using the predominance of 
tax savings on something called stock buybacks. The CEO says: Let's buy 
back the stock. His shares go up. The shareholders' shares go up. The 
American worker is left holding the bag.
  According to a recent analysis by JUST Capital, only 6 percent of the 
capital allocated by companies on the tax bill savings has gone to 
employees, while nearly 60 percent--10 times as much--has gone to 
shareholders. More than $390 billion has been authorized this year on 
corporate buybacks, something we used to prohibit or make very 
difficult, while only $6.7 billion has been spent on one-time bonuses 
and wage hikes.
  There is another Republican truth teller who is now getting pommeled 
a little, but I respect him--Senator Marco Rubio. Here is what he had 
to say last week:

       There is still a lot of thinking on the right that if big 
     corporations are happy, they're going to take the money 
     they're saving and reinvest it in American workers. In fact--

  These are his words. They sound like mine.

       In fact they bought back shares, a few gave out bonuses; 
     there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been 
     massively poured back into the American worker.

  Let me repeat that. This is Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, 
who said: ``[T]here's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been 
massively poured back into the American worker.''
  I couldn't have said it better myself. President Trump and the 
Republicans promised a middle-class miracle, with tremendous raises for 
workers, but they once again haven't delivered. Instead, the American 
people have been saddled with higher deficits and a larger debt, while 
corporations reward wealthy executives and shareholders. Even 
Republican Senators are starting to admit it.
  So I have heard some commentators say: Well, maybe the public says 
that we don't like the President's tweeting, we don't like that he 
changes his story, we don't like prevaricating, but at least he is 
  Not with the tax bill, where so much of the wealth is going to the 
top; not on healthcare, where premiums are going up. The American 
people will have the right to protest come November, which I believe 
they will.
  I yield the floor.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Ernst). Without objection, it is so