Velázquez Blasts GOP Tax Scam on House Floor
Underscores Devastation Bill will inflict on Hardworking Americans, Puerto Rico
Washington, DC –This morning, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) spoke on the House floor in opposition to HR 1, the GOP Tax Scam. Following are her remarks as prepared for delivery.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this “Tax Scam” bill. Not only will it harm working families across the nation, but it will visit another Hurricane on Puerto Rico – an economic hurricane! Today, Puerto Rico is in the grip of a humanitarian crisis. More than 235,000 of its people have already fled the Island for the Mainland.
“After Maria, many of my colleagues – from Speaker Ryan to Leader McCarthy - went to Puerto Rico and promised they would assist the Island and help them recover. Instead, they are finding a way to further drive Puerto Rico’s economy into the ground!
“Even though it is part of the United States, this bill treats Puerto Rico as a foreign jurisdiction, levying new taxes on companies operating there – creating incentives for them to leave the Island and take jobs when they go. That is how you help Puerto Rico?
“Let’s be clear – Puerto Ricans are American citizens. They fight in our wars, many of them laying down their lives for our freedoms. Yet, this bill continues treating Puerto Rico differently than the rest of the United States.
“For decades, decisions made right here – in this body – hollowed out, weakened and undermined Puerto Rico’s economy. This tax bill continues that awful tradition – undercutting Puerto Rico’s economy once more. All told, these tax provisions will cost Puerto Rico more than 200,000 jobs –at exactly the time when the Island needs all the help it can get.
“And, while this Tax Scam would hurt Puerto Rico – it also does nothing to help. While they had talked of it, there’s nothing to expand the Child Tax Credit for Puerto Rico. They eliminated the meager extensions of the Section 199 and rum cover over provisions contained in the House version.
“The Speaker of the House and the Republican Leader went to Puerto Rico. They looked the people of Puerto Rico in the eye – and made promises to help them.
“What we are seeing is that their tax bill would serve simply to crush Puerto Rico’s economy. This bill is morally bankrupt. It harms American citizens everywhere – and it kicks Puerto Rico when it is down. It must be rejected.”
Video of her speech is online here.