US House, Senate Committee Tax Bills Threatens the Health and Well Being of Americans and Undercuts Investments in Science

Statement by Ken Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Nov 17, 2017

WASHINGTON (Nov 17, 2017)—The U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted yesterday to pass a tax bill, which is set for a full floor vote after Thanksgiving. The Senate Committee tax plan would disproportionately harm the middle class, take away health care coverage from millions of Americans, and add as much as $1.5 trillion to the deficit.  This revenue shortfall will result in decreased investment in science, energy innovation and public health. This bill came just hours after the U.S. House of Representatives advanced a similarly shortsighted bill. The House plan eliminates the electric vehicle tax credit that has helped provide consumers with better cars and more affordable choices, which is critical for American jobs in a global automobile market.

 Below is a statement by Ken Kimmell, president of UCS. 

 “Yesterday’s votes to pass a regressive tax legislation is a damaging affront to middle class families and our clean energy future. It’s an unfortunate one-two punch by Congress that will undermine science, clean energy innovation, and the health and well-being of Americans. 

 “The U.S. House’s bill cuts taxes for the wealthiest Americans while further burdening working families. It also does away with clean vehicle tax incentives that would benefit everyday Americans and spur job growth while reducing vehicle emissions. 

 "The U.S. Senate had an opportunity to right these wrongs. Instead, the Senate committee’s regressive tax plan favors tax cuts for corporations and tax increases for many working families. The Senate committee’s plan crushes the future of science and technology innovation—burdening graduate school students with a giant tax hike and putting even more pressure on Congress to reduce funding for critical science-based programs at agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy. To make matters far worse, the Senate bill would threaten the healthcare of more than 13 million individuals thanks to a last-minute move by Senate leaders to add language repealing the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act.

 “I urge the Senate to vote no on this disastrous bill and take a different approach that would support the country’s working class and the science and renewable energy technologies that are needed for a healthy planet that benefit us all."