Tax & Budget

Trump Tax Scam, Step 1: The Budget Resolution


While all eyes were on the Senate and the fight over health care this past summer, the House of Representatives started moving on the FY18 budget resolution. Since Republicans want to use the special process called “reconciliation” to pass the Trump Tax Scam, first they need to pass the FY18 budget resolution. It’s especially important that your Senators hear from you using the sample call script below, as the Senate resolution is being drafted as we speak.

A Note on the Budget and Appropriations

Republicans are using the budget to tee up massive tax cuts for the wealthy. The House budget resolution puts in motion the procedural steps they need to pass massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations through the Senate with only 51 votes. Just like they used the reconciliation process to try to jam through TrumpCare, they plan to jam through their tax cuts the same way. And in order to pay for these tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, critical programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and food assistance could be cut -- either now or in the future. The details are appalling:

  • $1 trillion cut from Medicaid over ten years (that’s 20% of Medicaid’s budget)
  • Over $150 billion cut from SNAP (that’s 22% of SNAP’s budget)
  • Nearly $500 billion cut from Medicare—and it’s turned into a voucher system
  • $3.3 billion cut from Pell grants—and they’d be harder for students to use
  • Billions in cuts to education, the environment, housing, and worker training

Find how these budget cuts will affect your state/Congressional district with these resources from Center for American Progress.

The budget resolution doesn’t mean that all of these cuts would happen immediately, but it puts them on the reconciliation fast-track, like the tax cuts. But if Republican tax cuts for the wealthy were allowed to increase deficits, those deficits would give Republicans an excuse to keep cutting these critical programs in the future. . .

Your member of Congress needs to oppose any budget resolution that:

  • Requires cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, food assistance or any other programs that help families afford the basics.
  • Allows cuts to critical programs to pay for tax  cuts -- or that allows tax cuts to lose revenues  basics.

If the budget resolution sets up a partisan fast-track for tax legislation, it should require that the bill be “revenue neutral.” Revenue neutral means that if Republicans cut taxes, they have to offset them by raising revenue in some other way, either by imposing new taxes on corporations or the wealthy, or by closing tax loopholes. (Revenue neutral is different from “deficit neutral,” which allows Congress to offset tax cuts with cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, food assistance and other programs. It is also different from “revenue losing” which would explode the deficit and give Republicans an excuse to cut these programs down the road). This ask goes for House members and for Senators.

SAMPLE CALL SCRIPT

FOR HOUSE

Caller: Hello! My name is [ ] and I’m calling from [part of state]. Can you tell me how Congressman [ ] plans to vote on the House budget resolution?

If opposed

Staffer: The Congressman is opposed to the budget resolution. Its cuts to entitlements are too deep. We have to address the deficit but not like this.

Caller: Thank you so much! I’m glad the Congressman is opposed to slashing Medicaid, Medicare, food assistance, and other critical programs. We also need a reconciliation instruction that is revenue neutral, which means tax cuts have to be offset by new revenue or closing loopholes.

Staffer: Thanks, I’ll let the Congressman know your thoughts.

If no opinion or supports the budget resolution

Staffer: The Congressman doesn’t have a position / supports the budget resolution. We have a spending problem in this country, and we have to get our debt under control. This budget resolution makes a downpayment on cutting the deficit.

Caller: That’s terrible. This budget resolution calls for billions of dollars in cuts to Medicaid and it turns Medicare into a voucher program. I’m opposed to that and so is the majority of the American people. Congressman [ ] should oppose this destructive resolution that makes deep cuts to programs people rely on in order to give tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations.

Staffer: I’ll let the Congressman know your thoughts.

Caller: Yes, please do, and please take down my contact information so you can let me know how the Congressman votes in the end. I’ll be watching this vote closely.

FOR SENATE

Caller: Hello! My name is [ ] and I’m calling from [part of state]. I want Senator [ ] to oppose any budget resolution that cuts Medicaid, Medicare, food assistance, and other critical programs. He/she should also oppose any resolution that does not have a revenue neutral reconciliation instruction, which means tax cuts have to be offset by new revenue or closing loopholes.

Staffer: Thanks, the Senate hasn’t introduced a budget resolution yet.

Caller: Yes, but I know Senators are working behind the scenes as we speak. So I hope Senator [ ] is asking for a budget resolution that doesn’t cut critical programs that people rely on, and a resolution that has a revenue neutral instruction.

Staffer: I’ll let the Senator know your thoughts.

Caller: Yes, please do, and please take down my contact information so you can let me know how the Senator votes in the end. I’ll be watching this vote closely.