Democratic governors say Republican tax bill will damage the economy
ALBANY — The governors of California and New York on Monday mounted a final effort to derail the GOP tax plan, which they say unfairly targets their states and could undermine the national economy.
A legal challenge against the measure may be a possibility when and if it is signed into law, the two Democrats said. But the immediate focus is on encouraging Republicans to reconsider before the final version of the bill is approved.
“I’m not even sure it’s legal. We’re going to find out,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “If they do this, the next day we’re going to start the ‘repeal and replace.'”
Cuomo, California Gov. Jerry Brown and New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy held a conference call with reporters Monday to discuss the tax overhaul’s impacts on their states and their next steps in fighting the measure. The three Democrats are particularly critical of a provision that eliminates the deduction for state and local taxes — a tax break used most often by taxpayers in high-tax states like New York, California, New Jersey and Illinois.
Those states also happen to lean Democratic, a fact not lost on the governors.
“When Trump and his Senate allies attack California, New Jersey and New York they’re attacking the vital sinews of the American economy,” Brown said. “They will regret it.”
The Senate passed the nearly $1.5 trillion tax bill Saturday morning on a 51-49 vote, largely along party lines. Not a single Democrat voted in favor of the legislation, which was crafted behind closed doors by Senate Republican leaders. It would bring the first major overhaul of the U.S. tax system in three decades. The measure must be reconciled with a version the GOP-controlled House passed last month.