Action Alert! Last Chance to Stop the Dangerous Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
[UPDATE – December 6, 2017]
Below are the latest developments on the status of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, shared by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD).
- Republicans: The office of House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said he had named the following Representatives as conferees: Kevin Brady of Texas, Devin Nunes of California, Peter Roskam of Illinois, Diane Black of Tennessee, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Rob Bishop of Utah, Don Young of Alaska, Greg Walden of Oregon, and John Shimkus of Illinois.
- Democrats: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California announced the following as conferees: Richard Neal of Massachusetts, Sander Levin of Michigan, Lloyd Doggett of Texas, Raúl Grijalva of Arizona, and Kathy Castor of Florida.
- A final package could be agreed upon and voted on by this Friday (12/8). However, this timeline may be difficult to meet given that lawmakers’ attention is divided – they must also reach a deal to keep the government open by this Friday.
- The final agreement and then an up and down vote of the House and Senate seems more likely to happen next week on Tuesday (12/12) or Wednesday (12/13).
Since timing is uncertain, NOW is the time to engage your Representatives and urge them to reject the final bill through calls, emails, tweets, earned media events, op eds, and visits.
December 4, 2017
Early Saturday morning (around 2am Eastern Time), the Senate passed their version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This vote in the middle of the night left little to no time for other Members of Congress and the general public to review the content of the bill. Since the House of Representatives passed their version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) in mid-November, the House and Senate must now reconcile their versions of the bill. This is expected to happen in Conference Committee starting today. It is also possible that the House will pass the Senate’s version of the bill as is.
Either way, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is very close to reaching President Trump’s desk and becoming law. NOW is the time to call your Representative and tell them to OPPOSE this dangerous bill!
- Key Provisions for People with Disabilities in the House and Senate Tax Bills – Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities
- The Top 5 Reasons the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is Bad for People with Disabilities – Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities
The Senate tax bill is extremely dangerous to the well-being of people with disabilities.
- Tax cuts open the door for cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, Supplemental Security Income, and other services that benefit people with disabilities. While neither the House nor Senate tax bill includes direct cuts to these services, cuts are expected to follow to offset the $1.5 trillion added to the deficit due to providing large tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. Medicaid and other disability services were the target of intense cuts over the summer through the various Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bills proposed in the House and Senate. There is no doubt that these same services remain on the chopping block to help pay for the proposed tax cuts.
- The Senate bill eliminates the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate. The individual mandate helps make health insurance affordable. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that 13 million people would lose access to affordable coverage by 2027 if the individual mandate were eliminated. Furthermore, insurance premiums would rise by 10%, which amounts to an increase of hundreds of dollars per year for nearly 7 million middle-income Americans and by over $1,000 per year for seniors, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).
- The Senate bill benefits the wealthiest Americans while the poorest would be worse off. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report which found that Americans earning less than $100,000 a year would, ultimately, not benefit from the proposed tax cuts. According to a Washington Post analysis of the CBO report, “By 2019, Americans earning less than $30,000 a year would be worse off under the Senate bill, CBO found. By 2021, Americans earning $40,000 or less would be net losers, and by 2027, most people earning less than $75,000 a year would be worse off. On the flip side, millionaires and those earning $100,000 to $500,000 would be big beneficiaries, according to the CBO’s calculations.”
The House bill is also damaging as it proposes to eliminate several tax deductions and credits that benefit people with disabilities. These include:
- The Medical Expense Deduction: This tax deduction allows people to deduct large, unreimbursed medical and dental expenses that exceed 10% of their income. Approximately 8.8 million people utilize this deduction, 70% of which have an income at $70,000 or lower. Most filings are around $10,000 by people with high healthcare costs, which largely includes people with disabilities, chronic health conditions, and other medical conditions. People are allowed to deduct expenses for a variety of expenses including treatments, surgeries, medications, and medical travel.
- The Disabled Access Credit and Barrier Removal Tax Deduction: Businesses that accommodate people with disabilities may qualify for tax credits and deductions including the Disabled Access Credit and the Barrier Removal Tax Deduction. This credit and deduction incentivizes small businesses to make their businesses accessible for disabled people. Small businesses can claim a 50% credit per year for expenditures between $250 and $10,250 that increase access and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- The Work Opportunity Tax Credit: This federal tax credit is available to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups (including disabled people who receive services from Vocational Rehabilitation, SSI recipients, returning citizens, veterans, and long-term unemployment compensation recipients) who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. The current tax credit for hiring a person with a disability can be as high as $2,400 for a business.
The final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could contain any of these harmful provisions from the Senate and House bills.
While neither tax bill includes direct cuts to Medicaid or other disability services, these cuts are expected to follow to offset the roughly $1.5 trillion added to the deficit due to providing large tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. Medicaid and other disability services were the target of intense cuts over the summer through the various Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bills proposed in the House and Senate. There is no doubt that these same services remain on the chopping block to help pay for the proposed tax cuts.
Contact your Representative and tell them to oppose this bill!
- House Targets for the Tax Bill – Center for Public Representation
What to say:
- Please vote NO on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
- This tax bill will hurt people with disabilities and their families.
- Tax reform should not be rushed. People should have time to understand the legislation and how they will be affected.
- Services that benefit people with disabilities and low-income Americans – such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Supplemental Security Income – are in danger of losing funding to help pay for these proposed tax cuts.
- Eliminating the individual mandate will reduce access and increase costs for people with disabilities and all Americans.
Call your Representative
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY) and ask to be connected to your Representative.
Email your Representative
Contacting Congress provides unique links to email your Representative directly.
Tweet your Representative
Twitter has become a powerful tool to communicate with elected officials directly. Find your Congress Members on Twitter and tell them to oppose these bills.
Sample Tweets to Fights Against Disability Attacks in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) (developed by Access Living)
- 8.8 million households claimed medical deductions in 2015. Eliminating deduction vital to people with high medical costs is a #TaxOnDisability.
- Taking away medical deductions from seniors with greater medical needs, people with disabilities, and families with disabled kids is a #TaxOnDisability.
- Average deduction claimed is close to $10K; cost of long-term care could be $100K or more. Keep deduction, no to #TaxOnDisability
- #TCJA eliminates incentive for businesses to hire people with disabilities, including older Americans with disabilities. No to #TaxOnDisability
- Current tax credit for hiring a person with a disability can be as high as $2,400; ending the Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a #TaxOnDisability
- Eliminating orphan drug tax credit is a #TaxOnDisability. Older Americans and people with disabilities are more likely to have a rare disease or condition #TCJA
- Eliminating small business tax credit for increasing accessibility to employees with disabilities, older workers, and customers is a #TaxOnDisability
- The #TCJA may result in older Americans and individuals with disabilities paying more taxes on Social Security benefits.
- If seniors and individuals with disabilities can’t deduct medical expenses, many may need to use tax-deferred accounts. No to #TaxOnDisability
- #TCJA could kill investments in underserved communities that provide people with disabilities a place to live. No to #TaxOnDisability
- Eliminating deduction of state/local income, sales taxes from federal taxable income would squeeze state budgets No to #TaxOnDisability
- #TCJA could force massive cuts that block grant #Medicaid and damage state programs for people with disabilities. No to #TaxOnDisability
- Tax Bill Disability Tweets – Center for Public Representation
- Action Alert! Vote Likely this Week – Urge your Senators to Oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – AAPD
- Action Alert! Urge Your Senators to Vote NO on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – AAPD
- Action Alert! Don’t Let Congress Trade Tax Cuts for Medicaid and Other Essential Services – AAPD
- Here are 7 differences Republicans must resolve between their tax bills – The Washington Post
- Tracking the Congressional Tax Debate – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)
- How Does the Senate Republican Tax Bill Affect Your State? – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)
- Tracking the Congressional Tax Debate – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)
- Comparing the Latest House and Senate Tax Bills by Provision – Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB)
- The Republican Tax Plan Is a Tax on Disability – Center for American Progress
- Action Alert – Urge Your Senators to Vote NO on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities
- Death and Taxes: Dangerous Tax Reform Bill Introduced – Take Action Now! – National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
- CCD Fiscal Policy Task Force Statement on House Tax Cut Bill – Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD)
- Joint Committee on Taxation Distribution Tables Confirm Skewed Priorities of House Tax Bill – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)
- Tax plan would hardly boost growth, add trillions to deficit: study – The Hill
- House Tax Bill Bad for Those Who are Aging and Disabled – Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)
- ASAN Opposes Tax Bill, Repeal of Individual Mandate – Autistic Self Advocacy Network