Senate Republicans are desperate to jam their tax scheme through, and they don't even care if no one can read it.
And as debate is taking place on the Senate floor Friday night, and Democrats are standing firm in opposition to the plot to ram the bill through under cover of darkness, the GOP has added another appalling layer to this whole mess.
Late in the day Friday, numerous Senate Democrats began raising the alarm about the massive 479-page bill they were handed mere hours before Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his cronies are demanding a vote.
Not only is it impossible for anyone to read the bill in the sliver of time allotted, but the mark-ups written all over it are literally illegible.
Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester put the GOP’s machinations front and center for the American people.
“I just got the tax bill 25 minutes ago,” he noted in a tweet posted at approximately 7:00 PM Friday night.
“I want you to take a look at this, folks,” he continued, holding one sheet of the bill up to the camera and pointing out the totally unreadable scribbles noted all over the page. “This is your government at work.”
“This is gonna affect everybody in this country. It’s gonna ship money from middle-class families to the rich,” Tester noted. “It’s amazing. And we’ve been given this 20 minutes ago, 25 minutes ago. And were supposed to vote on it in a couple hours.”
I was just handed a 479-page tax bill a few hours before the vote. One page literally has hand scribbled policy changes on it that can’t be read. This is Washington, D.C. at its worst. Montanans deserve so much better. pic.twitter.com/q6lTpXoXS0
— Senator Jon Tester (@SenatorTester) December 2, 2017
Tester wasn’t alone in his disgust for the GOP’s underhanded tactics:
Any handwriting experts out there? I'd like to know what this says before they call for a vote. This is absurd. pic.twitter.com/6UkiJmuY9T
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) December 1, 2017
Good news: we finally have a tax bill to look at.
Bad news: we can’t read it.
Worst news: we may be voting on it in just a few hours. pic.twitter.com/deiAOCscol
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) December 2, 2017
UPDATE: Republicans finally released their 500-page tax cut bill—drafted ENTIRELY behind closed doors. We’re probably voting tonight, but NO ONE has read the bill! Unacceptable.
— Sen Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) December 1, 2017
And outrageously they are handwriting edits into it and still expect us to vote on this in a matter of hours from now. https://t.co/PUZ84oXb9e
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) December 2, 2017
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) December 1, 2017
They are scribbling changes in the margins. What could possibly go wrong. https://t.co/dXtHjc1JDm
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) December 1, 2017
The idea that a major political party is attempting to push through such a massive bill that would have devastating effects on millions and millions of Americans with no input from the other side of the aisle, no voice from the public, and no concern whatsoever for the damage it would do is shocking and shameful.
But unfortunately, for the modern Republican Party under the specter of the Trump era, shocking and shameful has become their new slogan.
Even the father of the Reagan-era tax cuts called the whole thing “ridiculous” and slammed it as nothing more than a “big tax cut for the rich.”
And one of Trump’s own advisers admitted the scam is “going to hurt a lot of different people.”
The problem is that Republicans in Congress don’t care who gets hurt, so long as their rich friends and donors get a little extra money stuffed into their already overflowing coffers.
So they will keep barreling ahead with this dangerous plan, and Democrats will keep up the fight to protect the American people.
And 2018 is right around the corner.