Senate Republicans are busy working with lobbyists behind closed doors on the final amendments for their tax scheme — and Democrats have not even seen the bill.
Senate Republicans are ramming through their plot to raise taxes on working families to pay for massive breaks for billionaires and corporations at a breakneck speed, in defiance of all Senate tradition and proper judgment.
With a final vote planned for Friday, the bill is reportedly only getting worse for middle-class America. But no Democratic senator knows the details, because a final draft has not been released, and Republicans have excluded Democrats from the process.
Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill was able to get her hands on a new list of amendments under consideration. But the list didn't come from her colleagues across the aisle. It came from a D.C. lobbyist.
This is so bad. We have just gotten list of amendments to be included in bill NOT from our R colleagues, but from lobbyists downtown. None of us have seen this list, but lobbyists have it. Need I say more? Disgusting. And we probably will not even be given time to read them. pic.twitter.com/Mn0i56JeZg
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) December 1, 2017
In other words, Republican Senate leaders are cloistered with K Street lobbyists hammering out the details of a bill, while excluding Democrats entirely.
A senior Democratic Senate aide confirmed to Shareblue Media that “no Democrat has seen the bill yet, and we’re supposed to vote in a few hours.”
Many of the amendments under consideration are massive, outrageous changes. For example, Amendment #1684 appears to exempt tuition from parochial schools, effectively creating a national school voucher program administered by the IRS. There is no way to properly debate every one of these provisions by this evening, let alone verify they all comply with Senate rules and will not increase the deficit.
Nothing about this process is normal. Republicans are steamrollering all norms of government in order to give their donors a massive payoff. The fact that lobbyists have already had more input than Democrats is GOP politics in a nutshell.