Third District Republican Congressman Walter Jones and First District Democrat Congressman GK Butterfield both voted against the GOP's $1.5-trillion tax bill Tuesday.
Congressman Jones said he voted against the bill, primarily due to the trillions of dollars that it is projected to add to the national debt.
Jones said, "I'm all for tax reform, but it must grow the economy, not the debt. Unfortunately, the tax bill voted on today will be financed not by cutting spending elsewhere in the budget, but by adding $2 trillion to America's debt. Much of that will be borrowed from potential foreign adversaries like China, and then put on the backs of American taxpayers. That's an additional $20,000 debt burden on every household in America. With federal debt already at $20 trillion, and deficit spending adding $666 billion to that debt just this past year alone, this is the wrong way to deliver the tax relief that the American people need.
For years, I have constantly sounded the alarm about the need to cut wasteful spending, balance the budget, and eliminate the massive debt that is bankrupting our nation. This is not just an economic issue, it's a national security issue. Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, has testified that the biggest threat to our national security is America's rising debt. Our current Secretary of Defense, Marine Corps General James Mattis, has affirmed that principle. When Admiral Mullen made his statement seven years ago, our debt was $13 trillion. It is now 50% larger. We're going the wrong way fast, and unfortunately, this bill will quicken the pace.
I am also concerned that this bill will result in millions of middle class Americans, and thousands of Eastern North Carolinians, paying more in taxes, not less. It is estimated that 5 percent of taxpayers will pay more tax in 2018, 9 percent in 2025, and 53 percent in 2027. That is the last thing struggling families need."
Congressman Butterfield said, "Every vote today for the GOP tax bill was a vote for: -Raising taxes on 86 million middle-class families -Taking health coverage away from 13 million people -Giving 83% of tax cuts to the top 1% -Increasing the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Today's vote was the first step towards using tax cuts for the wealthy to justify cuts to programs that benefit many Americans. I will be voting NO on the GOP tax bill today because there is a better way to reform our tax code- one that is bipartisan, transparent, and fair for all North Carolinians and Americans."