Verona’s Legislators Vote Against GOP Tax Bill, Frelinghuysen Must Vote Again

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On Tuesday, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ11), who represents Verona in Congress, broke with with his party again to vote against the Republican tax bill. Overnight, both of the senators who represent Verona voted against the Republican tax bill. But because of an arcane procedural rule, Frelinghuysen and the House will have to vote again today before the bill can go to President Trump for signing.

The House vote was 227-203 in favor. “The people of New Jersey already carry an extremely heavy tax burden,” Frelinghuysen said in a prepared statement. “They need and deserve tax cuts. Unfortunately, H.R. 1 caps the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) which will lead to tax increases for far too many hardworking New Jersey families. This legislation will also damage our state’s housing market and business environment.” The measure caps the state and local tax deduction at $10,000, which is well below what is taken in Verona. In 2015, Verona residents took an average SALT deduction of $24,480.

“I had hoped to be able to vote for a pro-growth tax bill,” Frelinghuysen added. “However, H.R. 1 forces New Jersey residents to pay for tax cuts for residents in other states. I voted ‘No’!” Frelinghuysen had also voted against the previous version of the tax plan in November over its treatment of the SALT deduction.

New Jersey’s senators, Cory Booker and Robert Menendez are both Democrats and had been expected to vote against the GOP tax measure, which passed 51-48. “It’s an absolute travesty that Senate Republicans chose corporate profit over the American people tonight,” Booke said via Twitter. “We will not forget. #GOPTaxScam”

Menendez was equally blunt. “There it is,” he posted on Twitter. “At 12:45 am, Republicans chose party over principle and ignored the American ppl who rejected this morally-bankrupt bill in droves. So sad we couldn’t work on real, deficit-neutral, bipartisan tax reform that simplifies our tax code & delivers real gains to workers.”

But the House’s work on the bill is not over. The Senate parliamentarian ruled late last night that two provisions in the House bill didn’t comply with the budget rules that Republicans had set. The House must fix those provisions and vote again. It is not known what time today that vote will be.

The GOP tax legislation would lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. It would also slightly lower rates for individuals and families, but those changes expire in 2025. Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated that the GOP plan will add nearly $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade, even when potential economic growth is factored in.

UPDATE: Rep. Frelinghuysen repeated his No vote on December 20.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].

1 COMMENT

  1. But you failed to report that Rodney voted yes for the Budget, which allowed the Senate to not require a majority vote to get the TAX bill passed. Therefore Rodney’s NO vote was moot, as the damage was already done to NJ and Verona residents who now, can not fully write off State and Local taxes.

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