With little to show for what’s approaching a year of being in power, Republicans are understandably desperate to get something significant passed.
Their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act failed earlier this year. When their health plan came up for a vote in the Senate, Arizona’s John McCain shot it down, and GOP leadership never managed to garner enough support for their so-called health plan to get around McCain’s opposition. McCain, for his part, said he wanted bipartisan input on the health plan before he could support it.
Earlier this month, after the House of Representatives had already done so, Senators passed their version of a tax reform bill, with 51 Republicans voting for the overhaul of the nation’s tax system.
A version of the bill had passed the House of Representatives back on November 16, something that the president was arrogantly overjoyed at, since in his world at least, the bill becoming law would make his presidency not so much of a failure after all.
Congratulations to the House of Representatives for passing the #TaxCutsandJobsAct — a big step toward fulfilling our promise to deliver historic TAX CUTS for the American people by the end of the year! https://t.co/8FjefMj6hh
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2017
Trump tweeted nonsensical fake news on the occasion of the Senate passing their version of the GOP’s tax bill.
The bill does not consist of the biggest tax cuts in U.S. history.
The tax bill passed by the Senate repeals the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that virtually everyone in the country have health care, meaning that those people left in ACA markets will no doubt face starkly increasing prices for health care, since less people will be paying into the markets. Those dramatically increasing prices will no doubt push even more people off the health care market, making the prices for health care go perhaps even higher, and so on.
That’s not all, though.
Republicans have also included an anti-abortion provision in their tax bill, mirroring the other health care related provision of the individual mandate repeal that they sneaked into the bill since they couldn’t get a standalone health plan passed.
They have included a provision defining fetuses not yet developed enough to live outside the womb as people, something that could have an impact on the legality of abortion in the future.
Republicans’ attempt at legally defining of fetuses as people comes in the context of college savings plans; the tax bill allows fetuses to be named as beneficiaries of such plans.
As Republicans’ amendment on the matter reads;
‘Nothing shall present an unborn child from being treated as a designated beneficiary or an individual under this section.’
Check out a screenshot of it for yourself below, straight from Congress.Gov.
It’s remarkable for Republicans to be unable to even pass a tax bill without fitting in an anti-abortion provision. Can they not drop their ideology for long enough to write a tax bill that actually benefits the American people? Apparently not.
Colorado Democratic Congresswoman Rep. Diana DeGette is among those who caught onto the GOP’s latest anti-abortion shenanigans, saying of the “fetal personhood” provision:
‘This is a back-door attempt to establish personhood from the moment of conception. Even in the tax reform debate, Republicans could not resist including offensive provisions to appease an extremist minority. The tax code is no place to define what constitutes an ‘unborn child.’ What’s next, giving a Social Security number to a zygote?’
Maybe one day some Republicans will get it through their perhaps overly thick skulls that support of the right to an abortion is not some sort of crime against humanity. Why are they fretting about potential people who haven’t actually been born yet when they refuse to care for people who are actually standing in front of them?
Featured Image via Mark Wilson/ Getty Images