Indiana Senators Stick With Parties On Tax Reform Vote

Posted On December 20, 2017

By Mike Perleberg

Indiana U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly (left) and Todd Young.

(Washington, D.C.) – Indiana’s U.S. Senators were split in their votes on the GOP tax reform bill Tuesday.

The bill passed the Senate 51-48. It now awaits final passage in the House of Representatives on Wednesday before going to President Donald Trump’s desk.

Republican Indiana Senator Todd Young voted with his party to pass the bill, saying it will create a tax code that is simpler, fairer, and that allows Hoosiers to keep more of their money.

“The bill also repeals the harmful Obamacare individual mandate tax, allowing families to choose the healthcare that’s right for them,” Young said in a video on his website. “In our state of Indiana, nearly 140,000 Hoosiers of modest means chose to pay that Obamacare individual mandate tax instead of buying insurance they don’t want or they can’t afford.”

Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly voted against the bill. He said on the Senate floor that the legislation only benefits the wealthy and will harm the middle class.

“The reasons I oppose this bill are plain and simple, clear and commonsense: Instead of providing a tax cut that overwhelmingly benefits the middle class, this bill cuts taxes for the wealthiest Americans while raising taxes on a majority of families making less than $75,000 in the coming years. Instead of closing tax loopholes like the shameful one that allows Wall Street hedge fund managers to pay a lower tax rate than a Hoosier firefighter, than a Hoosier teacher, than a Hoosier policeman, or a Hoosier steelworker,” Donnelly said.

Donnelly, who is up for re-election in 2018, had been pressured by the White House to vote for tax reform. He participated in meetings with the president and appeared at a rally by Vice President Mike Pence in Anderson, Indiana over the past few months.

The Republican bill slashes corporate tax rates from 35 to 21 percent and insist that the tax cuts contained will benefit all income classes.

Republican House Speaker Paul Speaker Ryan was asked about polls showing the tax bill is deeply unpopular. He predicted that skeptical people will change their minds once they start seeing more money in their paychecks.

Democrats argue the bill is aimed at boosting the wealthiest Americans and corporations. They also claim repealing the individual health care insurance mandate will cause 13 million people to lose health insurance.