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Schumer, Jeffries Call Out MAGA Republicans So-Called Fair Tax Act For Increasing Prices by 30%, Devastating Working Families And Destroying Retirements

Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries held a press conference today to call out the dangerous and disastrous National Sales Tax Speaker McCarthy promised House Republicans a vote on that would mean thousands of dollars in new costs for American families.  Schumer and Jeffries also called on Republicans to show the American people what their plan is to address the debt ceiling. Below are excerpts from Schumer and Jeffries’ remarks. A link to the full press conference can be found here and a transcript of their remarks is below:

Leader Schumer on the MAGA Republicans’ So-Called Fair Tax Plan:

“It's very important, first, to make sure this plan dies, as I said. The right wing MAGA Republicans have a lot of power, certainly in the House. We saw that in the last week. But second, we have to show the American people who's on your side and who isn't. You get a lot of rhetoric about protecting working people from the other side. They're not protecting working people. They're harming working people in a way we've never seen before.”

“As long as I am Majority Leader, this devastating, unfair, nasty and almost crazy plan is not going to pass.”

Leader Schumer on the Republicans’ refusal to release their debt limit plan:

“The bottom line is the first step since McCarthy and many Republicans are playing brinksmanship, holding hostages instead of doing what we've done four times with debt ceiling, three times under Trump, twice with Republican House, Senate and president instead playing that dangerous game of brinksmanship. It's incumbent on them to show, okay, what's your plan? We have a plan. Pass the debt ceiling without hostage taking, without any brinksmanship. What's their plan? They haven't shown it. They have an obligation on something as serious as the debt ceiling to show it. Show us the plan.”

Leader Jeffries on the MAGA Republicans’ So-Called Fair Tax Plan:

“This so-called tax plan that would devastate working families and cut taxes for the wealthiest 1% in America is so extreme, so out of touch, so unconscionable that you wonder, who's sitting in some dungeon, some laboratory, some basement cooking up these extreme ideas to try to jam them down the throats of the American people. But that's what's happening, and it's part of the House Republican agenda, which is why we're speaking out against it, making it clear that the stakes are high to the American people and we're going to work to fight to defeat it, expose it, and make it clear that is part of an overall extreme agenda to undermine working families and the middle class in America in order to elevate the wealthy, the well-off and the well-connected as part of some scheme designed to subsidize further the lifestyles of the rich and shameless.”


TRANSCRIPT: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries Hold a Press Conference on the Republican National Sales Tax Bill:

Leader Schumer: Good afternoon, everybody. And it's my pleasure for the first, and certainly won't be the last, to welcome my friend, colleague, and the great Democratic leader in the House, Hakeem Jeffries, to our Senate gallery. We'll be going over there. You'll be hearing a lot from us together. And let me call on Hakeem to start it off.

Leader Jeffries:  Well, good afternoon, everyone. It's an honor and a privilege to be here with Leader Chuck Schumer, who's done an extraordinary job over the last several years, ushering into law an incredible agenda on behalf of the American people to make life better for everyday Americans, which is what drives House Democrats, Senate Democrats, certainly President Biden. And we're thankful for President Biden's leadership. And as House Democrats we’re thankful for the tremendous leadership of Chuck Schumer.

The Republicans continue to double and triple down on their extreme agenda. We know they’re extreme as it relates to reproductive freedom. We believe in a woman's freedom to make her own reproductive health care decisions. Republicans want to impose a nationwide ban. We believe in Social Security and Medicare. Extreme MAGA Republicans want to destroy Social Security and Medicare. We believe in democracy. Many extreme MAGA Republicans apparently don't believe in democracy anymore.

They have an extreme agenda. It continues. And the so-called Fair Tax Act is another example of the extremist agenda that Republicans are trying to jam down the throats of the American people. The so-called Fair Tax Act is unfair, unconscionable, and un-American. It will impose a tax hike that is dramatic on 90% of the American people, working families, middle-class folks, seniors and those who aspire to be part of the middle class, the poor, the sick and the afflicted. It will impose an age tax on older Americans in this nation who throughout their lives paid into the system through income tax and now will be double and triple taxed by the imposition of a 30% sales tax. That would create an enormous burden on older Americans in this country. Third, this unfair tax act would detonate Social Security by eliminating its source of funding.

This legislation is extreme and it is functionally the GOP tax scam part two. We will expose it and under the tremendous leadership of Senate Democrats, Leader Schumer and partnership with House Democrats, do everything we can to stop it.

Schumer: Thank you, Hakeem. And I want to thank again, Hakeem, for being here. So this plan is dangerous. It's a disaster. It would impact just about every single American family for the worse. It cannot be understated how devastating this would be to just about every family.

This so-called “Fair Tax” plan is the craziest yet. It's a real doozy. It's hard to believe they came up with it. It would completely abolish the IRS – no more IRS – and just impose a 30% tax on everything.

So here, Americans are worried about inflation and the Republican Party – many of them – are saying we want to increase your price, what you pay, by another 30%. It'd be the largest tax increase for working Americans ever – ever. So the party, this MAGA Republican Party, has no concern for working people. Every single day, they're simply trying to have a new plan to cut more taxes on the wealthy and impose it on average working Americans.

Steve Forbes – hardly a liberal – you know what he said? It would raise the cost of buying a house by $125,000. It would raise the cost of buying a car by $10,000.

It would raise your average grocery bill by $3,500 a year. People are complaining about the high prices of groceries. Eggs are already too high. They’d add another $1.50 for each dozen of eggs. Milk is high. Another $1.70 more. Again, $3,500 on groceries. But it would also mean thousands in more that you'd have to pay in insurance premiums, in your out-of-pocket health care costs.

And seniors who have saved and saved and saved for their retirements – first, we don't know if there'd be any more Social Security – but those who even have Social Security, it would mean they'd have 30% less buying power right away. A third lower. Almost every American family would be devastated.

So let me just say this. As long as I am Majority Leader, this devastating, unfair, nasty and almost crazy plan is not going to pass. Not going to happen in the Senate. Absolutely. But it shows you how extreme these MAGA Republicans are. I have rarely seen such an extreme proposal in all my years in government. They're so out of touch with reality. Do they know what average people go through? Do they know that the wealthy are the only people who during COVID were doing even better? They want to help them some more. And it would just – every American would have a tough, tough time making ends meet under this. I believe it could cause the next Great Depression if we were to impose it.

Thank God there are firewalls in Leader Jeffries and the Democrats in the House. Thank God we have a Democratic majority in the Senate. So the craziness that they're going to try to do believe me, these MAGA Republicans are intent on doing this, will not happen.