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Congressman Lloyd Doggett

Representing the 35th District of Texas

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House Democratic Conferees Request Treasury Secretary to Appear with Tax Analysis

December 7, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Democratic Members of the Conference Committee on the Republican tax bill urged Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to provide a copy of any Treasury Department analysis of the economic impact of this legislation and to appear before the Conference Committee for questioning about it and other issues. Secretary Mnuchin had said in September that 100 people at Treasury were “working around the clock” to produce the analysis. The Inspector General at the Treasury Department has already opened an inquiry based upon a November 30 request from Senator Elizabeth Warren regarding possible suppression of the report for political reasons.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) said, “A promised report, once presented as essential, now appears to have disappeared. Nor has a single Administration witness come before either the House or Senate to defend and answer questions about this far-reaching tax legislation. Especially with the views of Trump officials varying so widely from the analyses of the vast majority of economists, obtaining the Treasury Department’s work is important. A prompt answer to our request can respond to the one anonymous economist at the Office of Tax Analysis, who maintains that the reason the promised analysis has not been released is because no such analysis exists.”

A signed version of the letter is attached and the text of letter is below.

December 7, 2017

 

The Honorable Steven Mnuchin

Secretary

Department of the Treasury

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20220

Dear Secretary Mnuchin:

Now that conferees will soon be meeting to adjust the differences between the House and Senate on tax legislation, we hope that you will appear before us to review it with us. In September, you said that “not only will this tax plan pay for itself, but it will pay down the debt.” You have said that over 100 people in Treasury are “working around the clock on running scenarios for us” to produce an analysis supporting this conclusion.   

We respectfully request a copy of this Department of Treasury analysis of the tax bill’s economic impact, and that you, along with the Director of the Office of Tax Analysis, appear before the Conference Committee to explain its findings and to respond to other concerns.

Numerous independent experts have found that this tax bill would raise taxes on millions of Americans, produce little economic growth, and add trillions to the national debt. We would like to hear from you as a witness from the Administration to share your opposing views and supporting evidence.

Numerous economists and economic analyses of the tax bill contradict the Administration’s views, including:

  • The Joint Committee on Taxation which found that economic growth would not make up for $1 trillion worth of the new debt it creates.
  • A University of Chicago survey of prominent economists, which found that only one of 38 respondents believed that the Republican tax bill would lead to “substantially higher” higher economic growth.
  • Chief Moody’s Analytics economist Mark Zandi, who explained that the Republican plan “does little to boost growth because it will increase rates and debt.”
  • Republican economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who said in May that “there’s just no evidence that the tax cuts actually pay for themselves.”
  • Bruce Bartlett, a former top economic advisor to Ronald Reagan, who has called the claim that tax cuts can pay for themselves “complete nonsense.”
  • President George W. Bush’s former Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill, was “dumbfounded by the notion that the tax cuts…would not add to the debt.”
  • Your former employer, Goldman Sachs, which concluded that “the effect in 2020 and beyond looks minimal and could actually be slightly negative.”

Everyone, on both sides of the aisle, agrees that this legislation will remove popular deductions for many Americans. They agree that in the immediate term it will add over $1 trillion dollars to the debt, and, under current law, will require cuts to Medicare, farm subsidies, and other essential programs.  Your views, especially to the extent that they rely on evidence different from the experts cited above, would be very helpful as we continue to consider the impact of this legislation. We hope you will appear before the committee.

Sincerely,

Congressman Richard Neal

Congressman Lloyd Doggett

Congressman Sander Levin

Congressman Raúl Grijalva

Congresswoman Kathy Castor

 

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