Yesterday, some House Republicans finally shared their tax reform plan with the American people after months of closed-door discussion. Like the dangerous attack on health care that preceded it, the tax measure was cobbled together in secret, announced with fanfare, along with a committee vote schedule for just days away. No hearings, no public input, and barely enough time to review the hundreds of pages of tax code changes. When Congress last considered tax reform legislation 31 years ago, they had 30 days of public hearings over six months. Then House members worked together for 10 months to produce a bipartisan package with 26 days of markup in committee. Yesterday’s proposal will see no such critical consideration.
Beyond a process setup for failure, the new proposal includes language that would undercut the Johnson amendment, allowing houses of worship to endorse or oppose candidates for public office. Such a change would allow candidates and political parties to pressure for endorsements, transforming them into tools for their own political gain. HRC strongly opposes efforts to weaken to the prohibition on political engagement by houses of worship.
Two other provisions in this legislation threaten the ability of LGBTQ people to start or grow their families. Without a vital adoption tax credit, many LGBTQ people would lack the resources to welcome a child into their family. Employer-provided adoption assistance programs have also eased the financial burden of adoption. Both provisions are eliminated under the House Majority tax bill and HRC will be fighting have them reinstated. President Trump and Congressional Republicans are determined that this tax bill will bring a long overdue legislative victory. They will not succeed if we continue to work together.