Schumer, who along with other Democratic senators received a draft of the bill late Friday, called the bill a monstrosity and criticized his Republican colleagues for rushing to pass a measure that he says only benefits the wealthy.
“Historians will mark this day as one of the darkest black-letter days in the long history of this Senate,” Schumer said during his request to delay voting on the bill until Monday.
“Once hailed as the world’s greatest deliberative body, as a beacon of American democracy and the envy of representative governments around the world, the Senate seems to have abandoned those qualities in a rush to pass a bill that no one is proud of.”
Schumer and other Democratic senators said it would be impossible for Democrats to vote accurately on the bill because they weren’t given enough time to read it.
“How high taxes go up or go down, if the economy grows or shrinks, if it creates jobs or loses them ― who knows? Certainly no one here,” Schumer said.
“With this stunning deception, with this reckless ramrodding of a bill, Republicans are reaching heretofore unreached heights of hypocrisy,” the senator added. “And the Senate is descending to a new low of chicanery.”
Schumer emphasized how damaging the tax bill could be for middle class Americans and accused Republican lawmakers of pandering to lobbyists and special interest groups.
“Substantively, the Republicans have managed to take a bad bill and make it worse,” Schumer said.
“It was chock-full of special-interest giveaways before tonight, but under the cover of darkness and with the aid of haste, a flurry of last-minute changes will stuff even more money into the pockets of the wealthy and the biggest corporations while raising taxes on millions in the middle class.”
Schumer pleaded with the GOP to push back voting on the bill so that lawmakers could “clean” it up.
“I would make one final plea,” he said. “Because this bill is so slanted toward the wealthy and powerful ... because the bill was given to lobbyists to read and change before senators saw it, and because the bill was given to us on a few hours notice and has not been read fully or considered fully by a single senator, I move we adjourn until Monday, so we can first read and then clean up this awful piece of legislation.”
Senate Republicans voted against Schumer’s push to stall the GOP tax bill 48-52.
Democrats were outraged when they received a draft of the Republican’s tax bill late in the day on Friday and many lawmakers rushed to read through its 479 pages.
“Real bipartisan tax reform isn’t handwritten behind closed doors,” the Senate Democrats tweeted Friday night, including the hashtag #GOPTaxScam.