WASHINGTON— After the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate passed The Tax Reform and Jobs Act, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, drew attention to unacceptable problems that remain, and called on President Trump to insist that Congress fix them before he signs a bill into law.
The full statement follows:
"Today, Congress passed its tax
reform legislation, The Tax Reform and Jobs Act, and it has been sent
to the President to consider. The legislation achieves some laudable
things, like doubling the standard deduction, which will help many struggling
families avoid tax liability, expanding the use of 529 education plans, and
increasing the child tax credit.
However, the Act contains a number
of problematic provisions that will have dramatic negative consequences,
particularly for those most in need. Among other things, the Joint
Committee on Taxation indicates that the bill will eventually raise taxes on
those with lower incomes while simultaneously cutting taxes for the wealthy.
This is clearly problematic, especially for the poor. The repeal of
the personal exemption will cause larger families, including many in the middle
class, to be financially worse off. The final bill creates a large
deficit that, as early as next year, will be used as a basis to cut programs that
help the poor and vulnerable toward stability. The legislation is also
likely to produce up to a $13 billion drop in annual charitable giving to
nonprofits that are relied upon to help those struggling on the margins.
This will also significantly diminish the role of civil society in promoting
the common good.
As the President considers the tax
bill before him, we ask that he take into account the full consequences of its
provisions and work with Congress to remedy them before signing a tax bill into
Bishop Frank J. Dewane's December 6, 2017, letter analyzing
the Senate and House bills prior to reconciliation can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/federal-budget/upload/Tax-Conference-Letter-Congress-2017-12-06.pdf