Daines Supports Repeal of Individual Mandate in Tax Bill

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate after the Senate acted on his urging to include a repeal of Obamacare’s poverty tax in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 

Watch video HERE.

Download video HERE

Last week, Senator Daines sent a letter to Committee on Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, urging him to include a repeal of the poverty tax in the tax legislation. Read the letter HERE

Remarks as prepared: 

Mr. President – As we cut taxes, there’s one goal I hold center: We need more good paying jobs and bigger paychecks for hardworking Montanans.

It was just announced that the Senate draft tax bill will repeal a tax that fundamentally targets the low to middle income in my state and across the nation. In fact, in Montana alone – 75 percent of the people who pay this tax make less than $50,000 a year – 32.5% make less than $25,000.

This isn’t anecdotal – in 2015, nationwide, 78.98% of those who paid this tax make less than $50,000 a year – 37.35% make less than $25,000. 

Mr. President, the IRS pick pocketed over $3 billion dollars from over 6.5 million Americans in 2015 alone – a majority of whom make less than $50,000.  This is a tax targeted at those in poverty.

What is this tax you might ask? Where did it come from? 

I’ll tell you where it came from – it came from Obamacare. It’s the Obamacare poverty tax.

Otherwise known as the individual mandate, which forces people to purchase health insurance or pay a fine, the poverty tax systematically taxes those making less than $50,000.  As if it wasn’t enough that Obamacare plans were too expensive for some of these folks, the IRS taxes them for not being able to afford it.

Some say Obamacare steals from the rich to give to the poor – but honestly, Obamacare’s individual mandate is the exact opposite of Robin Hood’s famed cry. Obamacare’s poverty tax is like Robin Hood stealing from Friar Tuck to pay King John. 

It’s unthinkable that we would leave such a provision in law when we have the opportunity to repeal it.  By repealing it, we would, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), save $338 billion dollars over ten years. That’s over $300 billion we can put towards additional tax relief for small businesses and families.

Alternatively, if we do nothing – CBO projects that we will increase taxes by $43 billion. And those taxes will be paid primarily by America’s low and middle income. $43 billion dollars in taxes on those who can afford it the least.

Obamacare’s Poverty Tax must go – and there’s no better time to get rid of it than now.  I urge my colleagues to join me in fighting for the low and middle class of our nation.

Benjamin Franklin is credited with phrase: just two things in life are certain: death and taxes. That may be so, but we don’t need to make them both quite so painful.

That’s why I’m glad a repeal of the Obamacare poverty tax has been included in the Senate draft tax legislation. I urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives to do the same.