Oregon senator calls GOP tax bill 'a bank heist on the U.S. treasury'
EUGENE, Ore. - Jeff Merkley, the junior senator from Oregon, calls the final version of the Republican tax plan "a bank heist on the U.S. treasury."
Merkley voted "no" on the tax package, along with all of the other Democrats in the Senate.
But the Republican majorities in both the House and Senate delivered the bill to President Trump.
Merkley calls it a horrific bill that won't produce jobs to any extent, or provide enough tax relief to middle class Oregonians.
In his view, the benefits are slanted toward the rich - and benefits for middle class residents don't go far enough.
"Middle class Oregonians, some will benefit, some will pay more in taxes, but the vast bulk of this bill goes to the very richest Americans: 83 percent of the funds in this bill go the top 1 percent and over 90 percent goes to the top 5 percent," Merkley said.
Oregon's share of the pie is roughly $30 billion, Merkley said, funding he believes would be better spent on infrastructure, public schools and other needs.
The Democrat predicts that any benefits for the economy and job creation will be minor.
"To do a vast stimulus through the wealthiest at a time of full employment does not significantly increase the economy," Merkley said.
Oregon's lone Republican in Congress, Rep. Greg Walden, could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Calls to his office in Washington, D.C., reached a full voicemail inbox.
In a long interview with The Oregonian/OregonLIve, Walden said a family of four earning the median income of $50,000 per year will pay about $1,300 per year less in taxes. He said he also advocated to keep incentives for affordable housing construction and other provisions.