Local Reactions to Senate Tax Overhaul Vote

Protesters took to Boylston Street Saturday after the late night vote on tax overhaul in the Senate

Protesters gathered in Boston only a few hours after a GOP tax overhaul, which polls have shown is unpopular, passed through the Senate early Saturday morning.

Protesters on Boylston Street told NBC Boston they feared the bill would have a positive affect on billionaires but be harmful to everyone else.

Cole Harrison was among those protesters. He called the measure, "A huge tax giveaway for billionaires and rich corporations."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, remained confident in the measure after the late-night vote, which narrowly passed 51-49.

“Big bills are rarely popular," he said in an interview, "You remember how unpopular 'Obamacare' was when it passed?"

Many Democratic lawmakers in Massachusetts and around New England have been vocalizing their disappointment with the Republican tax plan on social media.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, posted a video to Twitter late Friday night in which she called the measure a "payoff to the big Republican donors."

Warren was critical of the hasty Republican push for a vote Friday night. "This isn't right," said Warren in the video, "this is not how the American government should be making laws."

Sen. Jeane Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, also spoke critically of the haste with which the bill was passed. "We need bipartisan tax reform to simplify our tax code, bolster the middle class, support small business and create jobs," she said in a tweet, "But the partisan bill forced through the senate and passed on a party-line vote failed to address any of these critical needs."

Congressman Joseph Kennedy of Massachusetts spoke out against the tax overhaul Saturday afternoon.

"#GOPTaxScam is what happens when you allow donors & lobbyists to pull the strings. GOP can no longer claim to be party of good governance, fiscal responsibility and lower taxes," he tweeted.

Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins vocalized her support of the tax bill. "I do believe that this bill will help to promote economic growth and the creation of jobs," she said in an interview.

Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent, said in a statement, "By rushing this legislation through the Senate with no hearings, no input from experts and no feedback from the American people, we've advanced a terrible bill."

The next step is for Republicans in the Senate and Congress to reconcile their versions of the tax plan.

College students were also vocalizing their disappointment with the Senate's tax plan due to provisions that directly affect student loans.

The Senate version of the bill includes a repeal of tax deductions for student loan interest. The House and Senate versions include provisions requiring graduate students to report tuition waivers as income.

"Everyone said, that's outrageous, they won't do it, and they did," one student told NBCBoston.

Maura Quint, an organizer with the Not One Penny campaign, was on Boylston Street as part of Saturday's protests. She believes that if the Republican tax overhaul becomes a reality, voters would respond.

"If they do pass this through, it will be reflected in the 2018 and the 2020 elections," she said.

President Donald Trump has said that he hopes to sign the bill into law by the end of the year.

Contact Us