Tenney ‘Yes’ Vote on House Tax Bill Draws Concerns from Local Officials
Congresswoman Claudia Tenney's 'yes' vote for the House's 'Tax Cuts and Jobs Act' has drawn criticism from local leaders. On Thursday afternoon, House Republicans sent out a mass text to New York's 22nd Congressional District hailing Tenney for her vote.
BREAKING NEWS: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act just passed the House! We promised more jobs, bigger paychecks, and fairer taxes... and we're delivering.
FYI- Claudia voted for the tax bill a bunch of Upstate NY Rs voted no
Tenney told Syracuse.com on Thursday that she would vote for the tax bill. "It was a very difficult decision to vote 'yes' for this...but in the end I think it's the right thing to do." The Syracuse.com story claims that Tenney was lobbied intensely to vote in favor of the legislation, including a 14-minute call from Vice President Mike Pence.
Tenney said she made her decision after weeks of intense lobbying by House Republican leaders, culminating with a 14-minute phone call Wednesday afternoon from Vice President Mike Pence. -Syracuse.com
NY Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi of Utica, who is challenging Tenney in the next year's
mid-term election, called the bill a "tax scam" and strongly criticized Tenney's vote. “Let the record show that when it really counts, when we need our hometown member of Congress to do the right thing, Claudia Tenney does the exact opposite. She votes how she is told, not in what we believe," said Brindisi. "She just signed a contract against all of us that will deliver a tax increase to our area, decimate Medicare and skyrocket the national debt. She owns this mess,” he added.
The House voted 227-205 to pass the bill, while thirteen Republicans voted against the legislation along with all Democrats in the House, according to the New York Times. 23 of New York's 27 representatives voted no. The five New York Republican 'no votes' cited the bill's negative impact on the state's taxpayers, including the omission of the popular state and local tax deduction (SALT). Tenney joined three other Upstate Republicans in voting yes; New York Reps. John Katko, R-Camillus, Tom Reed, R-Corning and Chris Collins, R-Clarence.
Republican Congressman John Fasso (NY-19) was one of the New York Republicans who voted against the bill. In a statement on his website on Thursday, he cited his reasons.
"There is no question that the federal tax code – with more than 70,000 pages of regulations - is broken. It is unfair to hardworking taxpayers, contains too many loopholes for special interests and is hampering the growth of our economy and ability of American workers to compete in the global economy. I have consistently stated that my goals for tax reform are to increase economic growth, increase worker paychecks, incentivize small business investment and ensure New York families are better off. Unfortunately, I do not believe the current tax bill being considered by the House meets all of these goals. As such, I will vote no when the bill is considered in the House of Representatives tomorrow."
Other local leaders had serious concerns over the passage of the House bill, including Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr.. “The partial elimination of the state and local tax (SALT) deduction will raise taxes for many middle-class suburban homeowners in the Mohawk Valley and the proposal is unacceptable as is,” said Picente.
Brindisi said Tenney's vote goes against several New York business groups and government leaders. “Congresswoman Tenney has just made one of the biggest mistakes of her career and ignored the business, elected leaders, and the people of her very own
hometown," said Brindisi. "For weeks, I have crisscrossed this district—talked with the young, the old, homeowners, business owners, teachers—and they all saw this plan by Congress for what it is: a tax increase on our middle-class and a tax cut for the ultra-rich," he added.
Former Congressman Richard Hanna told WIBX on Thursday that he "never would have voted for this bill because it hurts New Yorkers." "Other New York Republican representatives voted no on this bill because of the damage it causes to New Yorkers. I don't know how she could ignore the interests of people in the 22nd Congressional District," he said.
WIBX reached out to Congresswoman Tenney and is awaiting a response.