One day after the U.S. House passed its version of the Trump Tax Plan, Rep. Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas) returned to Nevada and appeared at UNLV to explain how the tax bill would affect her constituents. Titus did not hold back in criticizing the House bill, and she pointed out how the Senate bill could cause just as many problems for working class Nevadans.

“[The House tax bill] didn’t take into consideration any of the impact it has on working families in Las Vegas.”
– Rep. Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas)

Desperate to reach Republican leaders’ end of year deadline, the House rushed this month to pass its Trump Tax Plan bill. Titus began her critique of the House bill with a condemnation of the process by which it was produced. “It had very little public discussion, or any input from the public,” Titus said. Indeed, both versions of the Trump Tax Plan have mostly been crafted by Republican leaders away from public view.
Titus then pivoted to the policies in the legislation. “It didn’t take into consideration any of the impact it has on working families in Las Vegas,” she said. Not only does the bill direct 48% of its tax breaks to the top 1% richest Americans, and not only does the bill cut taxes more for foreign investors than the bottom 60% of Americans, but it also raises taxes on most Americans by 2027.

“This isn’t going to help our economy. This isn’t going to help working families.”
– Rep. Dina Titus

Photo by Andrew Davey

Titus reminded the audience that most of her constituents utilize various deductions in the federal tax code. “Some 20% of my constituents itemize their deductions. The vast majority of them earn under $75,000 a year.” Titus added, “This bill does away with deductions for student loans, property taxes, and medical expenses.”
Titus then went into further detail on one of the most controversial aspects of the Trump Tax Plan: its attack on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. Titus sounded the alarms on how a rollback (as the House approved) or outright elimination (as the Senate is considering) of SALT deductions would not just harm most taxpayers, but also state and local governments. “This is a cut that will be lasting, because you’re shifting the burden from federal to state and local government,” Titus said.

“[Health insurance] rates are going to skyrocket. It makes the whole market unstable.”
– Rep. Dina Titus

After the program, Titus took questions from local media. That’s when she took on one of the biggest items in the Senate’s version of the Trump Tax Plan: its elimination of Obamacare’s individual mandate to have health insurance. Titus pointed out how that would disrupt the nation’s health care system: “It will put 13 million people immediately out of health insurance.”

Titus later explained why repeal of the mandate would result in such a severe loss of coverage. “Not only does this hurt individuals who are getting insurance through the exchange, but it’s also hurting those are buying insurance, and businesses that are buying insurance.” Titus continued, “[T]heir rates are going to skyrocket. It makes the whole market unstable.”
Thus far, Senator Dean Heller (R) has consistently supported Trumpcare legislation and enthusiastically promoted the Trump Tax Plan. During the press conference, Titus had a warning for him and his Senate Republican colleagues. As she addressed the ideology of “trickle-down economics” that’s rooted in the bill, Titus said, “It’s never worked in the past. It’s not going to work now.”