Politics & Government

Tax-bill vote shows party-line division among Valley lawmakers

House Speaker Paul Ryan, left, speaks at a news conference after the House voted to approve the Republican tax bill Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, left, speaks at a news conference after the House voted to approve the Republican tax bill Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP

Probably not surprisingly, two Valley congressmen took opposite stands on the tax-reform bill passed by the Republican-led House on Tuesday.

Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, voted with his GOP colleagues in support of the bill and said it would provide critically needed reform and return money to Valley families. Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, said the measure will increase taxes on the middle class while giving corporations get a major break.

Said Valadao: “My constituents have suffered under an outdated tax code for far too long and as a result, unemployment rests at 10.2 percent, the median household income barely reaches $40,000, and a staggering 27.2 percent of my constituents live in poverty. Reforming our tax code to make it simpler and fairer will create jobs, grow our economy, and increase the amount of money Central Valley workers take home to their families.”

Valadao represents the 21st District, which covers parts of Fresno, Tulare and Kern counties and all of Kings County.

Costa, whose 16th District includes much of Fresno and heads north to Merced, said the vote “reflects a missed opportunity to use bipartisan comprehensive tax reform to return our nation to a fiscally responsible path while making our tax system fairer and simpler. Instead, the House passed a partisan tax bill which will increase our national debt by $2.2 trillion and which pays for permanent corporate tax cuts by increasing taxes on America’s middle class and families in 2025.”

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, did not respond to Bee requests for comment and had not yet posted a statement to his website.

How Valley lawmakers voted on the tax-reform bill

The six men who represent the central San Joaquin Valley in the House voted along party lines Tuesday as representatives approved the $1.5 trillion tax-reform bill. The overall vote was 227-203.

Yes

Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove

Jeff Denham, R-Modesto

David Valadao, R-Hanford

Devin Nunes, R-Tulare

Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield

No

Jim Costa, D-Fresno

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