California’s Most Conservative Congressmen Vote Against Tax Reform 

Three of the four most conservative rated California members of Congress just voted against the House tax reform bill.

Conservative Reviews’ Congressional Liberty ratings for conservative voting records by California’s 14 Republican members of the Congress reveals Rep. Thomas McClintock leads the state with a top score of 88 percent, followed by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher with a score of 80 percent, and Rep. Darrell Issa is fourth with a 57 percent score.

The National Journal rated Sen. Barack Obama as the most liberal member of Congress when he ran for president. In his victory speech after a liberal Democrat sweep of the U.S. government on Nov. 6, 2008, Obama trumpeted, “Change has come to America.”

With Republicans out of power for the next 8 years, McClintock, Rohrabacher, and Issa ran up their conservative voting ratings, knowing that liberal Democrats controlled the national public policy agenda and Obama would veto conservative legislation efforts.

But with Republicans now fully in control of the White House and both houses of Congress, President Trump is moving to pass the biggest tax cuts since President Reagan in 1986. To maximize tax rate reductions, the latest Congressional bill would:

  • Cap the deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000. The Heritage Foundation claims the current deduction is a subsidy for seven states (California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Connecticut)  that receive more than 50 percent of the nationwide deductions; and
  • Limit to $500,000the maximum mortgage debt that can be used to claim mortgage interest deductions.  The Atlantic reported that two-thirds of American households own a home, but with the national average mortgage debt of $196,014, only one-quarter of them claim any mortgage interest deductions. Slightly more take the deduction in California, where the average mortgage is $310,676.

Rep. Tom McClintock told the Los Angeles Times he voted against the House tax reform bill because: “I made a pledge not to raise taxes. This bill raises taxes on a significant number of my constituents and Californians disproportionate to the population.”

According to the Times analysis of McClintock’s Central Valley district, 45 percent benefit from the state and local tax deduction and 8 percent benefit from interest deductions on mortgages over $500,000

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher told the Times he voted against the House tax reform because: “This was not an easy vote to figure out, it was not an easy vote to determine, but when my constituents who are very good with their numbers tell me that they are going to be [paying] $5,000 to $10,000 more in taxes, I’m supposed to represent their interests.”

According to the Times analysis of Rohrabacher’s Orange County district, 42 percent benefit from the state and local tax deduction and 52 percent benefit from interest deductions on mortgages over $500,000.

Rep. Darrell Issa told the Times he voted against the House tax reform because “There’s a lot of ways they could try to make it uniformly fair to the states, and I see no chance of it … This is a pretty good bill from a business standpoint and a poorly thought-out bill on the non-business side.”

According to the Times analysis of Rohrabacher’s Orange County district, 42 percent benefit from the state and local tax deduction and 44 percent benefit from interest deductions on mortgages over $500,000.


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