Following the House’s passage Thursday of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Rep. Kevin Yoder issued a statement lauding the bill as including “historic, sweeping reforms that will fix the broken tax code in America for the first time in 30 years” and that will spark “real economic recovery we’ve been missing for the last ten years.”
“More money in your pocket, higher wages on your paycheck – it’s a win for middle class, hardworking families all around,” Yoder said.
But his characterization of the GOP’s tax package as a win for the middle class drew swift rebuke from Democrats, including two of the candidates vying for their party’s nomination to challenge him next November. Tom Niermann told the Shawnee Mission Post on Wednesday that the bill would hurt teachers, like himself. Andrea Ramsey said that the federal bill was reminiscent of the Kansas tax cut plan that fell woefully short of the results promised by its proponents in 2012.
“As I said when this bill was introduced, here in Kansas we’ve seen first hand the devastating impact of a reckless tax plan that makes the middle class pay more, cuts education and health care, stalls job growth and adds $11 billion in debt,” Ramsey said. “Now today, Congressman Yoder voted in favor of this bill and against middle class families.”
Independent analyses of the GOP plans have found that the benefits to many middle class families would be short-lived because certain tax breaks in the House bill expire after 2022. The plan also eliminates or significantly alters popular deductions, like state and local tax deductions, the deduction for medical expenses, the mortgage interest deduction, and the deduction for student loan interest.
Yoder finds himself facing mounting challenges to his support of President Donald Trump’s agenda as the 2018 election cycle begins to warm up. Republican incumbents in the Virginia suburbs that closely match the demographics of Johnson County found themselves hammered in this month’s elections, with voters apparently dissatisfied with the direction of the Republican party under Trump. Despite his tepid support for Trump in the election, Yoder has voted with the president’s agenda 94.3 percent of the time, according to an analysis by FiveThirtyEight. That record has many political insiders pegging Yoder as among the more vulnerable Republican incumbents heading into 2018, given that Hillary Clinton narrowly won District 3 last November.
Was Yoder’s vote in support of the House tax reform bill the right move? Why or why not?