DNT DEBATE: Jason Lewis Has Repeatedly Sided with Special Interests Instead of Hardworking Minnesotans

ST. PAUL [9/18/20]–Republican Senate candidate Jason Lewis has a long history of siding with special interests, instead of fighting for hardworking Minnesotans. He has turned his back on families by voting to give corporations a massive tax handout–in addition to voting to gut protections for Minnesotans with pre-existing conditions–and he opposed allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. The list goes on: Lewis advocated for raising the retirement age and changes to Social Security that would reduce benefit payments, and he has embraced Trump’s calls to gut the program.

Lewis has refused to name a single thing he disagrees with the President on, and his unyielding support proves he’d be a rubber stamp for Trump rather than someone who puts Minnesotans’ best interests before his own. When pressed on where he and Trump differ, Lewis said “Well, good policy is good politics. And I agree with his policies, so why would I oppose anything?” And recently, when asked the same question again, Lewis proved he’ll put partisan politics ahead of Minnesotans by saying “…it’s not a time to look for a crack in the movement,” and added “I have no disagreements.


Lewis Voted For The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act. In December 2017, Lewis voted for ‘adoption of the conference report on the bill that would revise the federal income tax system by lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent; lowering individual tax rates through 2025; limiting state and local deductions to $10,000 through 2025; decreasing the limit on deductible mortgage debt through 2025; and creating a new system of taxing U.S. corporations with foreign subsidiaries. Specifically, it would repeal personal exemptions and would roughly double the standard deduction through 2025. It would raise the child tax credit to $2,000 through 2025, would repeal the alternative minimum tax for corporations and provide for broader exemptions to the tax for individuals through 2025. It would double individual exemptions to the estate tax and gift tax through 2025, and would establish a new top tax rate for ‘pass-through’ business income through 2025.” The conference report was adopted 227-203. [CQ, 12/19/17; HR 1, Vote 692, 12/19/17]

  • NPR: “The Government Is Expected To Borrow More Than A Trillion Dollars In The Coming Year, In Part To Make Up For Tax Receipts That Have Been Slashed By GOP Tax Cuts.” “The federal deficit ballooned to $779 billion in the just-ended fiscal year — a remarkable tide of red ink for a country not mired in recession or war. The government is expected to borrow more than a trillion dollars in the coming year, in part to make up for tax receipts that have been slashed by GOP tax cuts.” [NPR, 10/16/18]

  • New York Times: Under GOP Tax Plan, “Millions Of Middle-Class Families, Particularly Those With Children,” Would See “An Immediate Tax Increase, Averaging About $2,000.” “President Trump and congressional Republicans have pitched the plan unveiled last week as a tax cut for most Americans. But millions of middle-class families — particularly those with children — would see an immediate tax increase, averaging about $2,000. Among the hardest-hit under the plan would be some of the most vulnerable taxpayers: those with huge out-of-pocket medical expenses.” [New York Times, 11/6/17]

  • 2018: 91 Fortune 500 Corporations Paid No Federal Income Tax. “ITEP’s examination of Fortune 500 companies’ financial filings identifies 379 companies that were profitable in 2018 and that provided enough information to calculate effective federal income tax rates, which is the share of 2018 pretax profits they paid in federal income taxes in that year. This report only includes companies that were profitable in 2018 and would thus be expected to owe income tax for that year. (The corporate income tax is a tax on profits.) […] 91 corporations did not pay federal income taxes on their 2018 U.S. income. These corporations include Amazon, Chevron, Halliburton and IBM. An ITEP study released in April 2019 examined 2018 Fortune 500 filings released to date and found 60 companies paid zero in federal income taxes. Now, all companies have released their 2018 financial filings, and this report reflects that.” [ITEP, 12/16/19]

Lewis Voted To Block A Bill To Net Neutrality And Reinstate FCC Rules Protecting The Privacy Of Broadband Customers. In May 2017, Lewis voted for “Byrne, R-Ala., motion to order the previous question (thus ending debate and possibility of amendment) on the rule (H Res 299).” Upon defeat of the motion, Democrats planned to offer an, “amendment to the Rule, which would make in order Ms. Rosen of Nevada’s bill, H.R. 1868.  H.R. 1868 would reinstate the Federal Communications Commission’s rules adopted on October 27, 2016 that protect the privacy of broadband customers.” A vote yes was a vote to block the Democratic amendment. The motion was agreed to by a vote of 233-190. [HR 1868 (H.Res 299), Vote 240, 5/2/17]

  • 2017-2018: Lewis Received $41,600 In Campaign Contributions From The Telecommunications Industry. As of July 2018, Lewis had disclosed $41,600 in contribution from the telecommunications industry including $7,600 from individuals and $34,000 from PACS. [OpenSecrets.org, accessed 12/27/19]

    • 2017-2018: Lewis Received $34,000 In Campaign Contributions From Telecommunications Industry PACS. [OpenSecrets.org, accessed 12/27/19]

Lewis Said The Answer For Fixing Social Security Was Chained CPI & Raising The Retirement Age For Younger Workers. During a November 19, 2015 Second Congressional GOP primary debate the following interaction occurred, [55:12] LEWIS: The Democrats would say, ‘now let’s just lift the tax cap so the wealthy can bail us out.” If you lifted the tax cap, the FICA tax on the first hundred and eighteen thousand you earn, if you lifted that to no limit at all, you only bail out forty-five percent of the problem, so you can’t just solve it by taxes. If you don’t do anything then your benefits in 2034 will be 75% of what they are today, so somethings gotta be done. But means testing, or lifting the cap on taxes is not the answer. The answer is turning COLA benefits into a chained CPI, and raising the retirement age for younger workers. It’s not a difficult problem if you do that, nobody’s talking about people currently on the system, or people close to it. We’re talking about younger people working longer as they live longer, and we’re talking about a different CPI. You do those two things you preserve the system without turning it into a welfare system. [The Uptake GOP MN CD2 Debate & Debate Transcript, 4/8/16]

Lewis Refused To Name Something President Trump Had Done That He Opposed. MURPHY: “Is there anything that the President has done that you don’t endorse, that you don’t support?” LEWIS: “Well, good policy is good politics, and I agree with his policies, so why would I oppose anything? He’s had a great week: 225,000 new jobs; wages growing 3.3%; more women in the workforce now than men; the State of the Union was great; this impeachment witch-hunt is done, as even Dean Phillips agreed to. So I think it’s been really good for the President this week, and I think the American people and Minnesotans are coming around. Remember, in 2018, we warned folks that if the Democrats took the House, you wouldn’t have more tax reform, you wouldn’t have more deregulation to get labor and capital going; you would have obstruction and impeachment and investigation, and that’s all we’ve seen in the 116th.” [WCCO, Jason Lewis interview, 2/9/20] (VIDEO)

  • Trump Proposed $26 Billion In Cuts To Social Security. “The president has already proposed cuts for some safety-net programs. His last budget proposal called for a total of $1.9 trillion in cost savings from mandatory safety-net programs, like Medicaid and Medicare. It also called for spending $26 billion less on Social Security programs, the federal retirement program, including a $10 billion cut to the Social Security Disability Insurance program, which provides benefits to disabled workers.” [New York Times, 1/22/20]

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