Tax Bill Hiccups…

The Republicans got their tax bill through the House albeit with 12 REPUBLICANS voting against and two members abstaining.  All the Dems voted against it.  It then went on to the Senate where several minor procedural changes were made to the bill before it was approved.  That meant that it had to then go back to the House for a re-vote since the bill had been changed from the version the House had passed.

The revote by the House is expected to have no snags but it ought to be a real embarrassment to the House Republicans who acted like the ‘gang that couldn’t shoot straight’.  Of course, the need for a revote was seized upon by Ms. Pelosi who made the claim that this proved of how secretive the Republicans had been in the whole process and what a bad bill this was.

The 12 Republicans who thought they needed to vote against the bill were: Dana Rohrabacher (CA), Darrell Issa (CA), Walter B. Jones (NC), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), Christopher H. Smith (NJ),  Leonard Lance (NJ), Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ), Lee Zeldin (NY), Peter T. King (NY), Dan Donovan (NY), John J, Faso (NY) and Elise Stefanik (NY).  These ‘No’ votes apparently had to do with certain provisions that these 12 felt harmed their voters given inability for certain deductions to occur.  It was essentially framed as a rich vs. poor vote.

This gives us a small peak through the legislative window that shows how difficult it can be to put together and get passed bills that will appeal to the majority of those who will vote either for or against the bills.  Part of the issue in bills impacting taxes is the significant differences in earned incomes of some states as compared to the majority of states.  A Senator from Wisconsin may well see a difference in such bills that would not be a seeming problem for Senators from other states, and vice versa.

So, by the end of today, there ought to be a new tax bill ready for signature by the President.  But, this serves to make the point that each step up the ladder of political jurisdictions becomes a bit of a different situation.

Members of a village board or a city council have constituents that, for-the-most-part, see issues the same way making yes or no votes a bit easier.  Yet, even at this bottom rung on the political ladder, there can be significant differences in points-of-view.  Each step up that political ladder sees changes in the driving forces.  And, each step up that ladder sees differing pressures on those who have the responsibility to cast the ballots for or against.

The biggest difference seems to be the proximity of the voter to the elected official.  In a village, the representative can be seen easily and that could be at the Post Office or the supermarket or the custard shop.  Local representatives also have the benefit, usually, of lesser complicated issues although those can be seen very differently by people living a block from each other and having generally a similar income.

All this comes down to individual voter input to elected representatives no matter the level at which the governmental unit operates.  I suspect that the number of people who follow their local elected officials’ votes is probably a greater percentage than the number of state residents who follow their elected officials’ voting on both state issues or national issues.  Physical proximity is a significant advantage for the voter wanting to make his or her feelings known.

Our democratic system is the best in the world, even with its flaws and foibles; and, us citizens can make that even better by being involved.

 

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