WASHINGTON (AP) — As the Senate neared a momentous vote on the sweeping Republican tax bill, Senate Democrats mocked the nearly 500-page printed text of the legislation — complaining it was given to them at the last minute before the vote.
And it had illegible, hand-written notes in the margins, they protested.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts tweeted, “No, I haven’t had time to read the 500-page #GOPTaxScam bill that we’re voting on tonight,” with a photo of her reading aloud from pages at her desk. “Couldn’t read it if I tried — and I did.”
Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana said “one page literally has hand-scribbled policy changes on it that can’t be read. This is Washington, D.C. at its worst. Montanans deserve so much better.”
Republican leaders engaged in eleventh-hour negotiations with GOP holdout senators to meet their demands and secure their support for the bill that’s a political imperative for Trump and the party. They had rounds of closed-door meetings and were drafting the revised bill text up to the time they assembled on the Senate floor in advance of the vote.
The $1.4 trillion bill focuses the bulk of its tax reductions on businesses and higher-earning individuals and gives more modest breaks to others. It would bring the first major overhaul of the U.S. tax system in three decades.
In 2010, Republicans argued that Democrats hadn’t read the massive health care bill before voting for its passage.