I’ll be the first one to say it: tax reform is long overdue. But I also think it’s much more important to get it right than to get it fast.

So, when the Republican Majority signaled they were moving on a tax reform package, I laid out the principles I thought must be included to earn my vote.

It’s time for Washington to put hardworking families first by providing tax breaks for the middle class, incentivizing new American manufacturing and making it easier for job creators to invest in workforce training.

We should protect programs like Social Security and Medicare so we aren’t balancing the budget on the backs of our seniors and families who are struggling to get by in these tough times.

If we focused our efforts on delivering better jobs, better wages and a better future for the hardworking men and women who have always made America great, then I told Congressional leaders they could count on having my vote.

So when Speaker Paul Ryan looked Americans in the eye and promised a package that would create jobs and cut taxes for the middle-class, I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

Then I read his plan.

Speaker Ryan and Washington Republicans say they are in favor of tax reform, but their bill is a scam that will raise taxes on millions of hardworking middle-class families while giving massive tax breaks to the ultra-rich and big corporations.

That’s not just my opinion - It’s based on analyses by several reputable non-partisan policy institutes and tax experts who ignored the spin and took deep dives into the numbers.

This tax scam would lead to more than $1 trillion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, hurting our seniors.

They claim their plan will create more jobs, but they keep provisions that allow big corporations to write off the expenses from shipping American jobs overseas and eliminate incentives for companies to manufacture goods here.

At a time when there’s more student loan debt than credit card debt in our country, they get rid of the student loan deduction that millions of young people depend on.

And here in the Midwest, where so many of our communities have been devastated by flood and tornado damage over the years, their plan takes away the disaster loss deduction, making it harder for folks to recover.

If your husband has a stroke and needs long-term care, you won't be able to write off that or any other medical expenses.

If you're a teacher who has to buy pencils, paper and other supplies for students who can't afford it, you won't be able to take a tax break at the end of the year for any of that.

And even if you decide to give the gift of love to a child in need through adoption, you will no longer get a tax credit to help cover the expenses.

And despite claiming to be the party of fiscal responsibility, when you add it all up, Paul Ryan’s tax scam would raise the national debt by $1.7 trillion and stick our next generation with the bill.

We've heard a lot of empty promises from Washington before and this latest one just doesn’t pass muster.

Bustos, a Democrat, represents Illinois' 17th Congressional District in the U.S. House. She lives in East Moline. 

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