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Senate Democrats Obstruct Sens. Cruz, Toomey’s Proposal to Fully Debate & Advance Bipartisan SECURE Act, Tax Relief for Gold Star Families

November 7, 2019

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) today offered a unanimous consent request to debate and advance the SECURE Act, comprehensive, bipartisan retirement security legislation, in the Senate. The request also included the opportunity for the Senate to vote on common sense proposals to strengthen the bill.

Sens. Cruz and Toomey, as well as Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah), offered several proposals, including:
• Allowing 529s to cover expenses of K-12 students and educational costs for homeschooled students, provisions that were stripped by Speaker Nancy Pelosi from the House bill at the behest of special interest groups; and
• Ensuring the full cost of store, office, or building improvements can be immediately expensed, as was originally intended.

Instead of taking the opportunity to strengthen and advance the SECURE Act, Senate Democrats decided to obstruct their proposal and favor partisan politics over helping local business owners, students, and Gold Star families.

As Sen. Cruz said on the Senate floor:

"We're going to see the Democrats hold the SECURE Act hostage because they're unwilling to vote on amendments. To hold hostage bipartisan reform that would improve retirement savings, but also to hold hostage tax relief for Gold Star families that should have passed a long time ago - that it's cynical for the Democrats to hold hostage, but they're getting ready to object and say, ‘The Gold Star families don't get their tax relief,' because they're afraid to vote. The Democrats are afraid to have a vote in this body and they're willing to hold the Gold Star families hostage.

"It's worth noting that Senator Toomey's proposal is not even that this proposal be adopted. It is simply that we vote on it, and yet the cynicism of today's Democratic Party is such, that we are about to see them object to even having a vote. That's unfortunate. And it's wrong."

As Sen. Toomey said on the Senate floor:

"There's a proper way to resolve these kinds of differences, and that is to put this bill on the Senate floor, to open it up for amendments and allow the Senate to work its will. The Senate will almost certainly pass some version, probably very similar to the House bill. And then we iron out whatever little differences there are. This is the way we legislate. And that's what I'm suggesting we do today. To do otherwise would be to treat this body as just a rubber stamp for the House, and that's not the purpose of having two legislative bodies."

Watch Sens. Cruz and Toomey's remarks here.

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