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Durbin: Illinois Republicans Must 'Stand Up And Say No' To GOP Tax Plans

CHICAGO (CBS) -- U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said he hopes Republican members of the Illinois congressional delegation "stand up and say no" to GOP tax plans he believes would harm most Illinois taxpayers.

The number two Democrat in the Senate said, for most people in Illinois, the Republican tax plans in the House and Senate are bad news, because they would take away many tax breaks and benefits from the average taxpayer.

"The only way to stop this from moving forward is for the seven Republican congressmen in our state to stand up and say no; that they won't allow the Congress to pass this bill with their votes that are going to hurt their districts and hurt the families that they represent," he said.

Durbin said he believes it will be difficult for some Republicans representing Illinois on Capitol Hill to side with their party on changes to federal income tax policy if most of their constituents will pay the price with higher taxes.

The senator said the Republican tax plan presented in the Senate would benefit the wealthy and corporations, while removing benefits for most Illinoisans.

"Losing the deductibility of interest on student loans just means students and their families are going to have a bigger burden to pay off their college education. Losing the deduction for medical expenses means that a family surprised by a diagnosis facing cancer therapy that's so costly, or an accident to a member of the family, cannot deduct the cost of those expenses from their taxes," he said.

Durbin called on GOP congressmen in Illinois to take a look at their party's tax plans, see how they would affect constituents, and then decide how they'll vote on it. He said he doesn't know how Republicans would be able to justify voting for the changes proposed by party leaders.

"I don't know what you can do voting for these increases in taxes on middle income families, and come home and ask for the votes from those families," he said. "This is supposed to be tax reform to give working families a fighting chance, and instead it's going to create a bigger burden."

A congressional analysis has fund the Senate tax plan would increase taxes in 2019 for 13.8 million households earning less than $200,000 a year. By 2025, 21.4 million households would have larger tax bills.

Congress' nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation found the House tax plan would lower taxes across all income levels over the next several years, but would result in taxes going up beginning in 2023 for some 38 million taxpayers earning $20,000 to $40,000 a year.

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