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Reed, Collins, Katko defend tax overhaul

Five members of New York’s Republican delegation in the House voted Tuesday against a controversial $1.5 trillion package that Democrats are calling a giveaway to the nation’s rich at the expense of middle and lower income Americans.

However, those five don’t include area representatives Tom Reed, John Katko or Chris Collins.

As expected, all three voted in favor of what is called the most sweeping rewrite of the nation’s tax laws in more than three decades. No Democrats voted for the package. The bill has been assailed by many in New York, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said it punishes many state residents — in particular, downstate — because of its limits on deductions for property and income taxes.

The Senate was set to vote on the bill Tuesday evening. After that, it’s expected it will be signed by President Donald Trump who, along with fellow Republicans, has been eager for a legislative victory in his first year in office.

While polls indicate weak national support for the bill, Republican leaders say its popularity will grow as Americans see more money in their pockets.

During debate on the bill Tuesday, decorum on the House floor was fleeting as two New Yorkers — a Democrat and a Republican — voiced their opinions on the bill. Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., yelled, “Hell no” in opposition to the bill, while Reed, R-23, Corning, replied, “Hell yes!”

The proceedings were interrupted several times by protesters shouting from the gallery.

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