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Dems Use DeVos as Boogeywoman to Slam GOP Tax Plan’s Benefits for Billionaires

By Alyson Klein — October 18, 2017 1 min read
Education Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos testifies on Capital Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
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Senate Democrats say the still-emerging GOP tax plan would mostly benefit billionaires. Their Exhibit A? U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who became a target of progressives almost as soon as she was nominated to her post and barely squeaked through confirmation.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the Senate’s majority leader, cited a report by the left-leaning Center for American Progress Action Fund that estimated DeVos could get a between annual tax break of between $3 million and $5 million from the plan in “pass-through” income alone. The analysis estimated that dollar amount could cover 2,000 kids on Medicaid.

Schumer noted that DeVos, along with other wealthy cabinet members including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wibur Ross, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, could see tax breaks of some $3.5 billion combined, according to the CAP analysis.

The messaging of one more example of Democrats using the divisiveness surrounding DeVos for their own political purposes. Her name has also been used in fundraising emails for Democratic candidates.

DeVos has been more visible lately, heading out to schools and giving speeches. But protestors continue to follow her, muddying her message.

There are also big potential implications for schools in the tax overhaul. For instance, it could eliminate the state and local tax deduction, which could cost schools billions every year. And it could expand tax credits for child care, a move Democrats say wouldn’t help the lowest income people, who don’t always pay taxes.

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