House passes contentious tax plan despite bishops’ warnings

Washington D.C., Nov 16, 2017 / 04:37 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a major tax reform bill, which had drawn caution from the U.S. bishops, who had warned that it could place additional burdens on the working poor.

With an official vote of 227-205, the bill was opposed by all House Democrats, as well as 13 Republicans.

It will next go to the Senate. It is uncertain whether it will have enough votes to pass there.

U.S. bishops had called parts of the tax legislation “unconscionable” in a Nov. 9 letter, signed by Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, who chairs the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, who chairs the Committee on International Justice and Peace; and Bishop George V. Murry, S.J. of Youngstown, who chairs the Committee on Catholic Education.

“As written, this proposal appears to be the first federal income tax modification in American history that will raise income taxes on the working poor while simultaneously providing a large tax cut to the wealthy,” they said.

They also objected to provisions in the bill that would act as disincentives for charitable giving, affordable housing projects and community revitalization.

The bishops did highlight some positive aspects of the tax reform, including in the areas of education and child tax credits.


If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


  1. the bishops (and the pope) at this point have no credibility on such issues as these and people are right to ignore them.

    Now, if they want to get back to being bishops, most of them, and collectively, they have little credibility in that realm also so…

  2. I am disappointed that the bishops feel the lower and middle class give to charity for tax deductions. That is about the last thing on their mind. People give to charity for humanity purposes ; not for tax purposes. The catholic bishops and the united way and the other charities will likely see an increase in giving with this new tax plan and not a decrease. I’m just blown away that these organizations believe we give so we can write something off. just wow!

  3. Would that the Bishops had as much concern when over 40% of American Catholics vote for abortion pushing candidates. Not a word that such a vote is a mortal sin because the voter becomes complicit in the evil of over 61,000,000 killings. And would that they would at least get it right on the tax bill. The “working poor” don’t pay any income tax now and they won’t with the new tax plan. I’m tired of so-called leaders putting more emphasis on climate change and immigration than the five non-negotiables.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.