Los Angeles Times: Pelosi calls out California Republican members as ‘lemmings’ for supporting tax bill


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said the state’s Republican members are lining up “like lemmings” to support a tax bill Democrats say will harm their constituents.

“For California it is devastating,” Pelosi said. “The Republicans from California have gone straight down the line like lemmings to the sea to vote against the interest of their constituents, against the interest of our state.”

With the midterm elections critical to the battle for control of the U.S. House, vulnerable California Republicans, especially those in Southern California where wealthy constituents save thousands on their taxes by deducting state and local tax taxes, are being closely watched.

A tax plan proposed by the GOP on Thursday would eliminate the deduction, known as SALT, which an estimated one in three Californians claim on their federal taxes.

Pelosi was joined by several Democrats from the California congressional delegation for a blistering news conference Thursday as Republicans announced details of their tax overhaul bill in a nearby building.

“It is so sad to see the betrayal perpetrated by our Republican colleagues on their constituents, on our sense of community and our great state,” Pelosi said.

California Democrats called out each of their Republican colleagues by name, laying out how many of their constituents take the state and local tax deduction in each of the state’s 14 GOP-held districts.

“We would hope our colleagues would use their numbers — 14 — to influence the Republican leadership to take this out of the bill. Short of that, we indict them for causing great harm to their constituents,” Pelosi said. “Are they so weak that 14 of them could not weigh in and say this is just not right for the future of our country?”

Pelosi’s political action committee, House Majority PAC, jumped to target vulnerable Republicans, including Rep. Steve Knight of Palmdale, with political ads Thursday, saying they are “lining up behind Paul Ryan’s agenda.”