San Diego

Issa Defends Maverick Vote on Republicans' Tax Plan

After last year's close race to keep his Congressional seat, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-49th District) is vigorously defending his vote against his party's tax plan.

Issa was one of two Southern California Republicans to join all House Democrats in rejecting the plan.  

Hillary Clinton got more votes than Donald Trump did in Issa's 49th District last year.

Issa also notes that eight of the ten people who voted for her voted for him too.

He says that what might look like a good deal in other states wouldn't add up to that in much of California.

"On the average, it reduced taxes,"  he acknowledged in an interview Friday. "But if you’re not average and your taxes go up, you’re asking 'How did Issa let that happen?' And I said it wasn’t going to happen on my watch, and I’ll do what I can to stop it."

The House bill would eliminate the deduction for income and sales taxes, and cap property tax deductions at $10,000.

It also would lower the cap on the mortgage interest deduction from a million dollars to $500,000.

More than 70 percent of the homes in Issa's district are priced at half a million.

Tax analysts say California is one of several states whose residents are likely to see their federal income taxes go up.

And, that by 2022, those residents would pay $17 billion more in personal income taxes...while residents in the other states would get $100 billion in tax cuts.

"I received tens of thousands of calls and emails asking me not to vote for this tax bill. And many, many, many of them had noted that it's a tax increase on a lot of my constituents," Issa said. "I made it clear to my leadership that I would vote for a tax cut. But I had never voted for a tax increase. And just because Republicans had authored it, I wasn't going to vote the increased taxes on my constituents."

The current Senate tax bill calls for maintaining the mortgage interest deduction, instead of cutting it in half as the House plan does.

But it enforces deeper cuts to state and local tax breaks.

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