Pelosi lambasts California Republicans for supporting tax bill that ends wildfire loss deductions


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday criticized Republicans in the California delegation for approving a tax bill that eliminated the deduction for personal losses from wildfires, earthquakes and other natural disasters, but kept the break for victims of the recent severe hurricanes.

“They actually voted for that bill,” Pelosi said during her weekly news conference. “[The members] voted to discriminate against victims of fire. We certainly want to have the deduction for victims of hurricanes and the rest, but why are they doing this to our state?”

The Senate version of the tax bill modifies, but doesn’t eliminate the fire and earthquake deduction so it can be claimed only in the case of a federally declared disaster. Many California fires do not get that designation. It is one of the items that has to be resolved in the final bill currently being negotiated.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) said earlier this week that Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine) is pushing to get a form of the fire and earthquake deduction in the final bill.

Pelosi singled out the California Republicans who voted for the House tax bill by name twice, adding to the deluge of ads and protests hoping to sway their votes.

“It’s once again important to note that 11 Republicans in California voted to do violence to the economy of our state,” Pelosi said.

People across the political spectrum are paying close attention to California Republicans’ votes on the final version of the tax bill.

Several representatives, especially those in Orange County, said they supported the House version because they got assurances that concerns about the loss of deductions for their constituents would be resolved in the final version.

Pelosi noted that the House bill passed with an 11-vote margin, and that if the California members had voted against it, the bill would have failed. 

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