COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence traveled to western Iowa on Tuesday to tout a recently approved federal tax cut — one in a series of stops across the country to sell a recently approved federal tax cut, as well as try to boost the prospects of fellow Republicans who face ever-growing challenges from Democrats in this midterm election year.
The tax cuts will prompt more jobs and tax savings across the country, as well as larger paychecks for Iowa and Nebraska workers, Pence said.
“In fact, Nebraska and Iowa workers can expect more than $4,100 a year in the years ahead,” Pence said at an America First Policies event in Council Bluffs, the latest in his bid to sell the American public on the tax overhaul signed into law by President Donald Trump in December.
The vice president has been vigorously campaigning for Republicans on the tour, seeking to protect GOP majorities. Pence was slated to appear later Tuesday at a fundraiser for Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, who faces challenges from several Democrats, including Bob Krist, a former Republican state lawmaker turned Democrat. After the fundraiser, Pence was to travel to Kentucky.
About 600 people turned out for the Iowa event, where officials — including Gov. Kim Reynolds — and business leaders hyped the new tax law, but did not discuss criticisms against it and took only prescreened, written questions from the crowd.
The only hint of criticism directed at the cuts came from Pence, when he pushed back against House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi’s criticism of bonuses as “crumbs.”
“Another $1,000 in our pocket at the end of the year — we had a term for that: Christmas,” he said to cheers and applause.
The law provides steep tax cuts for corporations, with more modest breaks for most Americans — although some in the middle class from high-taxed states will pay more. The White House has been emboldened by a parade of businesses that have announced additional investments in the U.S. or income boosts to their employers, but critics insist the law will mainly enrich the already wealthy and swell corporate profits while leaving most ordinary households with comparatively modest tax cuts and, eventually, tax hikes.
Among the tax benefits being passed on to workers in Iowa and Nebraska, according to event organizers, are $1,000 bonuses to the 260 employees of bank holding company Ohnward Bancshares of Cascade, Iowa, and to more than 4,000 employees of student loan firm Nelnet of Lincoln.