Patty Murray’s Lying About Her Tax Hiking Record

For Immediate Release

June 2, 2022


Patty Murray’s Lying About Her Tax Hiking Record

PASCO, WA – Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) today released a new ad lying about her 35-year record of supporting tax hike after tax hike after tax hike on Washington State families. Contrary to her paid television ad, Murray has voted to increase sales taxes, voted against property tax relief, and opposed middle class tax cuts during both Republican and Democrat administrations.

Murray’s tax hiking history began in 1987, where as President of the Shoreline School Board, Patty Murray participated in a rally declaring support for a proposal to impose a sales tax on professional and consumer services that would have collected over $500 million in tax dollars (The News Tribune, 2/18/87).

Three years later, as a state senator, Murray went further, drafting legislation that “would remove limits on how much school districts can tax themselves” (“Shaking Up Our Schools; A Plan That Gives Citizens More Clout,” Seattle Post Intelligencer, 7/11/90). But Murray’s anti-taxpayer agenda in the state senate did not stop there, when in 1991 she voted against property tax relief, calling it “bad public policy” to give relief to Washington state property owners (The Associated Press, 3/21/91).

As a United States Senator, Patty Murray has accumulated a 30-year record of raising taxes on middle class families. During her first campaign in 1992, Murray opposed middle class tax cuts, saying that “$300 a year to a family don’t do very much” (The News Tribune, 10/18/92). The next year, after attempting to dodge a question from ABC’s Sam Donaldson, Murray reiterated her opposition to a middle-class tax cut (“Murray Faces Off With TV ‘Heavies’ – Will, Donaldson Quiz New Senator,” The Seattle Times, 1/14/93).

During the Clinton Administration, Murray was a signatory of a “Dear Colleague” letter opposing middle class tax cuts (“Congress’ Tax Cut Fever Begins To Cool; Budget: Several Lawmakers, Worried About The Effects On The Deficit, Are Expressing Serious Doubts About The Idea,” Los Angeles Times, 2/9/95).

At the same time, Murray was the deciding vote on the Clinton-era tax hikes, supporting President Bill Clinton’s tax-raising budget reconciliation measures in 1993 (HR 2264, Passed 51-50, United States Senate, 8/6/93, Murray Voted Yea). The Murray supported legislation contained the largest tax increase in American history, which included:

  • Eliminating the Medicare tax cap

  • Increasing taxes on Social Security benefits

  • Increasing taxes on gasoline.

Altogether, the Murray-Clinton tax increase was the “highest peace-time tax increase in United States history” (1993 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act,” Bancroft Library – UC Berkeley, Accessed 11/5/21).

While many Democrats learned their lesson from the failures of the 1993 tax hikes, Patty Murray did not. In 1997, Murray was one of just 15 Senate Democrats to urge President Clinton to forgo tax cuts (“Clinton Assures Uneasy Democrats Over Budget Talks,” The Associated Press, 4/23/97). And two years later, Murray would vote against a $792 billion tax cut package at a time when the federal government had a surplus (“Senate Passes $792 Billion Tax-Cut Bill,” The Seattle Times, 7/30/99). This Murray-opposed tax cut lowered marginal tax rates on the lowest income tax bracket and eased the Marriage Penalty.

During the Bush Administration, Murray opposed both the 2001 and 2003 economic relief packages that lowered taxes on taxpayers and businesses (HR 1836, Passed 58-33, 5/26/01, Murray Voted Nay; and HR 2, Passed 51-49, 5/15/03, Murray Voted Nay).

Meanwhile, during the Obama Administration, Murray called for the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for all Americans (“Murray Challenges GOP On Tax Cuts,” The Seattle Times, 7/17/12). As Budget Committee Chair in 2013, Murray proposed a plan that “seeks to lower deficits by raising $1 trillion in new taxes (“Murray’s Budget Plan: Raise $1 Trillion In New Taxes Over 10 Years,” The Seattle Times, 3/13/13). Senator Murray also opposed the Trump Administration’s “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” which resulted in 90-percent of Americans seeing an increase in their take-home pay (Katie Reilly, “Check You Paycheck: You Probably Just Got A Surprise Pay Bump,” Time, 2/2/18).

Patty Murray’s attempt to claim the mantle of champion of middle-class taxpayers would be laughable if her votes didn’t hurt so many Washington State families and businesses. But this November, Patty Murray’s bill will come due when she faces voters at the polls.

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