From the Morning Memo:

Western New York Democratic Rep. Brian Higgins, a member of the House Ways and Committee, railed against the Republican tax reform plan yesterday in Niagara Falls, accusing his GOP colleagues of misrepresenting the plan as a middle-class tax cut, when it is really a gift to large corporations.

Higgins seemed to concede there may be some measures in the proposal passed by the House that could benefit most Americans, but insisted they will be fleeting.

“It’s a massive giveaway to corporate America,” he said. “All the tax cuts supposedly for middle America are temporary. All the corporate tax cuts are permanent.”

The congressman said he doesn’t buy the GOP argument that more money for corporations will help create jobs and stimulate the economy. He pointed to roughly $2 trillion worth of U.S. Treasury Bonds, and another $2 trillion in non-taxed foreign accounts that the companies could already be spending.

“If they wanted to invest, they could use that money,” Higgins said. “They already have the money, so this would really just give them that much more money, and the Congressional Budget Office estimates that to be about $1.7 trillion.”

Higgins was also skeptical of a proposal to “repatriate” those oversees earnings by instituting a one-time tax, hypothetically allowing corporations to bring the money back to the country to be invested.

“Why should they be given a discount to bring those monies back,” he said. “I think there’s other ways of going after that money.”

The issue of tax reform has now been kicked to the U.S. Senate, which is expected to take up its own bill next week following the Thanksgiving break.

“Many Republican senators whose votes are needed to pass this have expressed concerns about deficit, have expressed concerns about health care now being thrown into this again,” Higgins noted. “Will that influence them to vote against it? I’m not quite sure.”

He said the U.S. does need a real middle-class tax cut to stimulate economic growth. Higgins said 70 percent of the economy is consumption, so if people have more money, they’re almost sure to spend it.