Issued November 17, 2017
WASHINGTON— Working people across the country are speaking out this week after Republicans on both sides of Capitol Hill moved forward with their versions of tax plans that give large corporations tax breaks at the expense of everyday Americans.
Under tax plans passed by the House of Representatives and Senate Finance Committee, working families face the threat of losing good jobs, access to quality education, healthcare and affordable housing. These bills will also raise taxes on underpaid and middle income families, making it harder for them to put food on the table, ensure immigrants and refugees can participate in our communities, and pay for medical care and college.
“I have sacrificed and worked very hard to build a decent, yet modest life for my family. I often work extra hours so that my wife can stay home and take care of our son, who is disabled,” said Antonio Vento, a janitor at University of Miami and member of 32BJ SEIU. “Trump’s tax plan will raise taxes for working people like me and threatens benefits that my son depends on. This isn’t a middle-class tax cut. This is an attack on hard-working people who are doing our best to build a good life for our families.”
The tax bill passed Thursday by House Republicans drew criticism from early learning and higher education advocates.
“More than 10 million children from low-income families are left out of the GOP child tax increase,” said Connecticut child care provider Ingrid Henlon. This plan hurts people who need the help the most.”
Emory University teaching assistant Sadie Warren said the GOP tax bill -- which eliminates student loan deductions and taxes tuition waivers graduate students get because they teach or do research -- would decimate a higher education system already weakened by massive public defunding and rising student debt.
“I was stunned when I found out what the GOP’s tax plan would mean for me as a graduate assistant. This bill would tax me as if I made three or four times my salary, requiring me to pay more in taxes than I actually earn. I already struggle to make ends meet on my modest salary as a graduate assistant,” said Warren. “It’s even tougher for my colleagues with families. The tax bill passed by the House would make paying our bills impossible. By denying graduate assistants a basic livelihood for the work we do, the GOP tax bill will force many of us to drop out before finishing our degrees.”
The Senate’s tax bill, which includes a provision that once again tries to repeal the Affordable Care Act without replacing it, has also sparked outrage with the nation’s healthcare professionals.
“Senate Republicans should be ashamed of their tax bill, which would rip healthcare away from 13 million Americans, devastating working and middle class families, all to give corporations a tax break. As a nurse for 30 years, I know Americans want to keep the healthcare they have — and Republicans in Congress know it, too,” said Sasha Cuttler, RN, PhD, a patient safety nurse at San Francisco General Hospital and SEIU Local 1021RN member. “This sneaky effort to repeal healthcare is a direct threat to my patients and my community, putting millions at unnecessary risk of early disability and death. It’s time for Congressional Republicans to quit their assaults on access to healthcare and let nurses do our job.”
With the Senate expected to take a vote on the GOP tax bill after the Thanksgiving holiday, SEIU members, allies and working people across the country have vowed to hold members of Congress accountable now and in the voting booth next year.