As Republicans struggle to unite on the details of their deeply unpopular tax cut legislation and brace for "all hell to break loose" once the plan finally goes public, progressive lawmakers, union leaders, and activists rallied outside of the Capitol building on Wednesday in opposition to the GOP "tax scam" and denounced President Donald Trump for attempting to push through rewards for his deep-pocketed donors at the expense of low-income and middle class Americans.
"We are going to kill this GOP tax plan just like we killed their healthcare bill."
—Rep. Pramila Jayapal"Everything you need to know about the Republican proposal is contained in this headline by the Boston Globe two weeks ago," said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a brief speech at the event. "The headline says: the Koch brothers and their friends want President Trump's tax cut very badly. This is tax reform for the Koch brothers and the other billionaires in this country."
— CWA (@CWAUnion) November 1, 2017
The #NotOnePenny rally comes on the heels of news that the House GOP's planned rollout of its secretive tax bill was pushed back to Thursday due to intraparty disagreements and confusion. As ABC News reported on Wednesday, Republicans can't even agree on what to call the bill. Trump, ABC notes, is lobbying to name the legislation "The Cut Cut Cut Act."
While most of the details of the plan remain unclear, the New York Times reported late Tuesday that the House GOP easily agreed on at least one element: "that the draft bill would cut the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent immediately, and not phase it in over a period of years."
"Healthcare showed us: change doesn't happen in these D.C. halls, it happens from the ground up."
—Sen. Ron WydenOpponents of the Trump-GOP tax plan, meanwhile, are looking to do everything in their power to capitalize on any sign of weakness within the Republican ranks.
Chad Bolt, policy manager at Indivisible, wrote on Twitter Tuesday that House Republicans' decision to delay the release of their bill is an indication that "our pressure is already making Rs nervous."
"They're scared to face you," added Ben Wikler, MoveOn.org's Washington Director.
For weeks, progressive organizations have been gearing up for a struggle that they have warned will be "even harder" than the fight against Trumpcare. Now that both chambers of Congress have cleared the necessary procedural hurdles by passing their respective budget resolutions—both of which called for more than a trillion dollars in cuts to key social programs—pressure to launch a resistance campaign that sparks the same grassroots intensity as the healthcare fight is beginning to mount.
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"The reality is that this will be a tax bill that transfers 80 percent of the tax cuts to the wealthiest one percent," warned Rep. Pramila Jayapal, citing a recent Tax Policy Center analysis. "We are going to kill this GOP tax plan just like we killed their healthcare bill."
Here are some of the highlights from Wednesday's rally:
I face off with the Monopoly Man.#NotOnePenny
(And no Get Out of Jail Free card either.) pic.twitter.com/DFoDkUBQEe
— Sunjeev Bery (@SunjeevBery) November 1, 2017
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) November 1, 2017
— CTJ (@taxjustice) November 1, 2017
— BoldProgressives.org (@BoldProgressive) November 1, 2017