Calling senators' offices and gathering at rallies nationwide, progressives mobilized Wednesday in order to defeat the Republican's Senate tax bill that could take place as early as Thursday.
As of Wednesday, no Republicans were committed to opposing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Steve Daines of Montana were thought be be "no" votes earlier in the week, but grassroots groups including Indivisible and MoveOn.org added them both to their lists of senators that progressives should urge to oppose the bill, as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to win over skeptical Republicans in negotiations.
The groups urged constituents to call other lawmakers who have expressed doubts, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), and John McCain (R-Ariz.). Following Indivisible's National Day of Action on Monday, the campaign gained traction on social media. Constituents with Democratic senators also got involved, urging voters in other states to call their senators.
— IndivisibleOregon (@Indivisible_OR) November 29, 2017
— Healthcare.gov Hillary (@the_amphibian) November 29, 2017
— TN Democratic Party (@tndp) November 28, 2017
.Senator John McCain is still not Committed on his vote for or against the Republican Tax Bill! Please call him and ask him to please vote NO on this Bill! His Direct # in Wash DC is 1-(202) 224-2235....
— Vincent E Ankner (@oregonvt) November 29, 2017
Protesters also gathered outside their senators' offices to urge them to oppose the bill.
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— Gail Leiser (@gail_leiser) November 29, 2017
Use our toll-free number and get connected now: 1-855-980-2350 pic.twitter.com/Gr6cP57Vgt
— Indivisible Guide (@IndivisibleTeam) November 29, 2017
The protests took place as President Donald Trump, rallying his supporters in St. Charles, Missouri, called middle-class Americans "the beating heart of our tax plan" and repeated the demonstrable lie that he, as a wealthy business owner, would not benefit from the tax cuts contained in the proposal.
Trump claiming that the tax cuts being considered wont benefit the wealthy, him, or his friends pic.twitter.com/JRRse19SLK
— Salvador Hernandez (@SalHernandez) November 29, 2017
In fact, the Trumps are one of just 5,000 families in the country with enough assets to benefit from one of the plan's key features, the repeal of the estate tax. The lowering of the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent would also benefit the president, and, as Common Dreams reported on Wednesday, the savings included in that permanent tax cut would largely go to companies' shareholders instead of job creation and higher wages—by several corporations' own admission.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced he would be heading to Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania this weekend to rally against the plan, arguing that the proposal, which is expected to raise the deficit by $1.4 trillion, is about more than just tax cuts.
In an email sent to his supporters on Monday, Sanders wrote, "Mark my words. If passed, the Republicans will then rediscover the 'deficit crisis,' and push aggressively for massive cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education—higher education in particular—nutrition, affordable housing and more."
On the Senate floor and on his Twitter account, Sanders shared the three words he would use to describe the tax plan: "Pathetic, disgraceful, and immoral."
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 29, 2017