Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

'Normal' is killing us.

Donald Trump is out of the White House. COVID-19 is fading, at least in wealthier nations. The world, they say, is returning to “normal.” That’s the narrative that the corporate media is selling. But there’s a problem: “normal” is destroying our planet, threatening our democracies, concentrating massive wealth in a tiny elite, and leaving billions of people without access to life-saving vaccines amid a deadly pandemic. Here at Common Dreams, we refuse to accept any of this as “normal.” Common Dreams just launched our Mid-Year Campaign to make sure we have the funding we need to keep the progressive, independent journalism of Common Dreams alive. Whatever you can afford—no amount is too large or too small—please donate today to support our nonprofit, people-powered journalism and help us meet our goal.

Please select a donation method:

Demonstrators hold signs during a rally against the Republican tax plan on December 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

'If This Bill Passes, People Will Die': Tax Scam Opponents Rally as GOP Aims for Final Vote Next Week

"This tax bill was written for Republicans' wealthy campaign contributors," concluded Sen. Bernie Sanders

Jake Johnson, staff writer

As GOP negotiators triumphantly announced on Wednesday that they have reached a tentative "deal" on their tax bill—placing it on track for a vote as early as next week—progressives held a "People's Rally" outside of the Capitol building to highlight the legislation's historic unpopularity and demand that a final vote be delayed until newly elected Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) is seated.

"No Jones, no vote!" demonstrators chanted, echoing a chorus of progressive lawmakers who have called on Republican leaders to "listen to the people of Alabama."

"Our message to Mitch McConnell is simple: No vote on the tax bill until Doug Jones is rightfully seated," Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in a speech on the lawn of the Capitol.

While demonstrators listened to speeches by "Not One Penny" organizers in the freezing D.C. weather, opponents of the GOP tax bill also held sit-ins inside the offices of individual senators.

At the office of Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), activists collectively warned, "If this tax bill passes, people will die."

Dozens of protesters also gathered at the offices of Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)—a strong supporter of a provision in the Republican bill that would open up her state's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling—and Susan Collins (R-Maine), who has said she would be open to reversing her support for the bill.

Shouts of "shame!" resounded through the halls of the Senate as police began escorting protesters from the building in handcuffs. Police also quickly converged on the activists with disabilities who were occupying Murkowski's office.

The demonstrations raged on as lawmakers attended the first public conference committee hearing on the GOP tax bill, which Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) characterized as a "sham," given that the legislation has "already been written behind closed doors."

"There has not been one public hearing, no opportunity to hear from economists, governors, mayors, or ordinary Americans who will be impacted by this tax bill," Sanders said.

The full details of the agreement reached by congressional Republicans on Wednesday are not yet known—Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas.) assured Democrats that they will learn the details when the public does—but reports indicate that the reconciled bill will be even more favorable to wealthy individuals than any of the previous versions.

The final bill, according to the Wall Street Journal, would reduce the top marginal tax rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent.

"This tax bill was written for Republicans' wealthy campaign contributors," Sanders concluded. "I want to congratulate my Republican colleagues for their honesty about that."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Support progressive journalism.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'We Can't Turn Our Backs': 60+ Lawmakers Demand Biden Extend Pause on Student Loan Payments

"President Biden should cancel student debt, but in the meantime he should extend the payment pause so that borrowers aren't hurt."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·


US and Israel Vote 'No' as 184 Nations Condemn American Blockade of Cuba

"The U.N. vote... on Cuba was a chance for President Biden to show global leadership," said CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin. "He failed miserably."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


With Planet's Future at Stake, Biden Told to Be Bold With Pick for Top Energy Post

"It's time to treat climate change like the emergency it is, and stop approving new fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure, reads a letter signed by over 300 climate-focused groups.

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


SCOTUS Solidifies Students' Free Speech Protections, Upholding Right to Say 'F**k Cheer'

"The message from this ruling is clear—free speech is for everyone, and that includes public school students."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Right-Wing SCOTUS Majority Rules Union Organizing on Farms Violates Landowners' Rights

The Supreme Court "fails to balance a farmer's property rights with a farm worker's human rights," said United Farm Workers of America.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·