A group of demonstrators from a progressive evangelical group called on Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick to reject the current GOP tax proposal.
The Monday morning demonstration was organized by Washington D.C.-based Faith In Public Life and included visits to the offices of Fitzpatrick and fellow Republican lawmakers Pat Meehan and Ryan Costello. The group was asking the Republicans to reject the current tax reform legislation. The group’s main worry is that the 500-page bill would impact health care for every day people and give tax cuts to the country’s top earners.
In the lobby of Fitzpatrick’s office in Middletown, Brian Klein of Quakertown said he was protesting the tax bill because it is “an attack on health care.” He said Medicaid expansion funding that is threatened by the current tax reform plan allowed him to go to the doctor and led to the discovery of colon cancer. The expanded health care helped him afford cancer treatment and monitoring.
“I’m asking Congressman Fitzpatrick to do the right thing and go against your party and vote ‘no’ on this tax bill,” he said.
A small group of the interfaith group were in attendance at the congressman’s office making their voices heard.
Fitzpatrick, a former FBI special agent and certified accountant, has called for a “tax reform bill and a jobs bill that provides relief to middle class families and growth opportunity for small businesses.” He also has called for reforming health care before a repeal of Obamacare.
The congressman did not announce his planned decision ahead of expected Tuesday’s vote. The bill, even without Fitzpatrick’s vote, is expected to pass and mark Republican President Donald Trump’s first major legislative victory.
Various Democratic and Republican tax analyst groups have noted the tax bill would likely grow the national debt as it lowers corporate tax rates indefinitely. The Tax Policy Center report on the tax bill stated a majority of citizens would see their taxes reduced in 2018, but more than half will see an increase by the time the tax cuts expire in the next decade. The bill also rids the tax code of the personal exemption that taxpayers can use for themselves, spouse and dependents, but doubles the child tax credit. CNN Money reported the bill will double the standard deduction and simplify that portion of the tax code for those who itemize their deductions.
The Washington Post has created a tool for taxpayers to determine if they will see a tax increase. Their look at the bill concludes that families with kids will see the biggest short-term tax benefits. The benefit will be greater if families live in a state with low taxes.
If approved, the tax overhaul will mark the first radical change to the system in more than 30 years.