99% PA Campaign Statement: US House MAGA Republicans’ Top Priority is Protecting Ultra-Rich Tax Cheats, Not Supporting Hard-working Americans
Despite failing on the first 14 votes, Kevin McCarthy was elected as the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representative after conceding disproportionate power to MAGA Republican extremists, including insurrectionist Rep. Scott Perry (PA-10). After picking up the gavel, Speaker McCarthy and his extremist-controlled caucus’ first priority was to repeal $72 billion in new IRS funding designed to catch ultra-rich tax cheats and shield them from paying what they owe. The eight Republicans in Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation voted in favor of protecting wealthy tax evaders, while all nine Democrats opposed it. Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center’s federal campaigns and program director, Jeff Garis, released the following statement:
“The top item on the agenda of the House MAGA Majority was rolling back President Biden and Democrats’ efforts to make ultra-rich tax cheats pay their fair share. Instead of taking action to support working families who are struggling to make ends meet, extremist Republicans quickly moved to protect billionaire freeloaders. This is particularly offensive, since the ultra-rich already pay a far smaller share in federal taxes than most hard-working Americans. IRS data from ProPublica reveals that 26 of the richest people in America paid an average federal income tax rate of just 4.8% over six years, according to an analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness. From 2013 to 2018, billionaire Elon Musk paid a meager 2.1% tax rate, far less than the average 13.3% paid by Americans of all income levels.
“This initial action by the House MAGA majority makes clear that their agenda does not include supporting hard-working Americans who are trying to build a future for their families, but protecting ultra-wealthy tax cheats from paying what they owe. This bill is a slap in the face to the millions of working families who pay their fair share, and it reveals the true priorities of the extremists who now control the U.S. House.”
PBPC Statement on PA Senate Passage of SB 1
In passing SB 1, the Pennsylvania Senate today hijacked the issue of providing relief to victims of sexual abuse to pass other constitutional amendments. It used a non-controversial, bipartisan proposal to help pass controversial and partisan amendments that are bad policy and the subject of litigation.
The proposal to provide a window for sexual abuse survivors to sue their abusers is an important step towards justice. We strongly support it.
The other amendments do not serve the people of Pennsylvania but the political goals of one party.
One of the partisan amendments would require voters to submit a government-issued ID every time they vote, even mandating that they provide copies of their IDs along with their mail ballots. We know that requiring a government-issued ID would make it impossible for some people to vote. This would disproportionately affect seniors and Black voters. Requiring voters to include a copy of their government-issued ID with their ballot would also dissuade voters from voting by mail because of the risk of identification theft. This, too, would limit the number of voters in the state.
The other partisan amendment would enable the General Assembly to overturn regulations promulgated by executive departments and regulatory agencies by majority vote on a concurrent resolution. Government regulations protect workers from earning low wages and suffering dangerous working conditions; they protect children from dangerous conditions in day cares and schools; they protect the sick and injured from receiving inadequate or dangerous care by doctors and hospitals; they ensure that businesses do not discriminate in their hiring and encourage businesses to recruit diverse employees; they ensure that monopolies, like utility companies, do not overcharge their customers; and they protect our air and water from pollution and dangerous, climate-changing greenhouse gases. The current constitutional process works well and gives the General Assembly many avenues to influence our regulations. The proposed amendment violates the principles of the separation of powers and is step toward creating an imperial General Assembly that runs roughshod over the executive and judicial branches of government.
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