Contact:
Keiana Greene-Page, Keiana.Greene-Page@seiu.org, 202-730-7349

Issued December 02, 2017

As Senate votes for corporate, millionaire tax giveaway, SEIU members redouble their efforts to defend working families

WASHINGTON—SEIU members and working people nationwide are committed to holding senators accountable for their votes on the Republican tax plan and stopping any legislation that would cost good jobs, access to education, quality healthcare and affordable housing from passing Congress. SEIU members and other working people will participate in dozens of actions next week to call on their members of Congress to prioritize raising wages and protecting our immigrant brothers and sisters over tax giveaways for millionaires and corporations and ripping our families apart.

SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry says that elected officials and business leaders should either be upfront about the true impact the GOP tax plan or keep the promises they’re making while promoting the plan.

“President Trump wants us to believe that this bill would give working people a $4,000 raise. If this is true, then McDonalds and other corporations that stand to benefit from the GOP tax bill should have no problem with pledging to raise wages by $4,000 before Congress takes a final vote this bill,” said Henry. “Working people are tired of politicians rigging the rules against them to benefit big corporations. If this Congress won’t its job, we will elect leaders who will.”

“It’s likely that this tax bill together with the federal budget will set into motion cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and the vital public services we provide in our jobs, resulting in great harm to our families and communities,” said SEIU Local 521 Treasurer and Fresno Housing Authority Property Specialist RoseAnn Dominguez.  “I worry about cuts to affordable housing that seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and low-wage workers depend on in Fresno County.”  

These proposed tax cuts would have a devastating impact on Americans working for low wages, such as Ibobo Boliko, a Lavatory and Water Driver living in Colo. and SEIU Local 105 member. Households earning $30,000 or less would be worse off by 2019.

"President Trump wants to raise taxes for people who work for a living to pay for tax cuts for millionaires," says Boliko. "I work at Denver Airport and I still struggle to make it. This plan is a disaster that makes it harder for us to get ahead." 

SEIU members like Shana Boston, a home care provider from Richmond Va., are building a movement to unite healthcare voters across the country to hold Congress accountable for today’s vote and other attempts to take healthcare away from millions of Americans with no replacement.  

"The tax bill will equal disaster for healthcare---for the consumers I serve as a home care worker, and for my family,” says Boston, a member of SEIU VA 512.  “Senate Republicans say they care about all Americans, but their tax measure is just one more example that they don't care at all about the working people in this country."

The Republican tax bill has also sparked outrage among Millennial voters. Graduate students around the country have protested the tax plan that eliminates key tax deductions for students, including the interest paid on student loans and the tuition break for students who work as teaching and research assistants.

"College students and other young people are looking to our elected officials to do more to ensure we have opportunities to succeed now and in the future. Most of us are already struggling to pay for college. We can’t afford to pay for tax breaks for corporations and millionaires,” said Matthew Taft, a graduate student at Duke University who is a member of Duke Graduate Students Union, Local 27 of SEIU Southern Region. “The Senate may do the wrong thing today by supporting the GOP tax bill, but every member of Congress should know that we’re committed to holding them accountable on this issue now and next year in the voting booth."

"There's already way too much wealth in too few hands. Nobody I know believes these politicians when they say that corporations will use tax cuts to raise our pay. The reality is that this is another example of the rich and powerful writing the rules to benefit themselves," said Christopher Gordon, who works at McDonald's in Albany, New York

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