Pelosi Remarks at Press Event with Congressman Neal, Little Lobbyists, Health Care Advocates and Faith Leaders Highlighting the Negative Effects of the #GOPTaxScam

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined by Congressman Richard Neal, Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member, the Little Lobbyists, health care advocates, faith leaders and Members of Congress held a press event highlighting the negative effects of the #GOPTaxScam on hard-working American families.  Below are the Leader’s remarks:  

Leader Pelosi.  Good morning, everyone.  On behalf of my colleagues, whom I am honored to join, I am proud in welcoming our special guests today who will tell their stories and why what is happening on the floor of the House is an immorality – it’s a betrayal of the role we have to meet the needs of the American people, it indebts future generations and, well, let’s just hear their stories. Ady Barkan, campaign director for the Center for Popular Democracy, diganosed with ALS – thank you for being with us.  Are Rachel and Carl here?  They were here last night, around the Capitol advocating for a better and healthier America.  Thank you, Ady.

Laura Hatcher, mother of Simon.  Simon is here with the ‘Party Animal’ shirt on, with his dog, Tigger.  Laura – mother of 11 year old Simon – who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and some other issues that Laura will discuss.  With a unique genetic disorder, Simon benefits from Medicaid.

And you all know Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK – a lobby for Catholic social justice – you’ll be hearing from them in addition to our distinguished Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee, Richie Neal – our champion on this issue – thank you, [Congressman] Richie Neal.

Okay everyone, today we stand at a decisive moment for the future of America.  Today, the House will decide whether we have a government for the people or a government only for the privileged, powerful and rich.  Today, we face a GOP tax scam that raises taxes on 86 million middle class families – 86 million middle class families – hands 83 percent of the tax cut to the wealthiest one percent – 83 percent of the tax cut to the wealthiest one percent – buries our children in debt by increasing the debt future generations will pay and takes the first step in obliterating Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – they already were talking this morning on TV about raising the age for access to Social Security and their assault on Medicare, Medicaid is well known.

Our distinguished Ranking Member [Neal] will address some of this.

I wanted you to see the quote – Every day we learn more about the special giveaways and loopholes added to the GOP tax scam to enrich donors and themselves and the President’s family.  The GOP is exploding the deficit to fill the pockets of the wealthiest and corporate America but when it comes to children and working families, Republicans have the gall [to do] this and I quote Senator from the Finance Committee, Senator Orrin Hatch.  Senator Hatch says, ‘I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions of dollars on people who won’t help themselves – won’t lift a finger and expect the federal government to do everything.’  Is that shocking?  Shame.  How dare they – how dare Republicans say that about hard-working Americans?

In contrast, the [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops] have said, ‘This proposal appears to be the first federal tax income modification in American history that will raise income taxes on the working poor while simultaneously providing a large tax cut to the wealthy.’ They go on to say, ‘This is simply unconscionable.’

This Republican bill is not tax reform – not tax reform – as I’ve said over and over, this is the worst bill to come to the Floor of the House, with stiff competition with some of the things they’ve tried to do – the worst bill in history because of the number of people it affects, the amount of money it sucks up to the higher income and the impact on our future deficits.

It’s disgusting smash and grab.  It’s an all-out looting of America, a wholesale robbery of the middle class.  The GOP tax scam will go down, again, as one of the worst, most scandalous acts of plutocracy in our history.  Americans see this tax scam for exactly what it is – overwhelmingly the polls are showing that the American people reject this – they know it will not help them overwhelmingly.  Yet, the Republicans do not care.

Today, we are bringing the voices of the American people – the voices of children, families and faith healers – faith leaders, [they’re] healers too – we may need faith healers – to the doorstep of the House Chamber.  Republicans ignore these voices at their peril.

In closing, let me just say this in welcoming our guests and thanking them for the outside mobilization which has been so important to have an impact on public opinion as far as this tax bill is concerned and the help they gave us in fighting the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

In the course of all of this, Republicans may win this battle on the Floor today but it will be a perilous victory for them because what they created in our country is a collaboration, a collaboration of effort of people who care about one another, who care about the future of our country – this is formidable.  It’s not about politics.  It’s not about Democrats or Republicans – it’s about the people, the American people.  So I thank them for their advocacy, for their effectiveness and for overcoming what the Republicans are trying to do here as we prepare for the future.

With that, I am pleased to yield to Ady Barkan – I told you part of his story, I want you to hear directly from him.


Thank you very much, Laura.  At this point, I would say we rest our case.  How eloquent these statements are.  But I do want to acknowledge some of the voices of the future who are here – you see them with their parents, with their siblings.

I want to acknowledge the Little Lobbyist, Charlie, who has been lobbying – Charlie is a girl – she has been lobbying all year on the Affordable Care Act and she made this painting for me which I keep in my office for me as an inspiration and a constant imperative that we have to continue the fight – not that we need a reminder, we have plenty of them, but we thank Charlie for that.

As you heard Ady speak and Laura and Sister Simone, you know how urgent this is.  But I’ll just say, by knowing moms in my community, Pamela, her daughter Jacqueline whom I pray for all the time in church – I say to my Republican colleagues, ‘Don’t stand in the way of a mom with a child with a pre-existing condition – you will never win that fight. You will never win that fight.’  And dads too – persistent, dissatisfied, they are there for their children, we should be there for their children.  See the care siblings take of their child with a pre-existing condition – such a beautiful thing to see.

So we thank the Little Lobbyists here, we thank the families, we thank Ady Barkan – was he not phenomenal?  Thank you Ady.

Sister Simone and the Nuns on the Bus – taking this issue around the country.

Laura – thank you for being a relentless, persistent, dissatisfied mom and making it so clear what the consequences are – we will have the chance to talk about this on the floor.  I am so thankful so many Members came – we had two votes during this so if you saw Members coming and going it’s because we had two votes on the floor but I am so glad Members could hear the testimony this morning.  With all of that, we say to our colleagues on the Republican side: please, we pray, that you do the right thing.

Thank you very much.


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