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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Kill the Tax Bill Over the Recess!

The House passed their tax bill yesterday, and the Senate is expected to vote on their bill when they return from recess. Congress will be back home until November 26, which means that local action is critical to prevent this terrible bill from becoming law!

The Senate’s tax bill is an unquestionable threat to the disability community. If this bill passes, disabled people will lose access to programs and services to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy. People will lose their health care to help the rich get richer. This bill is an attack on our community, and it’s on us to ensure that it does not become law.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingTake Action Now!

When the Senate tried to decimate Medicaid and destroy the healthcare system, our community led this country to victory. Now, we need to come together and do it again! Over the recess, we must demand that our Senators commit to voting no on any bill that will pay for tax cuts for the wealthy by cutting programs people with disabilities depend on. Here are some of the ways you can take action.

  • Set up a meeting: Meet with your Senators in their local offices. Bring other disabled people so you can share your stories and tell them how harmful this bill will be for their constituents.
  • Talk to your Senators at local events: Is your Senator hosting a town hall? Are they making a showing at your town’s Thanksgiving Day parade? Use these events as an opportunity to approach your Senators and tell them why they need to oppose this bill.
  • Set up a protest: If your Senators won’t commit to opposing this bill, set up a protest at their offices! Coordinate with local ADAPT chapters and other disability activists and give them no other choice but to listen to your concerns.
  • Call your Senators: Continue to call your Senators DAILY and demand they vote no on this bill. Use the Senate Directory to find your Senator’s contact information or reach your Senators’ staff in DC by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY).
  • Tweet at your Senators: Find their Twitter handles at Contacting Congress, and use the hashtag #TaxOnDisability.
  • Find other ways to contact your Senators: Fax your Senator (use faxzero.com to find your Senator’s fax number). Use Resistbot to have your texts turned into faxes, mail, or hand-delivered letters. And find your Senator’s email address, Twitter handle, and other information through Contacting Congress.

Background:

While the Senate and House bills are not identical (read more about our concerns with the House version), they share the same major problems. Like the House bill, the Senate bill provides tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations at the expense of everyone else, particularly disabled and poor people. It increases the federal deficit by at least $1.5 trillion, which will lead to devastating cuts to programs we rely on, including Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, housing, education, and more.

In addition those massive cuts, Senate Republicans recently added a provision to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which requires that everyone have health coverage. If the individual mandate is eliminated, people with disabilities and pre-existing conditions will see premiums increase significantly, and coverage will be unaffordable and out of reach for millions. An estimated 13 million additional people will become uninsured if this becomes law.

We must stop this bill. Our advocacy stopped this Congress once before, and as a result we saved the Affordable Care act (ACA), we saved Medicaid, and we saved lives. Let’s do it again. Take action now!

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