August 18, 2017
NOTE TO REPORTERS
Media Availability: Public Citizen Experts Available to Discuss Republican Tax Proposals
As Republicans gathered in California this week to try to evoke images of Reagan-era corporate tax freebies to support their proposals, Public Citizen activists nationwide as part of the Not One Penny campaign began amping up in-district protests of the proposed significant tax giveaways for millionaires, billionaires and wealthy corporations. On Monday, July 31, Public Citizen protested outside an event at the Newseum, where the Koch brothers touted their investment in promoting a tax cut plan – proposals strongly supported by President Donald Trump and U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
Additionally, U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chair of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, has suggested that the current debate over taxes would be an opportunity to overturn the Johnson Amendment, a provision of the U.S. tax code meant to protect the integrity of charities and religious institutions from manipulation for political ends.
Trump administration officials’ close collaboration with the Koch brothers to cut corporate taxes will result in further unequal concentrations of wealth, where the superrich become even richer at the expense of American families.
As the Trump administration’s and Congress’ efforts on tax reform heat up in the upcoming months, Public Citizen experts are available to discuss the current tax policy debate.
Public Citizen’s vice president of legislative affairs, Lisa Gilbert, advocates government transparency and integrity, financial reform, civil justice and consumer protection. In April, Gilbert supported the efforts of the national Tax March, where Americans demanded that Trump release his income tax returns. She can discuss the need for ethics and transparency in any discussions around changes in the tax code as well as efforts to protect the Johnson Amendment and push for Public Citizen’s Bright Lines Project’s solutions to give guidance to charities engaging in political activity.
Susan Harley, deputy director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, works on financial reform, multinational corporate tax issues and open government initiatives. She can discuss how the coming debate regarding changes to the tax code must ensure that corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes.