Faith leaders write to Senate leadership opposing tax plan

Faith leaders write to Senate leadership opposing tax plan
© Greg Nash

Hundreds of faith leaders from around the country signed onto a letter opposing the GOP tax plan that advocates delivered to Senate leaders on Wednesday, saying the plan "violates our moral principles of equality, justice and fairness."

More than 2,400 representatives from Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist and other faith traditions signed the letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Brent Budowsky: A plea to Alabama voters MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAmerica isn't ready to let Sessions off his leash Schumer celebrates New York Giants firing head coach: ‘About time’ GOP should reject the left's pessimism and the deficit trigger MORE (D-N.Y.).

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“We call on Congress to oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act due to our strong belief that this bill is fiscally irresponsible, endangers our country’s economic health, and disproportionately benefits the wealthy at the expense of vulnerable people and low-income families,” the letter reads.

“Moreover, we have grave concerns over the manner in which such a large and complex bill, affecting the entire economy and millions of Americans, is being recklessly rushed through Congress,” they wrote.

The letter, organized by the Interfaith Healthcare Coalition and the Interreligious Working Group on Domestic Human Needs, slams the Senate bill for benefiting corporations and wealthy Americans “at the expense of people experiencing poverty and low-income working families."

The letter also criticizes the bill’s inclusion of a repeal of ObamaCare's individual mandate, which requires most people to have insurance or face a tax penalty, as well as changes to the itemization process that the letter says would reduce charitable donations.

“As people of faith, we view decisions about tax policy and the federal budget as moral decisions,” the letter reads. “Simply put, this proposed legislation is fundamentally unjust.”

The Senate was expected to vote later Wednesday on a motion to begin debate on tax legislation, with Republicans in the upper chamber expecting to pass their bill by the end of the week.