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Representative Dwight Evans

Representing the 2nd District of Pennsylvania

Brady, Evans, Kenney, Clarke and HELP USA Stand Together to Highlight GOP Attack on Hard-Working Families, Veterans and Seniors

November 10, 2017
Press Release

Today, Congressman Bob Brady (PA-01), Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-02), Mayor Jim Kenney, City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, and HELP USA joined together at a press conference outside of the new Lural Lee Blevins Veterans Center and HELP Philadelphia V, to call attention to what the implications of the destructive Republican tax plan mean for the City of Philadelphia.

The press conference took place directly following a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication for the new Lural Lee Blevins Veterans Center and HELP Philadelphia V, a supportive housing building developed by HELP USA that will soon be home to 37 veterans and individuals aged 55 and older. We know all too well, that our senior citizens, aging veterans and hard-working Americans who provide care for our sick, elderly, and disabled loved ones will be among the hardest hit by the Republican tax plan.        

Our country has not seen bipartisan tax reform since 1986. This month, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the urging of President Donald Trump unveiled the Ryan-McConnell tax plan which would enact a dramatic shift of wealth from working-class Americans to the top one percent wealthiest people in our nation.

“The Republican tax plan is a slap in the face to hard-working families across our Commonwealth. It is a heartless and careless attempt to use the tax code to shift resources away from our cities, the very resources our cities rely on to keep moving forward. This tax plan does nothing but shift the burden on working-class Americans and is not a plan I support or can accept,” said Congressman Bob Brady.

“Our cities compete for people. We are in the business of making our city more attractive to current home-owners and new perspective home-buyers—and the Republican tax plan does no such thing. At a time when our cities and suburbs are scratching for every nickel, this destructive tax plan is yet another way the Republican Party and the Trump Administration are shifting valuable resources away from cities which are in dire need. The Republican tax plan brings the ugly spectacle of job-killing tax cuts to the American people, while masquerading as tax reform simply proves again that the GOP is not prepared to govern, and not ready for prime-time.  I am in no way supportive of this tax plan that our neighborhoods have ‘A Lot To Lose’ under,” said Congressman Dwight Evans.

“The GOP's proposed tax bill would impact the ability of cities and local governments to make key investments in things like the police and fire departments as well as social safety net programs while benefitting the wealthiest people and businesses in the country. This plan also calls for the eliminating an exemption in private activity bonds. This financing product is used for affordable housing development, and airport expansion and renovation. This would significantly increase the costs for development and slow down the progress we're making in Philadelphia on these issues. Additionally, new Market Tax Credits will also be eliminated. This program has spurred significant economic development in our city. Growth that has made us serious contenders for Amazon's HQ2,” said Mayor Jim Kenney.

“The silver lining of this proposal is that it doesn't hide what it is: A massive, brazen heist of low-income and middle-class Americans, students, seniors, and veterans like those being celebrated here today. People who have been working hard their entire lives -- and especially those who put their lives on the line in service to our nation -- should not be subsidizing the lifestyles of millionaires, billionaires, trust fund heirs, and corporations. I urge all good-hearted Americans to speak out and stop this dangerous, reckless legislation from getting one vote,” said City Council President Darrell Clarke.

“The proposed changes to the tax plan would be disastrous for the development of low-income housing - specifically supportive housing. If this tax plan passes it would mean thousands of fewer apartments for homeless and low-income families and veterans. The building we are standing in front of today would not be possible under the proposed rules. In fact, if this plan passes, it could end a project that we are currently developing at the former Walter Reed Army Hospital in DC - that would mean 75 apartments for homeless veterans lost forever,” said David Cleghorn, Chief Housing Officer at HELP USA.

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Media Contact: Becca Brukman, 202-225-4001, Becca.Brukman@mail.house.gov