In their efforts to publicly protest the passing of the Senate tax bill on Saturday, two women chained themselves to the doors of a Pittsburgh office building where U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey’s office is located on Monday morning.
City police officers responded to the scene, where Chelsey Engel and Lindsey Disler had taped posters proclaiming, “Toomey is a Traitor,” and, “Corporations are Not Your Constituents,” to the front of the building, to publicize their objections to Senate Republicans’ passing of the $1.5 trillion tax bill early Saturday.
Complaining that the law was “rammed through Congress irresponsibly and hastily by Toomey and his fellow Republicans,” Engel told reporters that blocking the building’s entrance on Monday morning is “nothing compared to the havoc Republicans have just decided to unleash on the economy.”
Both women unchained themselves around 8:40 a.m. while a small group of supporters cheered.
The women said they were protesting issues in the bill such as the fact that it allows drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. They also don’t like that it drops the Obamacare requirement that forces people to pay a tax penalty if they don’t purchase health insurance.
In a statement on Saturday, Toomey’s office said, “Passage of this pro-growth tax reform bill brings hardworking Pennsylvanians one step closer to seeing a direct pay raise and better job opportunities.”
“We closed down the entrance. We disrupted business as usual because the GOP has disrupted business as usual,” Engel said. “We know Toomey’s position. We highly doubt that’s going to change, but we hope that more Americans stand up and speak out because I believe that is our patriotic duty – to let the government know when they messed up – and they have done that.”
Disler said she is concerned about the “catastrophic” results the tax bill will have on Americans who may lose their health insurance.
“This is just a ploy to give tax cuts to billionaires while at the cost of hurting millions of people, the cost of hurting Toomey’s own constituents,” she said.
In response to the protest, Toomey spokesman Steve Kelly made the following statement to Pittsburgh’s Action News 4:
“Sen. Toomey believes every person has a right to protest, provided they are doing so peacefully and in accordance with the law. The tax reform bill approved by the Senate lowers the tax burden for middle and working-class families. The Joint Committee on Taxation has repeatedly stated that every income group gets a tax cut under the Senate bill and that working-class taxpayers receive the biggest percentage benefit.”
— EDUPLEXiTY™ (@eduplexity) December 4, 2017
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