Movement updates

Young People Sit In at Offices of House Republicans to Demand They Vote Against Tax Breaks for 1% and Fossil Fuel Billionaires

(Credit: Anthony Torres, Peter Thacher)

Young People Sit In at Offices of House Republicans to Demand They Vote Against Tax Breaks for 1% and Fossil Fuel Billionaires

December 4, 2017

Devyn Powell / [email protected] / 503–333–0169
Sophia Zaia / [email protected] / 512–850–3470

Young People Sit In at Offices of House Republicans to Demand They Vote Against Tax Breaks for 1% and Fossil Fuel Billionaires

Patrick Meehan (PA-07) and Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) are part of Climate Solutions Caucus, but are considering voting for a bill that would give massive handouts for oil and gas executives and open drilling in the Arctic.

WASHINGTON, DC & SPRINGFIELD, PA — Early on Monday, December 4, young people with Sunrise Movement outraged at the implications of Congressional Republicans’ tax legislation on their health, home and futures occupied the offices of Republican Representatives Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) and Patrick Meehan (PA-07) to demand they vote against the final version of the bill — and warn them that if they don’t start putting young people’s future above their donors’ wallets, young people will vote them out of office in 2018.

The lead organizers of Monday’s protests are members of the Sunrise Movement, a millennial-led grassroots group dedicated to making climate change an urgent political priority in America. About 15 Sunrise members and supporters attended each protest — brief occupations of both the DC office of Rep. Curbelo and the Springfield, PA district office of Rep. Meehan. Protesters in both offices sang, changed, and unfurled banners urging Curbelo and Meehan to “Protect My Future” and warning that the GOP tax scam “Sells out the Arctic and our futures — Whose Side Are You On?”

“Congressman Meehan can’t have it both ways,” said Stephen O’Hanlon, a Sunrise Movement leader in Pennsylvania. “He can’t claim to care about stopping climate change and protecting our future while voting for bills that will give huge tax breaks to the fossil fuel billionaires who are responsible for this crisis. We’re already getting ready for 2018 here and if he doesn’t clean up his act, young people will unseat him next November.”

Both Curbelo and Meehan are members of the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus, and both signed a November 30 letter to Congressional leadership opposing oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which the Senate tax bill would allow. Rep. Curbelo is a co-chair and founder of the caucus.

“It’s simple: if Representative Curbelo, the founder of the Climate Solutions Caucus, is serious about stopping climate change, protecting the vulnerable people of his district in South Florida, and protecting the Arctic from drilling, he’ll vote ‘no’ on this Big Oil bailout of a tax bill,” said Evan Weber, one of Sunrise’s co-founders. “Otherwise, he’s voting against his district’s interests, against our generation’s future, and against his own stated values just so mega-rich GOP donors can get a tax break they don’t need — at the expense of the rest of us. Instead of passing tax breaks for the elite and giving handouts to Big Oil and Gas, we should be putting Americans to work stopping climate change and building the economy of the future.”

The Senate bill also contains a number of other provisions that would be detrimental to the climate, including handouts to the oil & gas industry and changes in the tax code that would hamper the growth of renewable energy. Since the Senate passed their version of sweeping tax reform, the House and Senate bills must now be reconciled in a conference committee, then passed again in both chambers — giving opponents a final window to block the legislation’s passage into law.


Live stream of the D.C. protest against Rep. Curbelo: https://www.facebook.com/sunrisemvmt/videos/1942757705742114/

Live stream of the Springfield protest against Rep. Meehan: https://www.facebook.com/SunriseSwarthmore/videos/2158433450848818/

Photos (DC protest):

(Credit: Anthony Torres, Peter Thacher)



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