Maine Faith Leaders: GOP Tax Plan 'Neither Just Nor Moral'
Maine faith leaders and community members gathered in front of St. Luke's Cathedral in Portland Tuesday to call on U.S. Sen. Susan Collins to reject the GOP tax plan.
The rally comes as the Senate prepares to vote on the bill later this week.
Supporters of the tax cut proposal - possibly the largest tax overhaul in decades - say it would benefit everyone. But speakers at the rally, including Rev. Jim Gertmenian of the Preble St. Faith Action Network, said it's clear who the bill would help - and it isn't working families.
"It's the 1 percent at the top," Gertmenian said. "People who never have had to strain at the end of the month to pay a mortgage bill; who never wonder whether they can afford a doctor's visit, let alone a stay in the hospital; who never have to wonder whether they should pay for prescription drugs or food for their families."
Gertmenian was joined by about two dozen members of the faith community, who opposed the tax cuts on moral grounds.
Other speakers included Rev. Carolyn Lambert of Woodfords Congregational Church, who appealed to Sen. Collins, a Republican, to reject the bill. Lambert said Collins has a history of taking political risks and standing up for Maine people.
"Today, I am standing here once again to ask Senator Collins to vote 'no' on the current tax plan and to replace it with a just and moral tax plan," Lambert said, "because the plan, as it exists today, is neither just nor moral."
Following the event, rally-goers delivered what they called a "moral declaration," signed by 138 faith leaders from across the state, to Sen. Collins' Portland office.
An earlier version of this story said 92 faith leaders had signed a moral declaration — that number is actually 138. There were about two dozen people present for the event, not about a dozen.