By Deborah Bailey,
President Joe Biden warned the audience who gathered for the National Action Network’s (NAN) annual MLK Day breakfast on Jan. 17, about the Republican-led House of Representatives. Their session began days ago with drastic plans that would negatively affect middle and low-income families in America.
“I have your back, but we’ve got to stand together,” Biden said to Rev. Al Sharpton, NAN president, and the hundreds of civic, political, labor and economic stakeholders who commemorated the MLK holiday at Washington, D.C.’s Mayflower Hotel.
“Like many Americans, I was disappointed to see the very first bill that House Republicans are bringing to the floor. It would help the wealthy people and big corporations cheat on their taxes at the expense of ordinary middle-class taxpayers,” Biden said.
Biden continued saying House Republicans plan to cut Social Security and Medicare, and legislation that would introduce a national sales tax.
“They want to tax thousands of everyday items, because they want to supplant the money lost on taxes from the millionaires and billionaires with a sales tax on virtually everything in the country,” Biden said.
Biden is referring to the Fair Tax Act, introduced on Jan. 9 in the House of Representatives by Earl “Buddy” Carter (R-Ga.), whose district spans from the south of Savannah to the Georgia state line.
“They want working class folks to pay another 10 to 20 percent and reduce the taxes on the super-wealthy. That’s how they’re starting their new term,” Biden said.
House Republicans, led by newly elected Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also voted earlier this month to rescind $80 billion in funding to the IRS. The funding was allocated by Congress last year to help the agency hire staff trained to go after high-wealth tax avoiders. However, that measure is not likely to pass the Democratic controlled senate.
“If any of these bills happen to reach my desk, I will veto them,” Biden said.
Sharpton said Biden was a proven friend to NAN members and supporters. “One of the reasons I have always respected him is that he never changed, whether it was fashionable or not,” Sharpton said.
“It is our honor today to bring a president who is not here because of his title but because of his commitment, because of his consistency and some of the most legislative transformative things that have changed our lives,” Sharpton continued.
Sharpton and board members of the National Action Network honored several veteran advocates for their roles in pressing for a change in civic, labor, and public policy issues that improves the lives of Black Americans. Honorees including Andrea Waters King, president of the Drum Major Institute, Ray Curry, president of the United Auto Workers, Minyon Moore, principal strategist at DSG team and assistant to former President Bill Clinton, and Speaker of the House Emerita, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-11) received honors and recognition during the event.
Howard University senior, JaLynn Davis, received NAN’s Youth Award. The sociology major, represents Howard in NAN’s Youth and College Division and interns with the Cochran Firm.
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