INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody issued the following statement regarding Vice President Mike Pence’s stop in Anderson this afternoon.
“As Vice President Mike Pence returns to his own state to talk tax reform, Hoosiers are hoping that the administration’s plan will be far better than the former governor’s own record on taxes, where he put shortsighted political interests before working families. Pence’s “historic” tax cut for Hoosier families amounted to about $50 for the average household last year, while certain corporations and banks reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts. If Vice President Pence wants to take a bipartisan approach that looks out for Hoosier families, he needs to engage lawmakers like Joe Donnelly, not just pay lip service to the idea. Awarding tax cuts to the corporations that offshore American jobs isn’t the answer–he needs to make sure that tax reform puts middle class families first. That’s what Hoosiers demand.”
Archives for September 2017
Reports show that Indiana loses funding in latest GOP health care overhaul
INDIANAPOLIS – The two front-runners for the GOP Senate nomination have yet to weigh in on Senate Republicans’ latest attempt to overhaul the nation’s health care system. Congressmen Messer’s and Rokita’s silence comes even though they would have to vote on the new bill – which would have disastrous effects in Indiana and across the country – before it became law.
Even as the Graham-Cassidy health care proposal (G-C) gains momentum among Senate Republicans, little is known about the bill other than that the caucus is desperate to pass it. It’s the latest GOP health care overhaul to fail to go through regular order, with the bill unlikely to receive a full CBO score before it gets a vote and scheduled to have only one hastily put-together hearing.
What is known about the bill so far is disheartening. According to an analysis by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) on Monday, insurance premiums for Americans could rise as much as 20% and 15 million Americans stand to lose health care coverage next year if the bill is passed. G-C contains many of the same provisions as earlier GOP health care overhaul attempts, including potentially allowing insurers to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions.
The bill’s damage is even worse for Hoosiers. It allocates money for Medicaid and Affordable Care Act subsidies in block grants according to a new formula on a state-by-state basis. Monday’s CBPP report indicates that Indiana is one of 36 states that would lose federal funding under G-C. And according to a new report from the consultancy Avalere, Indiana would lose $7 billion between 2020 and 2027, and $74 billion between 2020 and 2036, if the law passed.
Despite the bill’s consequences, Indiana Republicans like Congressman Messer and Congressman Rokita have largely been quiet on the new proposal. Their silence is even more deafening considering that the two men would still have to vote on the proposal and pass it out of the House before it became law.
“While hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers once again wonder if Washington Republicans will take away their health care, Congressmen Messer and Rokita remain silent,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Their fellow Republicans are once again toying with the health care of Hoosiers across the state because they’re desperate to pass any bill they can by the end of the month. The last thing Indiana needs is someone like Congressman Messer or Congressman Rokita joining them in the Senate.”
New Census data: IN household incomes stalled
Hoosier households earning $5,000 less than the national average
INDIANAPOLIS – New data released last week by the United States Census Bureau reiterated what Hoosiers have known for years: incomes aren’t growing quickly enough. Indiana’s 2016 real median household income ranked 36th, the same as in 2015 and was more than $5,300 lower than the national average. Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody questioned Governor Eric Holcomb and the Republicans-led Legislature’s inaction on the most pressing issue facing working Hoosiers.
“This is a sobering reminder that the Indiana economy isn’t working for all Hoosiers,” said Zody. “The cost of living keeps rising and Hoosiers’ incomes just haven’t kept up. The data confirms what Hoosier families feel every time they have to stretch their paychecks to pay the bills and put food on the table.”
Hoosiers’ median household incomes are stalled in the bottom third nationally and well below the national average, pointing to a policy issue and putting Governor Holcomb and Statehouse Republicans squarely in the hot seat.
“Just treading water isn’t good enough. The bottom third nationally isn’t good enough. Hoosiers expect integrity. If you take credit for a low employment rate, Holcomb and Statehouse Republicans should own up to an outright policy failure over slow income growth,” said Zody. “Remember, Republicans shrug off slow-growing wages for Hoosiers while quietly planning to study raising Holcomb and other statewide elected officials’ pay. It’s the kind of smug, politics-as-usual behavior working Hoosiers have no time for.”
Statehouse Republicans rejected an effort by House Democrats during the 2017 legislative session to simply study methods to raise working Hoosiers’ incomes.
“Statehouse Republicans said “no” to raising Hoosiers’ wages once already,” said Zody. “Will Governor Holcomb lead on this issue heading into the 2018 session and put the power of the gubernatorial bully pulpit behind taking Hoosiers’ incomes to the next level?”
The 2018 legislative session begins in January. Legislative leaders typically announce policy goals in December.
INDIANAPOLIS – The latest ethics complaint against Congressman Rokita is making headlines across the state. Last night, WPTA TV-21 in Fort Wayne ran their own story on the complaint – the second filed against Congressman Rokita in recent months – launched by the American Democracy Legal Fund.
The complaint follows an Associated Press report earlier this month where three staffers said they “felt obligated” to do supposedly voluntary work for Congressman Rokita’s campaigns. The complaint calls on the FEC to investigate these comments, as if true, Congressman Rokita would be misusing taxpayer-funded congressional staff for his own personal political gain.
WATCH HERE: WPTA: Ethics complaint for Todd Rokita
Indiana Congressman Todd Rokita is now the subject of an ethics complaint. The American Democracy Legal Fund filed that complaint against Rokita based on allegations he had government staff do campaign work – a violation of the House rules and House code of official conduct.
The complaint is based on a recent Associated Press report where Rokita reportedly made congressional staffers feel, quote, “obligated” to perform “volunteer” political work for his campaigns and there would be consequences if they did not.
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