Locals Protest Ivanka Trump’s Visit as Republicans Continue Efforts to Sabotage Health Care and Economic Opportunity


Trump Holds Roundtable At A Syracuse High School As Administration Continues Working To End Department Of Education And Undermine Public Education

Congressman John Katko Joined Trump, Touting His Vote To Raise New Yorkers’ Taxes With $1.5 Trillion Tax Break For The Rich

SYRACUSE — Speak Out Central New York, CNY Solidarity and more protested Ivanka Trump’s visit to a Syracuse high school today, emphasizing the impact of Republicans’ ongoing fight to dismantle American health care, undermine public education, and funnel billions in tax breaks to the richest fraction of the country.

“Central New York students are not photo ops. It’s callous that Ivanka Trump and Congressman John Katko are teaming up to do a victory lap about their $1.5 trillion tax break for the rich, as Republicans continue to undermine health care, education, and other critical public services for millions of Americans,” said Stephanie Ladd, a retired Syracuse high school teacher and member of the CNY Solidarity Coalition.

“Today marks the third time this summer that John Katko has enjoyed the support of a high-level Trump administration official, even as he tries to distance himself from the fact that he votes with the administration nearly 90 percent of the time. Despite what he says, it’s clear from his actions that Katko would rather reward the richest fraction of the country – including wealthy corporations and his own campaign donors – instead of helping working families.”

Trump visited Central New York to tout the Republican tax scam passed in December, which Katko supported despite knowing it would raise New Yorkers’ taxes by $2.4 billion in the next year alone. His vote also helped repeal the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, a move that has already caused an average insurance premium increase of $572 for New Yorkers.

Today’s roundtable meeting was held in a Syracuse high school, even as the Trump administration continues attempting to make draconian cuts to public education and potentially end the federal Department of Education altogether. Education Secretary Betsy Devos – who was appointed despite a complete lack of work experience with public schools – has fought to claw back critical protections for students passed under the previous administration, and proposed massive cuts to public education funding in both Trump’s 2018 and 2019 budgets.

Republicans have also spent the past several months attempting to make huge cuts to Medicare, Social Security and other safety net programs, including SNAP, hoping to make up for the cost of giving the rich a $1.5 trillion tax break. The TrumpTax sends more than 80 perecent of its benefits to the richest 1 percent of the country, and despite Katko’s and Trump’s claims to the contrary, corporations are spending 80 times as much on stock buybacks to reward rich shareholders and executives than they’re spending on worker raises or bonuses. Just 4.3 percent of American workers have gotten a raise or bonus because of the bill, despite the billions in savings for corporations.

Despite declaring himself a moderate and insisting he is willing to put partisan politics aside, John Katko votes in line with President Trump’s agenda more than 89 percent of the time. Just last month, he appeared at two private fundraisers hosted by Vice President Mike Pence, including a $30,000 per plate event at the Trump Hotel in Washington D.C.