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60 Faith Leaders Sign Letter Telling GOP Not To Raise Taxes On 24 Million Americans

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"60 Faith Leaders Sign Letter Telling GOP Not To Raise Taxes On 24 Million Americans"

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Faith leaders spoke out against GOP tax plan at news conference Wednesday

A coalition of faith leaders released a letter ahead of yesterday’s symbolic House tax vote telling Republicans not to allow the expiration of two tax credits that, together, would raise taxes on more than 15 million Americans. In the letter, the faith leaders called for extensions of the 2009 expansions of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, two provisions Republicans allow to expire in the bill they approved.

The GOP’s plan to let the expanded tax credits expire, the letter said, was “simply unconscionable“:

These tax credits help families meet basic needs, reduce poverty, and remove barriers to work. It is hypocritical for lawmakers who talk about family values to abandon improvements in these effective, family-supporting programs. Failing to extend the improved tax credits would jeopardize the economic security and well-being of more than 15 million families and more than 36 million children within those families. This is simply unconscionable.

As ThinkProgress has noted, the GOP would also allow for the expiration of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, a tax break on college tuition payments that would affect roughly 11 million families. In total, the expiration of all three tax credits would raise taxes on 24 million Americans, 10 times the number that would see a tax increase under the Democratic plan to allow only the Bush tax cuts on higher incomes to expire.

This isn’t the first time that faith leaders have criticized Republican policies. An assortment of faith leaders panned the House GOP’s budget, calling it an “immoral disaster” that “robs the poor.” This summer, Sister Simone Campbell, one of this letter’s signers, led the Nuns On A Bus tour across the country to protest GOP’s cuts to programs that help the poor and middle class.

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