Dozens in Durham protest Republican tax reform plan

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Dozens of protesters rallied at the CCB Plaza in Durham on Sunday to speak out against the tax reform bill.

The nearly $1.5 trillion bill is the largest tax overhaul in more than three decades. It was approved early Saturday morning in the Senate by a 51-49 margin with no Democratic support.

Those protesting say the bill hurts the working and middle class and benefits the wealthiest 1 percent. They claim it will take healthcare away from millions of Americans and make college less affordable.

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“I wish I could say I was surprised, but I think that this is a payoff to a lot of special interests that I think is going to hurt the prospects of most Americans,” said Kenneth Romley.

However, Republican lawmakers claim the bill will lead to tax relief for the majority of middle-class Americans.

“This is designed to get the economy growing,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “We didn’t have single year of 3 percent growth during all the Obama years. We were clearly underperforming. You have to ask the question, why? A combination of over-regulation and a lousy tax code.”

The Republican-led House approved a similar bill last month in what has been a stunningly quick trip through Congress for complex legislation.

The Senate’s bill now heads into conference where Republicans will work to balance it with the House version, ironing out key differences.

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