- Associated Press - Monday, November 6, 2017

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) - House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation jointly denounced the new Republican tax plan Monday in the hopes of rallying the public against it.

Pelosi, of California, toured a lab that trains students for careers in advanced manufacturing at the Community College of Rhode Island. She was accompanied by Democratic U.S. Reps. David Cicilline and Jim Langevin and U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.

After the tour, they gathered to speak out against the plan. They all said it favors the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the middle class while adding to the nation’s debt. They want it to be scrapped so lawmakers can start over and work in a bipartisan way.

Pelosi said the bill is “not reconcilable” and it’s predicated on an old way of thinking.

“The rich get richer. Take away the ladders of opportunity, and they have an economy of the silver spoon,” she said. “It’s just not right.”

The House Ways and Means Committee is beginning work on the tax rewrite, with the goal of full House action before Thanksgiving. It mixes sharp tax cuts for corporations and businesses with more modest relief for individuals.

Republicans are promising a simpler IRS code and more globally competitive business tax structure.

Cicilline called it a gift to billionaires and the wealthiest corporations.

He said they spoke at the community college because it used about $2.5 million in federal funding to develop the curriculum for a new degree program in advanced manufacturing and to buy most of the machines in the lab. Federal investments in education and job training are in jeopardy in the Republican budget and tax proposal, he added.

Before he addressed the tax plan, Cicilline asked for a moment of silence for the more than two dozen people who died Sunday in a Texas church shooting. The lawmakers called for action to address gun violence, including mandating stronger background checks for gun sales.

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