Thank you everyone for all of the work we’ve done, making hundreds of phone calls and tweets to Congress the past two weeks to stop the Tax Reform bill.
Here’s what we know:
- On Thursday the House of Representatives voted 227 to 205 to approve its Tax Reform Bill which would eliminate the tax exemption for tuition waivers taxable, as well as the student loan interest deduction and the lifetime learning credit.
- The Senate’s Finance Committee will move forward with a vote on their own version of the Tax Reform Bill after Thanksgiving. The Senate’s version does not have the provisions listed above. There is speculation there might be enough votes in the Senate to vote against the bill.
- If the Senate does vote through a version of the bill that differs from the House, both sides of Congress will meet to reconcile the bills and the House and Senate will vote on the reconciled bill – if it passes through both chambers the bill will be brought to the president to sign.
Throughout this ongoing process we can still stop the House’s tax reform bill and its disastrous effects on affordable and accessible higher education.
When we worked with the Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC) on Wednesday for a Day of Action against the bill, we were told by a Representative’s staff that we were having an effect. One even told us they would now list the tuition waiver as a top reason they would vote against the bill.
What can we do next:
- Call, tweet, and email your Senator today. While we enjoy a few days off for the holidays this week, get your family and friends to call too. Find a sample script here. Find out who your Senator is here. Call the Congress Switchboard to be connected to your Senator’s office: 202-224-3121
- Take a photo with a white board (write why you’re against the tax reform bill) and e-mail it to us, so we can continue to put a face to who will be impacted. Download the white board here.
- Join us and the Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC) for a tax reform action day to make phone calls, send tweets, take photos, and eat some food on:
Tax Reform Action Day
Philosophy Hall Room 302 2-4pm
- Graduate student organizers across the country are organizing rallies against the tuition tax provision. Join us for the rally in NYC. More information here.
Rally Against Grad Tax Hikes
Union Square, 1pm
- Pay attention to our e-mails, website, and Facebook as we update who are the Congressional Representatives and Senators we should focus our attention on.
- Yesterday we sent an e-mail to GSAS Dean Carlos Alonso to thank him for the university’s lobbying against the bill and asking for a meeting to discuss how we can work together, and what the university plans on doing if the final Tax Reform Bill includes taxing our tuition waivers. We will keep everyone updated on how our conversation with Dean Alonso goes.
Making our voices heard in the media:
HBO Vice News Episode 239 [November 17, 2017] at 7:15, New York Daily News – “Grad students under tax siege“, The Nation – “The GOP Tax Plan Would Make It Even Harder to Be a Grad Student”, Earther – “The House GOP Tax Bill Is ‘Truly Horrifying’ For Science Graduate Students”, Artsy – “Why Graduate Students Are Worried about the Republican Tax Plan”, Inside Higher Ed – “‘Taxing a Coupon’”, and Daily News opinion piece – “Grad students under tax siege.“