Activist Groups Organize Fitzpatrick Protests

Image by Nick Youngson.

Protesters are gathering to protest the actions of Bucks County Congressman, Brian Fitzpatrick.

Protestors from the organizations Make the Road Pennsylvania, One Pennsylvania, Keystone Progress, and more are scheduled to protest today and tomorrow.

The protesters are opposed to a variety of issues ranging from tax cuts to healthcare coverage.

Spokeswoman for a coalition called Pennsylvania Progress Kati Sipp told WBCB the protests are aimed at changing Fitzpatrick’s position on certain issues.

“We’re asking Congressman Fitzpatrick, when it comes to the tax bill, to think about repealing it and to reconsider his vote in favor of it,” Sipp said.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 had its 6 month anniversary this week, which opposition used as an opportunity to look at its effects. Sipp claimed tax cuts put more money in the hands of large corporations while not increasing wages and would lead to eventual tax increases on the population.

However, Fitzpatrick also took the half year anniversary to analyze the effects of Tax Reform on Tuesday.

“I am proud that our nation took a historic step to invest in American families and support American businesses and workers,” Fitzpatrick stated. “The May jobs numbers point to steady growth and a broad improvement in the labor market. Unemployment fell to 3.8-percent, a new 18-year low.”

Sipp also spoke about a controversy in which Fitzpatrick spent a large amount of tax payer money on mailers to constituents.

“He was recently revealed to have spent about $300,000 using his congressional privilege to send mail to his constituents, which makes him one of the top ten spenders in the House on congressional mail,” Sipp said. “His mail was pretty campaigned style looking mail.”

Fitzpatrick’s office countered this criticism as well, stating the Congressman was using his funds to tap into what voters really wanted instead of paying large salaries.

“Every member of Congress receives approximately the same budget allocation from the House for official office expenses,” a spokesman for Fitzpatrick’s office said. “Instead of incurring expenses for multiple office spaces and excessive staff salaries, the Congressman uses House-approved tools to conduct outreach and facilitate dialogue with his constituents.”

“The Congressman sent out an issue survey to over 120,000 households in the district to identify key issues and to help shape his legislative agenda,” the spokesman continued. “The Congressman has responded to over 244,000 constituent communications, including office visits, phone calls, and letters since January 2017.”

Sipp also raised criticism of the GOP for planning to change healthcare laws in the country and repeal coverage for preexisting conditions.

“They announced a new bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act,” Sipp said. “There’s an estimate that there’s about 300,000 people in Bucks county who are currently living with preexisting conditions of some kind.”

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Protests will continue on Friday of this week and Tuesday of next week.