Groups React to President's Visit to Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Area groups are responding to President Donald Trump's visit to Springfield.

The Missouri Democratic Party and Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri held their own events Tuesday calling attention to issues they believe matter to Missourians.

The Missouri Democratic Party highlighted cuts made to Medicaid and how it impacted thousands of Missourians. Faith leaders in the community were sending a message of justice and inclusion. Both groups hope the President's visit Wednesday clarifies his tax reform plans.

"Trump may bring a circus to town, but we want to be clear that the people of Missouri are against his harmful and hurtful healthcare cuts," said Stephen Webber, chair of the Missouri Democratic Party. 

When asked about the president's tax reform Webber and State Representative Crystal Quade, (D) - Springfield, say they haven't seen enough.

"They haven't released any plans," said Webber.

"It definitely makes it difficult when we don't have plans to work from and we are looking to the Executive Branch to provide us with insight on the direction that they want to go," said Rep. Quade.

Elaine Kamarck, co-chair or RATE -  Reforming America's Taxes Equitably, a non-profit organization, says she expects this tax reform initiative to be more successful than the repeal and replace plan.

"For a pretty simple reason, that the Republican Party has been preparing and working hard on tax reform options for several years now, in a bipartisan manner for a couple years," said Kamarck. "And to everyone's astonishment, they really didn't do the same homework on healthcare."

She says if the President lowers rates for the middle class and gets rid of loopholes for the rich, the plan might be well received.

"That formula worked back in 1986, and I believe it's going to work now. And I think that the President is going to actually talk about that," she said.

Associate Pastor at Brentwood Christian Church, Emily Bowen-Marler, certainly hopes he does.

"So that we can actually have something to talk about and contact our representatives and our senators about," said Bowen-Marler.

Because like her many citizens have concerns.

"That some of the tax reform is going to do more to benefit the wealthy than to benefit people who are poor or people who are living in the middle class," she said.  "That gap has been getting wider and wider and wider and that needs to stop."

NARAL Missouri also released a statement Tuesday in response to the President's visit talking about Missouri Governor Eric Greitens and Attorney General Josh Hawley. Titled "Missouri to Trump: Your hatred is not welcome here." The statement from Alice Dreith said in part "Make no mistake, Republican leaders like Greitens and Hawley are the ones who made trump happen, as they have continually enabled his most hateful and divisive tendencies to advance their own political ambitions."

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