Rev. Dr. Robert P. Shine, Vice-Chair of People For the American Way’s African American Ministers in Action and founder and pastor of Philadelphia’s Berachah Baptist Church, joined President Barack Obama at a White House press conference today in support of policies to help working Americans struggling in the current economy. House Republicans are holding up a package supported by the President and 89 senators that will extend payroll tax relief and unemployment insurance. If the bill is not passed by the end of the year, millions of unemployed people will see their lifelines cut in January and 160 million working Americans will be hit with an average of $1,000 in payroll taxes.
Rev. Dr. Shine was asked to the event to represent members of his community who rely on these important benefits.
In a statement, Rev. Dr. Shine said:
“It was an honor to stand behind our President today, both literally and figuratively. Extending the payroll tax cut and extending the lifeline of unemployment insurance are two of the most important things our elected officials in Washington can do, both to help individual American families get by and to help get our economy moving again. The refusal of House Republicans to take a simple, bipartisan step on behalf of working Americans is truly shocking. While millionaires and billionaires are enjoying the lowest tax rates in decades, working families across the country are struggling to get by. For working families, $40 a paycheck from the President’s tax cut will make all the difference. For those struggling to find work, unemployment insurance means survival.
“During the Christmas season, the President is standing with working people while the GOP is continuing to protect millionaires. I’m proud to stand with the President.”