Several Idahoans joined more than 800 people from across the country on Monday and Tuesday to descend upon the U.S. Senate and House office buildings in Washington, D.C., in protest of the GOP tax-reform bill.
The protesters gathered in halls outside lawmakers’ offices, chanting and refusing to leave until some were arrested. Idaho protesters documented the activity in live videos on United Vision for Idaho’s Facebook page Monday and Tuesday, and three Boise women participated in the arrests Tuesday.
Adrienne Evans, Nimi Sandhu and Linda Whedbee are charged with disrupting the business of the House and other misdemeanors, according to a news release from the Southwest Idaho chapter of the National Organization for Women (SWIdahoNOW). As of 6:50 p.m. Mountain time, the women had been released from jail.
Evans is United Vision for Idaho’s executive director. Sandhu and Whedbee are representatives from SWIdahoNOW. Nancy Harris, also with SWIdahoNOW, was present but not arrested.
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The arrests are intended to draw attention to criticisms of the tax bill. The protesters point to analyses that show the bill disproportionately benefits wealthier Americans; they’re also upset about cuts to Medicare the measure would trigger, and effects on health insurance costs by ending the Affordable Care Act requirement that everyone carry insurance.
“Idahoans along with people across the country have been pleading with their representatives to consider the grave consequences this bill would have for the people they represent. At the end of the day, they are willing to throw their constituents under the bus to appease their donors, and an administration that places our democracy and people’s well being at risk in ways more frightening than we have ever seen,” Evans said in a statement on Monday.