Center for American Progress Action

CAP Action Memo: Trump’s Broken Promises to Pennsylvania Working Families
Press Release

CAP Action Memo: Trump’s Broken Promises to Pennsylvania Working Families

Washington, D.C. — Today, President Donald Trump will deliver keynote remarks at the annual Shale Insight conference—hosted by pro-oil and natural gas corporations—in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

One of Trump’s core promises to Pennsylvania families was that he would work on behalf of workers rather than wealthy donors, lobbyists, and corporate interests. In previous trips to Pennsylvania, he also promised that his administration would reinvigorate the steel industry, lower health care costs, and increase wages for workers. In reality, his administration has failed to deliver on these promises—siding with corporate donors in the fossil fuel industry to roll back environmental protections, insurance companies to end protections for people with preexisting conditions, and signing into law a tax bill that largely benefited wealthy earners and rewarded companies for moving jobs overseas.

Introducing Trump at the event will be Continental Resources’ chief executive, Harold Hamm, who personally donated nearly a half-million dollars to Trump’s 2016 election efforts. Hamm was reported to be in top consideration to join Trump’s Cabinet as secretary of energy in 2016 and was reportedly part of a “shadow cabinet” that laid the groundwork for Trump’s attack on environmental protections. Last week, Trump doled out another favor to his fossil fuel cronies by nominating Dan Brouillette, a former lobbyist, to replace Rick Perry as secretary of energy. Brouillette is the eighth former lobbyist to join the Cabinet—the most on record for any presidential administration ever

Learn more about President Trump’s top broken promises to Pennsylvania families here.

Factory closings

Promise: “We will be opening brand new factories across this state.” – Donald Trump in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, November 6, 2016

Reality: Experts predict that Trump’s erratic steel and aluminum trade policies will result in job losses of close to 180,000 nationally, including close to 14,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, many of which are in the manufacturing sector.

  • Pennsylvania has lost 8,100 manufacturing jobs this year alone, according to an analysis from NBC News on the latest employment figures.
  • Three Pennsylvania manufacturing hubs—Pittsburgh, Scranton, and Harrisburg—are in the top 50 hardest-hit communities in the country from Trump’s erratic trade policies.
  • Pittsburgh steelmaker Ampco-Pittsburgh Corp. lost $7 million due to the Trump administration’s trade policies in one quarter last year.
  • American Keg Co.’s manufacturing facility in Pottstown cut staff by one-third due to the Trump administration’s trade policies.
  • Close to 20 large Pennsylvania employers laid off 2,700 workers last year, including Mepco, which shut down a coal mine; Dover Corp., which shut down a pump manufacturing facility; Johnson & Johnson, which shuttered its insulin pump maker; and Pittsburgh Glass Works, which closed an automotive glass manufacturing plant.

Health care

Promise: “We’ll create quality, reliable, affordable health care in a free market where parents can make the health care decisions that they really want to make for their families. It will be a much better health care at a much less cost.” – Donald Trump in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, November 1, 2016

Reality: The Trump administration is trying to sabotage Americans’ health care by repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or destroying the law in the courts:

  • 5.3 million Pennsylvanians with preexisting conditions will lose protections under ACA repeal.
  • 858,000 Pennsylvanians will lose their health coverage under ACA repeal.
  • The average Pennsylvania family would see a $3,650 annual premium increase under ACA repeal.

Profits and wages

Promise: “I will be the greatest jobs President that God ever created. … Our poorer citizens will get new jobs and higher pay and new hope for their life.”– Donald Trump, October 5, 2016

Reality: Trump said he would veto an increase in the federal minimum wage, which would have given a raise to nearly 40 million people nationwide. In reality, Trump blocked a federal minimum wage increase for Pennsylvania workers. 

  • 2 million Pennsylvania workers were denied a pay increase as a result of Trump blocking a federal minimum wage increase.
  • Pennsylvania workers lost $7 billion in wages as a result of Trump blocking a federal minimum wage increase.

The Trump administration has also taken away safeguards that ensure workers are paid overtime, protect retirees from exploitative financial advisers, and ensure that people pay less at the gas pump.

  • Pennsylvanians will lose $42 million in overtime wages.
  • Pennsylvanians will lose $783 million in retirement savings.
  • Pennsylvanians will lose an additional $610 million at the gas pump.


Promise: “The largest tax reductions are for the middle class.” – Donald Trump in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, October 22, 2016

Reality: Most of the Trump administration’s $2 trillion tax cut goes to corporations and the rich. Many Pennsylvania families are getting stuck with the bill.

  • 375,990 Pennsylvania families paid more in taxes last year due to the Trump administration’s tax bill
  • The average tax cut for the wealthiest 1 percent of Pennsylvanians is $53,580. Meanwhile, the bottom 80 percent of Pennsylvanians saw just a fraction of that. 
  • The average tax cut for the bottom 80 percent is $644.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Freedom Alexander Murphy at [email protected] or 202-796-9712.