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

Washington, D.C. — Tonight, President Donald Trump will travel to Montoursville, Pennsylvania, for a rally ahead of tomorrow’s House special election that will decide who will fill the seat of former Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA). Here are four of the most damaging broken promises President Trump has made to Pennsylvania working families ahead of his address:

Promise:

“We have the opioid problem, and for that we have to go after the drug companies.” –President Trump, Moon Township, Pennsylvania, March 10, 2018

Reality:

  • Former Rep. Marino was President Trump’s original pick to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) but withdrew after a 2017 Washington Post and “60 Minutes” report showed that he was a top advocate for the opioid industry while representing a district hit hard by the opioid epidemic. He then resigned from Congress two months after his reelection in 2018.
  • Opioid-related deaths have continued to rise to record levels during the Trump administration.
    • Opioid-related deaths are doubling every two years in Pennsylvania. 
    • Opioid overdose deaths increased by 12 percent during President Trump’s first year in office.
    • Americans are now more likely to die from an opioid overdose than a car accident.
    • More Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2017 than both of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and 9/11 combined.
  • A government report finds that President Trump’s opioid state of emergency declaration has yielded few results so far.
    • President Trump has proposed allocating more money for a fabricated national emergency to build a border wall than he has proposed for solving the opioid crisis.
    • President Trump proposed to cut the ONDCP by $340 million and asked for a fraction ($6 billion) of what is needed to effectively combat this crisis, which, according to experts, should be “tens of billions” of dollars annually.
    • President Trump has continuously attempted to sabotage and repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its expansion of Medicaid, which would devastate access to substance abuse treatment for millions.
  • President Trump charged White House Counselor and former pollster Kellyanne Conway to lead the administration’s efforts on the opioid epidemic, freezing out career experts.
  • To serve as senior adviser for the ONDCP, President Trump appointed a 24-year-old whose only professional experience after college was with the Trump campaign.

Promise: “We will always protect Americans with preexisting conditions.” –President Trump, Erie, Pennsylvania, October 10, 2018

Reality:

  • President Trump’s ongoing attempts to repeal the ACA in Congress and in the courts would result in more than 20 million Americans losing their health care coverage.
  • President Trump is now supporting a lawsuit arguing that the law is unconstitutional. Similar to earlier attempts to repeal and replace the ACA, 134 million Americans with preexisting conditions would lose protections—more than 5.3 million of whom live in Pennsylvania—if this suit is successful.
  • Earlier this month, President Trump threatened to veto a U.S. House-passed bill that would guarantee protections for those with preexisting conditions.

Promise: “We will massively cut taxes for the middle class.” –President Trump, Moon Township, Pennsylvania, November 6, 2016

Reality:

  • Eighty-three percent of President Trump’s tax cuts went to the top 1 percent.
  • More than 10 million working families saw a tax increase this year, including 335,115 families in Pennsylvania.
  • Corporations will receive more than $630 billion worth of tax savings over 10 years.
  • President Trump kept the hedge fund loophole in the tax law after vowing to eliminate it during 2016 campaign.

Promise: “We will save and protect your Social Security and Medicare.” –President Trump, Moon Township, Pennsylvania, November 6, 2016

Reality:

  • President Trump’s most recent budget proposed:
    • $845 billion cut to Medicare
    • $1.5 trillion cut to Medicaid
    • $84 billion cut to Social Security

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Jesse Lee at or 202-741-6350.