Corker Kickback Payout

Yesterday, the Joint Committee on Taxation released a new report that the Corker Kickback a special provision in the congressional majority’s tax bill will result in a $17 billion landfall to millionaires in this country. The benefit for some of the richest Americans comes from a special provision in the bill that allows for tax deductions for owners of pass-through businesses. While Trump and his allies in Congress claimed that the provision would help small business owners, this new congressional report shows that wealthy Americans will benefit the most from the change to the tax law.

We did an analysis of this same provision a couple weeks ago and found that dozens of Republican members of Congress could personally benefit from the tax bill they voted for and helped craft. In fact, 53 members of the congressional majority are poised to get an average windfall of up to $280,960 from the pass-through provision. Read our full analysis here.

These new revelations are just the latest blow to working and middle class Americans from the disastrous tax bill. Disapproval of the bill continues to move upwards, and Trump and his allies are taking notice. The messaging just isn’t resonating with voters like they had hoped, as Americans realize that the bill is just a big scam. Republicans in Pennsylvania stopped using the tax cut in their messaging around the special election. In Arizona, where a special election is being held today, there’s questions about whether the tax bill will factor into the results. The six largest banks had tax savings of $3.5 billion in the first quarter of 2018 alone, which is more than double the amount working and middle class Arizonans will save altogether for the entire year.

ACTION OF THE DAY

Restoring the Right to Vote. In honor of #SecondChanceMonth, today national organizations are asking people to sign a pledge in support of Florida’s Voting Restoration Amendment. This amendment gives Florida voters the choice to return the eligibility to vote to 1.4 million Americans who have served their time and paid their debts. We need you to make your voice heard in order to show people from all walks of life who have made past mistakes, served time, and completed their sentences that America believes in redemption and forgiveness. Sign the pledge to show your support for Second Chances and Amendment 4. Check out Second Chance Florida’s website to learn more.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Civil Rights Under DeVos. A new report from Pro Publica and Mother Jones finds that Trump’s Department of Education has stopped investigating a crucial case in Texas over racial discrimination, part of a larger pattern of “pulling back” on civil rights. The case in question was opened during President Obama’s tenure and involved the potential discriminatory application of discipline policies to black students in Texas. But, under Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s leadership, the department closed this case, as well as at least 65 other school discipline investigations. The actions by DeVos to limit the department’s involvement in ensuring fair treatment of all students put students, especially students of color and LGBTQ students, at high risk of being unjustly treated without a clear path for recourse.

Hearing Delayed. The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has delayed a hearing for Trump’s nominee, Dr. Ronny Jackson, to lead the Veterans Affairs Department. Jackson, who was supposed to have his hearing tomorrow, is now facing allegations that he “oversaw a hostile work environment as the White House physician and allowed the overprescribing of drugs,” as well as drank on the job. Although the White House defended Jackson in a statement, they did not specifically address any of the allegations. This latest news is just another controversy for the Trump administration and an addition to the dysfunction of his selection process for cabinet secretaries.

UNDER THE RADAR

Chilling Effects of ICE. A new study published in the Washington Post shows how undocumented immigrants change their behavior based on the threat that local law enforcement will cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in immigration raids. The findings support previous studies that show that fear of local police cooperation with immigration enforcement by ICE increases social isolation and changes people’s behavior (leaving entire communities less safe as a result). The study finds that when local law enforcement cooperate in immigration raids, undocumented Mexican immigrants are:

  • 60.8% less likely to report crimes they witnessed;
  • 68.3% less likely to participate in public events where police may be present;
  • 63.9% less likely to do business (e.g., open a bank account, get a loan) that requires them to disclose their personal information;
  • And, among those with children, 42.9% less likely to place their children in after-school or day-care programs.