Today, the House passed their budget with a vote of 219-206. This budget would be devastating for working families, as it’s an assault on health care, education, and our environment. The budget seeks to eliminate crucial disaster relief funding, even as millions of Americans struggle in the wake of Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria. And for families that rely on nutrition assistance, they would see cuts to benefits as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) loses $154 billion in funding over ten years. To sum up this horrendous plan: it “takes a sledgehammer to health care, job training, infrastructure, education, affordable housing, clean air and water, and diplomacy—all to shovel massive tax cuts to corporations and the top 1 percent.”
In the meantime, the Senate voted to pass their budget out of committee. The Senate budget allows for Medicaid’s funding to be slashed by roughly $1 trillion, decimating the program. It would also cut more than $450 billion from Medicare. Additionally, Senator Johnson will reportedly introduce an amendment that would enable full repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Even if that budget doesn’t get approved, the Senate budget could reopen the door for repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Both of these budgets pave the way for massive tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, with 80 percent of the benefits going to the top 1 percent. Many working and middle class Americans would even see tax increases under the current plan.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Trump’s Tax Scam. The House just passed a budget that will cut programs for working families to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and big businesses. Visit trumptaxtoolkit.org to tell your representative that their “yes” vote is shameful. Then, stay tuned for tomorrow, when we’ll change the toolkit to focus on senators and urging them to vote “no.” Go to HandsOff.org to find out how your state would be affected by the budget cuts and share your story. Finally, share the graphic below!
Systematic Discrimination. President Trump’s nominee to lead the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, Eric Dreiband, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee today. It should come as no surprise that Dreiband, as a Trump nominee, has displayed an extensive record of opposing the rights of women, Muslims, and almost any other minority you can think of. From opposing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, to defending Abercrombie & Fitch in a discrimination case brought by a Muslim employee, to defending North Carolina’s controversial bathroom ban, to so many other actions unbecoming of an appointee in the Civil Rights office, Dreiband’s record sends one clear message to all those who care about equal justice under the law: the Civil Rights office will not defend your rights.
#DreamActNow. Today was the last day for DACA renewals to be received. Unfortunately, 36,000 people missed the deadline, including 4,000 people in areas impacted by hurricanes, which means these young people soon will lose DACA and be subject to detention and deportation. This arbitrary deadline, along with the March 2018 deadline that will lead to more than 1,000 DACA recipients losing protection each day, are a crisis of the Trump administration’s own making. Leaving nearly a million young immigrants in limbo is not only morally wrong, but also an economic mistake. It’s time for Congress to pass a clean Dream Act. Use our Dream Act Toolkit to reach out to your member of Congress today!
Under Fire. Bump stocks—gun accessories that transform semiautomatic weapons into machine guns—are making headlines in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting. Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill to ban these dangerous attachments, and Senators from both sides of the aisle have expressed support. But banning bump stocks is barely scratching the surface in addressing the epidemic of gun violence in our country. Ninety Americans are killed every single day due to gun violence, and the U.S. gun murder rate is 25 times higher than the average rate of other developed nations. Banning bump stocks is good, but we need a more comprehensive legislative agenda that will seriously reduce gun violence. Congress should take action to expand background checks, ban all weapons of war, end “guns everywhere” laws, and prevent men who have a history of domestic violence from buying guns. Call your members of Congress today, and tell them to oppose the NRA agenda.
UNDER THE RADAR
Unbreathable. President Trump’s nominee to be the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) assistant administrator for air and radiation, William Wehrum, faced a Senate confirmation hearing yesterday. If confirmed, Wehrum would be one of the most powerful people in Scott Pruitt’s EPA. So, what are his opinions about climate science? When asked by one Senator if he believed that human activities are the main driver of climate change, Wehrum responded, “I believe that’s an open question.” It’s not. Wehrum only said this because he has regularly represented industries looking to undermine clean air standards. With this answer, Trump’s nominees continue the trend of destroying the very things their offices are supposed to protect.