Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee continued its markup of the House GOP’s tax plan. Numerous studies have come out showing how it would negatively affect the middle class—from giving 50 percent of the tax breaks to the top 1 percent to cutting crucial deductions that families all over the country rely on for relief. In fact, some of the deductions that have been removed under the plan “are specifically aimed at undermining the social safety net that has been built over a course of decades for not only disabled people, but many of our vulnerable citizens.”
But those reports haven’t stopped Trump’s surrogates from spreading lies—and awkwardly, some truths—about the tax plan. Trump’s chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, was on CNBC with John Harwood, and he took several missteps. First, he boasts that the plan is a tax cut for the middle class; in reality, the tax cut becomes a tax hike over the next decade. And for millions of middle-class families they would see an immediate increase in taxes, averaging about $2,000. In fact, the sample family that he pointed to would see their taxes go up over time. He was happy to talk about how great trickle-down tax cuts are—even though they’ve been disproven time and time again. However, Cohn did admit the truth when he said, “The most excited group out there are big CEOs about our tax plan.” And it makes sense, given that these big CEOs are the ones getting the biggest tax breaks.
It is expected that the Senate will release their own version of the tax bill later today. Stay tuned for details about what’s in the Senate bill—and what action you can take on the Senate bill.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#DreamActNow. A new report from the Center for American Progress shows that from now until March 5, an average of 122 DACA recipients will lose their protection every day. That’s 851 per week, and 7,901 as of today! This puts thousands of young immigrants at risk of deportation by Trump’s administration—and, as we know, DACA recipients have so much to contribute—and have already contributed—to our society. Use our toolkit to call your member of Congress today, and urge them to pass a clean #DreamActNow!
Blame America First. When running for office Trump loved to talk tough about China. As president, however, it is becoming clear that he can only do that when the Chinese are not actually in the room. Just as he did during their first summit meeting, when he landed in Beijing Trump has quickly turned into President Xi Jinping’s supplicant, fawning over the Chinese president, boasting about their “good chemistry,” and blaming America (!!) rather than China for China’s own unfair trade practices. In a speech to business leaders on Thursday, Trump said, “I don’t blame China. After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for benefit of their citizens? I give China great credit.” This appears to be an abdication of Trump’s responsibility to the American people, and a refusal to stand up for American workers. Apparently the only leaders Trump can stomach being tough with in person are our friends and allies…when it comes to competitors, he’s tough on Twitter but can’t pull it off in person.
Bait and Switch. Today, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a nonpartisan research and policy institute, released their analysis, “House Tax Bill’s Child Tax Credit Increase Excludes Thousands of Low-Income Working Families in Every State.” This analysis further highlights that under the Republican plan, those who are most in need of relief from the high costs associated with raising a child, are the least likely to receive it. According to the CBPP report, the proposal would “completely exclude 10 million children whose parents work for low pay- about 1 in 7 of all U.S. children in working families.” Though House Republicans have stated there would be upwards of a $600 increase in the Child Tax Credit (CTC), the truth is that “13 million children would benefit by less than the full $600 increase, and the majority are in families that would benefit by less than $200 per child in 2018. In total, 23 million children would be partially or fully excluded from the CTC increase…including 8.7 million Latino children, 8.3 million white children, 4/6 million African American children and 600,000 Asian children.” However, the plan DOES provide large new tax cuts for the wealthiest, making more families with six-figure incomes eligible to receive the maximum credit.
#QuitTheCommission. Maine Secretary of State, Matthew Dunlap, has filed suit against the Pence-Kobach Election Integrity commission today. As a member of the commission himself, Dunlap is claiming the commission’s leadership has deliberately excluded him from negotiations and failed to be transparent on the actions of the commission. Dunlap is one of five Democrats on the commission, and one of the only two democratic Secretaries of State. From its inception, the Pence-Kobach commission has been criticized for its lack of transparency, and it’s choice of leadership in Kris Kobach, who has had the commission pursue a variety of policy options that would increase voter disenfranchisement. To learn more about the dangerous polices the commission is pursuing, read Five Truths About Voter Suppression and Keeping Voters off the Rolls: Impact of Documentary Proof of Citizenship and Illegal Voter Purges. To engage further in the fight, check out our #QuitTheCommission tool.
Nuclear Authority. Senator Bob Corker, one of Trump’s fiercest critics on the right, has announced a hearing about Trump’s “authority to use nuclear weapons and the process for executing that authority.” The hearing, which will take place in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is clearly “a significant escalation of Corker’s concerns about the president’s temperament and fitness for office.” The announcement comes while Trump is on a 13-day trip to five Asian countries, where Trump is getting an earful from Asian leaders who worry that Trump’s irresponsible statements on North Korea have pushed the U.S. closer to nuclear war.
UNDER THE RADAR
Russian Interference. Today, activist groups will be delivering over 150,000 comments to the Capitol that call on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to establish new guidelines regarding online political spending. These efforts come on the heels of reports that 126 million Americans were exposed to Russian-backed political Facebook posts during the 2016 presidential campaign. Additionally, Russian bots tweeted over 1.4 million times during the election. Learn more about this potential action and the impact of Russian-backed ads with this explainer video. Then, submit a comment on the FEC’s website today!