That shouldn’t be too big of an ask for our elected officials, but many members of congress seem to be content with putting the interests of their party over the interests of their constituents. Take health care, for example: this morning, it was reported that the senate is planning on keeping up to 80 percent of the House version of Trumpcare (the version that would cause 23 million people to lose insurance, increase premiums by 20 percent, and and undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions) despite promising to start from scratch to write their own version.
Health care isn’t the only area where Congress is failing to represent us. Another big one? Trump’s budget. Many congressional leaders have signaled support for Trump’s budget outline, which includes devastating cuts to programs that millions of Americans rely on for basic living standards. And then, of course, there’s Russia. Too many members of congress are prepared to ignore the Trump Administration’s troubling ties to Russia.
Congress is back home for recess this week, which means now is the perfect time to hold your elected officials accountable for representing Trump over you. Go to RecessToolkit.com to use our representation checklist to see whether your member of congress is representing you. Also find all the tools you need to contact your representatives to hold them accountable.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#ResistTrumpcare. The Senate is in the midst of holding closed-door meetings to draft their version of Trumpcare, and all signs are pointing to it being just as bad as the House version. Let your senators know you’re watching. Join our friends at Organizing for Action for a national call in day today to tell your senators to resist Trumpcare.
Paris. Trump refused to recommit to the landmark Paris Climate Agreement over the weekend, tweeting that he would make a “final decision” this week. He has, however, reportedly told “confidantes” that he plans to withdraw from the deal. The United States would be the first of the 195 countries to pull out of the historic deal. The Center for American Progress’s Gwynne Taraska outlines why the U.S. shouldn’t withdraw from the deal here. ThinkProgress’s Joe Romm explains what pulling out of Paris would mean for U.S. leadership and our relationship to Russia here.
Portland. Over the weekend two men were stabbed to death and another was injured in Portland, Oregon after intervening when a man began shouting anti-Muslim rhetoric at two teenage girls. The suspect had ties to white supremacy groups and has been charged with aggravated murder. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has asked to revoke a federal permit for an alt-right protest scheduled to take place on Sunday asking protestors to “stay away from Portland.”
Jared. Not the jeweler. Late last week, it was reported that the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election had made its way to Jared Kushner. Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that Kushner—who has his hands on just about every part of White House business—discussed setting up “a secret communications channel” between Trump’s transition team and Russia. Trump, for his part, said “Jared is doing a great job for the country.”
Speaking of Russia… There’s always more news. This morning, CNN reported that Russian officials “discussed having potentially ‘derogatory’ information about then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and some of his top aides.” The reports are based off information from two former intelligence officials and a congressional source. Add this to the ever-growing pile of evidence suggesting that Russian officials believed they could influence Trump and his team before the election.
“Brain Training.” Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has invested millions in Neurocore, a company that promises to “train your brain to function better,” and address myriad problems from ADHD to autism to migraines. CAP’s Ulrich Boser went to check it out and—surprise—Neurocore promises a lot more than it can deliver. But what’s worse is that in addition to making impossible promises Neurocore is doing actual damage for people with cognitive struggles and DeVos is behind it all. Read the full story here.
UNDER THE RADAR
Civil rights. They are under attack in the Trump era in ways big and small. In a little noticed part of Trump’s budget, the administration outlined plans to dismantle the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs—the Department of Labor division responsible for monitoring discrimination among federal contractors. The administration said it is eliminating the program to “cut costs.” But this comes as other programs designed to protect civil rights are under attack across the federal government. For example, the EPA’s environmental justice program and the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights both face devastating cuts. More on what’s at stake here.
Battle Born State. Last week, the Nevada Senate and Assembly both passed legislation requiring that all financial advisers put their clients’ interests first. Across the country, savers seek advice from trusted financial professionals, but for far too long, loopholes have created a lack of accountability. That has meant, at best, investors and retirees pay more in fees and commissions and at worst find themselves in faulty investments. The Trump Administration has threatened the future of the Department of Labor’s long-awaited fiduciary rule, which would protect all investors and retirees from these practices. But Nevada’s bill will ensure that Nevadans are protected from the whims of the Trump Administration.