We already knew the tax bill passed by the congressional majority and signed into by President Trump was just a scam. But our new analysis highlights the culture of corruption surrounding the legislation. 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 personal windfall of up to $280,960 from a single loophole they included in the final bill. These members include:
- Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, gaining between $125k – $706k
- Representative Jeff Denham of California, gaining between $13k – 110k
- Representative Trey Hollingsworth of Indiana, gaining between $676k – $4.5 million
- Senator Steve Daines of Montana, gaining between $48k – $422k
- Representative James Renacci of Ohio, gaining between $43k – $330k
Read the full analysis here. Then, call your elected officials at 202-224-3121! With Tax Day approaching, every member of Congress who voted for the legislation owes it to their constituents to tell them exactly how they are personally benefiting from the law.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Protect Mueller. After federal officials raided the office and home of Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, the president took to Twitter to rant about the “witch hunt.” He also again floated the idea of firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller. With the president seeming increasingly unstable in his actions and launching attacks at the Russia probe, it’s crucial we are ready to take to the streets if Mueller is fired. Go to TrumpIsNotAboveTheLaw.org to find where rallies and protests will take place near you!
Zuckerberg. Today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg begins his testimony to Congress on the failure of his company to protect users’ data. The testimony comes after it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a firm associated with the Trump campaign, “harvested data of an estimated 87 million Facebook users to psychologically profile voters.” In response to the criticism aimed at Facebook, Zuckerberg announced the creation of an academic research team to identify major issues with the social network. One of the organizations who will get “unprecedented access” to Facebook and users’ data? The Charles Koch Foundation. It’s clear that many questions remain for Zuckerberg to answer—whether he’ll answer honestly in the halls of Congress remains to be seen.
- Lowers protections for people with pre-existing conditions, by allowing states to create a lower benchmark for what a state covers, as well as permitting the creation of “substitutes” for essential benefits;
- Increases the cost of coverage, mainly by allowing insurers to increase rates by up to 15 percent without any explanation;
- And, increases the barriers to enrollment, by reducing access to enrollment assistance and increasing burdensome eligibility verification for low-income people.
#BringBackMarco. Marco Villada Garibay, a Dreamer, has been in the U.S. since he was six years old. Now, after making a trip to Mexico on the “government’s promise of a green card,” he may never be allowed back in the U.S.—or face several years or more barred from returning. Marco lived nearly his entire life in the California and did everything the government asked of him to adjust his immigration status. Despite that, Marco is currently stranded in Mexico, away from his husband, family, and community in LA — the only place he knows as home. The National Immigration Law Center has filed suit, arguing that his visa denial was unlawful. Marco’s story is just another example of the Trump administration targeting immigrants who have made the U.S. their home.
Equal Pay Day. Today is #EqualPayDay, the day that marks the additional days that a typical woman working full time, year round must work into the current year to make what the typical man working full time, year round made in the previous year. 80 cents represent the pay gap for the average woman. Yet when you look at the pay gap by race, women of color are considerably affected. And a new analysis from CAP shows that rural women have it even harder. These data are a reminder that it is essential to ensure that any conversation about rural America not only addresses declining wages and job loss among white working-class men, but also addresses the even larger wage gaps and low earnings experienced by rural women across all races and ethnicities. Here’s what you need to know:
- A little more than one-fifth of people living in rural America are people of color.
- Rural women of color are among the lowest paid workers, with rural black and Hispanic women who work full time, year round earning just 56 cents for every dollar earned by rural white, non-Hispanic men working full time, year round.
UNDER THE RADAR
Head Start. A new report by the Center for American Progress highlights the critical role that Head Start plays in rural communities across the country. The study shows that 1 out of every 3 rural child care centers is a Head Start program, based on a 10 state sample. The report finds that rural Head Start programs enrolled more than 175,000 children; employed nearly 50,000 staff and delivered family services to more than 110,000 families in the 2015-2016 program year. The study also finds that more rural children enter the program behind on health screenings, vaccinations, and dental care than poor children in metropolitan areas. Without Head Start, rural families would have less access to center-based child care and necessary social services, such as housing services, job training programs, and parenting education.