Today, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, will face his confirmation hearing in the Senate. Here’s what you need to know about Pompeo:
- He’s a climate denier who has repeatedly questioned the fact that human activity is changing the climate.
- Pompeo is an extremist when it comes to LGBTQ rights. He criticizing the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality, co-sponsored legislation that would have allowed discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, and voted against the LGBTQ-inclusive version of the Violence Against Women Act.
- He has acted as Trump’s loyal lapdog regarding Russia. Under Trump’s direction, he took a meeting with a conspiracy theorist who has claimed that the Russian hacking and releasing of DNC emails was an inside job. He also made a false statement claiming Russia’s actions did not affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
- He “failed to disclose last year that he owned a Kansas business that imported oilfield equipment from a company owned by the Chinese government” on his questionnaire required before his Senate confirmation hearing for the CIA.
It’s clear that Pompeo is not the person we need to lead the State Department, especially after Tillerson’s dismantling of the department for the past year. Call your senators today at 202-224-3121, and demand they vote “no” on his confirmation.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Protect Mueller (and his boss). 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 or his boss, Rod Rosenstein. 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 or his boss is fired. Go to TrumpIsNotAboveTheLaw.org to find where rallies and protests will take place near you! And, call your senators at 202-224-3121, and urge them to vote “yes” on legislation that would protect Mueller.
Clean Slates in PA. Yesterday, the Pennsylvania House passed a bill that would “enable individuals to have qualifying nonviolent misdemeanor convictions automatically sealed after they have remained crime-free for a set period of time.” This is a huge step forward, especially in a country where 1 in 3 Americans have some type of criminal record. Criminal records create huge, unnecessary barriers to housing, employment, and economic security—but many have earned a second chance. Watch Smart on Crime’s most recent video, highlighting Ronald Lewis, a Philadelphia resident who just needs a second chance at opportunity.
Maryland Protecting Residents’ Care. Since Trump took office, he and his administration have been working hard to undermine the Affordable Care Act and strip people of their health care. But some states are taking actions to mitigate the effects of this sabotage. Maryland has passed two big pieces of legislation that create a reinsurance program to lower premiums and limit short-term junk plans to 90 days. Maryland has now taken 2 of the 3 steps that the Center for American Progress has recommended for states to limit the effects of Trump’s sabotage, and has created a commission to consider the third, putting in place a state-level individual mandate. It’s time for other states to follow Maryland’s lead and protect health care for their residents.
Gun Reform in VT. Yesterday, Vermont Governor Phil Scott took decisive action on preventing gun violence by signing new gun laws. Per CNN, the laws include: raising the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21; banning bump stocks; requiring “all gun transactions to be facilitated by a licensed dealer who would perform background checks, with some exceptions”; and, limiting rifle capacity to 10 rounds. To find out what other actions states can take to reduce gun violence, check out these six policy ideas.
An Ode to Paul Ryan. What’s at stake as Congress considers a so-called balanced budget amendment to the Constitution? In the latest Off-Kilter episode, Rebecca gets the scoop from the Center for American Progress’s tax guru Seth Hanlon. Next, with April as Second Chance Month, Rebecca talks with Kristen Arant, a single mom from Kentucky and Ohio who was able to turn her life around after spending time behind bars due to struggles with substance abuse—thanks to Medicaid. All this, plus a heartfelt goodbye to Speaker Paul Ryan, in the latest episode of Off-Kilter.