Today, the Senate Budget Committee voted to pass the Republican tax bill out of committee, meaning that it will now go to the Senate floor for a full vote. The committee vote came after Trump visited the Hill to rally with Republican Senators and urge them to support the legislation.
But Trump’s pep talk doesn’t seem to have swayed Senators like Bob Corker or Ron Johnson, who have remained opposed to the bill. While Corker and some other Republicans say they are focused on the bill’s impact on the deficit (a $1.5 trillion increase!), let’s not forget what else this bill would do. It would strip 13 million Americans of health care coverage by repealing the individual mandate. It would cause taxes to go up for 87 million working and middle-class households by 2027. And it would result in automatic cuts to programs, including a $25 billion cut to Medicare next year.
Why would anyone support this bill? Well, it would result in a landfall for Trump, his family, and other super rich Americans – including a special, lower tax rate for “passthrough” business owners like Trump. Some Republicans, like Senator Bob Corker, are starting to sense that this smash-and-grab by Trump and the Republican donor class will have real consequences for the budget and national priorities. Corker said this morning that he cannot support something that he knows would harm the country. Despite these hesitant statements, Corker still voted yes to pass it out of committee.
Still, nothing is decided until the final, full vote happens. Angry, frustrated, worried? Learn how to get involved below.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#GOPTaxScam. Now that the Senate Budget Committee has passed the tax bill, the full Senate plans to vote on the bill later this week. Remember: this bill raises taxes on tens of millions of Americans, increases health premiums, and causes 13 million Americans to lose health coverage. These tax hikes and health care cuts will be used to finance tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations. We’ve identified the nine key senators who will cast deciding votes on this scam, and now, more than ever, we must keep their phones ringing! Call them or tweet at them today using TrumpTaxToolkit.org.
Another Bad Pick. Tonight, the Senate will vote on the Trump’s nominee for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Greg Katsas. Often referred to as “Trump in a robe,” Katsas serves as a deputy White House counsel and faces intense criticism for his role in shaping the administration’s voter fraud commission and the its decision to repeal DACA. He also “may have played a key role in White House deliberations on a series of hot-button topics from Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey to the travel ban to efforts to undercut Obamacare.” Katsas isn’t the first Trump court appointment that has caused alarm. In fact, Trump has been most wildly successful at his attempt to reshape the courts—courts that will now be overwhelming white and male. Despite serious concerns about Trump’s judicial nominees, the Senate is ending a longstanding Senate rule that was the only thing standing between Trump and a total takeover of the federal courts.
#ProtectCPP. The Environmental Protection Agency is holding its only public hearing on the repeal of the Clean Power Plan today and tomorrow in West Virginia. The Clean Power Plan sets the first ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants and sets us on a path toward a clean energy future. But Donald Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt are moving ahead with plans to undo it, selling out our health and future to corporate polluters.
Restoring Rights. Mention the Alabama Senate race, and most people will immediately think of Roy Moore. But there’s more happening in Alabama than the Republican nominee facing allegations of pedophilia, sexual harassment and abuse (he has denied any wrongdoing). This summer, the Republican governor signed the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act, which “clarifies the crimes that permanently disenfranchise a former felon, opening the doors for tens of thousands of people with drug charges and other lower level felonies to register to vote.” Restoring one of America’s most sacred rights for felons is critical, and, in this race, it could have a real impact on the final results.
UNDER THE RADAR
Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) has played a crucial role in protecting wildlife for decades. Yet, the current Congress has seen 59 legislative measures introduced designed to undermine the act and destroy its ability to have an impact on conservation and restoration—mainly on the grounds that the act “harm[s] energy independence and economic opportunity.” A new report from the Center for American Progress looks closely at what the undermining of the ESA could mean for our environment and the wildlife protected by the ESA, and rejects the notion that economics and the environment are inherently at odds. Rather than dismantling the ESA, the report suggests that improvements could be made to the act by ensuring adequate funding for the overseeing agencies—the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service.