It’s been one hell of an eight years. In less than 24 hours, we’ll be forced to say goodbye to the Obama era and confront a perilous and uncertain future under the President-Elect, one that’s unlike anything we’ve seen in recent history. But before we do that, we’d like to take a second to reflect on the progress that we’ve achieve under the leadership of President Obama, and say thank you. Thank you, President Obama, for…
- Passing the Recovery Act, which saved our country from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, created millions of new jobs, and laid the groundwork for a more competitive economy for generations to come.
- Insuring over 20 million people through to the Affordable Care Act. Before, up to 47 million people lived without health insurance, but thanks to the ACA the 2016 uninsured rate was at an all-time low of 8.6 percent.
- Making the tax system fairer for all Americans, by ending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and while extending working class tax cuts such as the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
- Enacting key policies, such as the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and initiatives on childcare, paid leave, and overtime pay, that make it easier for working families and women to get ahead.
- Expanding scholarships, making student loans more affordable, regulating pro-profit colleges, and ensuring higher education is more accessible for all Americans.
- Unveiling a series of executive actions on immigration, including DACA, DAPA, and DACA-expanded, which have improved the lives of millions of unauthorized immigrants and their U.S. citizen children and benefited our national and state economies.
- Making criminal justice reform a priority, and working to unmask the systemic discrimination and injustice that people of color face within the system.
- Leading global efforts to combat climate change, negotiating the Paris Agreement, introducing the Clean Power Plan, working towards a clean-energy economy, and protecting more land and water than any other president.
- Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and embracing the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality.
- Negotiating the Iran Deal, a historic deal that will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
Foreclosure King. Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, has his hearing this morning. In the lead-up to the hearing, Mnuchin’s PR blitz really took off, with the Wall Street Journal claiming that he’s not actually that bad. But he is: Mnuchin made a significant portion of his $620 million+ fortune off of foreclosing on people after the Great Recession. His bank, OneWest, was accused of discriminating against people of color and targeting seniors. OneWest under Mnuchin’s leadership was also accused of widespread misconduct and illegally speeding up the foreclosure process, though no charges were filed. (Mnuchin and co, naturally, denied these claims.) Read more here and tell your senator that Mnuchin is unfit to lead the Treasury.
Perry. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Energy, the department he promised to eliminate during his 2012 presidential bid. Perry also apparently did not know what he was signing up for when he accepted the nomination… He thought he was being tapped to lead the oil and gas industry. Add this confusion to his climate denial and overall weak record on scientific integrity as well as his ties to the fossil fuel industry. All of this bodes well for confirmation hearing today. Watch here.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#ACAworks. Thousands of people from across the country have shared their ACA stories with us. Now some of them are in DC, visiting members of Congress, urging them not to repeal the law. See their stories and share yours here.
Slash and burn. Appears to be Trump approach to the federal government. Trump’s team is planning “dramatic” cuts to programs, including the Commerce and Energy Departments and entirely eliminating National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. See if programs that help you are on the chopping block here.
Potato, Potato. Tomato, Tomato, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act. Let’s call the whole thing off. It turns out people still don’t know Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are the same thing. Speaking of misunderstandings about the law, Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence also seem to have one. Pence says the GOP replacement plan will be “affordable for everyone,” which is much different than Trump’s promise that it will be “insurance for everybody.”
Coming soon to everywhere near you. The impacts of climate change, that is. The National Centers for Environmental Information has a new interactive map where you can find all the threats climate change poses to your state.
Out with a bang. In one of his final acts of president-ship, President Obama shows us he’s still fighting for us. This past Thursday, the administration we’ve come to know and love began suing some of the nation’s biggest companies over alleged consumer rights violations. Among the motley crew are Oracle, Fiat Chrysler, Navient and JPMorgan. While the companies themselves see the lawsuits as a political grabfest and highlight looking forward to working with the incoming administration, the move is another example of the 44th president pushing to hold big companies responsible for injustices against Americans.