Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) found himself stuck there at his town hall yesterday, where he faced the fury of his constituents over his support for Trumpcare. Almost every other person—both Democrats and Republicans—brought up health care at Rep. Coffman’s town hall and nobody did so to thank him for his support of Trumpcare. Instead, Rep. Coffman spent the nearly two-hour town hall sidestepping health care questions ranging from his commitment to maintain coverage for pre-existing conditions to his opposition to Medicaid expansion.
Rep. Coffman is not the only member of Congress to be confronted by constituents angry about Trumpcare at town halls. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) was confronted about Planned Parenthood funding and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) was drilled about high-risk insurance pools.
Stories of angry constituents do not, however, seem to have made their way up to President Trump who seems as set as ever on playing politics with millions of people’s health care. In a Wall Street Journal interview out yesterday, Trump threatened to sabotage health insurance for millions of people unless Democrats in Congress agree to negotiate with him on ACA repeal. He suggested that Republicans could refuse to fund subsidies that help insurers provide coverage on ACA marketplaces. This would have a huge impact on consumers: without those subsidies, insurers would be forced to increase premiums by an average of 19 percent.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Hold Your Member Accountable! Trump admitted once again that he is willing to play politics with health care coverage for millions of people. If Congress is going to support that, they will have to take responsibility for it. Call your member of Congress today at (202) 224-3121 and ask whether they support Trump playing politics with millions of Americans’ health care. List of the members who need to hear from you most here RecessToolkit.com
Flip Flop Season. In the last few days Trump has changed positions on a number of very key issues. From foreign policy issues like NATO, U.S./Russia relations, and Syria to economic issues like the Export-Import bank, China as a currency manipulator, and Janet Yellen as head of the Federal Reserve.
Shell companies. Not talking about Sally selling sea shells. Yesterday, it was reported that the same day that Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort left the campaign, he filed papers to form a shell company that received millions of dollars in loans from two Trump related companies. One of those companies was led by a Ukranian-born billionaire and the other is led by a Trump economic adviser. Reminder: Manafort was forced to resign from the campaign over controversy about his connections to the former pro-Russian Ukrainian President.
Deportation Force. As part of its assault on immigrant families, the Trump Administration has promised to build up a nationwide deportation force and yesterday, the Washington Post reported the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to make that a reality. An internal DHS memo reported that the agency has found 33,000 more detention beds, identified areas where construction of the border wall could begin, and spoken with local law enforcement agencies that could help with immigration enforcement. While Trump’s systemic attack on immigrants is much cause for concern, most of the promises in the DHS memo have not yet been realized. Trump will need substantial funding and, in some cases, additional authorization from Congress to make his border wall, deportation force, and expanded detention camps a reality. That means we have to Congress them accountable to make sure they don’t support Trump’s extreme agenda. Go to a town hall near you while Congress is home for recess and demand they oppose Trump’s immigration actions.
#First100Days. Although it might come as no surprise, Congress has used its first 100 days to launch a stealthy attack on America’s environmental laws. Under a false narrative of reform, the Senate majority has voted to add impossible hurdles for setting new pollution limits; make it more difficult for the Environmental Protection Agency to use the best science in its rulemaking; and weaken citizens’ ability to use the courts to hold polluters accountable. On top of that, Congress voted nine times to use the Congressional Review Act, which had only been used once before in its history, to permanently cancel commonsense environmental protections. More on Congress’ anti-environment efforts here.
UNDER THE RADAR
Giving Away the Game. Republican North Carolina legislators are at it again, trying to pass even more anti-LGBT legislation. This time, three GOP lawmakers filed a bill to ban same-sex marriage. The bill claims that SCOTUS “overstepped its constitutional bounds” in 2015’s historic Obergefell v Hodes ruling. Another set of GOP legislators recently introduced legislation designed to criminalize transgender people in public bathrooms – again. The intent behind these bills is clear: it’s to deny LGBT people the dignity of being treated equally in public life.
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