Former national security adviser Michael Flynn once said during the campaign, “when you are given immunity, that means that you’ve probably committed a crime.” Those words have aged well. Yesterday, Flynn offered to testify in front of Congress as part of their Russia investigation in exchange for immunity from prosecution. His lawyer says, “General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.”
Flynn’s already caused quite a stir for his role in this mind-boggling Russia scandal. Earlier this year, he was forced to resign as National Security Adviser after he lied about discussing sanctions in a series of pre-inauguration calls with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak (although that didn’t seem to bother Trump). And Flynn, like others in Trump’s inner circle, has a long history of cozying up with Russian officials. The Trump team has long maintained that “there’s no there, there” with Russia. Well, that’s officially a lie. To stay up to date with the complete who/what/when/where of the Trump-Russia story, check out The Moscow Project.
ACTION OF THE DAY
No Probe, No Robe. The Flynn news is yet another reason Congress should delay Trump’s Supreme Court nominee until after the investigation into Trump and Russia is complete. Right now, the Senate Judiciary committee is scheduled to vote on Judge Gorsuch this Monday and the full Senate vote is scheduled for Thursday. That means Congress needs to hear from you today. Join our friends at The People’s Defense for events across the country tomorrow. Don’t see one near you? Check out our toolkit for other actions you can take.
Tie Breakers. Yesterday, in an on-brand move, Vice President Mike Pence made a special visit to the senate to cast the tie-breaking vote in an attack on women’s access to health care. The Senate voted to overturn and Obama administration rule that protects Title X health care providers, a move that could cause millions of people to go without access to affordable family planning services. The Title X Family Planning Program helps millions of low-income people afford much-needed health care, from cancer screenings to STI testing, but every year Congress threatens to cut funding for the program. Planned Parenthood provides care to a large portion of the population served by Title X so cuts to the program are often referred to as cuts to Planned Parenthood.
#DefendClimate. Trump and much of his cabinet may be leading an attack on the environment but leaders outside the administration aren’t getting on board. This week 32 senators introduced a bill to rescind Trump’s recent anti-climate executive order. And major companies—from Apple to Wal-Mart—seem to know what Trump doesn’t: climate action isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for business.
Food For Thought. In defense of his anti-environment executive orders this week, Trump promised to “put our miners back to work.” Just about everyone was quick to point out that coal jobs aren’t coming back, no matter what Trump has to say about it. But a less covered counterpoint to Trump’s promise is the coal industry doesn’t employ that many people anyway. A new analysis shows the entire coal industry in the U.S. employs fewer people than Arby’s.
Bad news. It seems to be following Speaker Ryan. New data from the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, delivered another rebuke to Trump and Paul Ryan’s health care and tax reform agenda. The new data highlights the economic sustainability of the ACA.
UNDER THE RADAR
Prescription Drugs. Talk about health policy has correctly been focused on the fight to protect the Affordable Care Act and quality, affordable health care coverage for millions of Americans. But one of the main causes of high medical costs is the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs. So this week, in the wake of the Trumpcare fight, a group of Senators introduced legislation designed to bring down the cost of prescription drugs. Trump and his HHS Secretary Tom Price have both said they want to address drug pricing, so expect to hear more about this.
New heights. Space X is taking environmental friendliness there. Yesterday, SpaceX launched its used Falcon 9s rocket back into orbit marking the first time a recycled rocket has been successfully launched and landed.