In the past couple weeks, some members of the congressional majority and Trump allies have expressed doubts that the tax bill is actually helping middle class and working Americans. (To which we say—duh.) Here’s some of what they’ve said:
- Senator Bob Corker, who famously flipped his vote on the bill after the #CorkerKickback, said it could be “one of the worst votes I’ve made.”
- Senator Marco Rubio said of the tax bill in an interview with The Economist, “There’s no evidence whatsoever that the money’s been massively poured back into the American worker.”
- Former HHS Secretary Tom Price said of the individual mandate repeal that he was not a fan of it, because it could hurt insurance pools and drive up premiums.
As these men express regrets of their support of the tax bill, American workers are still struggling to make ends meet, while corporations reap the benefits of record tax savings. The Corker Kickback alone is resulting in a $17 billion windfall to millionaires in this country, according to a new report from the Joint Committee on Taxation. And we found that 53 members of the congressional majority are poised to get an average windfall of up to $280,960 from the pass-through provision. Read our full analysis here. Bottom line: it’d be nice if these elected officials and Trump allies would’ve been honest with the American people about the effects of the Tax Scam before they voted for it.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Stop the Cover-Up. Last night, forty questions that Mueller and his team want to ask Trump were leaked to the press. While Trump predictably took to Twitter to call the investigation a “witch hunt,” the questions show that there’s a lot Mueller needs to know from Trump. It’s more important than ever that Trump sit down with Mueller and tell him the truth. Sign our petition today demanding Trump end the cover-up.
#BootPruitt. During his more than six hours testifying in Congress last Thursday, April 26, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was “bold-faced” lying when he said no EPA employees experienced retaliation as a result of raising concerns about Pruitt’s spending, according to whistleblower and former EPA deputy chief of staff Kevin Chmielewski. Chmielewski, a long-time Trump supporter, says he was “one hundred percent” forced out of EPA after he questioned Pruitt’s excessive spending on first class flights and other luxuries. He also says that Pruitt knew about the soundproof phone booth, including its costs—which Pruitt claimed to members of Congress was all authorized by his staff, without his knowledge. Also this morning, Pruitt’s head of security, Nino Perrotta, is said to have resigned from EPA. Perrotta allegedly egged on Pruitt’s spending habits and may even have benefited from them—a contract for bug sweeps of Pruitt’s office was given to Perrotta’s business partner. Perrotta is expected to be interviewed by a House panel in the coming days.
Moving in While Black. Darren Martin, a former Obama White House staffer, received an unsettling visit while moving into his new apartment in the Upper West Side in New York last week. Six police officers showed up at his apartment in response to a 911 call that had reported a burglary taking place. But Martin was simply moving furniture into his new home. Martin said of the incident, “As a black man when you’re in an all-white environment, you’re cognizant of that. I have to say I found it kinda symbolic. [It’s] like welcome to the neighborhood.” This comes just a few weeks after two black men were arrested in Starbucks while waiting for their friend, and a black woman was arrested after asking for silverware in a Waffle House. Just go ahead and add “moving in” to the list of things black people cannot do in America.
UNDER THE RADAR
Rethinking Federal Marijuana Policy. Since President Nixon declared a “war on drugs,” the U.S.’s incarcerated population has exploded from 300,000 people to 2.2 million people today—and 1 out of 5 people incarcerated are serving time for a drug offense. A new report from the Center for American Progress proposes to rethink the way the federal government addresses marijuana policy, specifically by learning from states who have taken steps to decriminalize and legalize marijuana. Legalizing marijuana not only could generate $132 billion in tax revenue between 2017 and 2025 but would make the justice system fairer for communities of color and those with disabilities.