Not Mexico’s, apparently. After an entire campaign based on the promise of making Mexico pay for his great, big wall on the southern border, President Elect Trump is now looking to none other than the American taxpayers to pay for the border wall. In breaking with yet another promise made on the campaign trail, the Trump campaign has now signaled that it wants Congress to secure funding for the wall through the budget appropriations process, which could happen as soon as April.
Funding for the wall – which previously has been slapped a hefty 38 billion dollar price tag- would require billions in additional spending by Congress, even if Trump claims he’ll try to get Mexico (who has already refused) to “reimburse” the U.S. later. Plus, Trump’s unpopular plan to build a wall is as expensive as it is impractical. For starters, he’d have a hard time finding anyone to design his beloved wall. What’s more, much of what he’s proposing already exists, in the form of hundreds of miles of metal fencing and virtual barriers on the southern border, which already pose a formidable threat to border communities.
#ThanksObama. Today was the last jobs day under President Obama and—surprise!—the news was good. The economy added 156,000 jobs in December, with the best wage gains since 2009. This means that President Obama leaves the presidency (sad!) with an impressive gain of 15.5 million jobs since the recovery began in February 2010 and a record 75 months straight of job growth. That means President-elect Trump is inheriting a strong economy after President Obama was given a financial crisis and helped bring the economy back from disaster.
#StandWithPP. Congressional Republicans aren’t only out to destroy the Affordable Care Act, they’re also reviving their efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Yesterday Speaker Paul Ryan said that stripping federal funding from Planned Parenthood and repealing the ACA would come in the same bill. But, if Republicans are serious about ACA repeal, that might not be such a good idea.
#ProtectOurCare. For those of you keeping tabs at home, more and more Republican Senators are saying “repeal and delay” isn’t good enough. And a new Kaiser poll finds that most Americans agree with them: only one in five Americans support a “repeal and delay” strategy.
UNDER THE RADAR
This sounds familiar. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick introduced a bill this week that sounds a lot like North Carolina’s anti-LGBT HB 2 (a.k.a. the “bathroom bill”). The bill, known as the “Texas Privacy Act,” would—like North Carolina’s HB 2—prevent transgender people in Texas from using bathrooms matching their gender and—also like HB 2—would bar local governments from passing LGBT protections. Democrats, civil rights groups, and LGBT advocates immediately denounced the law and were joined by Texas’s biggest business lobby, which said the law could cost the state up to $8.5 billion and more than 100,000 jobs. Texas promises to be ground zero for anti-equality forces in 2017. Watch out for this heinous parental notification law that could out LGBT students to their families without their consent, risking their health and safety.
ACTION OF THE DAY
#ResistTrump. Looking for ways to plug in to the movement to resist Trump? Going to be in DC on Inauguration Day? Come to Generation Progress Action’s resistance training two weeks from today! The summit will be a dynamic one-day event that will coach activists on issue strategies and skills necessary to mount an effective resistance against the Trump administration. RSVP here!
Mo’ Money, No Problems. 4.3 million people in 19 states and 23 cities will be getting a pay bump this year, thanks to minimum wage increases at the state and local level. Unfortunately, the federal minimum wage hasn’t been increased since 2009, with many of its opponents rolling out recycled myths that increasing the minimum wage kills jobs. But, research at the city level doesn’t find this to be true—instead raising the minimum wage grows local economies and puts money in people’s pockets.