INDIVISIBLE CEDAR MILL OREGON
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Resistance Letter #34
November 19, 2017
Day 302 of 1461 days
Dear Co-defendants –
PLEASE SEND THIS LETTER ON TO FRIENDS AND ENEMIES
This letter is sent to about 200 recipients, all associated with Indivisible Cedar Mill (ICM) in some fashion. You can easily multiply that number by two or three, simple by posting it on to friends and relatives, particularly to those who live in red or purple states whose senators are not solidly Democratic. In turn, those recipients can send it to a few interested friends who are likely to take the Calls to Action as just that. Don’t be afraid to offend. Dare to disturb the universe!
TAX CUT AND JOBS ACT AKA TAXSCAM # 3
The House has wrapped up its charade of hearings on the House version of taxscam and has passed it with a majority of 20 votes or so. This was no surprise; opposing it in the House would have been a waste of energy and resources. It was gonna happen! It now languishes waiting for the Senate to pass their version – and then on to committee to reconcile differences between the two versions.
THE SENATE VERSION OF TAXSCAM OUT OF COMMITTEE
Chaired by Orrin Hatch, the Senate hearings on taxscam were just a carnival of obfuscation. They took only a week to force things through the committee, and to refer it to the Senate as a whole. The minority members of the committee were, once again, not allowed to call their own witnesses and things were run on the party line railroad.
The committee-approved version of the senate bill does many of the same things mentioned last week; in particular, it keeps the astounding $1.5T deficit intact. In addition, it disallows state and local taxes (SALT) as deductions from income. It also has a provision, requested by Trumpolino himself, to repeal the mandate for participation in the ACA. Repeal of this mandate will strip the insurance pool of the young and relatively healthy, leaving only the sick and aged, thus raising premiums for all. This attack continues despite record breaking enrollments in ACA this year. The senate bill does not call for elimination of the estate tax, but doubles the threshold for taxation. Once again, the corporate rate is to be set at 20%, thus basically eliminating any corporate tax at all, given the multitude of loopholes that have not been touched. In both the House and Senate bills, the corporate tax rates are permanent, the individual tax benefits, such as they are, are to be terminated in 2025. This last allows for the fiction of staying below the $1.5T deficit.
SENATE OPPOSITION AND CALENDAR
All our opposition to taxscam will be focused on the Senate. There is an excellent chance, increasing daily, of killing this bill before it gets out of the Senate. McConnell needs 50 votes to pass it; he has a majority of only two senators. The loss of three senators will doom the bill.
Senator Ron Johnson of WI opposes the bill as written. He may be bought off in time, or he may be looking at Virginia and other Democratic victories to see how far he can move away from Trump. He won his last election with 50.2% of the vote. He said that corporations are favored too much more than small businesses. Watch for other senators, chastened by progressive, victories to out some dictance between themselves and Trump.
Senators Paul, McCain and Flake have voiced opposition to the enormous deficit that taxscam carries. None of these senators has any concern about being reelected, and none will hesitate to oppose Trump if their principles are being violated.
Senators Collins and Murkowski are sure to be aghast at eliminating the ACA mandate, thus trying to destroy the ACA and its health benefits for low-income ACA beneficiaries.
Senator Strange of AL will age out of his seat, and be replaced by the victor in the Moore/Jones election somewhere in the last part of December. At this point, it looks like Doug Jones, a Democrat, will take that seat – maybe. The Alabama election is set for December 12th.
The senate is now in recess until they regroup on the 28th November. After that, the calendar allows only twelve days to get this bill through, before they recess for Christmas from December 15th through the end of the year. Somewhere in there, they also have to negotiate to raise the national debt which is due to come up December 12th.
You can see that McConnell has his hands full, and, in my opinion, will not even come close to getting this bill, in any form, to Trump before Christmas.
CALLS TO ACTION
The highest priority calls now and in the future are aimed at defeating taxscam. Start off with calling Schumer, asking him to hold the Democratic coalition together. Call the other two senators, asking them to not break ranks on the taxscam. They have all been a bit wobbly. Use the deficit, elimination of SALT and corporate give away as reason to stay the course!
Senator Charles Schumer(NY) – 202-224-6542
Senator Joe Manchin(WV) 202-224-3954
Senator Heidi Heitkamp(ND) – 202-224-2043
The taxscam promises to increase the deficit and the national debt by $150 billion dollars a year for the next ten years. Budget hawks should be encouraged to oppose this huge increase in debt. These three senators need to be reminded what the taxscam would do to the budget and the deficit. They are previously, on the record, as openly opposed to increasing deficits.
Senator Jeff Flake (AZ) – 202-224-4521
Senator Bob Corker(TN) – 202-224-3344
Senator John McCain (AZ) – 202-224-2235
The Senate version of taxscam calls for elimination of the mandate for ACA participation. Tell these senators that you and they are concerned with driving the needy out of medical care through ACA’s increased rates if the mandate is removed.
Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) – 202-224–2665
Senator Susan Collins (ME) – 202-224-2523
The meeting is set for Monday, December 11, at (email firstname.lastname@example.org for location). Doors open at 6:30PM and the meeting starts promptly at 7:30 PM. Refreshments, both adult and juvenile will be provided along with a few tasty snacks. Ethan Krow of yesforhealth will explain tactics to support R101 and our opportunities to participate. Assemblyman Mitch Greenlick will be at the meeting to talk to us about the legislature’s healthcare concerns, and why R101 should be approved, and the consequences if it is not.
L’audace, encore l’audace, et toujours l’audace!