September 30, 2017
Week In Review
Trumpcare Defeated Again
Last week we talked about Graham-Cassidy, the Republicans’ latest attempt to thwart the will of the American people by repealing the Affordable Care Act. We also asked you to take action by helping to connect Americans in other states with their Republican senators so that Republicans could hear just how devastating their bill would be to millions of their constituents.
You stepped up and joined millions of people across this country in defending the ACA and protecting tens of millions of Americans’ access to quality, lifesaving health care. Thank you. Several Senate Republicans who had been undecided eventually said they would side with Democrats in defending the ACA if a vote came to the floor.
We’re also fortunate in Washington State to be represented by Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, two courageous Senators who fought tirelessly to protect our health care. They have heard your stories. They know how vital access to affordable health care is for our state and the rest of the country. And they stepped up.
It is now unlikely that the Republicans will be able to repeal the Affordable Care Act anytime soon. Today marks the end of the fiscal year, which means the clock runs out on Republicans’ ability to repeal the ACA under the guise of budget reconciliation. This means that going forward, repealing the ACA will require the votes of 60 Senators, rather than a simple majority. Republicans were desperate to make a last ditch effort to attack Americans’ health care before their “51-vote” window passed, even though many of them acknowledged that it was the wrong thing to do.
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said he could think of “ten reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” speaking about Graham-Cassidy. “But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign.”
And there you have it. Republicans willingly and repeatedly endangered millions of Americans because they were too proud to admit that they were wrong. And with this attitude, they’ll be back to try again. Maybe not this year. But at some point, Republicans will circle back to the idea that they can pull one over on the American people and repeal a law that has saved countless lives. And when that time comes, we must remember to channel the past seven months, when Republicans--with a majority in the House, a majority in the Senate, and an authoritarian ally in the White House--came and came hard for our health care over and over and over again. And each time, the American people resisted and--together--rose to defeat them.
GOP Tax Plan
The reason Republicans are pushing the issue of health care to the side--at least for now--is that they are turning their sights on taxes. After trying for months to take away your health care, Republicans have the audacity to pretend that they somehow have your interests in mind with their tax plan.
The plan is being crafted behind closed doors, indicating that Republicans intend to do away with our normal legislative process when dealing with a range of issues, not just on health care. Apparently, secrecy is their new game plan. And leading the charge is former Goldman-Sachs investment banker and foreclosure specialist Steven “charge-it-to-the-taxpayer” Mnuchin.
You may recall that Mnuchin and his wife Louise Linton flew to Kentucky on a taxpayer-funded joyride to watch the eclipse last month. He also requested that a taxpayer-funded military jet (costing $25,000 per operating hour) take him and Linton on a tour of Europe for their honeymoon.
Now Mnuchin is writing the Republican tax proposal and trying to convince us that he has the best interests of the American taxpayers at heart. Right.
We have learned some details about the Republicans’ tax proposal, and the plan itself is nothing more than a thinly veiled trillion-dollar giveaway to big corporations and the 1%. It would also increase effective tax rates for working middle-class Americans, especially families struggling to pay down a mortgage and workers trying to save for retirement. No wonder Republicans are trying to keep this whole thing secret. They know that if they are honest and upfront about their plan to pay off Wall Street on the backs of the middle class, Americans will oppose it.
A Little More About Planes…
As you may have heard, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned yesterday. Good riddance.
Price recently found himself in a similar scandal to Mnuchin’s after it was discovered that he had spent at least $400,000 of taxpayer money to fly on military aircraft to Europe, Africa, and Asia. POLITICO recently reported that Price spent over $1 million in taxpayer money on flights since May, often when cheaper and comparable commercial options were available to him.
When it was clear to Tom Price that he had been caught with his hand in the million-dollar cookie jar, he offered to pay back $52,000. Of more than $1,000,000 he had wasted.
Don’t insult us, Tom.
Like Mnuchin, Tom Price held himself out to be a champion of fiscal conservatism, priding himself on slashing the budgets of programs that benefit society’s most vulnerable. Price supported Trump’s budget proposal earlier this year that aimed to decimate low-cost anti-poverty programs. Meanwhile, Price was needlessly wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on air travel. It seems his own personal comfort was more important than ensuring that millions of American seniors didn’t starve.
Also like Mnuchin, Price was deployed by Trump to secretly craft legislation that would harm working Americans and force a partisan vote before the public realized what was happening or found out how much they stood to lose. Thankfully, Price failed in his endeavor to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Let’s ensure that Mnuchin fails in his endeavor to give Wall Street a tax break of more than $1,000,000,000,000 while sticking middle-class taxpayers with the bill.
As if the misadventures of Tom Price and Steven Mnuchin did not constitute a large enough scandal, The Washington Post reported this week that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has spent nearly $60,000 of taxpayer money on noncommercial and military flights around the country. Anyone else sensing a pattern?
Flip the 8th Organizing Academy
Our Organizing Academies are picking up steam all around the 8th District, and soon we’ll be rolling them out in other parts of the state. Last weekend Democrats from all over Western Washington converged on Auburn for our second Organizing Academy Training Session.
If you want to lead the fight against Dino Rossi and other Washington State Republicans and you’re ready to step up and become a neighborhood organizer, join us for an Organizing Academy! You’ll learn about campaign strategy, best practices for organizers, and tactics you can use to engage volunteers and reach voters.
The next Organizing Academy will be held in Snoqualmie on October 7th. Sign up here and let’s turn Washington State blue!
National Voter Registration Day
This last Tuesday, September 26, was National Voter Registration Day and our organizers were out in their communities doing just that -- registering voters!
Will you take one minute to forward this email to someone who you’d like to invite to register to vote?
Help Choose Our New Logo
Here at the Washington State Democrats, we’ve spent the summer resisting Trump, and we have no intention of slowing down. But now it’s time to go on the offensive and rise and organize! To that end, we’re rebranding our grassroots monthly donor program and our organizing program.
And we want your input!
Let us know which logo you like the best by voting now!