Friday, February 10, 2017

Progressive Breakfast: We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight Tom Price

MORNING MESSAGE

Richard Eskow
We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight Tom Price
Opponents of Price’s confirmation shift gears must now mobilize to fight the extremist policies he will pursue. But we should be mindful that the pre-Price status quo hasn’t worked for most Americans. Take, for example, Price’s intention to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. A recent study concluded that repealing the ACA would lead to the deaths of 43,000 Americans per year. The ACA helped many people, but it would be unwise to ignore the fact that it fell far short of its intended goal.

TRAVEL BAN BANNED

Travel ban restraining order remains in place after 3-0 9th Circuit ruling. NYT: “The three-judge panel, suggesting that the ban did not advance national security, said the administration had shown ‘no evidence’ that anyone from the seven nations — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — had committed terrorist acts in the United States … The administration … is likely to file an emergency application to the Supreme Court in a day or two … A decision next week, either to reinstate the ban or to continue to block it, is possible.”
Politico assess the “3 key Trump mistakes”: “…several legal experts are urging Trump to withdraw his order altogether, so it can be redrafted in a way that might be more likely to hold up to court review … White House failure to make clear from the outset that the travel ban did not include U.S. permanent residents … The claim that Trump’s action was unreviewable is a tough one for judges to stomach.”
Appellate judges woo SCOTUS. Bloomberg’s Noah Feldman: “…the most important recent precedents the court cited were written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose vote will be crucial if and when the case goes to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

PRICE CONFIRMED, MNUCHIN NEXT, PUZDER IN TROUBLE

Price confirmed. NYT: “By a vote of 52 to 47, the Senate confirmed Mr. Price … No senators crossed party lines on the roll-call vote, which ended after 2 a.m. on Friday.”
Mnuchin vote Monday reports The Hill.
GOP trying to save Puzder. CNN: “Puzder’s nomination has emerged of particular interest to Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, who has a long-standing relationship with the nominee … some top Republicans privately believe that the battle over the Labor Department nominee could be the most intense of any of President Donald Trump’s picks so far … several key Republicans on the committee are withholding their support so far, including [Sen. Susan] Collins, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Lisa Murkowksi of Alaska … McConnell and Sen. Lamar Alexander … plan to lean on roughly a dozen outside groups on the right — including groups that represent home builders, retailers, small businesses and restaurant associations — to launch a major public relations offensive in support of Puzder.”

DEM DIVIDE EXPOSED

Ideological tension at House Dem retreat. Politico: “…progressives privately vented about being lectured to by a speaker from a moderate think tank. And several lawmakers worried that the Democratic leadership would be too dependent on consultants and data to chart a course forward, rather than focusing on a clearer vision for the party.”
Pelosi denies division.. Yahoo! News: “Asked by a reporter why some of her progressive colleagues had reportedly walked out of a meeting hosted by the centrist think tank Third Way at the retreat Wednesday, Pelosi answered, ‘I didn’t notice that.’ ‘Members walk out for a variety of reasons, some of them relate to personal hygiene,’ she joked.”

CONFUSING SIGNALS FROM TRUMP

Congressional GOP unnerved by Trump’s tax plan. Politico: “President Trump’s proclamation to airline CEOs yesterday that he would release a tax plan in the coming weeks has raised alarm bells on Capitol Hill. Top aides and lawmakers were caught completely off guard by the announcement, and hope Trump halts anything that could complicate tax reform. Republicans want to get through Obamacare repeal and replace before they move to tax reform, and would prefer Trump work behind the scenes for now.”
Trump reportedly open to restoring Ex-Im Bank, sent mixed signals on immigration. Politico: “…Trump and several key senators privately discussed immigration … one lawmaker recount[ed] that Trump said he was open to the bipartisan ‘Gang of Eight’ overhaul the Senate passed in 2013 … A pair of Democrats also said Trump was supportive of fully reviving the Export-Import Bank, which is loathed by conservatives. The White House immediately pushed back on the characterization of the immigration discussion…”
GOP targets CFPB. NYT: “The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee will move forward on legislation to neuter the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its power to crack down on predatory business practices, according to a leaked memo that emerged on Thursday … The memo detailed plans to weaken the leadership of the agency, allowing the president to replace the bureau’s director at any time. Legislation in the works would limit the bureau’s enforcement authority, reduce its ability to make rules and repeal its consumer complaint system … advisers to Mr. Trump have signaled that the administration is prepared to gut the agency.”
“Anger erupts at Republican town halls” reports CNN: “… two Republican members of Congress — Reps. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Diane Black of Tennessee — were each confronted with impassioned constituents during simultaneous events … In suburban Salt Lake City, local police estimated that some 1,000 people packed into a high school auditorium to see Chaffetz as hundreds more waited outside … in the town of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Black was met with roughly 100 protesters …

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