Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Progressive Breakfast: #ResistTrumpTuesdays: Protect Our Protections on Valentine's Day


Dave Johnson
#ResistTrumpTuesdays: Protect Our Protections on Valentine’s Day
The next congressional recess will run from February 18 to the 26. Senators and representatives typically use that time away from Washington, D.C. to hold local “town hall” meetings with their constituents. But this year, many Republicans will be dodging this responsibility because they don’t want to hear what We the People have to say ... Because of this the #ResistTrumpTuesdays movement has a special Valentine’s Day action planned. People are asked to visit a local office of your senators and representative with a clear demand: “Let’s Make a Date! Host a Town Hall!“

Does Puzder Have The Votes?

“Labor secretary nominee Andrew Puzder in jeopardy” reports CNN: “Four Republican senators have told GOP leadership they are withholding support for President Donald Trump’s choice for labor secretary … Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Tim Scott of South Carolina and Johnny Isakson of Georgia … If at least two of the four reluctant Republicans cannot be swayed, McConnell could face the unwelcome task of advising the White House to pull the nomination … [But] the leader viewed this as a test of party unity and his leadership…”
Mnuchin confirmed. NYT: “By a vote of 53 to 47, the Senate confirmed Mr. Mnuchin … He will be under pressure to help finalize the Trump administration’s tax plan, accelerate the rollback regulations and raise the government’s borrowing limit … Just one Democrat, Senator of Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, broke with his party…”

GOP Divided on ACA

“Conservatives fret GOP is blowing Obamacare repeal” reports Politico: “The House Freedom Caucus and a number of Republican Study Committee members this week will urge Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his lieutenants to forego their plan to add replacement provisions to a repeal bill, dubbed ‘repeal-plus.’ Instead, they want to approve the same standalone repeal bill that Congress sent to President Barack Obama in 2016. … Conservatives say they’re not necessarily opposed to all of leaderships’ replacement provisions but worry that adding them to the reconciliation bill will drag the process out for weeks and months … It’s unclear, however, if they would vote against a leadership-sponsored package that adds replacement provisions to the repeal bill.”
GOP rattled by town halls. Bloomberg: “It reached the point where House Republicans were urged by leaders during a closed-door session in Washington last week to consider arranging for more security at their events … [Rep. Gus Bilirakis] said he had no doubts about how genuine the emotions were at his meeting, which grew tense at times. ‘Most of these people are my constituents,’ he said. ‘I don’t have any question that they are authentic.'”

Dems Divided on Gorsuch

Democrats yet to decide on Gorsuch strategy. NYT: “The nomination has particularly squeezed red-state Democratic senators, positioning them squarely between the activist fury of the left and advertising dollars on the right, where conservative groups are hitting the airwaves to apply pressure … those in the middle … are seeking to negotiate the seething anger of liberal voters and an instinct for comity among lawmakers who have spent years lamenting what they have viewed as Republican bulldozing of Senate norms.”
Sanders roils Democratic caucus. The Hill: “The Senate minority leader convened a meeting last month between Sanders … and a group of Democrats Sanders criticized for voting against an amendment he co-wrote to lower the cost of prescription drugs … Democratic sources say Schumer convened the meeting not only to salve rankled feelings but also to send a message to the Vermont senator: Play nice with others.”

More Trouble For Travel Ban

District judge deems travel ban unconstitutional. AP: “A federal judge Monday granted a preliminary injunction barring the Trump administration from implementing its travel ban in Virginia … The ruling is significant from a legal standpoint because U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema found that an unconstitutional religious bias is at the heart of the travel ban, and therefore violates First Amendment prohibitions on favoring one religion over another…”
WH undecided on legal strategy. USA Today: “If the appeals court decides against a rehearing, the government could appeal to the Supreme Court, continue the case before the three-judge panel, return to Robart’s district court in Seattle, or rewrite the executive order in an effort to make it easier to uphold in court. At this point, all those options remain on the table.”
Mother Jones reports on the legal clinics fighting the travel ban: “For organizers and civil rights groups, the airport legal clinics have helped lay the groundwork for future rapid-response legal efforts, showing how quickly volunteers can show up and the willingness among groups to share information and resources. Now organizers are likely to shift toward helping undocumented immigrants by providing free legal services and setting up know-your-rights trainings that can be deployed quickly.”
“Trump just getting started with immigration raids” reports Politico: “Trump has signaled he has every intention of using that authority to carry out his campaign pledge to deport millions of foreigners from the United States. Immigration advocates say the stepped-up enforcement amounts to a new deportation dragnet that’s ensnaring otherwise law-abiding immigrants … immigration advocates say the Trump administration has the capacity to go far beyond what President Barack Obama — who deported more than 2 million undocumented immigrants during his tenure — ever did.”

Breakfast Sides

Trump previews NAFTA strategy during Trudeau visit. Roll Call: “Trump … said he intends to make only small changes to provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement that focus on U.S.-Canadian trade. But, as he often does, the new U.S. president had tougher words for Mexican leaders.”
“Dems recruit Ivanka Trump on family leave” reports The Hill: “…Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), a longtime sponsor of paid family leave legislation … said Monday that she’s already recruiting Ivanka Trump’s help to get it passed … Maloney on Monday said she’s open to compromise to iron out the differences between her plan and Trump’s.”
No restraining order for Dakota Access Pipeline. The Hill: “A federal judge on Monday denied a request to block construction … ruling that construction of the pipeline doesn’t threaten the water. [He] vowed to rule [later] on the tribe’s religious challenge to the pipeline before oil runs through it. He set a hearing on the matter for later this month.”
Boeing workers in SC hold union vote. NYT: “‘If Boeing loses, it removes the ability to hold nonunion Charleston over the heads of the union in Seattle, to beat up that union for more concessions in the future,’ said Scott Hamilton, the managing director of Leeham Company, an aviation analysis firm … The stakes appear even higher amid reports that President Trump will visit the South Carolina plant on Friday.”
UK presses Trump to keep Paris climate deal. Bloomberg: “The U.K. government is … touting the economic benefits of clean energy while steering clear of the debate about climate science … Trump may be more inclined to listen to the U.K. over the European Union because he has backed the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union.”
Progressive Breakfast is a daily morning email highlighting news stories of interest to activists. Progressive Breakfast and OurFuture.org are projects of People's Action. more »