Congress had a busy Monday. On the same day that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch made his first formal appearance on the Hill, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the FBI is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election and possible coordination between the Trump team and Russia, calling into question the entire legitimacy of Trump’s presidency.
After Justice Scalia died, Republican leaders in Congress demanded his seat remain open until the American people had their “voices heard” in November’s election. Then in an unprecedented show of obstruction, senate majority leaders held the seat open for more than a year. Majority leaders are now determined to rush through the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch and ignore serious concerns about Russia.
No president has ever made a lifetime appointment while facing such serious questions about his claims to the presidency. Hitting pause on Gorsuch’s confirmation until the FBI’s investigation unfolds is the only way to ensure the integrity of the Supreme Court.
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ACTION OF THE DAY
Resist TrumpCare. The countdown to the House vote on Trumpcare continues. Turns out that on top of stripping health care away from 24 million people, the bill would also result in nearly 2 million fewer jobs. And with just two days until the vote, it is still far from a sure thing. More than two dozen House Republicans are not sure they will vote for the bill. They need to hear from you today. This toolkit has district specific numbers and shareables, sample tweets, and sample call scripts to contact the representatives who need to hear from you. Contact them today, then make sure all your friends do too by sharing the toolkit.
Bans. The Trump Administration’s first two travel bans didn’t go so well so now they are trying another one. This time they are banning electronic devices on airplanes heading to the U.S. from 10 airports in eight Muslim countries. According to the New York Times, the ban is “an attempt to address gaps in foreign airport security” and, like the Muslim ban, is “not based on any specific or credible threat of an imminent attack.”
Taking Sides. It’s not like the Trump Administration needs to stir up any more suspicion about its ties to Russia after yesterday’s revealing House Intelligence Committee hearing, but Secretary of State Tillerson has done just that anyway. Tillerson has decided to skip a major NATO meeting in Europe next month….and pay a visit to his buddies over in Moscow, instead.
Climate Change. The White House and Congress’s plans to cut back on environmental protections is seriously at odds with what most Americans think about climate change. Unlike climate deniers in Congress and now the White House, most Americans believe that global warming is real, and want something to be done about it. More on that here.
#DisarmHate. Trump’s rise has brought with it the rise of violent, often racist, or xenophobic attacks. New CAP analysis found that an estimated 46,500 of the hate crimes committed between 2010 and 2015 were committed with a gun. That’s about 20 incidents a day. And the implications of hate crimes become much more serious when firearms are involved. If Trump and Congress are actually concerned about keeping Americans safe, they could start by taking action to keep guns out of dangerous hands.
UNDER THE RADAR
Ryan 101. Amidst fighting to keep his ACA repeal bill alive, Speaker Paul Ryan found time to send a bill to President Trump’s desk that will make it easier for states to drug test unemployed people before they earn unemployment benefits. This action is not only immoral but it is also fiscally and constitutionally unsound. These programs routinely lead to higher costs than savings and this law is just another example of Speaker Ryan’s continued attacks on the poor and middle class.
Health gains. Infant mortality rates in the U.S. declined 15 percent from 2005 to 2014. Though this is terrific news, there is still work to be done, especially since the infant mortality rates are higher among communities of color. And, to state the obvious, stripping health care coverage from 24 million Americans won’t likely help infant mortality rates.
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