We want to launch you into the weekend with some good news. On Tues, Dems flipped not one but two state seats in special elections, both in deep red territory. In NY, the Democrat beat 58-42 in a district Trump won 60-37 in Nov. That swing is both astounding and encouraging. In New Hampshire, the Dem won 52-48, despite Trump’s 51-44 victory last fall. While these are the first two seats to actually change hands since Trump’s election, Dems have consistently outperformed the 2016 presidential results in special elections across the country.
In more good news, this week the Supreme Court struck down North Carolina’s racial gerrymandering. They ruled that NC used race to draw two districts to advantage Republicans, and the two districts must now be redrawn before the 2018 election. In a state where 47% of the electorate voted for a Democratic Congressperson, but only 23% are represented by one, this is great news for our movement.
And yet another Federal appeals court ruled against Trump’s travel ban.
Finally, we don’t want to neglect scandal news! This week two more U.S. Intelligence agency directors stepped forward to say Trump also asked them to deny evidence of collusion.
In other big news items this week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its score on the House healthcare bill. This is the bill House Republicans passed before even bothering to look at the impact. The CBO analysis is just as bad as their report on the earlier version of the bill. The lowlights:
- It would leave 14M more people uninsured next year and 23M more in 10 years.
- In states that choose to opt out of current mandates, insurance costs could soar for those who are sick or have pre-existing conditions, while premiums would fall for the healthy.
- Net premiums (after tax credits) would be much higher for older folks with limited income. A typical 64- yr-old who makes $26,500 would pay $16,000/yr, compared with $1,700 today. Almost a 10-fold increase!
- At the same time, the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation said that the House bill would cut taxes for high-income people by $230B over 10 years.
- Over 10 years: Cuts Medicaid by $800 billion on top of TrumpCare’s $800B in Medicaid cuts. Cuts $72B from Social Security Disability Insurance, which covers over 10M people, and cuts $464B from food stamps and other core programs for working families.
- Eliminates loan programs that subsidize college for the poor
- Eliminates any federal health funding for entities that provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood
- Cuts $3.1B (18%) from energy research programs developing technologies like better batteries for electric vehicles or carbon capture for coal and gas plants to reduce emissions and combat global warming.
- Calls for $1.6B to begin work on a wall on the border with Mexico (full cost estimated to be $22B-70B)
One big consolation is that Trump does not set the budget, Congress does. Trump’s budget is just a proposal. The House and Senate are each working on their own budget resolutions, which will likely be considered by the House in June, and later this summer by the Senate.
One final note: we had a fun and lively time at our social event tonight! Keep your eyes peeled for the next social event, we’d love to have you come!
Stand Up SF Actions through this weekend
Call all 3 Members of Congress about budget priorities (script)
Support Sen Feinstein’s request to sign these petitions:
#1 urges the Senate to vote no on Trumpcare
#2 demands that women should be part of the group of 13 Senators (all men) revising the healthcare bill
LOCAL ACTION for the environment: Call Sen. Scott Wiener and ask him to support AB 705: Script: “Hi, I live in California and I am a constituent. I’m calling to ask Senator Wiener to support Senate Bill 705, to phase out Styrofoam from food packaging in restaurants.”