Progressive Breakfast for July 31

Morning Message Dave Johnson

Right-Wing Shutdown of Ex-Im Bank Already Threatening to Kill Jobs

Since congressional Republicans allowed the bank’s authority to expire earlier this month, credit insurance that customers of U.S. exporters had depended on for a purchase is not coming through. Bids have to be cancelled or rewritten. Somewhere around 3,000 smaller U.S. exporters who relied on the bank are feeling the heat ... Conservatives are using this Ex-Im Bank issue to look like populist champions fighting against “corporate welfare” ... Don’t believe it. This is part of a bigger attack against the idea of using government to make the lives of working people better.

Congress Punts On Transportation Bill

Senate passes six-year transportation bill. The Hill: “Senators voted 65-34 to approve the six-year bill, which funds federal highway and infrastructure projects for three years … Fifteen Republican senators, including three 2016 presidential candidates, bucked McConnell and voted against the proposal.”

Then passes three-month extension of highway trust fund. Politico: “The Senate on Thursday cleared a transportation extension to keep highway and transit programs running through October, sending the bill to the president’s desk just days before current authority is set to expire … [The] multiyear proposal … will be the upper chamber’s starting point for fall negotiations with the House.”

Bernie All In On Single-Payer

Sanders to formally propose single-payer. The Hill: “[He] said Thursday that he will introduce a single-payer, Medicare-for-all bill ‘in the very near future.’ … A statement from Sanders’s office after the rally said that the bill would set ‘federal guidelines and strong minimum standards’ but that states would administer the single-payer programs.”

Sanders discusses agenda to address institutional racism. USA Today: “Sanders told USA TODAY on Wednesday that police reforms are needed to control the use of force and to curb high incarceration rates that disproportionately affect people of color. And he said politicians must address unemployment among young African Americans.”

Sanders criticizes “open borders” as bad for wages. NYT: “The question is whether there should be ‘a completely open border, so that anybody can come into the United States of America,’ the senator said. ‘If that were to happen, which I strongly disagree with, there is no question in my mind that that would substantially lower wages in this country’ … adding that the percentages of black and Hispanic people searching for work would only become worse in that case.”

Hillary Stops Short Of $15

Hillary suggests she’ll back $12 minimum wage bill sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray. The Hill quotes: “…let’s actually get behind a proposal that has a chance of succeeding. And I have seen Patty over the years be able to do just that.”

Many Dems give Clinton space on Keystone. The Hill: “… Clinton is getting a pass from many Democrats on Capitol Hill, even those opposed to the pipeline, something that could undercut the pressure on her to publicly say that the pipeline should be constructed or shelved.”

Trump’s ideas for replacing Obamacare sound like Obamacare. Bloomberg: “Trump proposed: competing private plans (which Obamacare exchanges provide for); protecting hospitals from catastrophic events (which Obamacare deals with by requiring people to get insurance so they don’t pass on their emergency care costs), and government plans for low-income people who get sick and lack options (which Obamacare does by expanding Medicaid).”