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Tell Your Senator to Vote “No” on DeVos

At noon today, the full Senate is expected to vote on billionaire Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education. DeVos has raised bipartisan concerns and is now only one vote away from losing the nomination. Act now to Dump DeVos! Call your senators at 202-224-3121 and demand they vote “No” on DeVos.

DeVos Vote Today

Pence expected to drag DeVos over finish line. NYT: “On Monday, Senate Democrats said they would spend the final 24 hours before Ms. DeVos’s confirmation vote speaking out against her on the floor in a last-ditch effort to woo Republicans to their side. But as the evening wore on, it looked increasingly likely that Ms. Collins and Ms. Murkowski would be the only Republican defectors, setting up a 50-50 tie. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to break the deadlock…”

“Trump’s Labor Secretary Pick Andrew Puzder Admits to Employing Undocumented Worker” reports ABC: “‘My wife and I employed a housekeeper for a few years, during which I was unaware that she was not legally permitted to work in the U.S.,’ Puzder [said] … Puzder’s hearing has been stalled but he still plans to pursue confirmation for the position.”

Schumer To Meet Gorsuch

Sen. Chuck Schumer makes case for a 60-vote threshold for Gorsuch in Politico oped: “Nominees to our nation’s highest court must demonstrate that they are mainstream and independent enough to earn the support of at least 60 senators from both parties. Both of President Obama’s nominees to the Supreme Court exceeded that level of support. The simple question we are asking is: Can President Trump’s nominee meet that same test? If the nominee fails to meet 60 votes, the answer isn’t to change the rules; it’s to change the nominee.”

Gorsuch courts Dems. AP: “Judge Neil Gorsuch met Monday with California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Montana Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat running for re-election in a state that Trump won handily. Unlike some Senate Democrats who have already said they will oppose Trump’s nominee, both have said they will wait to decide … [Schumer] will meet with Gorsuch on Tuesday…”

Governing Is Hard

Dodd-Frank rollback and Obamacare repeal in “slow lane.” Bloomberg: “On the House side, there’s no agreement on a plan to replace either Obamacare or Dodd-Frank. Even if they reach one soon, it’s almost certain to go beyond what Senate Republicans are likely to accept, and it won’t be able to attract Democratic votes. And putting forward new regulations will take years.”

“Campaign Talk on Health Law Meets Reality” reports NYT: “…Trump and his Republican allies on Capitol Hill have recast their ambitions … ‘The reality of the difficulty of getting things done is sinking in,’ Senator Chuck Schumer [said,] ‘Democrats are feeling much better that there’s some chance of success.'”

GOP divide over CFPB’s Richard Cordray. Politico: “…some are informally compiling a dossier that would give Trump cover to fire him, should he choose to do so, for ‘inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance.’ … [But] some Trump advisers are ambivalent about the idea, saying it might be easier to live with Cordray until his term expires in July 2018 … Ejecting Cordray could be especially risky for a president who campaigned against Wall Street and vowed to protect the economic interests of working Americans…”

“GOP tees up more Obama energy rules for repeal” reports The Hill: “The House will consider a resolution this week to undo the Bureau of Land Management’s ‘Planning 2.0’ regulation [which] reorganize[s] the agency’s natural resources planning and management strategies … The House is planning to vote on three other … education and labor rules finalized in the closing days of the Obama administration.”

GOP Plots Legal Immigration Crackdown

Trump ally targets legal immigration. Politico: “[Sen. Tom] Cotton will start off with legislation being unveiled Tuesday that will dramatically slash the number of immigrants who can obtain green cards and other visas every year … The bill also dumps the diversity visa lottery, which allots about 50,000 visas per year for citizens of countries that traditionally have low rates of immigration to the United States. And it would limit refugees to 50,000 annually.”

Former Bush & Obama aide Seth Stodder explains the Australian refugee deal in Politico: “…they were intercepted before landing on Australia’s shores and were promptly relocated to the Pacific Islands of Nauru and Manus. These refugees … have been languishing … in what Amnesty International calls ‘open-air prison’ conditions, some for as many as four or five years … this deal helps solve a humanitarian crisis affecting one of the U.S.’s closest allies—all while not putting the U.S. at risk.”

Breakfast Sides

Mother Jones explores the rise of Keith Ellison: “As a young activist in Minneapolis, Ellison learned to build coalitions outside the scope of party politics. He also learned the limits of what such activism could achieve without political power. For Ellison, it was a time of experimentation, education, and sometimes radical dalliances that ultimately imbued in his politics a hard-edged pragmatism.”

BLM taking on Trump. Mother Jones: “Shortly before Trump’s inauguration, Campaign Zero rolled out a Trump Resistance Manual, broadening its focus on data gathering beyond police reform. The site includes descriptions of various Trump policy proposals and assessments of their potential impact; it encourages users to crowd-source information about ways people can get involved in local organizing…”

Bloomberg explores the “New Face of American Unemployment”: “20 million Americans are left behind. They’re looking for work, out of the labor force but unhappy about it, or report working part-time when they’d prefer more hours … Because of where the structurally unemployed live, what they’ve done, or the skills they lack, employers can’t or won’t hire them. The problems that keep today’s jobless stuck on the sidelines are different than those of past recoveries: a complex web of often interrelated issues from disability and drug use to criminal records.”

No, Trump didn’t cut the cost of the F-35. Politico: “The main factors driving down the price of each jet include the fact that the military was planning to order them in larger quantities for U.S. forces and allies … Earlier pressure from the Obama administration and Congress to shave expense also played a role.”

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