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Tell Lawmakers To Vote NO! On Tax Cuts

Say no to the GOP tax scam! Call your senators today at 888-516-5820. and tell them to VOTE NO. The GOP plan gives huge tax breaks to corporations, the 1 percent, and the GOP’s big-money donors. The rest of us will pay with big cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, education, and other necessities. We beat them before. Let’s beat them back again.

GOP Nudges Holdouts Towards Tax Vote

The votes for tax reform Are falling into place. Slate: “As members of the Senate Budget Committee were arriving for a key vote on the Republican tax reform bill on Tuesday, they were greeted by a familiar passel of protesters, chanting, ‘Shame!’ and ‘Kill the bill, don’t kill us!’ The protesters went so far as to talk directly into several of the senators’ ears as they tried to do hallway television interviews. Some senators ignored the protesters. Others didn’t. ‘Hey, can you get this lady out of my ear so I can do an interview?’ South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham snapped to a cop, who obeyed. But the hallway ruckus was about the only drama that came out of the budget meeting. The committee quickly approved the bill along party lines, 12 to 11. Two senators who had kept their votes up in the air—Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker—decided to move the process along, after a caucus lunch with President Trump that appeared to go unusually well. The votes are falling into place. In fact, all 52 Republican senators could be within reach.”

Tax Bill Threatens Affordable Housing

Proposed tax reform threatens affordable housing. National Real Estate Investor: “The plan to reform the federal tax code that passed the House of Representatives in November wipes out several tax credits that developers use to finance plan to build new projects—including the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit and the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC). The House plan would also damage the most important program for new affordable development, the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). ‘With the nation already in the midst of an affordability crisis, undermining the LIHTC will deal a crippling blow to keep housing affordable and available for those citizens who are most in need,’ said Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). In most parts of the country, it costs too much to build a new house or apartment to rent that home or sell that home at a price that a minimum wage worker can afford—without help from government housing programs. In 2015, more than 11.1 million renter households paid more than half of their income on rent, up from 3.7 million in 2001.”

Talks To Avert Government Shutdown Fail

Chances for government shutdown rising. The Hill: “The odds of a government shutdown grew dramatically Tuesday as President Trump tweeted that he saw no path to a year-end deal with Democrats ‘Chuck and Nancy,’ who then promptly backed out of a meeting at the White House… ‘If the President, who already said earlier this year that ‘our country needs a good shutdown,’ isn’t interested in addressing the difficult year end agenda,’ the Democrats said in a statement, “we’ll work with those Republicans who are, as we did in April.’ The blow-up sent shockwaves through Washington as lawmakers, aides, lobbyists and reporters openly wondered whether the coming holiday season would be consumed by a new crisis over government funding. There are just eight legislative days left before funding runs out for the federal government on Dec. 8, yet Congress appears no closer to a major spending deal today than it did before the weeklong Thanksgiving recess. Congressional leaders have said a one-week stopgap funding measure may be needed to buy lawmakers and Trump more time to reach a year-end deal, but a number of other prickly legislative items are complicating the negotiations. Schumer and Pelosi insist they won’t help pass a trillion-dollar spending package unless Republicans agree to protect hundreds of thousands of young immigrant “Dreamers” now at risk of deportation following Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.”

EPA Opens Clean Power Plan Hearings in West Virginia

EPA heads to Coal Country to hear views on an Obama climate rule. NYT: “The Environmental Protection Agency convened a public hearing on Tuesday on its plan to roll back the signature climate change rule of the Obama administration. More than 270 people signed up to speak. The regulation, known as Clean Power Plan, would require states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, particularly those that burn coal… As part of a broad effort to uproot the environmental policies of the Obama administration, Mr. Pruitt announced in October that he would kill the Clean Power Plan, which he said did not follow regulatory norms and imposed undue burdens on states and energy producers. Tuesday’s public hearing was a required part of undoing the regulation. Holding the hearing in West Virginia ‘is like holding the only hearing on financial deregulation at the Wall Street Hilton — it does not denote a keen interest in alternative views,’ Michael B. Gerrard, the director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, said in an interview last week. So many people requested time to speak that they were spread out over three meeting rooms in the state capitol during the two days set aside for the hearing.”

Is Trump Delusional?

Is Donald Trump a liar, or truly delusional? New York Magazine: “The prevailing interpretation of Donald Trump, shared by all his enemies and many of his allies, is that he is a con man. It is a theory that explains both his career in business and politics, and has carried through his many reversals of position and acts of fraud against customers and contractors. It remains quite plausible. But new reporting has opened up a second possibility: The president has lost all touch with reality. The Washington Post and New York Times have accounts from insiders suggesting Trump habitually insists upon the impossible in private. He does not merely tell lies in order to gull the public, or to manipulate allies. He tells lies in private that he has no reason to tell… If Trump actually has the ability to convince himself of his own lies, it would suggest a possibility far more dangerous than even his critics have previously assumed. He might be in the grip of a mental health issue, or at least one more serious than mere sociopathy. And the mutterings that he might need to be removed from office through the 25th Amendment could grow more serious than many of us expected.”

 

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