Progressive Breakfast for February 24

Morning Message

Resistance Recess Puts Congress on Notice for Supporting Trump’s Agenda

Rep. Dave Trott’s constituents in the Northeastern suburbs of Detroit gathered at his office to ask him about his stance on health care, refugees and other urgent issues. Instead of scheduling a meeting, Trott’s staff called the police. The delegation was organized by Michigan People’s campaign, an affiliate of People’s Action ... If members of Congress won’t answer their constituents’ questions about where they stand on repealing the Affordable Care Act or other dangerous policies of the Trump administration, they will surely face the electorate’s wrath at the ballot box in 2018.

Resistance Recess

This week while Congress in on recess, People’s Action and our member organizations around the country are organizing a #ResistanceRecess. We are leading the grassroots resistance. Join us! Click here to find local town hall meetings in your area, and come tell your Congressperson to stand up for health care and against the Trump agenda.

Homestretch for DNC

Final day of campaigning for DNC Chair. The Hill: “Neither Ellison nor Perez has a lock on the majority … There’s chatter among DNC members that a deadlock between supporters of Ellison and Perez could pave the way for a compromise candidate to win after the first vote.”

Progressives push Democrats toward stronger resistance. NYT: “…spurred by explosive protests and a torrent of angry phone calls and emails from constituents — and outraged themselves by Mr. Trump’s swift moves to enact a hard-line agenda — Democrats have all but cast aside any notion of conciliation with the White House … Yet Democrats acknowledge there is a wide gulf between the party’s desire to fight Mr. Trump and its power to thwart him, quietly worrying that the expectations of the party’s activist base may outpace what Democratic lawmakers can achieve.”

Politico sizes up a week of town hall resistance: “POLITICO interviewed dozens of attendees and found just one who had traveled from outside her home district to join protests … There were no signs of any outsiders being bused in and no evidence of any paid protesters … Republican lawmakers found one sure-fire way to pause the venom: breaking from the party line …”

Sessions Pays Back Private Prisons

Private prison donors could benefit from Trump. USA Today: “Private prison companies, which stand to make big gains under President Trump’s tough new immigration orders, also have contributed big sums to pro-Trump groups, including the organization that raised a record $100 million for his inauguration last month … On Thursday, Sessions’ Justice Department [told] the Federal Bureau of Prisons that the [Obama Justice Dept.] memo backing away from private prisons … would be set aside.”

“This is how our corrupt political and campaign finance system works” says Sen. Bernie Sanders, reports IBT.

Trump May Back Border Tax Adjustment

Trump hints at support for House GOP border tax adjustment in Reuters interview: “…Thursday spoke positively about a border adjustment tax being pushed by Republicans in Congress as a way to boost exports, but he did not specifically endorse the proposal … ‘It could lead to a lot more jobs in the United States,’ Trump told Reuters … ‘I certainly support a form of tax on the border,’ he told Reuters on Thursday … Earlier on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC the Trump administration aimed to formulate a tax plan with support from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and Senate and pass it before August.”

Trump won’t fix NAFTA, says Jeff Faux in Quartz: “For Trump to live up to his promise, he would need to negotiate a rebalanced agreement—one with enforceable labor standards and protections equaling those given to investors—so that workers’ wages on both sides of the border could once again rise with their productivity. Donald Trump will not do this. He and the Republican-led US Congress are dedicated to the de-regulation, not re-regulation, of labor markets.”

Paris agreement off the chopping block? WSJ: “At the request of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his wife, Ivanka Trump, language critical of a global climate deal was struck from an executive order that Mr. Trump is planning to sign soon…”

Odds Drop For ACA Repeal

House may not have the votes for ACA repeal. NYT: “The most conservative House members are pushing for a fast repeal of the health law with only a bare-bones replacement to follow … Other Republicans are more interested in taking their time … Among the increasingly concerned lawmakers are those who represent the 24 Republican congressional districts that Hillary Clinton won…”

Former Speaker Boehner says GOP can’t repeal ACA. Politico quotes: “They’ll fix Obamacare, and I shouldn’t have called it repeal and replace because that’s not what’s going to happen. They’re basically going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it.”

Push to save ACA runs on shoestring. Politico: “Without cash, the smaller progressive organizations left could be hard-pressed to fight a long battle as conservatives spend heavily to pressure lawmakers to finish off the law and, possibly, revamp Medicaid.”

ACA support hits record high. The Hill: “Fifty-four percent of U.S. adults approve of the Affordable Care Act in the Pew Research Center survey released Thursday, while 43 percent disapprove … [Only] 24 percent say they should scrap the law entirely.”

GOP governors divided over Medicaid. The Hill: “…the pressure from governors and state leaders who want to keep the [Medicaid] expansion appears to be having an effect on some lawmakers … Officials from states that did not expand Medicaid are also looking to make sure that they are not treated unequally in any replacement. One idea, put forward by House Republicans, is to bring back federal payments for hospitals treating the uninsured in states that did not expand Medicaid.”