Progressive Breakfast for March 27

Morning Message

Health Care Victory Paves Way for Redoubled Resistance

We’ll be sharing more in the coming days, but here are the preliminary thoughts on how we were able to put our victory over the top ... Before the holidays, we launched our first round of protests – and kept ratcheting up the pressure from there, with People’s Action affiliates holding or supporting 292 protests, events, or other actions that helped score “no’s” in Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington ... We made sure to talk not just about ACA repeal but the repeal of our health care generally ...

Trump To Pivot With Pollution

Trump to pivot from health care debacle with executive orders, outreach to Dems. Politico: “Expect executive orders this week on trade, energy and environmental regulations, [Steve Bannon] said in a text message … [WH aides] plan to reach out to House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and other rank-and-file Democrats who they think will be amenable to infrastructure spending and tax reform.”

Climate order expected tomorrow. Bloomberg: “The order will compel federal agencies to quickly identify any actions that could burden the production or use of domestic energy resources, including nuclear power, and then work to suspend, revise or rescind the policies unless they are legally mandated, are necessary for the public interest or promote development. It also will toss out two Obama-era directives that gave consideration of climate change a prominent role in federal rule making. One advised government agencies to factor climate change into environmental reviews … The other [is] called the ‘social cost of carbon,’… Trump’s action sets in motion at least a year of bureaucratic work at the EPA to formally dismantle the Clean Power Plan…”

Trump May Shift On Taxes

Tax reform plans may be revamped. NYT: “The grand plans of lower rates, fewer loopholes and a tax on imports may have to be scaled back to a big corporate tax cut and possibly an individual tax cut. A lot of people think Mr. Trump might go for this to get an easy win … Another idea would be reforming taxes in pieces, with a focus on reducing business tax rates first and then addressing tax rates for individuals later. Or … he could try to make a grand bargain with Democrats that combines a tax overhaul with a plan for more infrastructure spending.”

Freedom Caucus not sold on border adjustment. W. Post: “…conservative lawmakers such as Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) are opposed to any new kind of tax … [Freedom Caucus leader Rep. Mark] Meadows is not eager for a border adjustment, either … Republicans are trying to avoid a Democratic filibuster in the Senate. To do so, they will have to write legislation that does not increase the federal borrowing over the long term — and they are hoping the border adjustment will help them do so.”

One Month To Shutdown?

Odds of shutdown just went up. Axios’ Mike Allen: “A top Republican with close ties to the White House tells me that after the GOP failure on healthcare, a government shutdown — looming when a continuing resolution runs out April 28 — is ‘more likely than not… Wall Street is not expecting a shutdown and the markets are unprepared.’ … A senior GOP aide disputed the bearish forecasts: ‘The White House and Republicans on the Hill cannot/won’t risk a shutdown. Given the last week — it’s out of the question.’ Reality check: While the GOP may have the will, party strategists don’t see the way…”

Pelosi re-emerges. Politico: “Republicans have turned to Pelosi for years to deliver Democratic votes on must-pass legislation to keep the government open and raise the debt ceiling … The next big showdown in Congress comes at the end of April, when government funding runs out. Pelosi has already made clear her caucus won’t support any spending bill that provides money for Trump’s proposed border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.”

Bernie Brings Back Single-Payer

Sen. Sanders will re-introduce single-payer bill. Politico: “‘I’m going to introduce a Medicare-for-all single-payer program,’ Sanders told [CNN] … [Sanders] said he hoped to garner bipartisan support for the plan … [He] said such a plan could help to deliver on President Donald Trump’s pursuit of lowering prescription drug prices, adding that he’d look to work with the White House on the legislation.”

Democrats increasingly open to single-payer. W. Post: “Progressives, emboldened by Republicans’ health-care failure, are trying to shift the political debate even further to the left, toward a long-standing goal that Democrats told them was unrealistic … Pelosi held a town hall in her San Francisco district where she happily egged on protesters demanding a plan like Sanders’s … The victory of a Republican candidate who … once favored universal insurance, made some Democrats ask if an idea once dismissed as socialism might have some bipartisan openings in the post-ideological era of Trump.”

Republicans face health care dilemma. NYT: “They could sabotage the Affordable Care Act’s insurance markets, betting that Democrats would be blamed for collapsing coverage choices and spikes in insurance premiums and would then come to the negotiating table ready to toss the law and start fresh. Or they could work with Democratic lawmakers and moderate Republicans, who for years have discussed improvements to the Affordable Care Act…”

Dems Dig In With Eye Toward Midterms

Dems emboldened. NYT: “Democrats are newly optimistic about picking up seats in 2018, hoping to ride a backlash against Mr. Trump. Seeing an opportunity, they say they will not throw Mr. Trump a political life preserver at what they sense could be the first turns of a downward spiral.

Dems, progressive activists eye suburbs. American Prospect: “The Democrats’ path to a majority begins with the 23 seats—mostly well-educated and higher-income suburban districts—that voted for Hillary Clinton but elected Republican House members … Eighteen of the 23 have an above-average share of college-educated whites, and eight of those seats have both a higher share of minorities and white college grads …”

Mother Jones assesses the GOP strategy to “elevate Elizabeth Warren”: “What’s strange about Warren is that both parties seem to agree that she should be in the spotlight. Democrats say they welcome Republicans’ decision to elevate one of their most populist voices.”

Gorsuch may not have the votes. Roll Call: “… by the end of last week not a single member of the minority had publicly committed to voting with the 52 members of the Republican majority to advance Gorsuch … if getting Gorsuch on the court requires doing away with the filibuster for his and all future Supreme Court nominations, then Trump’s first victory for the history books will come with a big-time asterisk…”

Breakfast Sides

Conservatives say Treasury Secretary Mnuchin “too liberal.” Politico: “…critics note that Mnuchin has selected another Democratic donor, Craig Phillips, for a top position within the department. He told senators at his confirmation hearing that he supports parts of the controversial Volcker Rule … Allies of [Gary] Cohn and [Dina] Powell, both former Goldman Sachs executives like Mnuchin, say their opponents, led by Bannon, are attempting to plant stories about Cohn and those around him to discredit their standing with conservatives and with Trump himself.”

NC “bathroom bill” weakening state economy. AP: “… the law limiting LGBT protections will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years, according to an Associated Press analysis … AP’s tally is likely an underestimation of the law’s true costs … A business project was counted only if AP determined through public records or interviews that HB2 was why it pulled out. Some projects that left, such as a Lionsgate television production that backed out of plans in Charlotte, weren’t included because of a lack of data on their economic impact.”

Conservatives conspire to thwart progressive ballot initiatives in state legislatures. The Atlantic: “… Republicans dominate state legislatures around the country … while ballots sometimes function to deal with purely state-level concerns, policy fights are increasingly nationalized …”