Progressive Breakfast for April 25

Morning Message

Bernie Sanders Inspires Candidates to Run on Rise Up Platform

“Let me begin by thanking the People’s Action network for making the political revolution,” U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders told a raucous afternoon crowd in Washington, D.C. at “Rise Up: From People to Power,” the founding convention of People’s Action, on Monday. “This is what the revolution looks like. You are what the revolution looks like!”

 

You can join Rise Up: Protest to Power, the founding convention of People’s Action!

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Hometown Rising: A Town Hall

Tue, April 25, 12:00-1:15pm

Surrender on the Wall

Trump signals he’ll surrender on border wall funding. CNN: “Hours after Trump touted the importance of building a wall, a White House official signaled later Monday that the President won’t insist on that funding in a spending bill to keep the government running past Friday. The official said that even some funding for ‘border security’ could satisfy the President at this point, with the expectation that wall funding would come in future spending bill negotiations.”

AP adds: “Trump told a gathering of around 20 conservative media reporters Monday evening that he would be willing to return to the wall funding issue in September … The other major stumbling block on the spending bill involves a demand by Democratic negotiators that the measure fund cost-sharing payments to insurance companies that help low-income people afford health policies under Obama’s health law, or that Trump back off a threat to use the payments as a bargaining chip.”

Politico quotes Kellyanne Conway: “Building that wall and having it funded remains an important priority to him. But we also know that that can happen later this year and into next year.”

Trump To Propose Deep Corporate Tax Cut

Trump to propose 15 percent tax rate for corporations tomorrow. Politico: “Cutting the corporate rate to such a low level would allow Trump to follow through on a campaign promise that has been months in the making – even if policy experts argue that getting to that rate is impossible to do without imposing a new levy like a consumption tax, or blowing a hole in the deficit … A senior administration official acknowledged that the proposal to cut the rate to 15 percent is just a starting point in negotiations and would likely end up being higher in any final plan approved by lawmakers … The administration’s tax proposal on Wednesday is not expected to be very detailed, or to include ways that Trump would pay for deep tax cuts.”

WSJ lists “Five Roadblocks in the Way of the White House’s Proposed Corporate Tax Cut”: ” That means the 20-point cut would leave a $2 trillion hole in the federal budget over a decade … reconciliation comes with some special rules … the bill couldn’t increase deficits outside the length of the budget, typically 10 years … divides in the corporate world might emerge as Congress works through the details of what’s in a business tax plan.”

Trump Scrambles Before 100 Day Mark

Trump slaps lumber tariff on Canada. Bloomberg: “Trump announced the new tariff at a White House gathering of conservative journalists, shortly before the Commerce Department said it would impose countervailing duties ranging from 3 percent to 24.1 percent on Canadian lumber producers … U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross amplified Trump’s remarks in a statement afterward that also referenced a fight over a new Canadian milk policy that U.S. producers say violates Nafta … The measures will hurt workers on both sides of the border and will raise U.S. home prices, [Canadian officials] said … The so-called countervailing duties … came in below some analyst expectations”

Trump tries to revoke Obama’s designation of national monuments. The Hill: “Obama created the 1.3 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in late December using his unilateral power under the Antiquities Act … Trump is expected to sign an order Wednesday to examine all national monuments going back two decades, a White House official said. But people familiar with the order say it’s directed primarily at Bears Ears and at Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which former President Clinton created in 1996 … Conservationists and experts say the Antiquities Act doesn’t give Trump the power to rescind monuments or greatly reduce their size.”

No expectation for quick health care vote. Politico: “So far, none of the moderates who opposed an earlier repeal bill have publicly committed to supporting the latest version … the House has no plans to take up a repeal measure this week, despite the White House’s urging last week to do so. Republicans are expected to remain focused on funding the government past a Friday deadline for a new spending bill, with Obamacare repeal discussions likely continuing in the background. Members of the Freedom Caucus are expected to review the legislation together on Tuesday or Wednesday.”

Breakfast Sides

Corporate lobbyists aim for paid leave exemptions. Bloomberg: “Now big business is countering the calls [for mandatory paid leave] with a proposal of its own: Congress should establish a certain optional amount of paid leave and, if companies meet that threshold, they should be protected from state or local laws that might require more … The preemptive strike from the business community is also a response to the increasing number of states and municipalities that have taken matters into their own hands…”

CA Gov. Jerry Brown skeptical of Trump’s infrastructure plan. LAT quotes: “Let’s invest in America, not sell it off to the highest bidder … watch out for this infrastructure program, that it isn’t another way to enrich Wall Street, providing all the financing for the selling of all our public jewels and assets.”

House bill gutting Dodd-Frank would constrain SEC. NYT: “[One] provision would require the S.E.C. to determine if a corporate penalty will harm shareholders. That could discourage large fines … Defendants named in an administrative proceeding would have the right to require dismissal of the case; the S.E.C. could then refile the charges in a federal court, but that would give defendants much broader power to discover evidence and a right to a jury … A federal court requires proof only by a preponderance of the evidence, making it even less likely that the administrative process will be used in a contested matter.”

“Middle Class Contracted in U.S. Over 2 Decades” reports NYT: “Middle-class Americans have fared worse in many ways than their counterparts in economically advanced countries in Western Europe in recent decades, according to a study released Monday by the Pew Research Center … the authors of the Pew study found a broader contraction of the American middle class, even as the ranks of the poor and the rich have grown.”

Dem AGs criticize Betsy DeVos on student loans. Reuters: “…21 state attorneys general, all Democrats, wrote to Republican DeVos decrying her decision to end the Education Department’s work on reforming loan servicing, steps intended to ensure that borrowers understand their outstanding debt and repayment options …”