Progressive Breakfast for May 6

Morning Message

Tell Republicans In Congress: Don’t Cut Free Lunches For Poor Children

Conservative lawmakers are well known for wanting to cut funding to public education. But just remember, every time they take a swing at public school budgets, they hit poor kids. The newest blow aimed at public schools will hit low-income students in the stomach – literally. A bill introduced by a Republican in Congress called The Improving Child Nutrition And Education Act does the exact opposite of what it claims to do.

Job Growth Slows In April

OurFuture.org’s Robert Borosage dissects the April jobs report: “The Bureau of Labor Statistics April jobs report – 160,000 jobs, unemployment stable at 5.0 percent – is cause for concern. Job growth lags the yearlong average of 232,000 per month, and is accompanied by downward revisions in the February and March totals. Both labor force participation and the employment-to-population ratio edged down as well … Congressional inaction is truly perverse.”

Ryan vs. Trump

Speaker Paul Ryan snubs Trump to protect House, and himself. NYT: “…Ryan is a man with ambition and a political future that could possibly include a White House run. He and his allies know a full embrace of Trump policies could cost him dearly in the years ahead … the loss of each [House seat] makes Mr. Ryan’s job as speaker in charge of a restive and difficult-to-control Republican majority just that much harder.”

Trump returns fire. Politico quotes: “He talks about unity, but what is this about unity? With millions of people coming into the party obviously I’m saying the right thing … It doesn’t bother me at all.”

“The Hell with what the voters think. Circular firing squad now led by @SpeakerRyan” tweets Sean Hannity.

Trump hires former Goldman Sachs partner to lead fundraising effort. NYT: “…since Mr. Trump seems to have little interest in pouring hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money into a general election battle that will cost at least $1 billion, [Steve] Mnuchin will lead efforts to raise that money from others … ‘Donald Trump knows Wall Street will pay both sides,’ [Trump Super PAC chief Roger Stone] said in an email. ‘Why shouldn’t he take their money to beat Hillary?'”

Trump proposes not paying back debt. NYT: “Asked whether the United States needed to pay its debts in full, or whether he could negotiate a partial repayment, Mr. Trump told the cable network CNBC, ‘I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal.’ … any cracks in investor confidence have a long history of costing American taxpayers a lot of money. Experts also described Mr. Trump’s vaguely sketched proposal as fanciful, saying there was no reason to think America’s creditors would accept anything less than 100 cents on the dollar…”

Trump backs away from his own tax plan. MSNBC: “Pressed by CNBC on Thursday as to how he could simultaneously brand himself as a populist who will take on wealthy elites while proposing sweeping tax cuts for billionaires, Trump [said] ‘I am not necessarily a huge fan of that … when you put out a tax plan, you are going to start negotiating.’ … It’s important to note that these disproportionately large cuts for the rich aren’t a minor side feature of his plan, they’re the heart of it.”

“Did Donald Trump Just Hand the Senate to Elizabeth Warren?” asks Politico’s David Bernstein: “Between Warren’s powerful fundraising chops and the potential for a Donald Trump candidacy to push Senate seats into Democratic hands, the next Senate could see a whole new power bloc with Warren at the head.”

Clinton Strengthens Opposition To TPP

Clinton parts with Obama on TPP vote. W. Post: “Clinton … responded in writing to a question on the lame-duck session from a coalition of Oregon labor unions and environmental groups by stating: ‘I oppose the TPP agreement — and that means before and after the election.’ … It could present new hurdles for the Obama administration, which is viewing a likely brief session of Congress after the Nov. 8 election as its last chance to get the deal ratified by lawmakers before the president leaves office in January.”

May map looks good for Bernie. Politico: “Sanders is well-positioned for wins in the upcoming West Virginia and Oregon primaries … Kentucky … votes on May 17 along with Oregon but doesn’t appear be a Sanders-friendly state … Both are closed primary states but Clinton has long relationships there and solid support from top Kentucky Democrats.”

Sanders will have ample delegates to force platform votes at convention. USA Today: “Tad Devine, one of Sanders’ top advisers and a veteran of contentious convention battles, said he expects ‘good will’ at the convention between Sanders and Clinton, and agreement on a number of issues. But he raised the possibility that Sanders will play hardball if negotiations fail. Devine said Sanders should have enough committee votes to file ‘minority reports’ — dissents from positions held by the majority of delegates at the convention. Using that tool could mire the proceedings in debate and votes if Clinton won’t agree on issues important to Sanders.”

Breakfast Sides

SEIU and AFSCME forge alliance. NYT: “[They] are completing a plan that calls for unusually close cooperation in political campaigning, organizing and bargaining in states and cities across the United States … [It] could lead to a merger of the two organizations, an outcome that would create the nation’s largest labor union, with some 3.6 million members.”

WH proposes crackdown on tax evasion. AP: “Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged Congress to pass legislation that would further enhance transparency … Lew’s letter came as Treasury finalized the so-called ‘customer due diligence’ rule dictating how banks should keep records on who owns the companies that use their services. A second proposed rule would close a loophole that allows a narrow class of foreign-owned companies to avoid reporting to the IRS.”