Progressive Breakfast for December 8

Morning Message

Workers Challenge Trump To Follow Through On His Promises

Speaking at the New York Economic Club in September, Donald Trump promised that in his administration, “Every policy decision we make must pass a simple test: Does it create more jobs and better wages for Americans?” ... Trump has an opportunity to show he meant what he said. He can make sure federal government contractors at least stop stealing wages from contract workers.

Trump Attacks Local Union Leader

Trump attacks Carrier’s union head. NYT: “Chuck Jones, the president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, told The Washington Post on Tuesday that the president-elect had ‘lied his ass off’ when he claimed he had saved 1,100 jobs … That was pretty much backed up by the chief executive of United Technologies, the parent company of Carrier, who said on CNBC that he would automate the plant and lay off many of the workers anyway … That, apparently, was too much for the man who will soon lead the United States.”

“He didn’t tell the truth. He inflated the numbers and I called him out on it,” Jones said on CNN today.

“Trump’s Carrier jobs triumph looks more like a sham every day” says LAT’s Michael Hiltzik: “Trump doesn’t seem to recognize that one-off tax incentives are mercilessly gamed by manufacturers … By showing himself to be a paper tiger on international job transfers, he gave all employers a template for extracting tax benefits by threatening to move across the border. And he offered carte blanche for firms to play states off against one another in a quest for local incentives.”

Alliance for American Manufacturing’s Scott Paul lays out a real manufacturing agenda in NYT oped: “First, we need to negotiate a new manufacturing deal with China to end its trade war on the United States … Trump in his presidential campaign said we needed at least $500 billion in new infrastructure investment. America’s civil engineers would like seven times that … Third, tax breaks to manufacturers for capital expenditures could help keep factory jobs in the United States … Lastly, [embrace] ideas from Germany on promoting apprenticeships and other vocational training…”

EPA Pick Faces Fight

Trump picks climate denier for EPA. Politico: “As attorney general for a state that is one of the nation’s biggest oil, natural gas and grain producers, Pruitt has been at the forefront of lawsuits challenging EPA regulations on carbon emissions and water pollution … Pruitt has questioned just how much temperatures have risen, and has been skeptical that man-made greenhouse gas pollution has had an impact.”

NYT in 2014: “[There is an] unprecedented, secretive alliance that Mr. Pruitt and other Republican attorneys general have formed with some of the nation’s top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda … Energy industry lobbyists drafted letters for him to send to the E.P.A., the Interior Department, the Office of Management and Budget and even President Obama … Industries that he regulates have also joined him as plaintiffs in court challenges, a departure from the usual role of the state attorney general, who traditionally sues companies to force compliance with state law.”

Dems prepare to fight Pruitt. Bloomberg: “Senator Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, signaled Pruitt faces a tough battle. ‘We are totally mobilizing on this one,’ Schatz told reporters in Washington, adding that he expects ‘it will be extremely difficult’ for Pruitt to be confirmed.'”

Trump slow in staffing sub-Cabinet appointees. Politico: “The slower pace of agency-level transition efforts could have a real impact on Trump’s ability to quickly tackle big issues such as Obamacare, infrastructure, and immigration reform.”

GOP Roiled By Trump’s Immigration Comments

Trump’s immigration comments confuse. AP: “…the president-elect’s advisers worked to walk back his comments almost as soon as they were published, with one transition aide demanding anonymity to deny that Trump intended to set any new policy … Republicans who’ve supported congressional action to help immigrant youths welcomed Trump’s new tone … For immigration hard-liners, on the other hand, Trump’s comments set off alarm bells.”

Rep. Steve King expects Trump to cancel DACA. The Hill: “‘Among all of these dreamers, there are some awfully bad people,’ King said Thursday on CNN … King said from listening to the president-elect’s campaign promises, he would expect Trump on his first day in office to cancel the DACA program.”

Trump to help student debtors? Bloomberg: “A Republican lawmaker who’s also a senior member of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team … Representative Tom Reed this week formally endorsed a law originally proposed by House Democrats. Though a long shot, the bill would do more for America’s roughly 42 million student debtors than the one proposed two years ago by Warren, the liberal firebrand from Massachusetts. Democrats didn’t quite know what to make of Reed’s move. ‘Heavens, are you sure that happened?’ said U.S. Representative John Garamendi…”

Dems Gear Up for Obamacare Battle

“Liberals mount campaign to save Obamacare” reports Politico: “Liberal groups plan to [share] the personal stories of thousands of Americans who would lose health insurance … The campaign will detail how many people in each state would lose coverage if the law is repealed, as well as the negative impact on hospitals and other health care organizations … The Center for American Progress Action Fund … has set up ACAworks.org…”

Health bill clears Congress. The Hill: “The Senate on Wednesday cleared a $6.3 billion bipartisan bill to advance medical cures, the biggest healthcare package to pass Congress since ObamaCare. The measure passed 94-5, with liberals like Sens. Elizabeth Warren(D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) opposing it over provisions on drugmaker incentives.”

Breakfast Sides

“Portland Adopts Surcharge on C.E.O. Pay in Move vs. Income Inequality” reports NYT: “…the City Council in Portland, Ore., voted on Wednesday to impose a surtax on companies whose chief executives earn more than 100 times the median pay of their rank-and-file workers. The surcharge, which Portland officials said is the first in the nation linked to chief executives’ pay, would be added to the city’s business tax for those companies that exceed the pay threshold.”

Rep. Ellison will resign if named DNC chair reports AP: “Aides and supporters of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are searching for an alternative to Rep. Keith Ellison … Hoping to assuage some of the concerns, Ellison said Wednesday that he’ll resign his seat in Congress if he’s picked as chairman by DNC members at the late February elections.”

Sen. Harry Reid defense scaling back of filibuster in Politico interview: “… I’m satisfied we did it … We got almost 100 judges approved … we saved the integrity of different agencies of government … think of what our country would’ve been without that … [The rule are] going to erode [further], it’s just a question of when … changing the rules is one of the best things that has happened to America in a long time.”

Democratic millionaires look to emulate Trump. Politico: “In three major states with a governor’s mansion up for grabs in 2018, a big-name, politically active billionaire or multimillionaire is taking steps toward a run … In Florida, it’s John Morgan … In Illinois, it’s J.B. Pritzker … And in California, it’s Tom Steyer …[Already Democrats have elected] Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf — a furniture magnate who funded his own primary effort — and West Virginia Governor-elect Jim Justice — the richest man in his state…”