President Trump told several leaders of conservative groups yesterday that should the GOP repeal and replace plan fail he would blame the Democratic Party. Speaking to the leadership of Club for Growth, the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, and the Tea Party Patriots, Trump also warned tea party activists that airing opposition to the American Health Care Act is “helping the other side.” He did, however, assert that the groups would “make it [American Health Care Act] even greater. I’m going to work hard to get it done.”
Following President Trump’s claims that he was wiretapped last year by then-President Obama, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told reporters yesterday that he would subpoena the intelligence community for evidence that would prove the president’s accusations. GOP lawmakers have in large part distanced themselves from the accusations.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D) signed an executive order on Friday, February 24 that prohibits state agencies from denying services to people based on their citizenship or legal status and bars them from helping detain immigrants for breaking civil rules. Governor Inslee’s measure follows pronouncements from Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly indicating his department planned to prioritize the deportation of undocumented immigrants that have been convicted of any criminal offense. Washington immigrants make up 17% of the state’s workforce and contribute approximately USD 2.4 billion in tax revenue.
The Washington Post published a scathing review of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ first month in office. Pieces of this article are interesting but some claims are unsubstantiated and could not be corroborated through online text or video research. More recently, DeVos came under fire for mischaracterizing the history of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in a statement published on Monday, February 27, calling them “real pioneers when it comes to school choice” that gave “underserved” communities “more options”. Critics took this as a federal agency’s endorsement of legal segregation as though HBCUs were created as a better alternative to traditionally white universities. President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on HBCUs on Tuesday, February 28 as part of this New Deal for Black America plan.
Politico obtained a leaked draft of the GOP’s Obamacare replacement plan. Below are the main takeaways.
While details of President Trump’s tax plan remain shrouded in mystery, Business Insider broke down the financial implications of candidate Trump’s proposed tax plan during the campaign season. The main takeaway is the more you make, the better you would fare. But one group, depending on their tax bracket, could be hit with higher tax payments: families with children, especially single parents. I urge everyone to examine the second and third chart in the article. The second chart illustrates that families making between $20,000 and $50,000 will see their taxes go up, while all other family filers with children get some modicum of a tax break on average. But the third chart showcases that single parents who earn between $20,000 and $200,000 fare the worst. They will receive a much higher tax increase due to deductions, personal exemptions, and head of household deductions. The loss of income under this law grows with each child.
• Instead of seven, we'd have three income tax brackets.
Current: 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, 39.6%
Proposed: 12%, 25%, 33%
• The standard deduction would go way up. It jumps from $6,300 to $15,000 for singles; for married joint filers, it jumps from $12,600 to $30,000.
• Personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents would be eliminated, as would the head-of-household deduction.
• Families with children under age 13 could deduct childcare costs, capped at the state average.
• The alternative minimum tax, a complicated surtax that raises rates on middle- to upper-middle-class earners, would be axed. It currently affects nearly 5 million people.
• Gift taxes and estate taxes would be gone; capital gains held until death would be exempt up to $5 million per person.
For additional analysis, check out the Tax Policy Centers examination of the plan. (http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/publications/analysis-donald-trumps-revised-tax-plan/full)
President Trump is set to propose a federal budget that calls for significant increases in defense spending while slashing the budgets of other, unnamed federal agencies. Under the proposal the White House is requesting increases of $54 billion on national security while discretionary federal programs would face “massive reductions”. Without offering specifics, administration officials indicated that foreign aid, one of the smallest parts of the federal budget, would receive large reductions. A formal budget plan will be sent to Congress sometime in March.
If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, the effects on Maryland families could be devastating. Learn the facts about about what's at stake here:
Two bills (SB358 and HB517) have been introduced in the Maryland General Assembly to require presidential and vice presidential candidates to file five years of federal tax returns before their names can appear on the ballot in Maryland. A hearing will be held on Feb. 23, 2017 on HB517 at 1pm in the House Ways and Means Committee.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1. Call and/or write your representatives and ask them to vote YES on these bills. If they haven’t taken a position, call back until you get an answer. Find your representatives at http://www.mdelect.net
2. Attend the hearing on HB517 on Feb. 23 at 12:30pm before the House Ways and Means Committee at House Office Building, 6 Bladen Street, Annapolis. At the hearing you can 1) testify, 2) submit written testimony, 3) when asked, stand up to show your support, or 4) all of the above.
3. Send this email or talk about it on Facebook with your friends throughout Maryland.
4. INDICATE YOUR SUPPORT BY SIGNING AND SHARING THE PETITION here.
Late Monday night, the National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, resigned amid revelations that he had illicit communications with the Russian ambassador prior to the inauguration, and that he misled senior Trump administration officials about those communications. Flynn stepped down after reports surfaced Monday that intelligence officials had evidence that he had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with Ambassador Kislyak on the day they were announced by the Obama administration, despite his and the Trump administration’s repeated denials of such discussions. It was also revealed that the FBI and Justice Department (specifically AG Sally Yates) had warned the Trump administration a month ago that Flynn’s false statements could present an opportunity for extortion by the Russians.
While Indivisible MD welcomes General Flynn’s resignation, we believe Trump’s ties to Putin and the possible collusion of the Trump campaign with Russia to swing the election are the real issue. The indifference shown by the White House despite FBI and Justice Dept warnings could endanger national security. Indivisible MD calls on Congress to conduct an independent, bipartisan investigation into to conduct a full bipartisan investigation into any potential acts of collusion by the Trump administration/campaign. We also ask that our Senators and other Maryland Representatives unite in a demand for this investigation. We must know what the President knew and when he knew it. Your constituents, and the nation, deserve the full truth.
The President may be compromised, but we the people, remain indivisible.