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Issue 55.0: Budget deal, Gerrymandering, Nunes
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re:act is a weekly list of a few concrete things you can do to take action during the Trump presidency.

It’s good to be back. I took a few weeks off from re:act after our family welcomed our new baby, Nicholas, to the world on Christmas. (Everybody’s doing great.) I write these "after hours," and he's started sleeping through that time, so looks like we're back in business. 

Another big victory this week, with a deep-red House seat in Missouri changing hands (Trump won it 61–33!). This marks the 35th state legislative seat that has flipped since the inauguration. Let’s keep it up.

1. House leaders scramble to win support for budget deal ahead of midnight deadline

What’s happening: (Washington Post)
“Congressional leaders worked Thursday to muscle through a sweeping two-year bipartisan budget deal that would add more than a half-trillion dollars in federal spending as the clock ticked toward a midnight shutdown deadline. The Senate is expected to start voting on the legislation Thursday afternoon, but the tougher task will be getting it through the House. Both conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats were balking in the hours after the deal was unveiled Wednesday — the former angry about the spending jolt, the latter fuming about the lack of protections for young immigrants at risk for deportation under the Trump administration." On Wednesday, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi held the floor for 8 hours to advocate for Dreamers, with a goal of getting Paul Ryan to commit to an open amendment process on DACA. Earlier in the week, White House Chief of Staff said some DACA-eligible immigrants were “too lazy to get off their asses” to apply for protection.


What you can do:
Go to WeAreHeretoStay.org for resources on holding Congress accountable to pass the Dream Act now. Calls and in-person actions take first priority.

View, download, and share the Immigrant Ally Toolkit by Indivisible.

2. GOP state lawmaker seeks to impeach judges after Pa. gerrymandering ruling

What’s happening: (The Hill)
“A Pennsylvania Republican is calling for the impeachment of the justices on the state Supreme Court who ruled in favor of a redrawing of the state’s congressional map ahead of the 2018 midterm elections … State Rep. Cris Dush (R) circulated a letter addressed to the state House on Monday saying that the five Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices behind the decision violated the state constitution by usurping authority from the state’s constitution.”

What you can do:
Fight gerrymandering by getting involved with the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, an effort led by former Attorney General Eric Holder to “block Republicans from single-handedly drawing congressional maps after 2020.”

Get the Indivisible 435 Voter Registration Guide.

Read and share “Voter ID 101” by Indivisible 435 and our friend Kat Calvin of SpreadTheVote. Helping your community get IDs can change the electorate and change lives.

3. Release of disputed GOP memo on FBI surveillance unleashes waves of recrimination

What’s happening: (Washington Post)
“A GOP memo declassified on Friday accused senior law enforcement officials of misleading a court in order to conduct surveillance on a former Trump campaign adviser, fueling a growing distrust between the White House and Republicans on one side and the Justice Department and FBI on the other … The four-page document, which the FBI said is inaccurate, had been the focus of weeks of partisan fights leading up to its release by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, and that acrimony intensified after its publication.”

What you can do:
Call to demand Nunes’ removal from the House Intelligence committee.

Call to demand Trump implements Russian sanctions. Signed into law on August 2, the Trump administration announced it has decided to not implement new sanctions. These sanctions are key if we want to protect our elections in 2018 and beyond. 

✓ Read and share: “Russians penetrated U.S. voter systems, says top U.S. official” (Click to tweet)

4. Paul Ryan deletes tweet that lauded $1.50 pay rise as proof tax bill works

What’s happening: (The Guardian)
“Paul Ryan deleted a tweet that cheered a $1.50 increase to a Pennsylvania school secretary’s weekly pay because of a $1.5tn tax cut, after it drew criticism that he was out of touch with ordinary Americans.”

What you can do:
✓ House: Use this SwingLeft page to donate to the Democratic opponents of Swing District House Republicans who voted for the Trump Tax Scam. (Click to tweet)

✓ Read and share: In wake of Trump tax bill, companies have raced to buy back their own stock (CNBC) (Click to tweet)

✓ Read and share: Few U.S. adults report bonuses, raises from Republican tax law (Reuters) (Click to tweet)

✓ Read and share: Trump may push work requirements for federal housing assistance (NBC) (Click to tweet)

5. FEMA Contract Called for 30 Million Meals for Puerto Ricans. 50,000 Were Delivered. 

What’s happening: (New York Times)
“The mission for the Federal Emergency Management Agency was clear: Hurricane Maria had torn through Puerto Rico, and hungry people needed food. Thirty million meals needed to be delivered as soon as possible … For this huge task, FEMA tapped Tiffany Brown, an Atlanta entrepreneur with no experience in large-scale disaster relief and at least five canceled government contracts in her past. FEMA awarded her $156 million for the job, and Ms. Brown, who is the sole owner and employee of her company, Tribute Contracting LLC, set out to find some help.” The Orlando Sentinel reports that a rat infestation spoiled food on its way to Puerto Rico, resulting in it never being sent. 

What you can do:
Support Unidos for Puerto Rico, the initiative by the First Lady of Puerto Rico. $16M+ has already been distributed to local nonprofits.

Worth sharing:

  • White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigns amid abuse allegations (Axios)
  • Exclusive: U.S. Consumer Protection Official Puts Equifax Probe on Ice — Sources (US News)
  • States, greens sue Trump over Obama EPA water rule delay (The Hill)
  • GOP threatens to cut off U.S. funding for the World Health Organization’s cancer research over its finding that an active ingredient in herbicide Roundup is probably carcinogenic to humans (New York Times)
  • The national monuments slashed by Trump will officially be open to mining on Friday (ThinkProgress)

Additional reading:

  • Trump Wants Pentagon To Stage Military Parade Down Pennsylvania Avenue (NPR)
  • Nunes Refused to Tell House Intel What’s Next for His DOJ-FBI Probe (The Daily Beast)
  • In Russia Inquiry, Lawyers Tell Trump to Refuse Mueller Interview (New York Times)
  • Steve Bannon is likely to meet with special counsel Robert Mueller next week: NBC News (CNBC)
  • Live by the Dow, Die by the Dow? Trump Is Quiet on Market (New York Times)
  • ‘Chain migration’ is not bringing floods of terrorists to America (Washington Post)
  • Bob Mueller’s Investigation Is Larger — and Further Along — Than You Think (Wired)

Best,
Derek

Editor's note: This list is not meant to be authoritative, exhaustive, or even expert. I'm just a guy letting you know some things I am doing every week.  I'd love for those with more legislative experience to recommend better levers to pull. I'd love for you to point out what I missed, because I will definitely miss things. 

Please send ideas or stories of your involvement ​my way at derek@reactletter.com
Follow @derekcnel for updates
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