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Issue 51.0: 50%, Alabama Senate Race, Net Neutrality
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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.

There are so many important issues in play right now (as you’ll see below), but it’s time to really buckle down on tax reform. What’s being considered isn’t just tax reform. It’s everything. It’s taking some of the worst problems in society — from inequality to healthcare costs — and entrenching them further, making them worse. 

The scale is almost hard to grasp. A single piece of legislation will cut Medicare, spike premiums, end or change popular deductions, raise taxes on 50% of Americans, and still blow up the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Think of the sheer amount of stuff you have to give away to rich people to make that all happen in one bill. 

1. GOP plan will ultimately raise taxes on 50% of Americans, nonpartisan assessment says

What’s happening: (CNBC)
“President Donald Trump on Monday promised a tax overhaul by Christmas, even as a nonpartisan tax analysis group said the Senate package would leave half of taxpayers facing higher levies by 2027 … Trump spoke as the Tax Policy Center said that while all income groups would see tax reductions, on average, under the Senate bill in 2019, 9 percent of taxpayers would pay higher taxes that year than under current law. By 2027, that proportion would grow to 50 percent, largely because the legislation’s personal tax cuts expire in 2026, which Republicans did to curb budget deficits the bill would create.”

What you can do:
Find a local action near you. Block off November 27 as the National Day of Action against this tax plan. (Click to tweet)

Make calls wherever you are using this great tool from Indivisible. (Click to tweet)

✓ Read and share: “House Tax Bill Is Littered With Loopholes for Wall Street’s Wealthiest” (Click to tweet)

2. Trump Defends Roy Moore, Citing Candidate’s Denial of Sexual Misconduct

What’s happening: (New York Times)
“President Trump broke with leading Republicans on Tuesday and voiced support for Roy S. Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama who has been accused of sexual misconduct with teenagers and has seen his campaign’s prospects imperiled … Asked by a reporter about whether electing 'a child molester' was better than electing a Democrat in the Alabama race, Mr. Trump responded by insisting that Mr. Moore denies the charges against him … The president suggested that the passage of time, and the fact that Mr. Moore’s accusers did not come forward earlier, should call into question the accusations.” Allegations continue to surface, with an Alabama ex-cop saying she was tasked with keeping Roy Moore away from cheerleaders at high school games.

What you can do:
Contribute to Doug Jones for U.S. Senate. (Click to tweet)

Sign up to volunteer with Doug Jones for U.S. Senate.

3. FCC chief plans to ditch U.S. ‘net neutrality’ rules

What’s happening: (Reuters)
“The head of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission unveiled plans on Tuesday to repeal landmark 2015 rules that prohibited internet service providers from impeding consumer access to web content in a move that promises to recast the digital landscape … The rules barred broadband providers from blocking or slowing down access to content or charging consumers more for certain content. They were intended to ensure a free and open internet, give consumers equal access to web content and prevent broadband service providers from favoring their own content.” Even more, the New York Attorney General is investigating a “massive scheme to corrupt the FCC’s notice and comment process through the misuse of enormous numbers of real New Yorkers’ and other Americans’ identities.”

What you can do:
Go to BattleforTheNet.com and use their simple, easy call tool that will connect you with your rep and provide you with a script. Congress can stop the FCC. 266,000+ calls have already been made. 

✓ Share BattlefortheNet.com on Facebook and on Twitter

4. Congress Created a Health-Care Crisis for Kids Right in Time for the Holidays

What’s happening: (The Daily Beast)
“Since its inception in 1997, CHIP has had strong bipartisan support and been a measurable success, covering nearly 9 million children nationwide. It helped lower the nation’s percentage of uninsured children from almost 14 percent when it started to about 4.5 percent in 2015. But this year, amid efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Congress allowed the deadline to reauthorize the program to come and go. Almost two whole months have passed since and there is growing concern that no action will come until the end of the year.”

What you can do:
Call to advocate for a bipartisan renewal of CHIP funding.

5. Leading Trump Census pick causes alarm

What’s happening:
“The Trump administration is leaning toward naming Thomas Brunell, a Texas professor with no government experience, to the top operational job at the U.S. Census Bureau, according to two people who have been briefed on the bureau’s plans … Brunell, a political science professor, has testified more than half a dozen times on behalf of Republican efforts to redraw congressional districts, and is the author of a 2008 book titled “Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections Are Bad for America.”

What you can do
Call to oppose Brunell’s possible nomination. Call both your Senators. While the post isn’t senate-confirmable, public pressure can have a decisive impact here. Use ContactingCongress.org to find their info. Here’s a start:

“My name is [NAME] from [PLACE]. I’m calling to urge the Senator to publicly oppose the nomination of Thomas Brunell to the top operational job in the U.S. Census Bureau. The census is a foundation of our democracy, and must be apolitical and run by civil servants with expertise in statistics. Will [SENATOR X] do everything in [his/her] power to stop this nomination?"

Important issues.


1. Sexual Harassment in Congress

✓ Read on Conyers and congressional settlements in BuzzFeed and POLITICO, as well as the story of a second accusation against Franken. (Outside of congress but still in the political landscape, read the reporting on the actions of Glenn Thrush and Charlie Rose). Read and share: “We deserve to know what Congress is paying out settlements for”


2. DREAM Act (POLITICO)

Check out the Thanksgiving toolkit for talking to your family. 


3. Admin Ending Permits for 60,000 Haitians (Vox)

Ask your reps to support the SECURE Act as well as the DREAM Act.


4. Bump Stocks (ABC)

✓ Call on your reps to ban the sale and manufacture of bump stocks. Use ContactingCongress.org to find your senators and house rep. Here’s a starting point.

“Hello, my name is [NAME] from [PLACE]. I’m calling to ask [REPRESENTATIVE X] to support the recently-introduced bipartisan legislation that bans the sale and manufacture of bump stocks. Inaction after what happened in Las Vegas should not be an option. Does [REP X] plan on supporting these efforts?”


5. Judicial Nominees (Chicago Tribune)

✓ Call to oppose Talley’s nomination. Call both your Senators. Use ContactingCongress.org to find their info. Here’s a start:

“My name is [NAME] from [PLACE]. I’m calling to urge the Senator to vote no on Brett Talley’s lifetime nomination to become a federal district judge. He has never tried a case, has been practicing law for three years, and has clear conflicts of interest. How does the Senator plan to vote?”


6. Open enrollment (Washington Post)

Spread the word about open enrollment using these GetAmericaCovered.org organizing tools.

Click to share this tweet: “Need affordable health coverage? You can enroll through December 15. Search for plans → healthcare.gov”
 



Some additional reading.

  • Two months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is still in crisis (NBC)
  • Judge issues blow against Trump’s sanctuary city order (CNN)
  • Second U.S. judge halts Trump’s proposed transgender military ban (NBC)
  • Keystone Pipeline Spills 200,000 Gallons of Oil (National Geographic)
  • The Justice Department’s Top Investigators Are Circling Jared Kushner (Vanity Fair)
  • He’s a Member of Congress. The Kremlin Likes Him So Much It Gave Him a Code Name. (New York Times)
  • Tax Returns Identify Dark Money Organization As Source of GOP Supreme Court Attacks (MapLight)

Rest in Peace Tamir Rice, killed three years ago today.

-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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