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Issue 43.0: Healthcare Victory, Puerto Rico, Tax Plan
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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.

First off, thank you to all who helped and donated during the #24forDACA fundraiser last week. The Mission Asset Fund let us know that they received more donations that day (150) than they ever had in a single day. Through this effort and others, people donated about $20,000 in the 24 hour period — which fully funds the two-year DACA permits for 40 young people who needed help ahead of the 10/5 renewal deadline. You made a real difference.

Don’t forget to share the link to apply for these scholarships with your networks.  DACA recipients will get a check within 48 hours. And be sure to share the 10/5 deadline as well.

Elsewhere, Annette Taddeo won a pivotal special election in Florida’s 40th State Senate District, flipping a Republican seat. In New Hampshire, Democrat Kari Lerner flipped a House seat in 2–1 GOP district. If people continue to show up in every district in every election like this, things will get better. Now, other news:

1. Senate Republicans admit defeat in latest effort to repeal Affordable Care Act

What’s happening: (The Guardian)
“The latest Republican attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act died on Tuesday as it became obvious they did not have the votes to pass a bill that would leave millions without health insurance. The admission of defeat came from Senate leader Mitch McConnell and the sponsors of the bill after party discussions over lunch on Capitol Hill left them in no doubt their slim majority could not survive a revolt. They conceded defeat on one of their central promises of the last decade, hours after Donald Trump was left railing against “certain so-called Republicans” refusing to vote for the latest bill.” The good news is tempered by the deliberate moves that the administration is taking to undermine open enrollment and spike premiums, including pulling out of Obamacare enrollment events. On the other hand, it was just reported that Senate Health Chair Lamar Alexander says a bipartisan deal to stabilize Obamacare’s insurance exchanges could come as early as tonight

What you can do: 
✓ Send quick thank you notes to anyone you saw make a difference in this healthcare vote.
My personal list includes ADAPT, Indivisible, Ben Wikler, Andy Slavitt, Topher Spiro, Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. John McCain, and Jimmy Kimmel. Donations to orgs like ADAPT and Indivisible also make great thank you's, of course. 32 million could have lost insurance without their voices and yours.

Call the Department of Health and Human Services and demand the proper promotion of open enrollment using this 5calls.org script.

Push your senators to support the bipartisan deal to stabilize insurance exchanges.

2. Puerto Ricans still waiting for aid a week after Maria's devastation

What’s happening: (CNN)
“Puerto Rico’s governor said officials were working to get food, fuel and water “everywhere on the island” as millions of people continued to suffer without the basics and reports emerged of vital supplies stranded at Puerto Rico’s main port. About 97% of the US commonwealth’s 3.4 million residents were still in the dark Wednesday, one week after Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said. About half the residents do not have running water.” After public outcry, President Trump today authorized the waiver of the Jones Act.

What you can do: 
✓ Ask your reps to support our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico.
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 express solidarity with our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico, as well as the other areas affected by Hurricane Maria. I’m asking [REPRESENTATIVE X] to do whatever we can to support the recovery, right now. Lives are at stake.”

✓ Read and share: “How you can help hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.” (Click to tweet)

Share: “Disconnected by Disaster — Photos From a Battered Puerto Rico” (Click to tweet)

3. Tax Plan Impact a Mystery for the Middle Class, but not for Trump

What’s happening: (NBC)
“Experts say the net effects on lower- and middle-income Americans are hard to determine, while the potential gains for ultra-wealthy Americans and businesses are larger and more concrete … The clearest windfall comes from ending the estate tax, which only affects individual estates larger than $5.49 million and $11 million for couples … But there are other boosts as well. In addition to a lower top rate on income tax, the proposal ends the Alternative Minimum Tax, which is designed to prevent wealthy filers from using deductions to wipe out their tax bill entirely … Paying for the package will be difficult. The nonpartisan Center for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates the total proposal would cost $2.2 trillion over the next decade. But lawmakers also face strong pressure from affected groups to keep breaks that benefit them, which could add to the cost.”

What you can do: 
✓ Read and share:
“Trump adviser ‘can’t guarantee’ taxes won’t go up for middle class” (Click to tweet)

✓ Read and share: “The Republican tax “plan” is a deficit-busting mess. And it would slash the president’s taxes.” (Click to tweet)

Call your reps to demand fair tax reform.

4. House Oversight Committee launches investigation into agency travel following Price reports

What’s happening: (POLITICO)
“House investigators want answers from Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and other Cabinet officials about their use of government-owned aircraft or private jets for travel … POLITICO has reported that Price has spent more than $400,000 on taxpayer-funded private jet travel since May. A story on Tuesday detailed how Price’s trips blended personal and professional travel, including a $17,760 round trip on a charter jet to Nashville, where Price stayed less than six hours and had lunch with his son. Price has said he will halt all private jet travel pending the outcome of an HHS inspector general’s review.” The EPA’s Scott Pruitt also took charter, military flights that cost taxpayers more than $58,000. President Trump is said to be ‘fuming’ over Price’s use of private jets. 

What you can do: 
✓ Ask your reps to call on Tom Price to resign.
Use ContactingCongress.org to find your senators and house rep. Call all three, if you have time. Here’s a starting point.

“Hello, my name is [NAME] from [PLACE]. I’m calling to ask [REPRESENTATIVE X] to publicly call on HHS Secretary Tom Price to resign. Since May, Price has charged taxpayers over $400,000 for private jets, while cutting outreach to Obamacare and supporting cuts to Medicaid. This can’t continue. Will [REPRESENTATIVE X] do so this week?”

5. Moore wins Republican Senate primary

What’s happening: (Washington Post)
“A former state judge who believes that “God’s law” can invalidate federal court decisions won Alabama’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate on Tuesday night, sending a clear warning to President Trump and GOP leadership that conservative grass-roots anger will continue to roil the party into the 2018 midterm elections … As a judge, Moore refused to obey a federal court order to remove from his courthouse a monument to the Ten Commandments he had installed to underscore his belief. He was removed from his job as a result. In a 2002 legal opinion, he described homosexual conduct as “an inherent evil,” and he has argued that the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage should not be considered the rule of law.”

What you can do:
Contribute to Doug Jones for U.S. Senate or sign up to volunteer. Jones, Moore’s challenger, is a former U.S. Attorney who has led successful prosecutions of the KKK.

✓ Share: “National Democrats eye shot at Alabama upset” (Click to tweet)

Additional Reading

Russia Roundup

  • Blumenthal: ’99 percent sure’ of Russia indictments (Politico)
  • DHS tells states about Russian hacking during 2016 election (Washington Post)
  • Key senators prepare subpoena for Manafort to appear at hearing (CNN)
  • Facebook, Google, And Twitter Have Been Asked To Testify Publicly In The Senate’s Russia Investigation (BuzzFeed)
  • At Least 6 White House Advisers Used Private Email Accounts (New York Times)
  • Roger Stone’s defiant congressional testimony on Trump and Russia, annotated (Washington Post)
  • Special counsel interviews with White House staff could start later this week (CNN)
  • Senators say they’ll protect Mueller if Trump’s Russia ire heats up (Politico)

More:

  • Donald Trump caps refugee admissions in 2018 to historic low (The Guardian)
  • E.P.A. Threatens to Stop Funding Justice Dept. Environmental Work (New York Times)
  • Wisconsin Strict ID Law Discouraged Voters, Study Finds (New York Times)
  • Pentagon: U.S. flew bombers near North Korea to show ‘resolve’ (Politico)
  • White House expands travel ban, restricting visitors from eight countries (Washington Post)
  • DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg Resigns After Criticizing Trump Remarks on Police Conduct (NBC)
  • Equifax CEO Richard Smith Who Oversaw Breach to Collect $90 Million (TIME)
  • 9 million kids get insurance through CHIP. Congress is about to let its funding expire. (Vox)

Finally, on the NFL demonstrations, I’d encourage you to watch and share the analyses by both Shannon Sharpe and Nick Wright. It's important to keep sight of the actual reasons behind the protest, and not let it be diluted by people with personal motives, including the president. This is about police brutality and racial injustice.

Thank you.
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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