Fighting Back: “We will never stop fighting the GOP’s assault on our nation’s vital environmental protections”

 
 

House Democratic Party Leader Nancy Pelosi on Earth Day 2018:

Each Earth Day, people around the world join together to celebrate the beauty of God’s creation, and to reaffirm our responsibility to protect and preserve our environment for generations to come.

Amid rising temperatures, surging seas and record floods, fires and storms, Earth Day reminds us that bold, ambitious global leadership is needed now more than ever to combat the growing climate crisis. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration and Republican Congress have given special interests a free pass to push their dirty energy agenda. The Trump Administration’s culture of corruption, exemplified by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, has weakened critical environmental protections, enabling polluters to poison our communities and threaten the health and well-being of our families.

We will never stop fighting the GOP’s assault on our nation’s vital environmental protections or their disregard for the air our children breathe and the water they drink. Democrats will continue to join cities, states, entrepreneurs and the American people to develop innovative strategies that honor our responsibility to build a healthier, more sustainable world for our children and grandchildren.”

~

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Richard Neal, Democrat from Massachusetts.

(In this week’s address following Tax Day, Rep. Neal highlighted the failures of the GOP Tax Scam which gives tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy few on the backs of working families.)
Rep. Neal:

The [Tax Scam law] is a great deal for the well-off and the well-connected and a bad deal for American families.

It’s no surprise the middle-class is left with a crummy deal – bad process always leads to bad policy. Republicans rushed through their tax bill without the necessary review for a bill of this significance.

This is a bill that affects 100 percent of our economy – it touches every business and every individual, yet there was not a single hearing nor a single witness. […]

One of the problems that Republicans hope that Americans will overlook is the law’s devastating impact on your health care. In search of revenue to pay for corporate cuts, the GOP upended the health care system, causing 13 million Americans to lose their coverage.

For others, health insurance premiums will spike by at least 10 percent, which translates to about $2,000 of extra costs per year for a family of four.

These new health expenses will dwarf any tax cuts promised to you by the Republicans.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Transcript: Congressman Richard Neal Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

“As ‘Tax Day’ is now behind us, I’m reminded of the Albert Einstein quote, ‘the hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.’

“Americans dread this time of year because of the complications and headaches the tax code causes all of us. I wish I could tell you that filing would be easier moving forward. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

“Last year, Republicans had a once-in-a-generation opportunity to work with Democrats to simplify our tax code and create a system that provides opportunities for America’s middle class.

“Instead, Republicans wrote a law that gives 83 percent of the tax savings to the top 1 percent. To put that another way, 4 out of every 5 dollars will go to the very top earners. Meanwhile, 86 million American families will see their tax bills increase.

“That’s a great deal for the well-off and the well-connected and a bad deal for American families.

“It’s no surprise the middle-class is left with a crummy deal – bad process always leads to bad policy. Republicans rushed through their tax bill without the necessary review for a bill of this significance.

“This is a bill that affects 100 percent of our economy – it touches every business and every individual, yet there was not a single hearing nor a single witness. Remember, everyone lives in economy.

“Regardless of process, you cannot upend the revenue system of the country overnight without problems. It’s already clear, there are many problems.

“One of the problems that Republicans hope that Americans will overlook is the law’s devastating impact on your health care. In search of revenue to pay for corporate cuts, the GOP upended the health care system, causing 13 million Americans to lose their coverage.

“For others, health insurance premiums will spike by at least 10 percent, which translates to about $2,000 of extra costs per year for a family of four.

“These new health expenses will dwarf any tax cuts promised to you by the Republicans. The majority of Americans are not seeing their paychecks grow. Higher health insurance costs – coupled with rising prices for prescription drugs and gas – are straining family finances.

“Finally, the Republican tax plan’s fiscal irresponsibility is stunning.

“The law adds at least $2.3 trillion to the nation’s debt to finance corporate tax cuts. Remember, this was borrowed money for a tax cut for the people at the very top.

“And as we saw in 2001 and 2003, tax cuts don’t pay for themselves, you pay for them. When the bill comes due, Republicans will intend to cut funding for programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

“The GOP tax scam is a raw deal for working families, for seniors, for all Americans. Democrats believe in A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future for everyone.

“A Better Deal means that instead of investing in millionaires and billionaires, we will invest in the American worker. We know a strong America comes from a strong middle class. That would be a better way to do tax reform.

“The American people deserve a tax code founded on fairness. Our tax system should reward hardworking, middle-class families, small businesses, and innovators.

“Democrats’ Better Deal means a plan to improve health insurance affordability and put more money in families’ wallets.

“We want to provide young people with a high-quality education and ensure that workers have the career training they need to succeed.

“It’s also important that all Americans are financially secure, especially retirees.

“We know that when people aren’t worried about how they’re going to afford their next meal, student loan payments, or medical emergencies, they can focus on their families and their jobs and contribute more fully to our nation.

“Republicans are leaving the middle class behind and cutting the very programs that support people’s well-being.

“Democrats are fighting for a future in which all Americans, not just those at the top, have an honest shot at a good life.”

Any bolding has been added.

~

Leader Nancy Pelosi’s weekly news conference on Thursday:

Transcript: Transcript of Pelosi Press Conference

Leader Pelosi. Good morning. Good morning.

What a sad a week for America with the passing of First Lady Barbara Bush. What a wonderful person she is in our lives – she has been to our country. She brought dignity, civility, and spirit, we all know that, to everything she did. She loved America. She loved her family. We will miss her. The Bush family is in our prayers.

Here in the Capitol we have gone – Wednesday came, and why would we be here on Thursday and Friday to do the people’s work? I guess the Republicans want to get out of town in tax week.

This year tax day fell on April 17, on Tuesday. Last year on tax day, Americans turned out across the country by the thousands to demand the President finally release his tax returns. And since then, of course, we have been fighting the tax scam that the Republicans have put forward.

Now Republicans are scrambling as their deficit-exploding tax scam collapses in the eyes of hard-working Americans. The $2 trillion-plus debt created by the GOP tax scam giveaways are now a threat to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security disability benefits.

As we saw, the tax scam adds, again, over $2 trillion to the deficit. While the Republicans say it will pay for itself, we know that it doesn’t.

Just ask Bruce Bartlett: anyone who says that these tax cuts pay for themselves, it is not true, it is nonsense, and it is BS. That is according to Bruce Bartlett who is a trickle-down, supply-side guy who worked with Jack Kemp on these issues.

But the Republicans are now saying, ‘Well, we do have this debt now, so we have to give $1.5 trillion to corporate America, we will take a trillion from Medicaid to pay for that, a half trillion from Medicare to pay for that. And to address the interest on the debt, we will take a couple hundred billion from food stamps, a couple hundred billion from education.’ The list goes on.

It’s really a scandal. It’s not a statement of our values as a budget should be.

And Republicans said, I will call your attention to this poster, Republicans have said that workers would benefit from the tax scam, but fewer than 45, as you can see, 45 of the S&P 500 companies have even given one-time bonuses to their workers. Stunning.

While the GOP gives tax breaks to Wall Street, big pharmaceutical companies and corporations shipping jobs overseas, Republicans have written a partisan farm bill that abandons America’s farmers and hungry families.

Our farmers and ranchers are facing plummeting prices and dangerous uncertainty from the Trump Administration’s tariffs. But the GOP farm bill does nothing for the soybean, corn, wheat, citrus and specialty crop growers who need real support.

Republicans are moving to kill good-paying rural jobs, weaken the farmer safety net and shift opportunities away from America’s small towns with cuts to critical rural development and energy initiatives. You should pay attention to this farm bill, it’s inexplicable. It’s hard to understand why they would do this.

Nutrition is a big part of the farm bill, as you probably know, and under the GOP SNAP cuts, seniors, children, individuals with disabilities, our veterans – large numbers of our veterans – and hungry families will lose the means to put food on the table.

With one provision alone, just one of the provisions alone, hundreds of thousands of school-aged children will be kicked off free and reduced school lunch and breakfast initiatives.

Every dollar, it is important to know this, years ago when we were putting together our first recovery package when we took the Congress back, economists from both sides of the aisle represented to us and agreed that for every dollar in SNAP money that is spent, $1.79 in economic activity returns to the economy. You spend a dollar, you get the value of $1.79.

SNAP already has work requirements. Democrats have long championed job training and real paths to good-paying jobs. That’s not the issue. What is the issue is the GOP plan will only create vast, untested, unworkable bureaucracies that will increase hunger and poverty across America.

It would be interesting if they wanted to know the evidence, the facts, the data, the ramifications of their actions, but that doesn’t seem to matter.

President Trump and the GOP are stacking the deck for the wealthy and well-connected against hard-working American families at every opportunity they get. From the tax scam, to the Trump Budget, to the GOP’s relentless efforts to gut consumer protections, embolden polluters, enable the recklessness of Wall Street; again and again Republicans are giving the American people a raw deal.

Democrats have A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future. Democrats will press for real action for America’s workers, farmers and seniors.

Any questions?

Press questioning followed (see transcript). Discussions included North Korea, DACA, and the impeachment issue. And this reminder about the mid-terms:

I never believe a 10, 13 point generic. That’s just not possible. But we’re very pleased with the average of the generics. Elections are elections, every day counts. There are only 27 Tuesdays left until the election. Did you know that? My grassroots folks remind me of it when we’re on the phones at night, 27 Tuesdays.

I’ve never seen mobilization the way we’re seeing it today. Donald Trump turns out to be one of the best organizers in the country, motivating other people to turn out to support a system of checks and balances, which the election will be about.

~

Tax Week Headlines: GOP Tax Scam A Raw Deal for America’s Working Families

Even though Republicans sold their tax scam as a bill that will ‘pay for itself’ and bring much-needed relief to hard-working Americans, the truth was clear from the start:

The GOP tax scam ultimately raises taxes on 86 million middle class families to hand 83 percent of the tax cuts to the wealthiest one percent – while exploding the deficit by nearly $2 trillion.

And the more time passes, Republicans are seeing their dishonest tax bill message collapse in the eyes of the American people.

As Tax Week comes to an end, below are some of the week’s most scathing headlines from media outlets across the country exposing the GOP tax scam:

– Yahoo Finance: Why the Trump tax cuts are flopping
– NYT Opinion: The Great Snake Oil Slump
– AP: Big banks saved $3.6B in taxes last quarter under new law
– TPM: 6 Wall Street Banks Saved $3.6 Billion In Taxes Thanks To Trump’s Tax Law
– Louis Post-Dispatch: Thanks to Trump, the big Wall Street banks saved $3.6 billion in taxes last quarter under new law
– Salon: What Trump doesn’t say about his own tax plan
– Washington Post: Here’s why the tax cuts are such a hard sell for Republicans
– Yahoo Finance: Most people have a negative opinion of the Trump tax cuts
– The Economist: Tax cuts and higher interest rates help boost banks’ earnings
– Wall Street Journal: How the Tax Cut President Trump Loves Will Deepen Trade Deficits He Hates
– The Hill: Trump touts GOP tax law amid wavering support
– Washington Post: ‘Happy hour in America.’ Tax cuts could leave economy weaker after short-term boost
– The Baltimore Sun: What is the U.S. getting for its $1 trillion deficit?
– Fresno Bee: Trump tax bill is unfair to low-income families
– New York Magazine: The 4 Biggest Banks Have Already Made $2.3 Billion Off Trump’s Tax Law
– Newsweek: Trump Tax Plan Will Make U.S. Only Advanced Economy To See Its Public Debt Ratio Increase, IMF Warns
– Daily Caller: Republicans Are Fleeing And So Are Their Hopes For Keeping The House
– Washington Post: The real reason the Republican tax cut isn’t going to work
– Think Progress: Here’s what the GOP tax bill won’t do for middle class families
– Wisconsin Gazette: Main Street Alliance: Republican tax cuts are failing small businesses
– Think Progress: CBO confirms GOP tax bill will worsen offshore tax dodging
– Register-Guard: Tax cuts swell bank profits
– Durango Herald: GOP tax bill is harmful to Coloradans
– Yahoo Finance: Gas prices will likely wipe out Trump tax cut gains for millions
– Washington Examiner: Republicans realize they can’t count on Trump to sell the tax law to voters — and to keep their jobs
– CNBC: Tax cut riches have gone to execs and investors over workers by nearly 3-to-1 margin
– News-Press Op-Ed: Republicans, tax law stick it to working families
– Wall Street Journal: The Biggest U.S. Banks Made $2.5 Billion From Tax Law—in One Quarter
– Washington Post Op-Ed: Republicans can’t even run on Ryan’s singular ‘achievement’
– New York Magazine: The Trump Tax Cuts Are Still Unpopular. That’s a Crisis for Conservatives.
– New York Times: No One’s Talking About the New Tax Law
– San Diego Tribune: GOP tax cuts put a burden on our children
– The Nation: The GOP Tax Cuts Are Such a Blatant Scam That They Might Change the Whole Conversation
– The Hill: Poll: More say GOP tax law is bad idea than good idea
– Slate: New Jersey Voters Do Not Like the GOP’s Tax Law
– Market Watch: Poll finds Republican tax cut remains unpopular
– Business Insider: The US government’s budget deficit is about to explode — and the Trump tax law and spending surge is to blame
– Market Watch: Trump Today: President says ‘enjoy’ tax cut as poll shows it’s unpopular
– CNBC: GOP tax cuts have gotten less popular with voters, new NBC/WSJ poll says
– Washington Post: Trump wants to make Wall Street great again
– Fiscal Times: Trump Touts Tax Cuts, but Can They Save the GOP from a Midterm Meltdown?
– Think Progress: CBO confirms GOP tax bill will worsen offshore tax dodging

Tax Week may be almost over, but Democrats continue to fight for real, bipartisan tax reform the American people deserve.

(Links to publications in the list above can be found at the newsroom link).

~

  2 comments for “Fighting Back: “We will never stop fighting the GOP’s assault on our nation’s vital environmental protections”

  1. JanF
    April 21, 2018 at 10:59 am

    From Nancy Pelosi’s Thursday press conference, comments on the Farm Bill and the devastating cuts to SNAP:

    Leader Pelosi: While the GOP gives tax breaks to Wall Street, big pharmaceutical companies and corporations shipping jobs overseas, Republicans have written a partisan farm bill that abandons America’s farmers and hungry families.

    Our farmers and ranchers are facing plummeting prices and dangerous uncertainty from the Trump Administration’s tariffs. But the GOP farm bill does nothing for the soybean, corn, wheat, citrus and specialty crop growers who need real support.

    Republicans are moving to kill good-paying rural jobs, weaken the farmer safety net and shift opportunities away from America’s small towns with cuts to critical rural development and energy initiatives. You should pay attention to this farm bill, it’s inexplicable. It’s hard to understand why they would do this.

    Nutrition is a big part of the farm bill, as you probably know, and under the GOP SNAP cuts, seniors, children, individuals with disabilities, our veterans – large numbers of our veterans – and hungry families will lose the means to put food on the table.
    With one provision alone, just one of the provisions alone, hundreds of thousands of school-aged children will be kicked off free and reduced school lunch and breakfast initiatives.

    SNAP already has work requirements. Democrats have long championed job training and real paths to good-paying jobs. That’s not the issue. What is the issue is the GOP plan will only create vast, untested, unworkable bureaucracies that will increase hunger and poverty across America.

    Q: Following up on the farm bill, I understand the Senate is working on a bipartisan measure whereas in the House version apparently there was no Democratic input. I am wondering if the cuts to SNAP and food stamps are a done deal or can you, can Democrats present amendments on the House floor when it comes to a vote?

    Leader Pelosi: On the farm bill, we have very serious concerns about the nutrition sections of the farm bill, but that is not the only problem. As I say, they are undermining the safety net that is there for farmers, which is particularly difficult when we have low commodities prices and the President’s tariffs, which are harmful to farms.

    So it’s not just about SNAP. The SNAP part of it is cruel, but fixing it is not the only problem in the farm bill. And the Republicans have just decided to go down this path. And I don’t think this bill is amendable. What they have to do is go to the table and start again.

    This bill as is, is something that we can’t support.

    [Our members] thought that they were in a bipartisan conversation about putting together a bipartisan farm bill. And then the Republicans just turned on a dime and said, ‘Nevermind. These are the things we are going to do. That’s that.

  2. JanF
    April 21, 2018 at 11:10 am

    This year’s Earth Day focus is on plastic. From AP: Science Says: Amount of straws, plastic pollution is huge

    Organizers of Earth Day, which is Sunday, have proclaimed ending plastics pollution this year’s theme. And following in the footsteps of several U.S. cities such as Seattle and Miami Beach, British Prime Minister Theresa May in April called on the nations of the British commonwealth to consider banning plastic straws, coffee stirrers and plastic swabs with cotton on the end.

    McDonald’s will test paper straws in some U.K. locations next month and keep all straws behind the counter, so customers have to ask for them. “Together with our customers we can do our bit for the environment and use fewer straws,” says Paul Pomroy, who runs the fast-food company’s U.K. business. […]

    Straws on average weigh so little — about one sixty-seventh of an ounce or .42 grams — that all those billions of straws add up to only about 2,000 tons of the nearly 9 million tons of plastic waste that yearly hits the waters.

    “Bans can play a role,” says oceanographer Kara Lavendar Law, a co-author with Jambeck of the 2015 Science study. “We are not going to solve the problem by banning straws.”

    Scientists say that unless you are disabled or a small child, plastic straws are generally unnecessary and a ban is start and good symbol. These items that people use for a few minutes but “are sticking round for our lifetime and longer,” Lippiatt says.

    Marcus Eriksen, an environmental scientist who co-founded the advocacy group 5 Gyres, says working on bans of straws and plastic bags would bring noticeable change.

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