#Resist complacencyBottom Highlights, Latest Issue, Politically Aware Thursday, July 20th, 2017
Commentary: Politically Aware
On Monday, Sens. Mike Lee and Jerry Moran went on record as the third and fourth votes against the Senate’s latest version of Obamacare, denying Republicans the 50 votes they needed to proceed and effectively killing the bill. By Tuesday morning, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he would introduce the repeal bill passed by the Senate in 2015 and vetoed by President Obama. Tuesday night, three moderate senators appeared to end that plan as well. McConnell and President Trump vowed to soldier on, but what if Obamacare repeal is really dead?
Health care has been the driving force of the #resistance in the past few months, particularly in the town hall meetings that swayed legislators like Moran. If repeal leaves page one, progressives will need other issues to keep the activism batteries charged through the midterms. For better or worse, there are many to choose from. The math doesn’t change. Any Senate legislation is dead if Democrats stay together and three Republicans defect.
Tax Reform. At this point, many Republicans will be relieved to be moving on to tax reform. If gutting Medicaid is off the table, corporate tax cuts will require deficit spending, tax increases on the middle class, or fuzzy math. Keep the focus on how much the cuts benefit Trump and the wealthy over his own voters.
The Border Wall. After a health care loss, Trump might see wall funding as the easiest win that would excite his base. Aggressive messaging on the positive economic impact of immigration might get some moderate votes and the Chamber of Commerce, while more conservative members might be swayed by the importance of keeping families together.
Planned Parenthood. Don’t be surprised if defunding Planned Parenthood sneaks into tax reform or the new budget in the House. Make sure moderates like Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski remember how bad that is for women’s health.
The Travel Ban. The Supreme Court decided it might be legal. It’s still wrong.
Russia. It appears the sins of the father have been repeated by the son. On Tuesday, we learned the name of another person at Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting, and that Trump had an extra meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20. The resistance should ensure that Congress keeps up the sanctions, their own investigations and support for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Infrastructure. Trump will likely use infrastructure funding to line the pockets of big corporations, largely at the expense of his own voters. Demand that reform create union jobs and living wages.
Finally, we can keep up the pressure on health care. Legislation the #resistance can support is a bipartisan effort to fix problems with the Affordable Care Act while enhancing coverage and blocking any effort by President Trump to let it wither on the vine.
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