Right now, congressional committees are drafting the budget reconciliation package, the legislative vehicle for passing an inclusive recovery package. This means we’re in a key moment for advocacy as we fight to win the most progressive reconciliation bill possible. The House is moving on the bill first – that means you need to call your Representative and make sure they’re supporting these essential policies.
Some “moderate” Democrats are pulling back on the optics of the $3.5 trillion cost. We know that corporate lobbyists and wealthy donors are whispering in their ears. But this is 2021, and we’re keeping tabs on where our money has gone…
- Did they think we didn’t notice the GOP’s 2017 Tax Scam, which mostly benefited the wealthy and corporations, will cost us nearly $1.9 trillion over 10 years? (possibly up to $3 trillion through 2029)That it didn’t solve any of the problems regular American families face, such unaffordable child care and hospital bills, the high cost of education, decades-long wage stagnation and growing inequality?
- Did they think we didn’t notice that the GOP intends to cut our social safety net – Medicare and Social Security – to pay for their 2017 scam if and when they return to power?
- Do they think we don’t remember how the wealthy and corporations profited from the $4 trillion COVID bailout? (Seriously, we’re still pissed about this.)
- How the GOP snuck a $170 billion tax benefit into the 2020 CARES Act in which 82% of the benefits will go to just about 43,000 taxpayers, mostly hedge fund investors, or like our ex-president, a real estate business owners.
- How the wealthy and large corporation got first shot at the SBA loans. How more than half ($2.3 trillion) went to many businesses that weren’t required to show that they were impacted or keeping workers employed.
- How $651 billion in tax breaks didn’t stop companies from laying off workers – the Cheesecake Factory, for example, got a $50 million tax break and laid of 41,000 people.
- How $454 billion went to the Federal Reserve to stabilize markets, allowing companies like Wells Fargo, At&T and others to borrow at a lower lower rate, while still laying off workers.
- How corporations used their $670 billion Paycheck Protection Program for CEO packages, for stock buybacks, and for dividends and acquisitions, instead of protecting employees’ paychecks.
- Do you think we didn’t read that over 50 large corporation paid zero in taxes last year? That the nation’s 25 richest people paid only $13.6 billion in federal income taxes between 2014 and 2018, or about 16 percent of their reported income over that period — and a very, very small sliver of their wealth. A 16% tax rate is lower than the rate a single worker making $45,000 a year would pay, including Medicare and Social Security taxes.
Minimal script (or email): I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to use budget reconciliation bill to invest in the rest of us, the 99% of Americans who’ve helped create the exponential wealth of our top 1%. Our tax dollars funded trillions on tax cuts and profits for billionaires and corporations and supported endless wars, with little for regular Americans to show for it but injured soldiers, ruined small businesses and financial instability. Now we demand you act to create legislation that centers us – the 99% – that’s taking our health, our education, our communities, along with our responsibilities to our children, our elders and our future generations seriously. A $3.5 million investment is a deal, not a burden, and we know it will NOT harm small farms and family businesses. We’re watching carefully to see if [he/she] understands how important this is to us.
Here are our progressive priorities:
- Invest in a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants;
- Citizenship for DACA recipients, TPS holders, and essential workers.
- Inclusion of all immigrants in the recovery package.
- Give us a pathway to accessible, dignified health care:
- Use medicare to negotiate drug prices, limit launch prices and tie prices to equivalents in peer countries. Ensure low-cost or free life-saving prescriptions available to all. No more insulin deaths!
- Expanding Medicare to cover vision, dental, and hearing.
- Lowering the eligibility age to 60 years old;
- Invest in our Climate, including a Clean Energy Standard (with NO FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES!) and a Civilian Climate Corps;
- Invest in our Care Economy, including universal child care, child tax credits for millions of families,federally guaranteed paid leave for all, and creating good jobs in the home and community based-care sector;
- Invest in our housing, especially deeply affordable housing and housing for unhoused populations; and
- Invest in our good will. Pay for this package and address extreme wealth inequality at the same time – a two-fer! Taxing the ultra rich and big corporations so they finally pay their fair share.
- Fund the IRS so they can both effectively deliver emergency payments and take on wealthy tax cheats.
- Restore the inheritance tax basis used prior to the 2017 Tax Scam.
- Make millionaires and billionaires pay the same rate as everyone else into the Social Security trust fund and increase the income tax exemption on low-income recipients. Set the minimum level 25% above poverty level and tie it to a wage index so seniors don’t fall behind.
- Close the stepped-up basis loophole. Don’t let the GOP and some Dems use family farms as an excuse.
- Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email, DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
- or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24): email. DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
- Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com
More actions to take?
Lots of resources and talking points here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fvCzT93UdCGb1wYgHFfLMZdk30fJ5CNG_HU_2w88PnQ/edit
Unfortunately, some conservative Democrats already showed they are willing to threaten the reconciliation package. This is unacceptable. Here is the list of Democrats who need to hear that you expect them to stop obstructing Biden’s recovery agenda:
- Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05)
- Rep. Vincente Gonzalez (TX-15)
- Rep. Filemon Vela (TX-34)
- Rep. Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
- Rep. Jared Golden (ME-02)
- Rep. Ed Case (HI-01)
- Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-05)
- Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16)
- Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07)
- Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07)