Sen. Lankford working to insure votes on President Trump’s judicial nominees

A year ago, President Trump shocked the world with his historic victory. Since that moment, Democrats have been interested in one thing: Resistance. While this may rile up their base, it is keeping the Senate from doing very important work. Caught in the crosshairs of this angry obstructionism is the federal judiciary.

There are now more vacancies on the federal judiciary than when President Trump came to office. This is because Senate Democrats have been using every rule possible to keep President Trump’s judicial nominees from even getting a vote.

Sen. Lankford has been a leader in addressing this problem. While principled debates are essential to our Republic, votes need to be held on nominees.

The Washington Times explains Sen. Lankford’s proposal:

Sen. James Lankford said Thursday that he’s proposing a rule change to move judicial nominees more swiftly through the confirmation process.

Mr. Lankford said he’s proposed lowering the debate to a two-hour limit for lower court judicial nominees and eight hours for a “mid-level person” and only allowing 30 hours for a Supreme Court, circuit court or Cabinet nominee.

“There was a bipartisan agreement on a rule very similar to this in 2013 when Harry Reid was there, to be able to work the process through. I’m invoking that to see if we can get 60 votes on it,” he said.

Mr. Lankford did say if he cannot get his rule to pass, he will try to enact the Reid Rule, but will lower the debate for every nominee to two hours, with the exception of higher court nominees and Cabinet officials.

Tea Party Patriots has been working hard to support Sen. Lankford’s gridlock reform proposals. President Trump’s judicial nominees deserve an vote regardless of how Democrats may feel about the president, himself. Sign the petition today calling on the U.S. Senate to support Sen. Lankford’s proposal. https://confirmnominees.act.teapartypatriots.org/

When gun control laws already in the books are failing…

Residents of the small town of Sutherland Springs, Texas had to bury 26 people this week after a disturbed gunman opened fire into a church. During the attack, a nearby civilian became aware of the incident and used his AR-15 to stop the gunman. Prior to learning details about the shooter’s history, anti-gun activists began calling for more gun control in the wake of this inconceivable tragedy. However, recent revelations show that the shooter, an Air Force veteran, had a criminal history and should have been a ‘prohibited person’ but the Pentagon failed to pass this information to the relevant federal authorities. What does this mean? The federal authorities couldn’t do their jobs to label the shooter as a prohibited person and could not enforce the laws that are already in the books. This raises a critical question: Will more gun control help or just add to an already faulty system?

The Washington Times has the details:

The investigation led by the Pentagon’s Inspector General’s office will look into whether the FBI was given all pertinent information regarding Kelley’s record during his four-year stint with the Air Force, specifically “whether such information was not transmitted, and if it was not transmitted, why it was not,” Mr. Mattis wrote in a department-wide memorandum Wednesday.

During his time in uniform, Kelley was court-martialed for domestic violence stemming from a 2012 assault on his wife and stepchild. He was dishonorably discharged from the military in 2014.

A civilian conviction for domestic abuse would have made him unable to purchase firearms. However, his military records were not passed along to the FBI database used to check potential gun buyers, and his name was not flagged when Kelley purchased the assault-style rifle to open fire at churchgoers in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

While gun control advocates are calling for more gun control laws, they are failing to address a bigger problem: the federal gun laws we already have clearly are not effectively enforced. If they believe more gun control is needed to stop bad guys with guns, they need to answer why a man who shouldn’t have been allowed to carry a gun under existing law was able to obtain weapons and kill so many innocent people. Our government could enact feel-good legislation, but it would just be another case of tail wagging the dog. One thing is certain from all of this, a good guy with a gun stopped a bad guy with a gun from hurting and killing more people and we should be thankful for our Second Amendment rights.

Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Calls on Senate to Swiftly Vote on Kyle Duncan’s Nomination to Fifth Circuit

Atlanta, GA – Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Chairman Jenny Beth Martin released the following statement today supporting Kyle Duncan’s nomination to serve on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund and our network of grassroots activists thank President Trump for nominating Kyle Duncan to serve on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in his native Louisiana. Mr. Duncan has a distinguished legal resume, serving the state of Louisiana as solicitor general and standing up for Americans’ First Amendment rights at the Supreme Court during the Hobby Lobby case. We call on the Senate to swiftly move Kyle Duncan’s nomination to the floor for a vote so he can be confirmed to serve on the Fifth Circuit.”

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Action Items – November 6 – 10

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”FOR THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 6 – 10″ font_container=”tag:h1|text_align:center” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:900%20bold%20regular%3A900%3Anormal”][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row el_class=”call” css=”.vc_custom_1509387946135{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-right: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;padding-left: 20px !important;background-color: #c11d1f !important;}”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”THIS WEEK’S CALL” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:900%20bold%20regular%3A900%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]This week’s tax reform briefing will be Thursday, November 9th at 12:00 Noon ET and will feature special guest Congressman Steve King.

Dial-in information and instructions are listed below and we look forward to hearing from you.

Conference Phone Number: (855) 556-2716

Instructions: Dial the conference phone number. When you’ve entered the call you will hear music until the conference begins. Our guest will give an update on tax reform, then we’ll open it up for questions.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1507736069296{background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: cover !important;}”][vc_column css=”.vc_custom_1501976211666{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}” el_class=”calltoaction”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]Updated Call to Action:

Please call your two U.S. Senators and your U.S. representative through the Capitol operator at 202.224.3121 and ask each of them to support two amendments to the tax reform bill — one that would fully repeal the individual mandate, and a second that would be Rep. Kings New IDEA bill.

With tax reform being debated on Capitol Hill, there are two key proposals being discussed. The first would repeal ObamaCare’s insidious individual mandate — the requirement that every American citizen must carry a government-approved health insurance policy. This punitive tax is one of the worst aspects of ObamaCare, and a simple amendment to the tax reform bill could repeal the individual mandate — once and for all.

The second proposal is a bill that Congressman Steve King wrote called the “New IDEA” bill. Congressman King’s bill, which could be added as an amendment to the tax reform bill, prevents businesses from deducting wages and benefits paid to illegal immigrants. Want to get serious about cracking down on our nation’s illegal immigration problem? This is a great way to do it.

Congress needs to hear from us this afternoon and next week!

– – –

Americans are ready for tax relief and job growth. Our economy is in desperate need of a boost, and reforming the tax code is the best chance we have of reenergizing our economy. The plan put forth by House GOP leaders is a great step in this direction.

  1. Please call both of your U.S. Senators and and your U.S. representative urge them to support tax reform. You can reach them by dialing the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and asking for their offices.
  2. Download our Tax Reform How-to-Guide below and sign our tax reform petition. Our petitions are the easiest and most effective way to make your voice heard.
  3. Read our talking points below and use them when calling Congress. Also be sure to check out our new talking points for business owners.
  4. Use our sample press release to announce you’ve joined the tax reform coalition.
  5. Use our sample letter to the editor to write a letter. Let us know when you get it published.
  6. Please check out FreedomWorks’ tax reform page.
  7. Please share your tax reform story with us. How you would benefit from tax reform?
  8. Consider hosting a house party. We have house party kits available now, and we will ship one to you so you can host an effective house party.
  9. Help us grow the tax reform coalition by inviting others to join.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1509389690367{background-color: #1e4f9a !important;}” el_class=”documents”][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_custom_heading text=”How-to Guide” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_single_image image=”86667″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” link=”https://tpp-resources.s3.amazonaws.com/toolkits/TPP_SupportingTaxReformToolkit.pdf”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_custom_heading text=”Press Release” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_single_image image=”86668″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” link=”https://tppcf.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/Coalition%20Partner%20-%20Press%20Release%20Template.pdf”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_custom_heading text=”Sample Letter to Editor” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” google_fonts=”font_family:Roboto%3A100%2C100italic%2C300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C500%2C500italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_single_image image=”86669″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” link=”https://tppcf.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/Tax%20reform%20letter%20to%20the%20editor%20guidelines.pdf”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner css=”.vc_custom_1507736129140{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;background-color: #f6f6f6 !important;}”][vc_column_inner el_class=”talkingpoints” css=”.vc_custom_1501978170595{padding-right: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;}”][vc_raw_html css=”.vc_custom_1499991624593{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]JTNDYSUyMG5hbWUlM0QlMjJ0YWxraW5nJTIyJTNFJTNDJTJGYSUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_custom_heading text=”TALKING POINTS ON TAX REFORM” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:24|text_align:left|color:%233b5998″ google_fonts=”font_family:Open%20Sans%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C600%2C600italic%2C700%2C700italic%2C800%2C800italic|font_style:700%20bold%20regular%3A700%3Anormal” css_animation=”none” css=”.vc_custom_1507559515372{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text]
  • The U.S. tax code is a complicated mess and a drain on the economy.
  • Americans waste time and money preparing their taxes each year because our tax code is so complicated.
  • Tax reform in our country is long overdue.
  • Americans want a tax code that is flatter, with fewer brackets.
  • Americans want a tax code that is simpler, with less need to employ accountants and tax attorneys to navigate the code.
  • Our current tax system slows economic growth, and reduces opportunity and wages for all Americans.
  • President Trump campaigned on pro-growth tax reform, and the American people stand behind him on that goal.
  • Americans are ready for tax reform that moves our nation forward.
  • The proposed tax reform will make the United States a better place to invest and do business.
  • The House GOP’s tax bill addresses many of the most serious problems plaguing our tax code, including excessively high tax rates for corporations and incentives for businesses to move abroad.
  • The House GOP’s tax bill has much-needed simplifications, including eliminating the SALT (state and local tax) deductions for sales and income taxes.
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November 8, 2017

 

The United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Brady, Ranking Member Neal and House Ways and Means Committee Members,

 

We write to urge the House Ways and Means Committee to simplify and modernize our tax code to meet the needs of service providers in one of the fastest growing segments of the economy with the addition of the New Economy Works to Guarantee Independence and Growth (NEW GIG) Act of 2017 (S. 1549) to the House tax reform legislation.

The legislation introduced by Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD) would update the tax code and bring it in line with the new sharing, or “gig,” economy while settling a long-running classification debate.

The NEW GIG Act would clarify the classification of freelance-style workers that serve client needs through apps provided by companies such as Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Grubhub, Postmates, Handy as well as traditional independent contractors such as computer consultants, freelance writers, and delivery drivers.  A recent survey revealed that the freelance workforce grew three times faster than the overall workforce since 2014 and freelancing is extremely popular across all age groups. Millennials, retirees and many in between are taking advantage of the freedom, flexibility and extra income of independent work.

As Sen Thune said, “the legislation creates a safe harbor for those who meet a set of objective tests that would qualify them as an independent contractor, both for income and employment tax purposes.”

The bill also makes it easier for independent contractors who work on these “on-demand economy” platforms to file their taxes.  Our tax code should not hinder the increasing number of Americans that seek jobs as independent contractors to fit their lifestyle, schedule, and financial needs.

The legislative language proposed by Rep. Rice and Sen. Thune would simplify the tax code for gig economy companies and their independent contractors.  The clarity and stability that the NEW GIG Act would achieve will pay great dividends in the future of our economy.

This addition to your legislation would incentivize more people to participate and succeed in these new jobs. There’s no cost to taxpayers, and it’s true reform.

Given how Congress has before it a generational opportunity before it make the tax code more beneficial for all Americans, it’s simply common sense to update our laws for the next generation economy.

 

Sincerely,

 

The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell

former Treasurer of Ohio

 

Jenny Beth Martin

Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Chairman

 

Adam Brandon

President, FreedomWorks

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Jenny Beth’s Journal: Congress Should include “New GIG Act in Tax Reform to Help Workers in Sharing Economy

In a new column for The Hill, Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Chairman Jenny Beth Martin calls on members of the House Ways and Means Committee, who are currently making changes to a large tax reform package, to include an amendment supported by Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina that “seeks to clarify the classification of workers in the new sharing, or “gig,” economy. According to a recent study out of Harvard University, more than 24 million Americans are currently making a living in the “gig” economy and many face tax hassles because the current tax code was written before the sharing economy began.

Jenny Beth writes in the Hill:

Their bill would address concerns related to a segment of the economy that didn’t even exist the last time the tax code was reformed back in 1986. Now, according to Harvard researchers, there are more than 24 million Americans engaging in what they call “alternative work arrangements,” including temporary workers, on-call workers, independent contractors, and freelancers. That number is growing every year as more and more entrepreneurs devise new business models.

The bills are meant to settle two problem areas in tax administration created by the rise of the sharing economy. First, they aim to clarify that Uber and Lyft drivers, Grub Hub and Saucey delivery people, and Glam Squad stylists, among others, are independent contractors rather than employees. Second, the bills ease the tax hassles faced by these gig economy independent contractors, many of whom learn for the first time that tax treatment of independent contractors, whose income is reported to the IRS on a 1099 form, is very different from tax treatment of hourly wage and salaried employees, whose income is reported to the IRS on a standard W-2 form.

In the final analysis, our tax laws not only need to be reformed, they need to be updated to reflect today’s economy. More and more people are working multiple jobs as independent contractors because it fits their schedule, their lifestyles, and their financial needs. They can spend their mornings doing graphics or website design, then spend their afternoon driving for Uber or Lyft, and then deliver groceries for Instacart in the evening. The legislative language proposed by Sen. Thune and Rep. Rice would simplify the tax code for gig economy companies and their independent contractors, and therefore incentivize more people to participate and succeed in these new jobs. There’s no cost to taxpayers, and it’s true reform.

The amendment proposed by Sen. Thune and Rep. Rice would modernize our tax code to streamline the process for workers in the ‘gig’ economy and would make the tax code much more reflective of today’s economy. Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund has consistently voiced support for a tax code that is “simpler, flatter and fairer.” Given the needs of our modern economy, the only way we get a tax code that is truly simpler, flatter and fairer for all Americans is to amend the tax package to include Rep. Rice’s New GIG Act.

Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Applaud New GIG Act to be Considered in Tax Bill Markup

Atlanta, GA – Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Chairman Jenny Beth Martin released the following statement on the New GIG Act that is under consideration to be added to the House tax reform legislation:

“Tax laws not only need to be reformed but they need to be updated to reflect today’s economy.  More and more people are working multiple jobs as contractors because it fits their schedule, lifestyle and financial needs. They can spend their mornings doing graphics or web site design while driving for Uber or Lyft the rest of the day, and perhaps even do a third job in the evening. The reform proposed by Senator Thune and Congressman Rice would simplify the tax code for Gig Economy companies and their independent contractors, and therefore incentivize more people to participate and succeed in these new jobs.  There’s no cost to taxpayers and it’s true reform.”

 

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URL: https://www.teapartypatriots.org/news/tea-party-patriots-citizens-fund-applaud-new-gig-act-to-be-considered-in-tax-bill-markup/

Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Weekly Report from Washington for 11/6/17

 

CALENDAR:

The House will return Monday, with first votes set for 6:30 PM. The House is scheduled to hold its last vote no later than 3 PM Thursday. The Senate also returns on Monday, with the first vote set for 5:30 PM.

LAST WEEK ON THE HOUSE FLOOR:

On Thursday, October 26, the House took up H.Con.Res. 71, establishing the congressional budget for the U.S. Government for fiscal year 2018 and setting forth the appropriate budgetary levels for fiscal years 2019 through 2027. This was a vote on the Senate-passed budget resolution, and its passage meant that there was no need to go to conference to work out differences between the House-passed budget and the Senate-passed budget. By simply putting the Senate-passed budget resolution directly on the floor of the House, with no amendments, and then passing it, the House bypassed the need for a conference committee.

The budget resolution passed by a vote of 216-212, and thus was unlocked the key to using the reconciliation process to pass tax reform through the Senate. Because debate is limited to 20 hours in the Senate, the minority party has no way of filibustering the bill, and that means it can pass with a simple majority. Twenty Republicans voted against the resolution, registering their objection to a portion of the tax reform bill.

One week later, on Thursday, November 2, the House considered H.R. 849, the Protecting Seniors Access to Medicare Act. This bill terminates ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board – the infamous IPAB – which has the authority to unilaterally change Medicare policy that could ultimately reduce seniors’ access to healthcare. The bill passed by a vote of 307-111, with no Republicans voting against it and 76 Democrats crossing party lines to vote with the majority.

Then the House took up H.R. 3922, the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS act, also known as the reauthorization bill for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The bill extends CHIP for five years, extends community health centers for two years, and provides another two year extension for other public health programs. The bill passed by a vote of 242-174.

And then they were done.

THIS WEEK ON THE HOUSE FLOOR:

The House will return Monday evening, and will consider five bills concerning veterans under Suspension of the Rules.

On Tuesday, the House will consider 11 more bills under Suspension of the Rules, all but two of which concern veterans.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 3043, the Hydropower Policy Modernization Act of 2017 and H.R. 2201, the Micro Offering Safe Harbor Act.

LAST WEEK ON THE SENATE FLOOR:

Beginning on Thursday, October 26, the Senate went on a judicial confirmation spree of sorts. That day, the Senate confirmed Scott Palk to be a U.S. district judge. Over the course of the next week, the Senate confirmed one more federal district judge and four more Circuit Court judges, thereby bringing from seven to 13 the number of federal judges confirmed by the Senate.

Then the Senate confirmed by voice vote a ton of ambassadorial nominations – 16, by my count – and more State Department Assistant Secretaries and similar executive branch nominees.

THIS WEEK ON THE SENATE FLOOR:

The Senate will come back into session on Monday and will resume consideration of Steven Engel to be an Assistant Attorney General. At 5:30, the Senate will vote to invoke cloture on that nomination.

On Tuesday, the Senate will more to a roll call vote on the confirmation of John Gibson II to be Deputy Chief Management Officer of the Department of Defense.

Through the remainder of the week, the Senate will consider at least three more nominations.

AT&T-TIME WARNER MERGER:

On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Justice is preparing a potential lawsuit challenging AT&T’s planned takeover of Time Warner if the government and the two companies cannot reach an agreement. Followers of the potential $85 billion merger note that this is standard practice for the Department of Justice, and still believe the deal will go through in the end – but maybe with some strings attached.

CLINTON EMAILS:

On Tuesday, October 24, the chairmen of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees announced a joint investigation into how the FBI handled the 2016 investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was Secretary of State. No hearings have yet been scheduled.

IMMIGRATION:

On Tuesday, October 24, Huffington Post reported that Speaker Ryan, meeting with members of the Republican Study Committee, had told them he anticipated that legislative language addressing the so-called “Dreamers” would likely be included in the upcoming December omnibus spending bill.

Nine days later, President Trump hosted several GOP Senators at the White House for a meeting on immigration, and told them he did not want to see DACA language in the omnibus package or in other so-called “must pass” legislation like the upcoming CHIP reauthorization.

Democrats, meanwhile, continue to insist on inclusion of language protecting the Dreamers in the omnibus package, and have threatened to withhold their votes and force a government shutdown if they don’t get what they want. Stay tuned.

IRS TARGETING SCANDAL:

On Wednesday, October 25, the Washington Times reported that lawyers in one of the lawsuits against the IRS finally found the smoking gun – an email from an IRS official acknowledging while the targeting was going on that tea party and conservative groups were being targeted for their political beliefs.

The April 1, 2011 email from Elizabeth C. Kastenberg, an official in the IRS’ Exempt Organizations division, read as follows: “These cases are held back primarily because of their political party affiliation rather than specifically any political activities.” That, of course, totally undercuts Lois Lerner, who insisted that IRS agents who were holding back applications “didn’t do it with a higher level of review” and “didn’t do this because of any political bias.”

But it turns out that wasn’t the biggest news of the day on the IRS targeting scandal. Later that day, the Department of Justice declared a victory of sorts for the tea party movement when it announced it had reached agreements with tea party groups that had sued the government over the IRS targeting scandal. The agreements have yet to be approved by a judge.

Said Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “There is no excuse for this conduct. Hundreds of organizations were affected by these actions, and they deserve an apology from the IRS. We hope that today’s settlement makes clear that this abuse of power will not be tolerated.”

In one of the two cases that were settled – the one filed in Washington, DC, with 41 plaintiffs – the IRS offered an apology. “The IRS admits that its treatment of Plaintiffs during the tax-exempt determination process, including screening their applications based on their names or policy positions, subjecting those applications to heightened scrutiny and inordinate delays, and demanding some Plaintiffs’ information that TIGTA determined was unnecessary to the agency’s determination of their tax-exempt status, was wrong. For such treatment, the IRS expresses its sincere apology,” wrote the IRS in court documents.

The second case, filed in Ohio, was a class action lawsuit involving 428 members of the affected class. In that lawsuit, the proposed consent decree calls for a payment of $3.5 million to the class members.

On Thursday, October 26 – the day after the two agreements were announced – President Trump announced his appointment of Assistant Treasury Secretary David Kautter as Acting Commissioner of the IRS, to serve in the position that will be vacated by departing IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, whose term of office expires next week.

JUDICIARY:

The Senate is still sitting on 43 more judicial nominees, and there are almost 100 more judicial vacancies waiting for nominees to fill them.

OBAMACARE:

As predicted, on Wednesday, October 25, federal district judge Vince Chhabria denied a motion by 18 states and the District of Columbia that would have forced the Trump Administration to continue making illegal and unconstitutional Cost Sharing Reduction payments to health insurers.

PERSONNEL:

On Thursday, November 2, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Federal Reserve Governor Jerome “Jay” Powell to serve as Chairman of the Federal Reserve System when current Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s term of office expires in February.

Powell is a squishy Republican who was appointed to the Fed board by President Obama in 2012, after having served as a Treasury Department undersecretary during the administration of President George H.W. Bush.

He was opposed by 20 GOP Senators during his confirmation vote to his current position on the Fed board, and is seen as only slightly to the right of Chairwoman Yellen.

RUSSIA PROBE:

Last Monday, we learned that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had indicted former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and his right-hand man, Rick Gates. We also learned that former Trump Campaign volunteer foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos had cut a plea deal with Mueller.

The two events are significant for different reasons.

The Manafort and Gates indictments are for actions taken by the two defendants long before either one of them had gone to work for the Trump campaign. In fact, their actions took place before there even was a Trump campaign, and had nothing whatsoever to do with the Trump campaign. Essentially, the two are accused of making tons of money working for the political party that ran Ukraine for a number of years, failing to register as agents of this foreign interest, laundering $18 million in payments, and then using the funds to finance a “lavish lifestyle” without paying taxes on the funds – though, for some reason, the indictments do not include tax evasion.

Clearly, Mueller is attempting to squeeze Manafort and Gates into flipping against the President.

The Papadopoulos plea deal, on the other hand, is the result of actions taken by Papadopoulos with regard to his activities inside the Trump campaign – to wit, he has now acknowledged that he lied to government agents about his activities in trying to set up meetings for Trump campaign personnel, including then-candidate Trump, with Russian government officials.

Papadopoulos has become a cooperating witness, and has apparently been one since July, so there’s a possibility he may have been wearing a wire in any August or September conversations with former Trump campaign officials.

And just this weekend, there are news reports that Special Counsel Mueller may be getting ready to indict former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and or his son.

TAX REFORM:

On Thursday, November 2, House GOP leaders unveiled their draft tax reform proposal. As expected, it significantly cuts both corporate and individual tax rates, while offsetting that static loss of revenue by eliminating deductions in both the corporate and individual spheres. Over the next decade, according to the official scoring, the reform proposal would be a net tax cut of $1.5 trillion, with about a trillion dollars of that going to the corporate side, and the remaining $500 billion to the individual side.

The corporate tax rate would be cut from its current 35 percent – highest in the developed world, and a real disincentive to business investment in the United States, which costs us jobs and keeps wages lower than they would be otherwise – down to 20 percent, which would make us much more competitive internationally. And some small businesses – but not all – that use pass-through income would see their rates drop from the current 39.6 percent down to 25 percent.

Not surprisingly, big business – as represented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable – supports the draft legislation. But many smaller businesses – as represented by the National Federation of Independent Business – oppose the current draft of the legislation, because not enough of them would receive the benefit of the 25 percent rate.

On the individual side, the current seven tax brackets would be shrunk to four, set at 12 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent, and 39.6 percent. Most, but not all, taxpayers would see a cut in their tax rates. The standard deduction would be virtually doubled, but personal exemptions would be eliminated.

And the death tax is restricted further for the next six years, with a doubling of the current threshold to $11 million, and is eliminated entirely after six years.

In order to offset the loss of revenue, the reform proposal eliminates or restricts many deductions. The mortgage interest deduction, for instance, which currently allows a deduction for mortgage interest up to $1 million, would be halved, to $500,000. That’s got both the National Association of Homebuilders and the National Association of Realtors opposed to the current draft, because they believe it will negatively impact the housing industry.

The current deduction for state and local taxes – which has the effect of taking money from lower- and middle-income taxpayers in fiscally frugal states and subsidizing higher-income taxpayers in big-spending states – would be restricted, so that up to $10,000 in property taxes could be deducted, but not state and local income or sales taxes.

Rep. Tom Rice of SC is trying to get an amendment added during the markup session this week that would address concerns generated by current law treatment of contractors who work for companies like Uber, Postmates, and GrubHub. His amendment – actually a stand-alone law he’s drafted, called the NEW GIG Act, sponsored in the Senate by John Thune of SD – would end the Obama Administration’s attacks against the business model of the gig economy by making clear that these workers are classified properly as “contractors,” and not “employees,” and easing their tax filing burden by allowing for withholding of estimated taxes on their 1099 forms. That seems to make sense, and it could provide billions of dollars in tax revenue that can be used to offset rate cuts elsewhere.

I’m not going to go further into the details for a simple reason – what was released on Thursday is not what’s going to be voted on two weeks from now. In fact, that draft legislation lasted less than 24 hours before House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady introduced on Friday his “chairman’s mark,” the committee chairman’s official draft of the legislation to be amended during this week’s coming markup session. And even that chairman’s mark, we are told, is going to be amended further before the House Ways and Means Committee starts its markup session today.

If House Republicans keep to the schedule they’ve laid out, we expect that Ways and Means Committee markup will run from Monday through Thursday, so that the full House can vote on the legislation next week, and they can be done with their bill before the Thanksgiving break.

Meanwhile, there will be a separate bill on the Senate side. Unlike the ObamaCare repeal exercise – where the Senate did not have its own bill come out of committee, but instead merely offered amendments drafted in the Majority Leader’s office to the bill that came out of the House – the Senate Finance Committee will draft its own tax reform plan for consideration by the Senate. We expect to see that draft legislation released after the House Ways and Means Committee markup is done.

One other item of note – both House and Senate GOP leaders are coming under pressure from President Trump to include repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate in the tax reform reconciliation bill to come. Many conservatives, including Senators Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, and Tom Cotton, along with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows and former Chairman Jim Jordan, think you could kill three birds with one stone:

First, repealing the mandate would, according to the CBO’s last score, lead to 15 million fewer people having health insurance. That would translate into somewhere between $300 billion and $400 billion in savings over the next decade, because fewer people with ObamaCare means less paid out in government subsidies under ObamaCare. When the CBO last scored the prospect, they said it would save the government $416 billion over ten years; there are indications, though, that a new CBO score on the matter might show significantly smaller savings.

Second, repealing the individual mandate now would make the next attempt at ObamaCare repeal somewhat easier, because those who want to repeal ObamaCare would have already taken the political hit for the expected loss of coverage. Remember, the squishy Senate Republicans who were problematic on ObamaCare repeal were problematic precisely because they didn’t want to vote for something that could be portrayed as causing a loss of coverage for so many people. So by repealing the individual mandate now, that means the CBO coverage baseline is reduced, which would make the next repeal attempt a somewhat simpler exercise, politically, because they wouldn’t be seen as “taking coverage away” from anyone – they would have already done so in the tax bill.

Third, that $300-$400 billion in savings could be used to offset further rate cuts.

Of course, going back to number two – the reduction in the coverage baseline – would make passing tax reform harder in the Senate. As Ways and Means Chairman Brady pointed out, the Senate has yet to put together any proposal that can get to 50 votes, so including repeal of the individual mandate in the tax bill may not be a good idea.

Nevertheless, he has asked CBO for an updated score on repeal of the individual mandate, and will likely decide this week with House GOP leaders whether or not it should be included in the bill before it goes to the floor.

URANIUM ONE:

On Friday, three House Republicans – Matt Gaetz, Andy Biggs, and Louie Gohmert – introduced House Resolution 606, expressing the sense of the House that Special Counsel Mueller should resign his position as Special Counsel.

And in an appearance on FOX News Sunday yesterday, SC GOP Senator Lindsey Graham said the Department of Justice should appoint another special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton over her ties to Russia and her campaign’s use of Fusion GPS to assemble the fabled “Trump Dossier.”

Said Graham, “I think we need a special counsel to investigate the Fusion GPS episode between the Democratic Party, Mr. Steele and Russian operatives.” He later added, “I think we need a special counsel to investigate the Uranium One episode where thousands of dollars were given to the Clinton Global Fund and to former President Bill Clinton from groups tied to Russia.”

SUGGESTED READING:

JENNY BETH MARTIN/TEA PARTY PATRIOTS:

Hill: Jenny Beth Martin: The House Needs To Pass The Senate’s Budget And Move To Tax Reform

Hill: Jenny Beth Martin: No Room For Amnesty In Our Government Spending Bill

WT: Jenny Beth Martin: Congress Must Review Military Women Policies

WT: Jenny Beth Martin: What’s at Stake in the Virginia Attorney General Race

Axios: Jenny Beth Martin: Trump Should Stay Out Of Mississippi

Breitbart: Tea Party Patriots Jenny Beth Martin On 2018 MS Senate Race:’ I hope The President Just Stays Out’

US News: Can Conservative Anti-Establishment Candidates Win In 2018?

Sacramento Bee: California Republicans Embrace Donald Trump

Reuters: Consumer Groups Join Conservatives Against AT&T Deal For Time Warner

Townhall: Tea Party To Trump: Don’t Endorse Senator Wicker In Mississippi

CNN: Conservative Groups To McSally: Stay Out Of Arizona’s Senate Race

AGENDA:

RC: House Volleys CHIP Measure to Senate

AT&T-TIME WARNER:

WT: Jenny Beth Martin: DOJ Must Carefully Review AT&T-Time Warner Merger

WSJ: U.S. Weighs Suit Against AT&T’s Deal for Time Warner

USAT: AT&T-Time Warner Merger May Face Justice Department Anti-Trust Suit

CLINTON EMAILS:

Hill: House GOP Leaders Open Probe Into FBI’s Handling Of Clinton Investigation

Politico: House GOP Opens Probe Into DOJ’s Clinton Investigation

Politico: House GOP Launches Probes Into Clinton, Obama Controversies

IMMIGRATION:

HuffPo: Paul Ryan Tells Conservatives DACA Will Be Part Of Spending Deal

Politico: Supreme Court Completes Punt In Travel Ban Cases

WE: Trump Administration Challenges Federal Judge’s Decision To Block Newest Travel Ban

Politico: Trump To Meet GOP Senators On DACA Fix

Politico: Dreamer Fix Shouldn’t Be In Deal To Avoid Shutdown, Trump Tells Senators

IRS TARGETING SCANDAL:

WT: IRS Agent’s Email Says Groups Were Targeted ‘Primarily Because of Their Political Party Affiliation’

WT: Trump Administration Officially Apologizes For IRS Tea Party Targeting

WaPo: Justice Department Agrees To Settle Lawsuits Over IRS Scrutiny Of Tea Party Groups

Fox News: Trump DOJ Settles Lawsuits Over Tea Party Targeting By Obama’s IRS

Reuters: Justice Department Settles with Conservative Groups over IRS Scrutiny

Cincinnati: IRS Settles Tea Party Cases For Millions And An Apology

WT: Tea Party Groups Targeted By IRS Get $3.5 Million Settlement

NYT: Justice Department Settles With Tea Party Groups After IRS Scrutiny

JUDICIARY:

Politico: McConnell Preps Judicial Confirmation Frenzy

Breitbart: Senate Confirms Trump’s Judicial Nominees Despite Democrats’ Opposition

OBAMACARE:

Politico: Senate Seeking Clarity From Trump On ObamaCare Deal

Hill: Judge Won’t Force Trump To Keep Making ObamaCare Payments

AP News: Trump Administration Proposes Health Law Benefit Changes

PERSONNEL:

Lab. Equipment: NASA Administrator Nominee To Get Hearing At Senate Committee Hearing Amid Opposition

Hill: Trump USDA Pick Linked To Mueller Probe Withdraws Nomination

Hill: Trump Names Powell As Chairman Of The Federal Reserve

Bloomberg: Here’s What You Need To Know About Powell’s Fed Chair Selection

RUSSIA PROBE:

WaPo: Clinton Campaign, DNC Paid For Research That Led To Russia Dossier

WT: FEC Complaint Accuses Clinton Campaign, DNC of Violating Campaign Finance Law with Dossier Payments

Law Newz: FEC Complaint Says Clinton Campaign, DNC Violated Law Over Trump Dossier

Hill: FBI Informant In Obama Era Russian Nuclear Bribery Cleared To Testify Before Congress

Hill: GOP Seizes On New Clinton Revelation

WSJ: Democrats, Russians And The FBI

Politico: Ryan: FBI To Give Congress Dossier-Related Documents

Hill: Conservative Site Funded Project That Led To Trump Dossier

NYT: Conservative Site First Funded Anti-Trump Research By Firm That Later Produced Dossier

Hill: Clinton, Trump And The Russia Dossier: What You Need To Know

NRO: A Bipartisan Dossier Of Collusion

Reuters: White House Chief Of Staff Calls For Special Counsel To Probe Democrats

Reuters: Ex-British Spy Paid $168,000 For Trump Dossier, US Firm Discloses

Hill: Uranium One Deal Led To Some Exports To Europe, Memos Show

Politico: Clinton Defends Campaign Funding Of Research In Steele Dossier

WSJ: The FBI’s Political Meddling

Hill: Manafort Indicted On 12 Counts, Surrenders To The FBI

Hill: Trump On Manafort Indictment: ‘ This Was Years Ago’

Daily Wire: Breaking: Former Trump Foreign Policy Advisor Cuts Plea Deal, Admits Russians Offered To Funnel ‘Dirt’ on Hillary

Politico: Tony Podesta Stepping Down From Lobbying Giant Amid Mueller Probe

NRO: Paul Manafort Indicted: What It Means

Politico: The Definitive Trump – Russia Timeline Of Events

WSJ: The Manafort Indictment

WaPo: Upstairs At Home With The TV On, Trump Fumes Over Russia Indictments

NYT: Trump Campaign Got Early Word Russia Had Democrats Emails

Hill: How Young Trump Aide Became Key Player In Russia Probe

Daily Caller: George Papadopoulos’s Fascinating Link To The Trump Dossier

NYT: Trump And Sessions Denied Knowing About Russian Contacts. Records Suggest Otherwise

TAX REFORM:

WaPo: Trump Pledges No Change To Your 401K In His Tax Cut Plan

WaPo: Trump’s Promises Narrow GOP’s Options On Tax Bill

Politico: House To Vote Thursday On Senate Budget

WE: Republicans Threaten To Block Budget Passage Over Local Deductions

IBD: This Is Rich: Democrats Fight To Protect A $1.8 Trillion Tax Break That Benefits The Top 1%

IBD: Surprise! It’s Not The GOP’s Middle Class Tax Cuts That Will Benefit The Middle Class

Hill: Ryan: Tax Bill Coming Next Week

Politico: House Republicans Gear Up For Imminent Tax Bill Roll Out

Forbes: Salt Sticking Points Shouldn’t Keep GOP From Passing The Budget

Politico: GOP Leaders Scramble For Tax Deduction Fix Before Budget Vote

Hill: House Adopts Senate Budget, Takes Step Toward Tax Reform

Politico: House Narrowly Passes Budget – Setting Up Mammoth Tax Fight

Hill: GOP Plans Tax Blitzkrieg

Politico: Ryan Loses Key Ally On Tax Reform After Switch On Benefits For Homeowners

Bloomberg: House Tax Writer Gives Ground On A State And Local Tax Break

Politico: House GOP Tosses Conservative Playbook In Bid For Tax Reform

Hill: Senate GOP: We Are Unified On Controversial Tax Policy Change

Politico: House GOP Struggles To Unite On Tax Bill

Hill: GOP To Delay Release Of Tax Bill

House: HR1

Politico: GOP Unity (For Now) On House Tax Plan

NYT: Republican Plan Delivers Permanent Corporate Tax Cut

Politico: Tax Talking Points

Breitbart: Republican Tax Plan Cuts Middle Class And Corporate Taxes, Leaves Retirement Savings Safe

WSJ: Half A Tax Reform

Politico: Senate Littered With Tax Reform Land Mines

Politico: The GOP’s Hidden 46% Tax Bracket

Politico: Conservatives Push To Repeal ObamaCare Mandate in Tax Package

Hill: GOP Predicts Few Defections on Tax Vote

WaPo: Trump Personally Pushing GOP Leaders To Use Tax Bill To Undermine ObamaCare

WaPo: Using Tax Legislation To Overhaul ObamaCare Still ‘Being Discussed,’ Ryan Says

Hill: Tax Bill Raises Red Flags for Senate GOP

Politico: Who Pays More Under the Trump-House GOP Tax Plan?

URANIUM ONE:

RC: House Republicans Call Upon Mueller To Resign As Special Counsel

Breitbart: House Republicans Introduce Resolution Calling on Special Counsel Robert Mueller To Step Down

  1. Res. 606: Text

NYP: Graham Calls for Special Counsel To Probe Clinton Russia Ties

MISCELLANEOUS:

NBC News: Arizona GOP Senator Jeff Flake, Appalled By Trump, Won’t Seek Re-Election

Hill: Poll: GOP Voters Want McConnell To Step Down

Breitbart: Exclusive: Freedom Works’ Adam Brandon On Jeff Flake: ‘If Your Electoral Strategy Is Cozying Up To Mitch McConnell, You’re Done’

WITN: GOP’s Flake To Retire, Speech Takes Aim At Trump

WaPo: McConnell Allies Declare Open Warfare on Bannon

Politico: John Boehner Unchained

WSJ: Toomey’s ‘Guidance’ Repeal Guide

CNN: ‘Kill Them All’ — Russian Linked Facebook Accounts Called For Violence

 

 

Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Applaud New GIG Act to be Considered in Tax Bill Markup

Atlanta, GA – Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Chairman Jenny Beth Martin released the following statement on the New GIG Act that is under consideration to be added to the House tax reform legislation:

“Tax laws not only need to be reformed but they need to be updated to reflect today’s economy.  More and more people are working multiple jobs as contractors because it fits their schedule, lifestyle and financial needs. They can spend their mornings doing graphics or web site design while driving for Uber or Lyft the rest of the day, and perhaps even do a third job in the evening. The reform proposed by Senator Thune and Congressman Rice would simplify the tax code for Gig Economy companies and their independent contractors, and therefore incentivize more people to participate and succeed in these new jobs.  There’s no cost to taxpayers and it’s true reform.”

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URL: http://www.teapartypatriotscitizensfund.com/?p=86719