Rich getting richer!
GOP Prepares Another Multi-Trillion Dollar Tax Cut For the Rich - Targets Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to Pay the Bill
These seniors have a clear message for GOP leaders planning a $3 trillion tax cut for millionaires, billionaires and wealthy multinational corporations, paid for with cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Last week, GOP leaders released a plan to balloon the federal deficit to catastrophic new heights in order to provide millionaires, billionaires and multinational corporations with a massive new tax cut. According to the well-respected Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the measure would cost some $3 trillion over the coming decade.
And make no mistake – Republicans have made clear all along that Social Security and Medicare, along with Medicaid, will be put on the chopping block to pay the bill.
Instead of putting a stop to endless wars of choice projected to cost nearly $16 trillion over the coming years, the GOP will attempt to finance their tax cuts for the wealthy by “privatizing” Social Security and Medicare, robbing benefits Americans have earned and paid into from their very first day on the job.
Simply put, Republican leaders have done the math. They are targeting Social Security and Medicare because these absolutely critical funds, which belong solely to the American people, account for about a quarter of the government’s $4.1 trillion annual budget.
The deficits caused by last year’s GOP tax cut, which gave 80% of tax relief to the richest one-percent of Americans and left the middle class with a tiny fraction of the remainder, are already unsustainable. According to the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the government spent $895 billion more than it took in over the past 11 months.
Here’s the bottom line. Billionaires and rich multinational corporations do not need another massive Republican tax cut that would add trillions of dollars to an already unsustainable deficit and be paid for by raiding Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It’s time for real tax reform that targets the middle class and requires the rich to pay their fair share. That must be our goal going forward.
We will keep you posted as events proceed. Meanwhile, I want to hear your thoughts. Feel free to contact any of our offices listed below or send me an email.
Ignoring Hurricane Season, President "Reprogrammed" $37.8 Million from FEMA and the Coast Guard to Build More Immigrant Family Jails
Men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard risk their lives every day to serve and protect others - but the President cut their funding by $28 million to build more immigrant child detention facilities on our southern border.
Unable to generate legitimate Congressional support to fund more immigrant child detention centers on the southern border, the President decided to reach through the back door and grab $9.8 million in cash from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – the department in charge of hurricane relief. And to add insult to injury he pulled another $28 million out of the budget for the U.S. Coast Guard.
That’s right. With Hurricane Florence bearing down on the East Coast last week and millions of Americans at risk, reports surfaced that the President had “reprogrammed” $9.8 million dollars Congress had appropriated for FEMA, and used it to put more immigrant children and families behind bars.
To be clear, it is Congress – not the President – in charge of appropriating money for federal agencies. Accordingly, I have asked Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney for a full explanation and justification for the President’s action.
In fact, the $9.8 million taken from FEMA is only the tip of the iceberg. All in all, the President’s raid on programs and services vital to the American people totaled $169 million – including $28 million in funds for the U.S. Coast Guard – presumably sent to the border to build more jails.
From the Great Lakes to the hurricane ravaged East Coast, the brave men and women of the Coast Guard are risking their lives every day to save and protect others – and the President’s response is to cut their funding by $28 million. That is a shameful and outrageous act by their Commander and Chief.
Another Record Year for the Port of
The Port of Duluth-Superior enjoyed another record year in 2017, handling some 35 million tons of cargo arriving and departing on laker ships like the Mesabi Miner.
Hats off to the Port of Duluth-Superior and the Duluth-Superior Seaway Port Authority for another record year contributing to the economic success of our entire region. According to a report just released by the Authority, the Port last year:
- Generated $1.4 billion in economic activity.
- Supported 7,881 good paying jobs and $504 million in wages.
- Handled 35 million tons of cargo – including iron ore, coal, limestone, salt, cement, grain, steel wind turbines and heavy machinery – moving in and out.
- Paid nearly $240 million in taxes.
The Port of Duluth-Superior anchors the westernmost point of the entire 2,340-mile Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system that connects Minnesota’s mines, businesses, manufacturers, farmers and timber producers with the global marketplace.
It's Time to Restore Our Democracy - And End Voter Suppression
Billboards like this one, typically placed in neighborhoods with large minority populations, are intended to intimidate legal voters into staying home.
Democracy works best when people participate, so our Restore Democracy legislation calls for an end to voter suppression efforts that discourage, threaten or intimidate legal voters from casting their ballots. The simple fact is that despite protections provided by the Voting Rights Act and other federal legislation, some states continue to find ways to make voting difficult if not impossible – especially for seniors and people of color who may be perceived to favor one political party over another. For example:
- Georgia recently passed an “Exact Match” law requiring that every tiny bit of information on a voter’s registration application match exactly with data stored with the Department of Motor Vehicles. If not, the registration is placed in a “pending” file and the voter may be turned away. Reuters news service obtained a copy of the Georgia Pending File and discovered that black voters were on the list at far higher rates than white voters, even though a majority of Georgia voters are white.
- In Tennessee, a 93-year-old woman was denied her right to vote because she did not have a photo ID as required by law – even though she presented four other forms of identification, including her birth certificate.
- In Ohio, a World War II Veteran was denied his right to vote because his newly issued photo ID from the Veterans Affairs Administration (VA) did not display his current address.
- In Wisconsin, an elderly woman who had voted in the same polling place for decades was denied her right to vote because she had lost her driver’s license– even though she presented her old driver’s license and proof of residency.
The Restore Democracy Revolution
The foundation lies in overturning the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which has allowed corporations and wealthy special interests to spend unlimited amounts of secret “dark” money to influence elections . In addition to stopping voter suppression, our legislation would also put Congress on record supporting small donor-public campaign financing and limiting the campaign season. Moreover, we are calling for full disclosure of all campaign contributionsand establishment of national online voter registration.
We also call for a return to Congress’s traditional process of Regular Order. Under Regular Order, we find common ground and bipartisan solutions by fully considering every idea and amendment under an open rule – and affording each one an up or down vote. That’s how Congress has fixed things, solved problems and gotten things done for more than 250 years. It’s time to get back to that tried and true method of serving the American people.
GRANT WATCH: $3.5 Million in Infrastructure, Safety, and Housing Grants for Minnesota's
Under our watch, Minnesota’s 8th District has received more than $1.2 billion in federal grants for projects that create good paying jobs and make life better for people.
We were pleased to announce two more important grants for Minnesota's 8th district last week.
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a total of nearly$3.5 million in grant funding for new safety equipment and infrastructure projects at the Falls International-Einarson Field Airport, Little Falls/Morrison County-Lindbergh Field Airport, Princeton Municipal Airport, and the Bemidji Regional Airport.
Specifically, funding will be used to acquire snow removal equipment, reconstruct runway 13/31, and rehabilitate the apron at Falls International-Eniarson Field; construct runway 18/36 at Little Falls/Morrison County-Lindbergh Field; reconstruct runway 15/33, reconstruct lighting on runway 15/33, reconstruct taxiway (A), reconstruct lighting on taxiway (A) at Princeton Municipal Airport; acquire aircraft rescue and fire fighting vehicle, rehabilitate the apron, rehabilitate runway 13/31, and rehabilitate the taxiway at Bemidji Regional Airport.
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - via the Housing Trust Fund Program (HTF) - announced that the City of Duluth will receive a total of $127,522 in Community Development Planning (CDP) grants for developers to preserve, rehabilitate and construct housing, primarily for extremely low-income families.
The funding will create good paying local jobs, benefiting Minnesota’s 8th district residents and economy.
To help keep you updated, we will be using the Monday Report to highlight important federal grants for the 8th District.
Our Week in Chisago
Wendy Redland, Executive Director of the Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce in Chisago, delivered an update to attendees about area projects last week. Nolan Congressional Field Representative Rick Olseen also provided chamber members with an update pertaining to my work in Congress.
Our Week in Sunrise Township
Nolan Congressional Field Representative Rick Olseen captured this stunning photo of his neighbor’s cattle farm while on a morning walk before work.
Our Week in Grand Rapids
The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce held their annual Joint Forestry Affairs meeting at the Itasca County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids last week. Pictured here is Tamara Lowney of APEX, a local business development organization, discussing innovative forestry products. Nolan Congressional Field Representative Tom Whiteside attended
Our Week in Virginia
Lourenco Gonclaves - Chief Executive Officer of Cliffs Natural Resources - spoke to a crowd of reporters at United Taconite in Forbes last week about the future of the Nashwauk mining site formerly known as Essar Steel. Nolan Congressional Field Representative Tom Whiteside attended the conference and captured this photo.
Our Week in Brainerd
Deborah Erickson, Director of Administrative Services for Crow Wing County, presented a program titled ‘Election System and Security.’ She reviewed the many safeguards in place to protect our election integrity and the steps that are being taken to improve security. Nolan Congressional Field Representative Tiffany Stenglein attended the program on my behalf.
Our Week in Walker
Cass County hosted a ceremony in remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001. The ceremony included the posting of the colors, the ringing of a bell for each plane, and 30 seconds of sirens followed by 30 seconds of silence. In this picture, members of the Walker Area Joint Fire Department raise the flag. Nolan Congressional Field Representative Tiffany Stenglein attended the ceremony.
In Case You Missed It: Congress is Going to the Dogs - and that's a Good Thing
The 10th Annual Cutest Pets on Capitol Hill Contest announced this year’s winners. Our Legislative Assistant Eddie Wykind entered his two-and-a-half-year-old female Dachshund dog, Winnie.
Winnie loves long strolls in the park, lounging on the couch at home, and eating left overs when no one is looking.
Although Winnie did not win this year's competition, she did make the semi-finals. Winnie said, "I was so grateful fur the paw-some op-paw-tunity and although I didn't win I made a lot of fur-ends." Winnie is paw-ndering how to bring home the bacon next year.