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The Daily Countable: A Big Week in Congress

by Countable | 11.13.17

Good Tuesday, friends. Don't miss these critical issues your gov is dealing with this week:

The One Thing

  • While the media follows critical developments in America's cultural change around women in the workplace, the House of Representatives is taking up a major bill to change the structure of taxes and spending. Make sure you're on top of this: H.R. 1: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

On the Radar

  • The biggest influence on America's healthcare system will come from this man: Alex Azar. He is President Trump's nominee to be the new secretary of Health and Human Services, a position that is critical when it comes to healthcare and particularly drug prices. Find out more here.
  • Lots of talk today — not to mention crazy videos — of people taking baseball bats to their Keurig coffee machines. Why? Because the company pulled its ads from Sean Hannity's popular show on Fox News. Explore the issue here — and tell us what you think of the underlying principle here: do you boycott any businesses? If so, why? Do you think boycotts work?

Under the Radar

  • The Army has opened its recruiting process to those with previously documented mental health conditions, including depression, addiction and bipolar disorder. This change in recruitment policy was enacted in late August, and revealed only in the last few days. Read more here.

  • Even people who've been plugged-in to President Trump's whirlwind Asia tour may have missed this: Trump's serenade by President Rodrigo Duterte of The Philippines. Seriously, don't miss this.

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in The Philippines & Washington, D.C.

  • Participates in the 12th Annual East Asia Summit Head of State and Government Luncheon, followed by an official photograph.
  • Participates in the 12th East Asia Summit plenary session.
  • Departs The Philippines for Washington, D.C. with one stop in Hawaii.

The House of Representatives: In Session

The Senate: In Session

  • Considering the nomination of Steven Bradbury to be General Counsel of the Dept. of Transportation.

    Good talk, friends. As always, be in touch. Countable's collective ears are wide open. (Does that even make sense?)

— Andrea Seabrook, Managing Editor

Countable

Written by Countable

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(26)
  • Cindy
    11/14/2017
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    Vote no on the tax bill that will cut taxes on the rich, raise taxes on the middle class, and balloon the deficit. Voting yes would be the ultimate in hypocrisy!!!

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  • SneakyPete
    11/14/2017
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    I, for one, do not favor that the Army has opened its recruiting process to those with previously documented mental health conditions, including depression, addiction and bipolar disorder. This change in recruitment policy was enacted in late August, and revealed only in the last few days. It’s would, I believe, increase opportunities for negative incidences occurring both on and off the battlefield. Of particular concern is that of individuals having had either a drug or alcohol addiction issues which, through the stressful discipline or combat action, could possibly drive such individuals back to their previous addiction issues. Is it worth the probability of such re-addiction occurring, remains to be, seen.

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  • Wallace
    11/14/2017
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    Let’s treat women and men equally!! Also tax and spend without favoring the rich!!

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  • Gerald
    11/14/2017
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    Finally, a serious topic to discuss...Keurig. Let the hannity fans continue to smash them. 1. They need less not more caffeine. 2. The next morning when they actually “make” coffee they will learn regret. 3. Keurig will run an add describing the environmental impact of k cups and fans will buy them back in droves. 4. They will continue to believe the sexual predators and blame the victims until it happens to their own daughter.

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  • Gerald
    11/14/2017
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    A leader who won’t release his taxes tells Americans that his tax bill is bad for him but good for the middle class. Sure it is. The inheritance tax benefit increase alone gives trump more tax reductions than I made in a lifetime. But now I can’t deduct medical expenses, state taxes, etc. What a pack of lies they tell to make us think being raped is good for us.

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  • Mary
    11/14/2017
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    We need to oppose The appointment of Azar to be head of HHS. His strong and recent ties to the pharmaceutical industry are a conflict of interest and he is opposed to the ACA which is supported by the majority of Americans and provides healthcare to millions who would not otherwise be able to afford insurance.

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  • Joanne
    11/14/2017
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    NO NO to Azar. He, as other trump picks are all about the money, not the welfare of the people. During his stay at Eli Lilly prices for insulin skyrocketed. This is a red flag if ever there was one.

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  • Zakaria
    11/14/2017
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    Please Help The Kurdish People They are in danger Help them

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  • Sosnow
    11/14/2017
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    It’s interesting the GOP has kept the top tax bracket of 39.6%. Reducing the number of brackets is still lowering the amount of tax revenue. Is the reduction being met with a similar decrease in spending? Not so far...

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  • Dee
    11/15/2017
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    To my MoC: There is so much to discuss. First I’m very dismayed over the fact that the Republican Party as we KNEW IT, no longer exists. What we have now is a group of people that are no longer interested in doing their job for the country only their self interests. You are like a gathering of predators, preying on the poor, the middle class, children, elderly etc. You want a tax cut for the wealthy, which yes will raise taxes on millions of middle class people, you are taking away health care from millions that need it. We have a President that belittled our country, and you won’t stand up to and is mentally unfit, a sex abuser running for Governor and you are all silent. So you are guilty of being complicit. There is so many wrong things that are going on in our government that is destroying this country. Lies are being told constantly, and it makes me sick. You have 400 millionaires saying DO NOT CUT OUR TAXES, WE DON’T NEED IT. Put it into health care, infrastructure etc. Do not vote for this tax bill. For once do you job for the ordinary people of the country. Don’t continue to prey on anyone not rich.

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  • Patty
    11/14/2017
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    Where does one start... 1) NO to Azar as this would be yet another example of putting the fox in charge of the hen house. 2) NO to this tax reform bill as it would mostly benefit the rich and the Cheeto in chief and let's not forget adding to the deficit. 3) NO to taking away the individual mandate from the ACA and sabotaging it more. How about a blanket no to anything that hurts anyone but the 1% and that includes destroying our air and water, not dealing with climate change and taking away our national parks and monuments.

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  • Joanne
    11/14/2017
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    NO NO NO NO. BIG money and the top 1% have more than enough for many lifetimes. We, the majority of the people need money to make it through one lifetime. ENOUGH of this administration abusing the people to feed their greed. We the people need to feed our families. It is no secret that trump and his administration have contempt for the most vulnerable in our country and the proposed tax scam shows it. It brings to mind what Representative Joe Kennedy said when the House was considering ACA repeal. Speaker Ryan called the health care bill an “act of mercy”. (This so called act of mercy would have left millions without health care) Kennedy said, “With all due respect to our speaker, he and I must have read different scripture. The one that I read calls on us to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, and to comfort the sick. It reminds us that we are judged not by how we treat the powerful but by how we care for the least among us.” You probably know by now that the tax scam treats the most powerful pretty darn good. But not so much for some of the others. The tax scam punishes the sick. The tax scam punishes those with rare diseases (there are more than 7000 according to NORD's Rare Disease Database.) The tax scam punishes those with large medical bills. Is this the kind of country we want to live in, one with no compassion? We need to speak out if we want to preserve our values. We know what is right. What is right is to not kick the sick when they are already suffering from illnesses. Rare disease sufferers The tax plan calls for the repeal of a tax credit that drug companies use to perform clinical testing for drugs that treat rare diseases. The credit is central to the business model for such firms and eliminating it could mean that big pharmaceutical companies will have little reason to invest in drugs that help small patient populations. Medical Expenses Under the Republican plan, the deduction for medical expenses would be eliminated. This currently applies to taxpayers, spouses or other dependents with health expenses that exceed a tenth of the taxpayer’s income. AARP, which advocates for retirees, said that they strongly opposed the repeal of the deduction and said that doing so would impose a “health tax” on the oldest and sickest Americans. Remember that the Republican goal was to repeal ACA. It didn’t happen because we spoke out. It’s time to speak out again.

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  • lachancp
    11/14/2017
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    Almost any tax cut benefits the rich. They're the ones paying most of the taxes and at higher rates. Duh...

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  • John
    11/14/2017
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    As my property taxes are going up the Republican tax bill is eliminating the deduction for property taxes. Who is Congress trying to fool when the say this is a middle class tax cut?

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  • Bob
    11/14/2017
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    Hard to believe so many have no idea what is in this tax plan but are willing to dismiss it out of hand because they do not like the President, get a grip!

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  • Sarah
    11/14/2017
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    If healthcare revisited includes the dropping of mandate to have insurance, the prediction is an estimated 13,million will drop insurance. Rates for those who keep, especially those who buy individual plans will sky rocket even more. Senators from Ga. shall I send you the bill for 525$ monthly premium increase for same plan of 2017, starting Jan 1 2018? And only one insurer providing service in my county?

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  • Joey
    11/16/2017
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    Start coming up with good bill help people whose homes were destroyed in floods and wildfires and flooded in other countries

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  • Afina
    11/15/2017
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    No to the tax plan. And no to attaching totally unrelated things to the tax bill. The ACA’s individual mandate has nothing to do with this plan, attaching it is just an underhanded way to push it through

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  • Chelsea
    11/15/2017
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    Please vote against the GOP tax plan. It’s robbing from the poor to give MOrE money to the super rich. It’s cruel and will hurt the vulnerable you are supposed to protect. It will also hurt Medicare which is not what Maine wants.

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  • Nancy
    11/15/2017
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    Why is taxpayer money used to settle sexual harassment complaints in Congress? That’s ridiculous. You all need to streamline the sexual complaint process and give the victim a lawyer also since you give the congressman a lawyer. 99.9% of the time the person accused makes a hell of a lot more money than the victim.

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