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The Daily Countable: A Critical Moment

by Countable | 11.27.17

Fine Countable Friends —

This is a critical time. The sheer number & depth of exceedingly consequential issues working through your government right now make it critical that you raise your voice. This is your time: be bold.

One Big Thing

A showdown between Republicans and Democrats over basic government funding is littering the negotiating table with other issues, yet to be resolved. Case in point:

  • Current law dictates a cap on spending for defense programs, to the tune of $549 billion
  • The plans of the majority Republicans call for defense spending that exceeds that cap by more than $50 billion
  • In order to consider that spending boost, Congressional Democratic leaders are demanding a dollar-for-dollar increase in non-defense spending
  • If the two parties cannot reach a compromise, the federal government could run out of basic operating funds within a few weeks

The Take Home Message:

Pay special attention to how your representatives are negotiating defense spending and basic government funding this week. Remember: they work for you. You have every right to question their actions, motives & purpose.

On the Radar

  • Tax Reform! It's rare that Congress faces such a weighty push for the movement of a single piece of legislation. The bills in the House and Senate are significantly different, creating a new obstacle to any change in tax law. Because of that, it is more than likely that lawmakers will endure long hours of negotiation before any possibility of an accord.
  • Meanwhile, keep your eye on the ball: a critical, constitutional debate is unfolding between the Trump administration and the civil servants in charge of the CFPB, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It may see to be a small tiff, but it has big implications.
  • Plus: don't miss Countable's early-bird feature, This Week In Congress (You know you want it!).

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in DC

  • Lunches with Vice President Mike Pence and Members of the Senate Finance Committee.
  • Hosts an event honoring Native American code talkers.
  • Meets with Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

The House of Representatives: Out

  • The House returns Tuesday, November 28.

The Senate: In Session

  • Confirmation vote on the nomination of Dabney Friedrich to be District Court Judge for the District of Columbia.
  • Possible cloture vote on the nomination of Gregory Katsas to be Circuit Court Judge for the D.C. Circuit.



Yes, I keep harping on this, but it's true: this is a critical moment in your government. The fact that you're on Countable (reading this now!), shows the depth of care you have for your community. Harness the tools! Tell your Reps exactly how to represent you!

And please keep sending me your thoughts, ideas & wack-o notions about how we can continue to crack-open this democracy. I'm all ears.

— Andrea Seabrook, Managing Editor

Talk to Andrea via email, andrea [at] countable.us, or on twitter, @RadioBabe. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.

Countable

Written by Countable

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(101)
  • Jackie
    11/27/2017
    ···

    No more military spending. Fully fund all other social programs. No tax reform unless it actually helps middle and lower class people. Save the consumer protection agency from trump gutting it. Fund the government and remember you serve your district voters not your political party

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  • Sheryl
    11/27/2017
    ···

    See you all at the PEOPLES MARCH ON WASHINGTON 1/26/18! As we used to say in the old days, POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

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  • Nan
    11/27/2017
    ···

    Raising the defense budget at the expensive of our youth and those less fortunate in unacceptable. Giving tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations which use a variety of loopholes who already do not pay their share. They and their businesses use our roads, bridges, airports, ports for the success of their businesses. They should be paying more. It is unconscionable that the working middle class and their families should continue to shoulder the burden. Our country needs to be strong, but increasing the defense budget for planes the air force doesn’t want and special congressional military projects is unnecessary and a burden to the country.

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  • Mary
    11/27/2017
    ···

    If defense spending caps will be increased so must non-defense caps. BTW, hurry up and renew CHIP funding! Our children are in need of proper health care which will not be obtained when many states are running low on funding. I am very disappointed in the lack of bipartisanship in this Congress. Ask yourselves, do you want to be re-elected? If the answer is yes, quit playing partisan games and listen to your constituents!

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  • Ticktock
    11/27/2017
    ···

    Sometimes I believe that we would be better off if everyone from the President to Congress would resign. I don’t believe that they work for the betterment of US citizens or the country. We would be be to keep the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Amendments and the Judiciary and start again to elect those for public office. The American people might pay a little more attention. I’m sooooooo tire of these clowns! They are doing nothing to benefit the average American and are driving up our taxes (pay attention to the residual affects) and national debt in order to benefit the 1% and corporations with tax cuts.

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  • Wallace
    11/27/2017
    ···

    Let’s try to fund the government!!! Tax reform is really a tax cut for the wealthy!!! Deep six this bill! We need to have someone in charge of our consumer protection agency that is not a trump nominee!!!

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  • Harry
    11/27/2017
    ···

    This is an old fight about Guns vs Butter. For those who support more domestic spending but refuse to contemplate any reductions in nonmilitary spending, you are the reason that we have so much waste in government. The same can be said for those supporting more military spending. There can be a balance between social programs and the military if we demand of our representatives engagement in honest debate about the budgets. Suggestions: 1. Take budget off of automatic justification of previous years amount, sunset every spending category. No automatic inflation increases, not everything is equally worthy. 2. Make each budget for a two year period, each congressional representative would have an opportunity to contribute. Longer periods hopefully will allow better debate and less continuing resolutions. Require a two thirds approval of both Houses for any budget that has a built in deficit. If Two-Thirds do not approve then the previous budget is automatically kept in place. No government shut downs. 4.Withhold/escrow 25% of Congressional pay, making its payment dependent on the passage of a balanced budget. 5. Remove the onus on all Departments to "spend it or lose it", bureaucrats should only get bonus payments if their departments accomplish their goals in a thrifty manner. Every two year's the departments/bureaus would have to rejustify their budget requests. Create a system that makes sense and uses all of hard earned money with the same oversight the taxpayers apply to their own personal spending. We do not need a balanced budget amendment, we just do not pay our representatives for creating and approving anything less.

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  • Liz
    11/27/2017
    ···

    Defense spending caps are there for a reason. Why not invest that extra money in more important things: health care for everyone, clean up of the DAPL SPILL, feeding the country, conservation, and genuinely care at the people of country. Oh, and stop that trophy hunting garbage so you can bring home a tail and destroy species. That is absolutely sickening.

    Like (19)
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  • Monique
    11/27/2017
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    We can chew gum & walk at the same time. We can fight for & demand justice and accountability for the victims of sexual abuse, DEMAND Net Neutrality so our cable companies & phone companies can’t dictate how we use the internet and get the Senate to block this evil Tax plan that will gut every one but the rich. Are work is cut out for us. But we got this! Stay in your Rep’s face, March, make your heard nonstop 24/7💪🏿

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  • Regina
    11/27/2017
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    To Senators Gillibrand and Schumer and Representative Maloney, please no more money for the military. The idea of another $50 billion there with a dollar for dollar compromise agreement by Democrats for other services is unspeakable. No increase for the military. Cut military spending. Serve us, your citizens with funding for health care, education, climate change research and preparedness and repair of our crumbling infrastructure. Also please fight with all you have to oppose the so-called tax reform. It is skewed to create greater inequity in this country and continue to eat away at our frail democracy. And now the attack on the CFPB. Trump’s objective is to undermine the agency the way his Cabinet members are dismembering and destroying each of the agencies under their “leadership.” Thank you for fighting to save our country.

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  • Tracy
    11/27/2017
    ···

    Nearly everything presented is detrimental to the poor and working class! If net neutrality is taken away, it will become a pay to play for those with money (speed and content being censored). If the consumer protection agency is abolished or restricted, the little guy will again be unprotected from the businesses that squeeze the struggling people’s paycheck with unethical fees etc... because no one will keep them accountable. If access to affordable healthcare is not available, more people will die, suffer and file bankruptcy. If the new tax plan is passed, the rich will get breaks that others will pay for. Our country will add $1.4 Trillion + to the already staggering national debt for what? So that those with money can keep more for themselves instead of paying it forward? What disregard for the people of a country that made it the land of opportunity. Trickle down economics doesn’t work!

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  • Susan
    11/27/2017
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    Do not pass this current tax reform proposal. It will not benefit the majority of your constituents that need help the most

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  • Drew
    11/27/2017
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    Thank you for this!

    Like (8)
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  • Carrie
    11/27/2017
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    Priorities matter. No tax cuts for the very rich. No putting healthcare on the chopping block. Infrastructure!!

    Like (7)
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  • Jennifer
    11/27/2017
    ···

    Do not under any circumstances vote to confirm any of Trump’s judicial nominees. These are positions that could possibly have decades of influence. Just say No.

    Like (7)
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  • Liz
    11/27/2017
    ···

    Defense spending caps are there for a reason. Why not invest that extra money in more important things: health care for everyone, clean up of the DAPL SPILL, feeding the country, conservation, and genuinely care at the people of country. Oh, and stop that trophy hunting garbage so you can bring home a tail and destroy species. That is absolutely sickening.

    Like (6)
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  • Rick
    11/27/2017
    ···

    Is there no way to stop this President for his illegal profiting from his position? Can our minority party do nothing? Thanks for all you do for all of us and the country. Rick Light

    Like (6)
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  • Kathleen
    11/27/2017
    ···

    Please prevent the President’s illegal move to name a successor to the CPFB without senate approval. Stop the FCC’s move to overturn net neutrality. Stop this tax “reform” nonsense; every plan benefits the wealthy and corporations on the backs of the middle class and poor (the proposed tax on educational benefits to underpaid graduate student workers is particularly awful).Finally, why are we increasing already sky high military spending while cutting taxes on the wealthy and corporations and also cutting programs that make us a well rounded country? The lack of common sense and basic human empathy in this Congress and administration is mind boggling. Please put country ahead of party and vote for your constituents and not your corporate backers.

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  • Carol
    11/27/2017
    ···

    Staff our diplomatic corps fully. They prevent wars and keep communication open between us and other nations.

    Like (4)
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  • Judith
    11/27/2017
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    ALL OF THESE THINGS YOU REPUBLICAN CONGRESS PEOPLE THINK ARE BILLS ARE IN ACTUALITY JUST SUCK UPS TO THE RUSSIAN OLIGARCHS AND THEIR DOGS YOU ! WE ALL NEED TO GROW A PAIR AND FIGHT THE TRAITORS IN OUR GOVERNMENT !!!

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