Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

The Daily Countable: Sex, Tech & Tax Hacks

by Countable | 11.30.17

Greetings, Folks. It's the very last day of November, and that our minds boggled here at Countable. Not so much because of the shopping and parties and travel and wrapping that is coming at us like a train, but because Congress has only a few business days left on its schedule to deal with an even more intense honey-do list.

One Big Thing

(Ok, ok.. today there are two!)

On the Radar

Sexual Harassment in the Capitol: Several Key Developments

  • On Wednesday, a group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced a bill that would expose lawmakers who settled sexual harassment claims with taxpayer dollars. The current process of mediating harassment claims against lawmakers or staff is secretive and arduous, and when settlements do occur, members don’t pay them from their own funds, as required by other federal agencies. Rather, the payments – which remain confidential – come from a special U.S. Treasury fund. This bill would 'out' lawmakers who've made those payments.

  • Also on Wednesday, the House passed a resolution that would require all members, officers, and employees of the House of Representatives to complete anti-discrimination and anti-harassment training during each one-year session of each two-year Congress. It would also apply to interns, fellows, and members of Congressional security details. Here's the legislation.

  • Ethics investigations are likely into the claims against Senator Al Franken (D-MN), John Conyers (D-MI), and perhaps Joe Barton (R-TX). Here's what's happening, what's likely next, and a brief history of past Ethics Committee investigations into sexual harassment claims.

Under the Radar

  • Ever heard the term "sunset provisions"? It's thrown around by policy wonks whenever legislative negotiations center around a very high price tag — such as with the current tax bill. Check out this fascinating explainer of sunset provisions, which our reporter defines in more common language as "Now you see it! Now you don't!"

Your Gov at a Glance 👀

The White House: President Trump in DC

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will meet with the Crown Prince of Bahrain.
  • In the evening, the President and First Lady Melania Trump will walk to the Ellipse to light the National Christmas Tree.

The House of Representatives: In Session

  • Voting on a bill to reauthorize the EPA's Brownfields Program, which cleans up and redevelops contaminated industrial sites.
  • Voting on a bill to double the length of probationary periods for federal employees in the competitive and senior executive service to two years.
  • Voting on a bill to restore two mining leases previously issued & revoked in Minnesota's Superior National Forest and requiring that Congress approve future withdrawals of mineral leases or monument designations in the area.

The Senate: In Session


It's wonderful talking to so many of you who've been in touch. I'd especially love your thoughts and ideas for issues we should cover in a bit more depth while Congress is in recess. Talk to me!

— 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

Leave a comment
(42)
  • Judith
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Please give this message to All GOP Senators who have a conscience and consider their legacy. Vote NO on this tax scam from the poor that is giving to the rich! How will YOU be remembered? Stop the enslavement of the people!

    Like (45)
    Follow
    Share
  • Jay
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Please do not vote for this tax bill. It's helps rich corporations who are not going to trickle down their wealth. There's too much corporate greed. And Net Neutrality is important. Do not vote to get rid of it. We cannot let internet providers control what should be available to all people. The rich should not have the best access availability.

    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
  • Christy
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Please stop this tax cut. The one % does not need a tax break and it should not affect the average Americans health care!

    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
  • Jonathan
    11/30/2017
    ···

    I don't know which is worse. Net neutrality, or the tax bill. I am certain that both will negatively affect the economy and people of the United States, as well as the rest of the world. The tax bill will put the nation back into a deficit, and is a ploy to cut ACA. It will severely hurt the working and middle classes. With repealing Net Neutrality, the poor and working classes will be unable to afford the cost for basic internet access. Businesses may have their sites blocked. People will not be able to see their ads on sites they will no longer be able to afford. Companies may team up with internet providers and block rivals, causing a massive loss in profits, leading to layoffs when they cannot afford them. Small businesses who rely on internet purchases will falter and fail. Net neutrality and the tax plan will destroy America.

    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
  • Bobbie
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Vote NO on both net neutrality and the tax plan. Do something for the benefit of the people. Our government has become a reality show nightmare. It's nothing but a huge candy bowl for the rich. For once think about the future of our children and grandchildren, the people who work two or three jobs just to pay the bills. If you vote yes on this tax scam, think about it as you eat your Christmas dinner, if you have any sense of decency you won't be able to swallow.

    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
  • Laibizzle
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Yeah, because trickle-down economic plans have worked sooo well in the past. Great. We really can't learn can we? And net-neutrality is a must in today's day and age. I'm ashamed it's even for debate.

    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
  • Robert
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Is net neutrality a payback like the tax cut bill? The GOP has openly said that their large corporate donors have told them to pass the tax bill and give them tax cuts/pay back the money or else they will not donate anymore, basically they have sold the American people down the river for campaign contributions which in turn means that they work for the corporations and not the American people.

    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
  • Monica
    11/30/2017
    ···

    DO NOT PASS THE TAX BILL. We all know that money doesn’t ‘trickle’ down. The top people pocket the money & barely pay their employees. Just because corporations are going to have a tax cut, you think this will change their demeanor? YEAH RIGHT.

    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
  • NoHedges
    11/30/2017
    ···

    The Civil War is a supremely ironic moment in our common heritage. For several decades, the country had just barely held itself together, struggling to tolerate its disagreements, divisions, and disunion. Finally, to become a real country, a real union, it had to, in four short years, literally tear itself together. — Ken Burns

    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
  • Lee
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Don’t sweat it people! Things happen for a reason. We don’t have any control over what Congress are doing. Just like people didn’t have any control when the Congress, controlled by the Democrats passed “The Affordable Care Act” known as the “Obamacare” remember what Nancy Pelosi said: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it” Not a beep of dissent was heard from the left wing pundits. So just seat and take a deep breath and relax.

    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
  • David
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Judith, 95% of Federal taxes are paid by the top 20% of tax payers. How is that stealing from the poor?

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Laibizzle
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Yeah, because trickle-down economic plans have worked sooo well in the past. Great. We really can't learn can we? And net-neutrality is a must in today's day and age. I'm ashamed it's even for debate.

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Kathy
    11/30/2017
    ···

    No to taking our money in social security and medicare to pay for the deficit you are causing by giving tax cuts to the rich!!!!!!!! Marco Rubio says that the tax plan is just the first step before "instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare" benefits to reduce the federal deficit. A white supremacist pedophile Putin/republican coup to facilitate social and ethnic cleansing.

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Newsfollower2018
    11/30/2017
    ···

    One more thing....perhaps some of you can convince Mr. Trump that many of his tweets are completely out of line for someone in his position. It’s no longer funny. It’s embarrassing and absurd. The press secretary needs to go. She is as useless as a rubber crutch. I’m tired of her inane justifications for Mr. Trump’s idiotic behavior. Our citizens deserve better that a man who thinks he can say and/or do anything he wants. Use your words. He works for us. He represents us and our country. If I EVER did or said any of what he’s said or done, I’d have lost my teaching job. Mr. Trump should be held to the highest possible standards- you need to make that happen.

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Patricia
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Stand with the people and not corporations. We do not want to give tax cuts to businesses or the super wealthy and we don’t want you selling the internet from beneath our fingers. How will history remember you?

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Caren
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Net Neutrality: Please vote to allow high speed access to everyone at no extra cost and allow websites to load without restrictions unless individuals choose to block a site. Should the internet become a smorgasbord of options to buy; many may choose they don’t have the income for that. I know I don’t like just one more high cost service to dollar me to death. Some individuals have to work at home after leaving the office and may need high speed access and their ability to work may be limited if they have to pay a higher price for services and their pocketbook is limited. Employers may have to pick up that cost and some companies may not be able to afford it either. TAX REFORM: No cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. Defund Planned Parenthood and reduce money sent to other countries. SEXUAL HARASSMENT: Don’t do it! Anything that could be interpreted as sexual misconduct, don’t do it. Applicable to male and female. Stop covering up or justifying any inappropriate behaviors no matter what it is. Let the punishment fit the offense! And, by all means, there should be a punishment, not a cover up or slap on the wrist, and definitely no looking away and ignoring the offense/crime!

    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
  • Sherry
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Tax reform increases the deficit and does not help the middle class, vote no!!!!

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Brandon
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Praying

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Kathy
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Rubio even said they would pass tax cuts that blowout the deficit so they can take away social security and medicare. Cancer patients and survivors, people with other serious, life-threatening conditions are facing the very real possibility that they will lose their insurance because of the repeal of the mandate in Obamacare. Patients who thought they'd be okay because they're covered by Medicare are now losing that assurance. Republicans are taking away treatment from cancer patients. They're doing it to give tax cuts to corporations and the rich. And they're proud of themselves. I believe there is a special place in hell for these republicans who are willfully killing their constituents for money and power. That certainly goes for you Doug LaMalfa!

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
  • Sandy
    11/30/2017
    ···

    Senator McCain - please be the voice of reason once again and stand up for the average person and vote no!

    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share