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Supreme Court to Consider Gerrymandering and More in Politics Today

by Countable | 4.21.17

It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:

1. ‘Pivotal Moment’ for Democrats? Gerrymandering Heads to Supreme Court

The hand-to-hand political combat in House elections on Tuesday in Georgia and last week in Kansas had the feel of the first rounds of an epic battle next year for control of the House of Representatives and the direction of national politics as the Trump presidency unfolds.

But for all the zeal on the ground, none of it may matter as much as a case heading to the Supreme Court, one that could transform political maps from City Hall to Congress — often to Democrats’ benefit.

Read more at the New York Times.

2. It looks like House Democrats just won a big victory in the Trump-Russia investigation

The House Intelligence Committee said on Friday that it had invited three former officials with knowledge of Russia's interference in the US election to testify in an open hearing in May, over a month after the committee's chairman first scrapped the session.

"The first letter was sent to FBI Director James Comey and National Security Advisor Admiral Mike Rogers, inviting them to appear at a closed hearing on May 2, 2017," [spokeswoman for Republican Rep. Mike Conaway Emily] Hytha said. "The second letter was sent to former CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates inviting them to appear at an open hearing to be scheduled after May 2nd."

Read more at Business Insider.

3. Mnuchin: Trump orders take aim at Dodd-Frank, tax regs

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday said several orders President Trump is signing are meant to emphasize the administration’s economic priorities to the American people.

Trump is scheduled Friday to sign an executive order and two presidential memoranda at the Treasury Department that direct Mnuchin to analyze core aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act and tax regulations issued in 2016.

Trump's orders come as House Republicans prepare major legislative overhauls to Dodd-Frank. The House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on April 26 to consider Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s (R-Texas) sweeping rewrite of the post-recession financial regulation.

Read more at The Hill.

4. Trump: White House will release tax reform plan next week

President Donald Trump said Friday that the process to reform America’s tax code will kick into high gear next week.

"We’ll be having a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform. The process has begun long ago, but it really formally begins on Wednesday," Trump said Friday afternoon after signing executive orders at the Treasury Department.

Earlier on Friday, Trump told The Associated Press that his administration will release its tax reform plan next week — ahead of the White House's 100-day mark. The president provided no details to AP but said individuals and businesses will receive "massive tax cuts," which he predicted would be “bigger I believe than any tax cut ever.” He added that the plan will be unveiled “Wednesday or shortly thereafter.”

Read more at Politico.

5. How is Medicare affected by the House GOP health plan?

...there are two provisions in the bill affecting the financing of Medicare that have received relatively little attention.

One, the proposal would eliminate a 0.9 percent Medicare payroll surtax that was aimed at high earners. This would reduce revenue to the Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) trust fund by $117 billion over 10 years, according to congressional tax analysts. The chief actuary of Medicare estimated that this would move up the expected date of the trust fund’s depletion from 2028 to 2025. After that date, benefits could be only partially financed unless Congress took action to raise revenue in other ways.

Second, the proposed law would limit the per capita growth of Medicaid, the health program for the poor, to the medical-care component of the consumer price index starting in 2020. But that could affect people who qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare. An analysis by Avalere Health, a health consulting firm, found that this could lead to a $44 billion spending cut for dual-eligible beneficiaries. That, in turn, could increase Medicare spending through higher rates of hospitalization and other services, further weakening the financial health of the program.

Read more at the Washington Post.

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Phil Roeder via Flickr / Creative Commons)

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(68)
  • Cinerina
    04/21/2017
    ···

    Gerrymandering has done more to tip the scales away from ethnic, religious, and even Democrat groups for decades. It's ridiculous and just as skewed as the electoral college. LET MY PEOPLE VOTE.

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  • Gary
    04/21/2017
    ···

    It's wrong and you KNOW it's wrong. Quit destroying the underpinnings of this great nation. It has survived much but it may not survive republican greed.

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  • Courtney
    04/21/2017
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    It is unlikely given the new nomination that any fair ruling will take place, but as judges I hope politics can be put aside and the illegal activity to gerrymander can be struck down for fair and equal treatment in politics

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  • C
    04/22/2017
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    Prevent gerrymandering. If you can't win by playing fair what you are doing is not called winning, it is called cheating. Districts must be drawn by non-partisan means

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  • Aqil
    04/21/2017
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    Stop trying to prevent people's right to vote against you racist republicans your Republican Party are a shame to our great country. People will vote all you republicans out locally and nationally that way you don't steal our rights and freedoms away from us.

    Like (17)
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  • Buffalo
    04/21/2017
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    Maybe they can stop the corporatist r's from continuing the rape of the middle class.

    Like (16)
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  • Jackie
    04/21/2017
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    Dodd frank needs to stay strong. Protect citizens not corporate interests

    Like (15)
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  • Jill
    04/21/2017
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    Redistricting needs to be done by an independent organization in every state!

    Like (14)
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  • Pat
    04/22/2017
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    It is my hope that the Supreme Court rules against gerrymandering. This has caused a splitting of voting districts to favor the Republicans. Some states have ruled but if we are to have fair elections, this must be rectified. There needs to be a level playing field for both parties.

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  • Calile
    04/21/2017
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    Gerrymandering is one of the worst ways the Republican Party keeps people from having a fair vote. The Republican Party is dishonest through and through and very good at making the middle class vote against their own self interests to begin with

    Like (13)
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  • Greta
    04/21/2017
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    End gerrymandering at all costs. Democracy and The American people deserve better. The dice are already so loaded...

    Like (12)
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  • Jackie
    04/21/2017
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    Medicare. No more tax breaks for the very rich especially at cost to middle class

    Like (11)
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  • HockeyGuy
    04/21/2017
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    "The end justifies the means"! This is the Republican oath for any political office. Lie, cheat, steal, remember "the end justifies the means!" Gerrymandering has produced a very slanted political system that results in a government of, by, and for the corporations with the top 2% of the public benefiting most. Gerrymandering must be prevented!!!

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  • Willie
    04/22/2017
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    Stop gerrymandering! Let fair voting have a chance. Give the middle class a chance!

    Like (8)
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  • Brian
    04/22/2017
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    Gerrymandering must end and if you republicans have to cheat to win in a election then shame on you case in point there is a Russian trator in the whitehouse

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  • Jack
    04/21/2017
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    Gerrymandering is like stacking the deck in Vegas! It should be illegal as hell!

    Like (5)
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  • Pfergmomma
    04/22/2017
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    Gerrymandering by both parties is not fair to the democratic process. However, the most egregious I have seen have been gerrymandered to favor one party over the other, GOP outcomes. This needs to be fixed!

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  • Chuck
    04/22/2017
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    Gerrymandering is hurting our nation

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  • Robert
    04/22/2017
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    Gerrymandering in effect invalidates a good portion of votes by loading the precincts in favor of the majority. It should be unconstitutional thereby eliminating the need for discussion of term limits. With a fair allocation of voters as determined by a non partisan commission people should be able to elect their representatives to serve as long as they represent those voters. If not, vote them out.

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  • SirRobert
    04/22/2017
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    Gerrymandering has been done by both Democrats and Republicans. The party in control rigs the election districts to benefit their party. Look at it anyway you want, it is still rigging the elections. I say the party is over for both Republicans and Democrats. States already control various functions by counties. Keep the established Boundaries within each state and stop rigging elections. Election Day gets closer every day and we are watching very closely.

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