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May 23, 2019

NEWS OF THE DAY

 Trump’s Temper Tantrum

 Judge Upholds Democratic Subpoena

 Trump’s Tax Returns

 Democratic Party Agenda

DNC WAR ROOM

 RNC Embraces Disgraced Alleged Sexual Predator Steve Wynn

 Trump Orders McGahn Not To Testify

 Alabama Abortion Ban

 Trump Doubles Down on Failed Border Strategy

 Trump Abuses Power To Attack Political Enemies

 Trump Interferes In House Investigations

 Trump’s Economy


NEWS OF THE DAY


Trump’s Temper Tantrum

  • Democrats gave Trump the opportunity to launch a historic bipartisan infrastructure initiative, but instead he decided to hold the event hostage and throw a temper tantrum.


  • On top of killing plans for infrastructure investment, Trump said that he would not work on any legislative proposals while Democrats continue their investigations.


  • Whether Trump is on board or not, Democrats will continue to work for the American people and help create good-paying jobs.


  • At the same time, Congress will continue to work to uncover the truth for the American people, in the face of Trump’s unprecedented cover-ups. It is their constitutional duty.


Judge Upholds Democratic Subpoena

  • A federal judge upheld a congressional subpoena from House Democrats seeking Trump’s financial records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One.

    • This is the second subpoena from Democrats upheld by the courts this week.

    • Earlier this week a federal judge upheld a subpoena seeking Trump’s financial records, which he appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.


  • The court's decision deals another blow to Trump’s efforts to undermine the rule of law and obstruct Congress from continuing their investigations.


  • This also serves as further proof that the law is on the Democrats’ side, and despite Trump’s repeated interference, Democrats’ efforts to hold Trump accountable are working,


Trump’s Tax Returns

  • Yesterday, New York State lawmakers voted to turnover Trump’s state tax returns to Congress, and the governor is expected to sign the bill as soon as possible.


  • Americans deserve to know what’s in Trump’s tax returns and how financial interests affect how he governs. This is an important step forward in transparency, after Trump has tried to keep his returns secret.

    • Trump promised on the campaign trail that he'd release his returns. And a majority of Americans still want him to release them.


  • Trump’s Treasury Department broke the law and refused to meet a fourth deadline last week to release six years of Trump's personal and business tax returns to Congress, this time in response to a subpoena.

    • Mnuchin claimed that congressional oversight of the president is illegitimate if it does not advance a legislative agenda. This is simply not true.

    • A confidential IRS memo prepared last fall contradicts the Trump administration’s justification for denying Congress’s request for Trump’s tax returns.


  • Let’s be clear: It is the House’s constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the president, and House Democrats have absolute legal authority to request Trump’s financial records.

    • Despite Trump and his administration’s lies, the law is crystal clear: the House Ways and Means Committee has the authority to request Trump’s taxes. There is no room for ambiguity or interpretation.


  • The Trump administration’s attempts to block the release of Trump's tax returns is an unprecedented step that sets up a constitutional challenge. What is Trump trying to hide?


  • For two years, Republicans refused to provide any oversight on Trump or his administration. Americans overwhelmingly voted for Democrats in the midterm elections, in part because they wanted to provide a check on the president.

    • The American people deserve to know what Trump is hiding, and Democrats are going to find out.


Democratic Party Agenda

  • Trump attacks Democrats for not getting any work done in Congress. The reality is that Democrats have actually done a lot, but Trump has opposed their legislation and it has stalled in McConnell’s legislative graveyard, despite broad support from voters.


  • Here’s a look at some of what House Democrats have done:

    • House Democrats passed the Equality Act to prohibit discrimation based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

    • House Democrats passed a package of bills to protect people’s access to health care and help make prescription drugs more affordable.

    • House Democrats passed a disaster relief bill.

    • House Democrats passed a bill to restore net neutrality.

    • House Democrats passed the Climate Action Now Act to take action to protect our climate and create economic opportunities.

    • House Democrats reauthorized and expanded the Violence Against Women Act.

    • House Democrats passed legislation to require background checks for all gun sales.

    • House Democrats passed legislation to help close the gender pay gap.

    • House Democrats passed historic anti-corruption reform and provisions to strengthen our election systems.


  • While Democrats are working for the American people, what has Trump done lately?


DNC WAR ROOM


RNC Embraces Disgraced Alleged Sexual Predator Steve Wynn

  • The RNC accepted nearly $250,000 last month from Steve Wynn, a former RNC finance chair who resigned after his alleged decades-long pattern of sexual assault and harrassment of his employees became public.

    • Wynn attended a 40-person, high-dollar fundraiser for the Trump campaign and RNC in New York last week.


  • The RNC and Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel promised they would return Wynn’s past donations. Not only have they failed to do that, they’ve now accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars more from him.

    • The RNC said they would return Wynn’s donations if investigations by two state gaming boards and Wynn Resorts found wrongdoing by Wynn. All three investigations found a massive cover-up by Wynn executives, but the RNC is turning a blind eye to those results.

  • Chairwoman McDaniel called repeatedly for the DNC to return donations from Harvey Weinstein, citing his settling with victims as proof of his guilt. We know now that Wynn has settled at least eight cases. How does Chairwoman McDaniel justify accepting nearly a quarter of a million dollars more from him?


  • The RNC must return all of Wynn’s money and condemn his reprehensible behavior. In Chairwoman McDaniel’s own words, if the Republican Party truly stands up for women, then this should be a no-brainer. But of course we know they don’t.


Trump Orders McGahn Not To Testify

  • House Democrats plan to hold Don McGahn in contempt after he refused to show up to testify because Trump ordered him not to.

    • House Democrats subpoenaed McGahn to testify about his involvement in Trump’s obstruction of justice.


  • Mueller’s report laid out clear evidence of Trump’s obstruction. McGahn is a critical witness and saw firsthand Trump’s attacks on the rule of law, and his attempts to cover up those actions with lies.


  • The Trump administration continues to try to cover up Mueller’s findings and prevent Congress from doing its constitutional duty to provide oversight as an equal branch of government.


Alabama Abortion Ban

Background: On Tuesday, hundreds of protests were held across the country to #StopTheBans.

  • Last week, the state of Alabama became the latest example of how Donald Trump’s extremist agenda has emboldened Republican lawmakers across the country to put women at risk.


  • In the middle of National Women’s Health Week, Republicans in the Alabama legislature passed the strictest abortion ban in the country since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land.


  • If implemented, this law would criminalize abortion and could endanger the lives of Alabama women by barring access to safe, legal reproductive health care.


  • With Trump in the White House and Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, abortion bans in state legislatures have skyrocketed nationwide in a shameful effort to overturn Roe v. Wade.

    • Last week, the Missouri legislature passed an 8-week abortion ban, which would be one of the most restrictive anti-choice laws in the country.


  • Democrats will always fight to protect women’s reproductive health care rights and stop these dangerous laws from taking effect.


Trump Doubles Down on Failed Border Strategy

  • Last week, Trump unveiled an immigration plan that doubles down on his unnecessary and ineffective border wall, creates a merit-based point system, cuts in half the number of green cards offered for familial immigration, and does not include protections for DACA, which he rescinded.

    • Trump’s plan already faces skepticism from both sides of the aisle, which Lindsey Graham even said was “not designed to become law.” Mitch McConnell and other prominent Republican lawmakers refused to endorse the plan.


  • Trump is trying to reframe the issue, but it won’t work. The reality is this plan is just more of the same anti-immigrant, discriminatory policies that Trump has pushed for the last two years, and it will do nothing to solve real problems in our immigration system. Trump’s cruel and chaotic border strategy has failed.


  • Trump continues to double down on his chaotic anti-immigrant agenda:

    • The Trump administration is diverting $1.5 billion more dollars from Pentagon funding to pay for his ineffective border wall -- including $224 million from the military retirement system.

    • The White House is working with Lindsey Graham on legislation to allow children to be detained for up to 100 days at our border.

    • The Trump administration plans to send hundreds of TSA agents, including air marshals, to the southern border to perpetuate Trump’s fake national emergency.

      • Most suspected terrorists are apprehended at airports, not the border as Trump wants us to believe.

    • Trump continues to complain that Mexico is not doing enough to prevent immigration to the U.S. and announced he would respond soon -- indicating he may again threaten a complete closure of the border.


  • Democrats and Republicans can agree that our current immigration system is broken. But what we need is bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform. And right now all we’ve seen from the Republican Party are proposals to detain children for even longer and limit asylum for those fleeing violence and persecution.  


  • Trump’s immigration policies have been a complete failure -- and they’ve made the problem much, much worse. For almost two and a half years, he’s put children in cages and talked about a wall, but done nothing to address the real problems in our immigration system. And he’s made us less safe.

    • At least six migrant children have died in U.S. custody or soon after being released over the past eight months.

  • Democrats are making clear that we need a better strategy:

    • We need a fairer and more efficient process for considering asylum claims that protects those who are eligible and deters those who are not.

    • We need to use the substantial border funding provided in the last budget bill on border technology, ports of entry, more immigration judges, and to humanely screen and process families and children at the border.

    • We need to address the violence and instability that is causing people to flee their home countries in the first place. That includes working with our Central American partners to reinstate regional refugee and resettlement programs, without cutting off all access to asylum.

  • The last thing we need to do is give the Trump administration more authority or more funding to pursue its chaotic and dangerous immigration agenda. We urge Republicans to work with Democrats on smart strategies that put our security and humanity first.

  • Historically, immigration reform has been a bipartisan proposition. But what Trump and many Republicans are proposing right now isn’t reform. It won’t address the problems we see now, and it doesn’t put our security or our humanity first.

  • We can fix our immigration system if Republicans come to the table and work with Democrats in good faith.


Trump Abuses Power To Attack Political Enemies

  • Trump’s attorney general assigned a federal prosecutor in Connecticut to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation.

    • This is on top of the inspector general’s investigation and an investigation being conducted by a U.S. attorney in Utah, which have not even been completed yet.

    • Trump has long called for an investigation of the investigators. Barr’s decision to launch yet another investigation shows he is acting like Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, not the lawyer of the American people.

      • Trump said that he was “proud” of Barr for opening the investigation.


  • Rudy Giuliani backed down from going to Ukraine and encouraging them to pursue investigations to benefit Trump, but not because he thought he was doing anything wrong.

    • In 2016, Trump's team was willing to accept the help of a foreign government's interference in our political system to benefit Trump. Now, they were willing to seek out the help of a foreign government to interfere in our political system to benefit Trump.


  • Trump also said that he thought it would be “appropriate” for him to speak to his attorney general about launching investigations into his political enemies.

    • Throughout his presidency, Trump has tried to abuse his power to attack his political enemies, and now, he is setting the stage to do it in the 2020 election.

    • Attorney General Barr has already proven that he will not be independent and stand up to Trump -- he thinks he is Trump’s personal lawyer, not the lawyer of the United States.


  • These are all clear tactics by the White House to muddy the waters, to distract from the Mueller report’s findings and their persistent attacks on the rule of law, and to cover up for Trump’s failures. No one is buying it.


Trump Interferes In House Investigations

  • Trump is creating a crisis by repeatedly blocking Congress from doing its constitutional duty to provide oversight as an equal branch of government.

    • Trump and his allies are blocking more than 20 separate House investigations.


  • Last week, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent a 12-page letter to the House Judiciary Committee rejecting document and testimony requests, and claiming that Congress does not have the standing to investigate the president without a specific legislative purpose.

    • The Justice Department can’t hold Trump accountable because a sitting president can’t be indicted. Now the White House is claiming that Congress isn’t allowed to hold Trump accountable either.

    • The White House thinks Trump should be able to do whatever he wants, with no accountability. Democrats aren’t going to let that happen.

  • The White House is also holding back Mueller’s testimony over questions on whether it will choose to exert executive privilege, and fully block Mueller from testifying.


  • Former White House counsel Don McGahn refused to comply with a House subpoena to testify before the Judiciary Committee.

    • The White House directed McGahn to not turn over any White House documents.


  • It is Congress’s constitutional duty to provide oversight. Despite this, Trump has continually tried to interfere in investigations into him and his administration. Here’s just some of the other examples:

    • The White House rejected House Democrats’ request for documents related to the security clearances of Trump administration officials, who were allegedly granted clearances despite being denied by career security experts.

    • The White House initially instructed the official responsible for overturning the denial of Kushner’s security clearance to ignore a congressional subpoena to appear, and then set limitations on his testimony.

    • Trump, his children, and his business sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One to block them from turning over his financial records to Congress.

    • Trump exerted executive privilege to block the release of the full, unredacted Mueller report and its underlying evidence, despite his claims that it “totally exonerates” him.

    • Trump said he is opposed to any current and former White House aides testifying to Congress.

    • The White House refused to let Stephen Miller testify on the Trump administration’s harmful immigration policies, including family separations.

    • The Trump administration has repeatedly refused to comply with deadlines to release Trump’s tax returns to Congress.

    • Trump and his businesses sued his own accounting firm and Chairman Cummings to block a subpoena of his financial records, but a federal court upheld Democrats’ subpoena and the case has now been appealed to the D.C. Circuit.

    • Trump vowed to fight “all the subpoenas,” and White House lawyers plan to tell attorneys for any witnesses called to testify that they would assert executive privilege to block testimony.

    • Trump said congressional investigations were, in his view, “done” and that he would not allow any more staffers appear before investigating committees.


Trump’s Economy

  • Trump touts the economy as the greatest in history, but the reality is he has only created an economy that benefits big corporations and the wealthiest Americans at the expense of middle-class families.

    • While Trump gave massive tax cuts to the rich and big corporations, many middle-class families have actually had to pay more in taxes.

    • Trump has given large corporations and big banks free rein while gutting protections for consumers and working Americans.


  • The Trump tax law remains incredibly unpopular because the American people know the truth: it’s not benefiting them.


  • A recent poll confirms the problem with economic growth under Trump’s policies: It hasn’t benefitted middle-class families, only the richest Americans.

    • Only 12% of Americans say their family has personally benefited a great deal from the economy under Trump.

    • A majority of Americans say they have not been helped either much or at all from the economy under Trump.

    • Only 18% of Americans say that middle-class families have benefited a lot from Trump’s policies, while 58% say that wealthy families have benefited a lot.


  • More Americans say they’ve had to pay more in taxes than less. Trump’s tax cuts are not delivering the results he promised:

    • Inflation-adjusted wages haven’t risen in the last three quarters, and are barely 1% above when Trump took office.

    • The White House continues to claim that Trump’s tax cut is paying for itself, but the federal budget deficit widened to $691 billion in the first half of the fiscal year.

    • Business investment continues to trend down, slowing even further in the first quarter of 2019, despite the White House saying this was key to the tax cut trickling down to workers.


  • Trump promised a sustained boost to economic growth that hasn’t happened. In fact, job growth has actually slowed -- more jobs were created in the last 27 months under President Obama than during Trump’s first 27 months.


  • We know that Trump won’t stand up for working families. Trump falsely blamed local union leaders and workers at the General Motors facility in Lordstown, Ohio for job cuts that he vowed to protect, and continues to attack union leaders for calling him out on his broken promises.

    • Trump’s tax law actually incentivized corporations to offshore jobs.

    • GM saved hundreds of millions of dollars from Trump’s tax law, but used that money to benefit their wealthy shareholders while shuttering factories.


  • Trump's reckless agenda has created chaos in our economy. From the longest government shutdown in U.S. history -- which cost to the tune of $11 billion -- to his threats to disrupt $1.7 billion in daily trade flow by shutting down the southern border, Trump has made working Americans question the stability of the economy under his volatile presidency.


  • Democrats will continue to fight for an economy that creates opportunity and raises wages for working families.

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