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TRUMP, CONGRESS - WE'RE JUST GETTING STARTED
Congressional recess is over and we are fast approaching the end of Trump's first 100 days. As work on the hill ramps back up with fights over the budget, healthcare, and more, the single message we have for the current administration and Congress is: The Resistance is just getting started.

There is a lot happening, and a lot coming up. Take a breath and get ready to dive back in. Here are three critical things for you to know about, and actions you can take on each one.

HELP SAVE THE EPA - COMMENT TODAY

The EPA is calling for public comments on its regulations – the ones that protect us from polluted air and water, toxic chemicals, and climate change. The EPA needs to hear that Americans care about these protections, and are watching.
There are two things you can do to pledge your support.
  1. Show up or call in to one of five hearings and make an oral comment. The earliest hearing is this Monday, April 24 via phone at 11am EST. There are also hearings April 25, May 1, May 2 and May 9. More information here.
  2. Submit a written comment online by May 15.
Don't know what to say? Check this out. Remember to tell RISE, and all of your friends, that you pledge to support the EPA today.

BUCKLE UP AND GET READY TO FIGHT CONGRESS ON HEALTHCARE, YET AGAIN.
This week, word from the White House was that a new healthcare bill would be out any day, with the hope that a vote could take place mid-week upon Congress' return from recess. Here's the scoop on just how terrible the new proposal really is.

The bill is bad. Like TrumpCare 1.0, the 2.0 version will:
  • Raise premiums by 20%
  • Result in 24 million more uninsured
  • Give 600 billion in tax breaks to the wealthy and large insurance and drug companies
  • Create an age tax
  • Effectively eliminate Medicaid expansion and ration future Medicaid care
  • Threaten essential health benefits like maternity care, and critical mental health services
In addition, and despite the GOPs rhetoric, the new proposal will allows waivers from the ACAs protections for pre-existing conditions, essentially eliminating its guarantee of affordable coverage.

What can you do? Call your reps. Tweet your reps. Demand that they #rejectrepeal and #protectourcare.

BUDGET SHOWDOWN, GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN LOOMING
When Congress comes back from recess Monday, it has just five days to stop a government shutdown by the end of next week when the Treasury runs out of authority to spend money. What exactly does that mean? And what's next?

First up. The current temporary spending bill - or "continuing resolution," expires on April 28. Yet there are still five months remaining for this fiscal year that need funding. If Congress fails to pass a budget extension, the government will shut down on April 29, President Trump's 100th day in office.

While Democrats and many moderate Republicans in Congress would be happy to pass a "clean" spending bill that keeps the government funded at or near current levels, prospects for a government shutdown ratcheted up last month when the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a supplemental budget request for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year asking for $30 billion in additional defense spending, a $1.5 billion "down payment" for construction on a U.S.-Mexico border wall, an additional $1.5 billion for detaining and deporting undocumented persons, and $18 billion worth of unspecified budget cuts. An OMB spreadsheet provided to Congress and subsequently leaked to the press identified a "menu" of suggested budget cuts, including cuts to the Women, Infant, and Children program, AmeriCorps, a reduction in Pell Grants which help low-income youth attend college, and much more.

What you need to do. Please call your U.S. Representative and both U.S. Senators to express your opposition to the Trump administration's short-term budget request for Fiscal Year 2017, which artificially insists on $33 billion in new defense and border spending and $18 billion worth of spending cuts elsewhere in order to prevent the federal government from shutting down on April 29. Instead, urge your Member of Congress to work across party lines to pass a "clean" spending bill that keeps the government funded at or near its current levels. Find your Congressional members at WhoIsMyRepresentative.com. For a script and more background information, click here.

A DRACONIAN BUDGET IS ON THE HORIZON FOR 2018 - AND YOU CAN HELP SHAPE IT
Next up. If the continuing resolution passes next week, the budget process for 2017 is over. Then we turn to 2018.

On Thursday, March 16, the White House released its budget proposal for the next fiscal year, FY 2018, which will begin on October 1, 2017. The budget cuts $54 billion from discretionary non-defense spending, or close to 10 percent of the FY2017 spending level for this category. At the same time, Trump wants to increase defense spending by $54 billion, mostly on defense systems like Navy ships and the F-35 that were built for a more conventional, less asymmetrical world.

Trump's budget is just the opening shot in the budget battle. Your Congressional representatives are the ones who will negotiate and pass a budget resolution, mostly likely in mid-May. And since your Congressional representatives are accountable to you, you can influence this process.


The Rise Citizen's Guide to the Budget is intended to highlight some of the worst parts of Trump's budget proposal and equip you with information and things to say to your representatives. We can shape, or better yet, stop, this terrible budget. Your Action: Educate yourself. Be prepared to speak up and ask that your MOCs protect these programs.

ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS DISMISSES HAWAII AS "AN ISLAND IN THE PACIFIC"
"...I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power." {source} We have news for your Mr. Sessions. That "Island in the Pacific" happens to be Hawaii, one of 50 states in our country. Just like your home state of Alabama. And that judge happens to be a federal judge with constitutional authority, just like any other federal judge in our country. Let's not forget that, Mr. Attorney General.

THREE MORE WEEKS TO MARCH FOR SCIENCE, CLIMATE, & IMMIGRATION
After a successful tax march this past weekend with hundreds of thousands participating across the country, don't forget about the next three weeks of marches. Find one in your community by visiting the RISE People's Calendar at www.risestronger.org/events.

FRESH CANDIDATES JUMP INTO KEY RACES TO SHAPE THE FUTURE OF THE RESISTANCE
  • James Thompson - created a more than 20 point swing in one of the reddest areas in the country without support from the DCCC;
  • John Ossoff - raised over $8 million for a primary and just narrowly missed hitting the 50% margin needed to win the GA special election primary; will face a tough runoff in June;
  • Kathryn Allen - set to run against Jason Chaffetz (UT-3) is raising an incredible amount of money and making headlines, so much so that all of a sudden, Chaffetz has announced he will no longer run for reelection in 2018;
  • Rob Quist - running in Montana in a May 25 special election to fill the seat of Ryan Zinke, now Secretary of the Interior. The DCCC has just jumped in with an initial financial investment into this race.
  • Jennifer Wexton - current Virginia Senator has announced she's in, and will take on Barbara Comstock in the VA-10 Congressional race in 2018.
GET INVOLVED
Interested in getting more involved with RISE Stronger? We have plenty of volunteer roles to fill, including policy working groups that could use your expertise, as well as specific marketing, development, and partnership opportunities to help propel RISE and the Resistance forward. Email [email protected], subject line: "Get Involved" and let us know what you're interested in.

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