Correction from last week: Rep. Barbara Lee’s district does not cover San Francisco. Treasure Island is in CA-11. If you are a constituent of Representative Lee (CA-12), check out Indivisible East Bay! San Francisco’s residents are covered by Representative Pelosi (CA-11) and Representative Mullin (CA-15). Our website has been updated to reflect their office phone numbers and contact forms.
Now that a MAGA-dominated Republican Party holds a majority in the House, we intend to keep track of the worst bills they pass. They know that so long as Democrats control the Senate and the White House their pro-corporate, anti-people, “show-bills” will never become law. But governing responsibly on behalf of the American people is not their intention. Their goal is entirely tactical, appeasing and inciting the worst of their base while pandering to their big donors for electoral advantage in 2024.
The very first bill that the new Republican majority rammed through the House on a party-line vote made their political intentions clear. They led with yet another Big Lie that the IRS funding increase included in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act was intended to hound and harass ordinary taxpayers and small businesses, when the language of that act specifically targeted the increase towards auditing large corporations and high-net-worth individuals rather than households making less than $400,000. Mendaciously repeating that lie, Republicans then passed their so-called “Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act” to rescind $71 billion of IRS funding on a 221-210 party-line vote.
As reported by Politico, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that cutting IRS funding will reduce tax revenue by about $186 billion, resulting in a $114 billion increase in the federal deficit over the next decade. “With their first economic legislation of the new Congress, House Republicans are making clear that their top economic priority is to allow the rich and multi-billion dollar corporations to skip out on their taxes, while making life harder for ordinary, middle-class families that pay the taxes they owe,” reported the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
If actually enacted into law (which it won’t be), the Republican bill would also remove money for the IRS to research the development of a free, agency-run tax return e-filing system, as well as $50 million provided to the Treasury Department to implement Democrats’ climate and health bill.
Forbes made it plain, describing the Republican bill as: “… just the first skirmish in a battle that could well result in substantial cuts in the IRS’ $12.319 billion budget by the end of 2023, limiting its ability to enforce the tax laws and to make life easier for honest tax filers.”
None of these Republican lies and schemes is in any way surprising. For years, the economic bedrock of the Republican anti-government, anti-environmental protection, anti-regulation agenda has been the slogan: “Starve the Beast.” They know that the American people want to combat global warming and protect the environment, provide a social safety net for seniors and low-income Americans, and rein in the worst depredations of corporate greed. So their overarching strategy is to cripple government by slashing the funding of agencies charged with protecting our well being.
Defending Reproductive Rights against an Extremist House
Our main Call to Action during the 118th Congress, with MAGA in charge of the House, will be to stand firm with bold Leader Jeffries in opposing the Big Liars’ shameful, harmful legislation and standing strong to defend American values. One of those values is the freedom to choose whether and when to have children. When it comes to reproductive rights, Democrats have fought for governing over gaslighting.
Federal reproductive rights were won in a decades-long struggle, grounded in medical science, economic justice, and principles of personal liberty, that led to the Roe v Wade decision in 1973. This hard-won constitutional right, supported by over 60 percent of Americans, was federal law for forty-nine years, until partisan judicial activists on our Supreme Court, appointed by the twice-impeached Vengeful Loser, tossed it out last summer.
MAGA House Republicans acted against our values when they voted on Wednesday to pass what they deceptively call the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” which imposes fines or up to five years in prison for providing reproductive healthcare. The branding is intentionally deceptive: they know that it is already considered homicide in the US to intentionally kill an infant that is born alive.
These lies cause real, physical harm. They feed the violence we have seen perpetrated against family-planning and reproductive-rights services and providers by radical Republicans for decades. Team MAGA, rather than do anything to stop the violence they have fomented, just adopted a House Resolution that condemns attacks on “pro-life facilities, groups and churches.” They passed these bills, knowing they would be defeated in the Senate, as “message opportunities.” Message received.
Read more about it on our blog.
The November 2022 midterms demonstrated that voters were incensed by the Supreme Court’s partisan judicial activists tossing out this vital human right; Americans turned out in large numbers to vote for Democrats nationwide. We will continue the electoral fight in elections at all levels.
In the meantime:
- The Center for Reproductive Rights features up-to-the minute news on the fight to defend reproductive rights (including medication-abortion and contraception) on the state and federal level nationwide.
- We at Indivisible SF prepared a list of ways that our members can directly support access to safe abortion through adopting a clinic or a county or contributing to funds that help people seeking abortion care.
ADEMs are upon us
The California Democratic Party’s Assembly Delegate Election Meetings are happening now. The final in-person meetings are this weekend. Read more about the ADEMs on our blog.
If you registered to vote by mail, you may already have your ballot by now. CADem has instructions on filling out your ballot, and lists of the candidates for AD 17, AD 19, and all the Assembly districts in California.
We don’t have any endorsements for this election. In AD 17, there are two slates. We’ll post any progressive endorsements on our Vote page.
If you’re interested in participating in activities like drafting letters to our Members of Congress and developing our strategy for influencing them, the Indivisible SF Federal Working Group is where it happens.
Make Public Comment ONCE AGAIN at the SF Police Commission: TODAY, Wednesday, January 18, starting at 5:30 PM. As Mayor Breed asks all departments in the city to look at 5 percent budget cuts, the incoming SFPD budget is apparently excluded. Today the Police Commission is taking public comment on the SFPD budget, and we need you to challenge this continued lack of fiscal responsibility when it comes to the police. A comment at the Police Commission meeting takes just two minutes (at this week’s Wednesday evening meeting at 5:30pm).
If you are unable to comment in person or via phone, you may email your comment to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and to view the meeting online, visit the SF Police Commission webpage.
Indivisible SF Federal Working Group: Thursday, January 26, 7:30–9 PM. Planning meeting where we discuss strategy to influence our Members of Congress and the Biden administration to enact a progressive agenda. Meeting starts promptly at 7:30 PM. All are welcome. Register here!
About this week’s photo
If you’ve seen our newsletter posts on Twitter and Facebook, you might have noticed that we include a photo or graphic with each issue.
Today’s image is a photo of Rep. George Santos from a New York Times article on his appointments to Science and Small Business Committee seats, taken by Win Mcnamee for Getty Images.
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