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- - -  THIS WEEK: DECEMBER 8, 2017  - - -

Hill Headlines
 

Draining the Swamp: Rep. Conyers (D-MI-13), Sen. Franken (D-MN), and Rep. Franks (R-AZ-8) all announced plans to resign in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment. The House Ethics Committee will also begin an investigation of Rep. Farenthold (R-TX-27) for allegedly using public funds to settle a sexual harassment claim with a former staff member.

Muslim Ban 3.0 Goes into Effect: The Supreme Court issued a decision allowing President Trump's third travel ban to go into effect while lawsuits against the ban proceed in lower courts. Oral arguments in two cases took place in Washington and Virginia this week. See Poligon's guide to the ban here.


Legislative Updates

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Tax Reform Goes to Conference Committee: After the Senate passed its version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) early morning on Dec. 2, the bill is set to begin the conference committee process. Members appointed to the committee will work to reconcile differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill. Key differences include the state and local tax deduction, the mortgage interest deduction, and the alternative minimum tax on corporations.
 
02.pngAvoiding Government Shutdown: Both houses passed a measure that would maintain funding for the federal government for another two weeks, preventing a government shutdown as Congress and the White House continue negotiations on the next federal budget.
 
03.pngHigher Education Reform: Republican leaders of the House Committee on Education and Workforce have introduced the PROSPER Act, an overhaul of the Higher Education Act that includes loosening regulations on for-profit colleges and streamlining federal financial aid programs - including ending loan forgiveness for public service.

04.pngAddressing Workplace Harassment: A bipartisan group introduced the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act, which would make it easier for employees to file lawsuits and speak publicly regarding cases of workplace sexual harassment.

04.pngPresidential Impeachment: Rep. Green (D-TX-9) introduced the articles of impeachment against President Trump. The measure failed with only 58 representatives, all Democrats, voting in favor of impeachment.

Hill Events

Beyond the Muslim Ban Briefing

A panel of immigration and civil rights activists discussed the effects of President Trump’s third Muslim travel ban, and how measures such as extreme vetting and the revocation of certain visa programs could further limit the number of Muslims entering the United States. In opening remarks, Rep. Chu (D-CA-27) called on advocates to continue opposing the ban and encourage their members of Congress to do the same.

Poll on American Attitudes Post-Trump

The Arab American Institute released their poll on American attitudes toward Muslim and Arab Americans, as well as a variety of policy issues. Among their findings was that although there is a partisan divide on favorable attitudes toward Muslim Americans, they have overall improved since President Trump’s election.

Extreme Vetting Briefing

The Brennan Center hosted a discussion of the Trump Administration’s proposed “extreme vetting” of immigrants and visitors to the United States. Panelists highlighted the pitfalls of trying to scan social media data to determine terrorism risks and warned of its potential effects on freedom of speech.

No Muslim Ban Ever Rally

Muslims and allies gathered in front of the Supreme Court to protest its decision to let Muslim Ban 3.0 go into effect, and renew their support for families who will be affected by the ban. Rep. Chu (D-CA-27) and Rep. Kildee (D-MI-5) also called for the country's leaders to live up to its ideals of tolerance and diversity.

Hill Buzz

On the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

"I know everyone is ready to finalize our tax reform legislation and send it to the president so he can sign it into law." - Sen. McConnell (R-KY)

“The American people deserve better than this trickle-down product of carelessness and cruelty.” - Rep. Pelosi (D-CA-12)

On Muslim Ban 3.0 Going into Effect:

“Freedom of religion is a fundamental pillar of our Constitution. [President Trump]’s executive order represents a thinly veiled ban based on religion and goes against everything our nation stands for.” - Rep. Dingell (D-MI-12)

"We must resist the un-American Muslim ban which is rooted in hatred and bigotry." - Rep. Lee (D-CA-13)

Further Reading

Communities of color deserve better than the GOP's tax reform | The Hill | December 7, 2017

After Push on Taxes, Republicans Line Up Welfare Revamp Next | Wall Street Journal | December 5, 2017

How Many People In Your Income Group Would Get a Tax Cut Under the GOP Tax Plan? New York Times | December 5, 2017

Poligon Education Fund is working tirelessly to 1) monitor and hold accountable all Congressional action taken on issues that deeply impact the lives of everyday Muslim Americans and 2) educate Muslim Americans on effective advocacy and Congressional engagement. We can continue this important work with your generous support. Please take time to make a contribution.

Poligon Education Fund is a 501c3 non-profit charitable organization dedicated to amplifying Muslim American voices in Congress.
Copyright © 2017 Poligon Education Fund, All rights reserved.


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