Issue Report ● Shutdown
For Immediate Release: 
February 5, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
President Trump will deliver his State of the Union address tonight on the heels of the longest government shutdown in history. While he is expected to claim credit for his policies, a look at his record over the past two years shows that he has failed the middle-class and made America less secure. Take a look:
 
THE ECONOMY, JOBS, & WAGES

For two years, President Trump has failed to put forward policies to grow jobs and raise wages. Instead, he has enacted his tax scam to benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class; shut down the government for 35 days; exploded the deficit; and made it more difficult for Americans to get ahead.

Raising Taxes on Millions of Middle Class Households
President Trump signed a partisan GOP tax scam into law, giving 83% of the tax cuts to the top 1% of Americans and raising taxes for 86 million middle-class families by 2027. The law also added $1.9 trillion to the deficit. 
Over the last year, President Trump and Congressional Republicans have continually claimed that the sweeping tax cuts would create new jobs, raise wages, and spark investment. In reality, none of that has happened. A recent survey conducted by the National Association of Business Economics found that the tax cut had “no major impact on businesses’ capital investment or hiring plans” while report after report indicates corporations are using their tax windfall for record stock buybacks that enrich executives and shareholders rather than investing and creating jobs.

Costing the U.S. Economy Billions Due to the Trump-McConnell Shutdown
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found the 35 day government shutdown directly cost the economy at least $11 billion when  800,000 civil servants missed two paychecks during the holiday season, forcing many to go to food banks and take out risky loans. Contractors and small businesses were also negatively impacted, and delayed government services rippled throughout the economy. Americans across all 50 states and U.S. territories were negatively affected by the shutdown.

Declining Wages
Despite President Trump’s promise that workers would receive a $4,000 raise from the tax law, real wages are not rising for average workers under economic policies after accounting for inflation. After decades of stagnant wage growth, average workers saw the slowest wage gains in January since before the tax scam was enacted.

No Jobs Legislation
President Trump hasn’t put forward a single jobs bill, and his “infrastructure” package was widely panned as unserious.

Record Deficits
Following the GOP tax scam that added $1.9 trillion to the deficit over the next ten years, and budgets that break President Trump’s repeated promises to balance, President Trump is on track to become the most fiscally irresponsible president in history. In January, the Congressional Budget Office projected deficits will average $1.2 trillion over the next decade. The same CBO report projects interest on the debt to surpass the defense budget in the next five years.

Expanding the Trade Deficit
After repeatedly claiming he’ll work to address the trade deficit, the U.S. trade deficit has increased under the last two years of President Trump’s scattershot trade policies. With two months in reporting to go, 2018 appears to be on track for the highest annual goods trade deficit in history. In addition, his policies are hurting food producers and consumers across the country.

Making It More Difficult for Americans to Pay off Student Debt
The Trump Administration, through a number of rules it rescinded in July of 2017, has made it more difficult for students to pay back student loans.

Undermining Worker’s Rights
In June of 2017, the Trump Administration attacked America’s workforce by rescinding joint employer guidance and other regulations meant to protect workers and their ability to collectively bargain. In the last two years, the Trump Administration has removed a number of critical worker protections, including limiting tip protection rules, halting records of workplace injuries, implementing rules limiting worker retirement plans, and awarding lucrative government contracts to organizations with known workplace-safety violations.
INFRASTRUCTURE

Released a Partisan, Unserious Infrastructure Proposal
President Trump promised the American people he would work with Democrats and Republicans in Congress on an infrastructure bill. Instead, President Trump released a half-baked plan, dismissed out-of-hand as unrealistic and unserious because it forces state and local governments to fund 80% of infrastructure projects.

HEALTH CARE

From the day he was sworn into office, President Trump has sought to undermine Americans’ health care, which has increased health care costs, destabilized insurance markets, and undermined Medicare and Medicaid.

Sabotaging the Affordable Care Act
After failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans have taken action through executive orders and legislation to undermine the law’s critical protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, force 13 million Americans off of health coverage, and raise costs. As a result of the Trump Administration’s actions, the number of uninsured Americans has now increased for the first time since 2014.  Here’s a look at a few of the ways the President has sabotaged the law: Attacking Women’s Health Care
Over the last two years, the Trump Administration has attacked women’s health care through rules intended to restrict access to contraception, and restrictions to family planning services that put employers in charge of women’s reproductive health care choices.
IMMIGRATION

Misleading the Public on the Challenges at the Southern Border
The President continues to mislead the public about the situation at the border, claiming that there is a humanitarian and security crisis that demands a border wall. In reality, unauthorized migration has been declining significantly for the past decade. In 2018, there was a slight uptick from women and families fleeing violence in Central America – a far cry from the violent criminals described by President Trump. More suspected foreign terrorists were apprehended last year at the northern border between the U.S. and Canada than were apprehended on the southwest border with Mexico. President Trump has also claimed a border wall is necessary to stop the dramatic spike in illegal drugs at the southern border. However, the majority of the flow comes through legal ports of entry at the border, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

In addition, Republicans agree that a border wall would be an ineffective approach to strengthening border security:
Then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly: “A physical barrier in and of itself will not do the job…. It has to be really a layered defense.” [USA Today, 1/10/17]

Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney:  “…To just say build the darn fence and have that be the end of an immigration discussion is absurd and almost childish for someone running for president to take that simplistic of [a] view.” [WRHI, 8/25/15]

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX): “I don’t think we're just going to be able to solve border security with a physical barrier because people can come under, around it and through it.” [CNN, 2/6/17]

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “The border wall is probably not a smart investment.” [Politico, 3/28/17]

Not only has the President misled the American people about the need for a border wall, but he’s also responsible for immigration crises of his own making:

Ending DACA
In September 2017, the Trump Administration upended the lives of 800,000 DREAMers by ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Now, the future of the DREAMers remains uncertain. These young people were brought to the country as children through no fault of their own and are contributing to our economy. They are students, teachers, doctors, military service members, and more. Trump has put their jobs and education at risk with his decision to end the program. FWD.us predicted that ending DACA will mean 1,716 jobs lost per day and 300,000 people removed from the work force.   
           
Ending TPS
In his first year in office, President Trump ended Temporary Protected Status for 2,500 Nicaraguans, 50,000 Haitians, and 200,000 Salvadorans living and working in the United States, uprooting families who work here and own homes. Losing these workers will result in a loss of billions of dollars in GDP over the next decade. A Washington Post analysis also found that the suspension of TPS has likely led to an increase in illegal immigration.

Family Separation
The Trump Administration caused public outrage over an announced policy to separate children and families at the U.S. border from Mexico. This inhumane and illegal policy separated countless children from their families, leaving small children in holding cells without beds or basic hygiene. Children have died in the Trump Administration’s custody, and watchdog reports continue to show the Department of Homeland Security has no record or system to reunite families.
 
CORRUPTION

President Trump, his family, and Administration officials have monetized government, undermining basic democratic institutions in the process. 

Making Money from Trump Properties
The Saudi government, to whom President Trump gave a free pass after clear evidence its leadership ordered the murder of a U.S. resident, continues to pay multi-million dollars to Trump hotels.  Most recently, in January 2019, the Washington Post reported that days after announcing a merger that would require Administration approval, T-Mobile executives made reservations at the Trump hotel in Washington, DC.

Leveraging International Relationships for Personal Gain
Because President Trump never fully divested from his international properties, the American people cannot be sure of his international interests when working with other counties. As recently as January 2019, Ivanka Trump received trademarks from China at the exact time her father took steps to shield a Chinese company, ZTE, from sanctions. 

Cabinet Officials Using Positions for Personal Gain
Cabinet officials across the Administration have resigned in disgrace over corrupt practices and use of taxpayer funds. In just the last year, former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned over his gross misuse of taxpayer funds and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke resigned after spending millions of taxpayer dollars on travel junkets, wasteful security expenditures, and self-serving deals.
NATIONAL SECURITY

Since President Trump’s first day in office, he has pursued policies that embolden our adversaries, undermine our relationships with allies, and make America less safe.

Refusing To Hold Russia Accountable
For the past two years, President Trump has refused to hold Russia accountable for its role in undermining the 2016 elections, including a press conference at Helsinki where President Trump shocked the international community when he publically sided with Vladimir Putin over U.S. intelligence agencies. Reports also indicate President Trump has gone to great lengths to conceal notes from his conversations with Putin.  Meanwhile, multiple Trump campaign officials have been convicted or indicted related to their Russia contacts.  According to Rudy Giuliani, Trump continued to negotiate a business deal with Kremlin officials through the 2016 campaign – a direct contradiction of Trump’s own claims.       

Withdrawing from Syria
Days before shutting down the government at the end of December, President Trump announced a sudden decision to withdraw American forces in Syria, creating a power vacuum in the country. This deliberate rejection of intelligence also caused both his Secretary of Defense and Special Envoy to the Middle East to resign. Following President Trump’s announcement, the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, testified to the US Senate: “ISIS is intent on resurging and still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria.”

Ignoring Intelligence
President Trump consistently ignores the findings of the Intelligence Community and belittles intelligence officials when their findings contradict his beliefs, including calling on them to “go back to school” after a threats hearing last week.
  • North Korea: Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats recently testified “[North Korean] leaders ultimately view nuclear weapons as critical to regime survival.” Yet, the President said there’s a “good chance” of a deal with North Korea days later. He likewise claimed there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea, despite direct statements from intelligence officials to the contrary.
  • Iran: On Iran, Director Coats reported continued compliance with the nuclear deal despite President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. in May 2017. A few days later, the President refuted Iran’s compliance.
  • Saudi Arabia: After intelligence agencies briefed President Trump on the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Kashoggi, President Trump continually denied their findings.
Undermining Allies
President Trump has consistently alienated our closest allies while embracing dictators and despots.
  • France: President Trump mocked French President Emmanuel Macron for low approval ratings.
  • United Kingdom: While traveling in the United Kingdom, President Trump criticized Prime Minister  Theresa May’s domestic policies and expressed approval for her political rival.
  • Canada: President Trump has insulted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “very dishonest and weak.”
  • NATO: Against advice from security experts and the diplomatic community, President Trump has repeatedly criticized NATO. He set the tone of his presidency in May of 2017, when he refused to uphold Article V of NATO at the new NATO headquarters in front of international leaders and allies. At a NATO summit in July of 2018, he publicly criticized Germany.  Reports indicate President Trump has discussed pulling the United States from NATO as recently as last month.
Banning Transgender Americans from Serving in the Military
In July, President Trump tweeted that he would ban all transgender Americans from the military in any capacity – without providing any prior notice and against the guidance from the Department of Defense.
 
CLIMATE CHANGE

After slashing the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Trump Administration has conducted a steady attack on public health and environmental protections, efforts to combat climate change, and our public lands. President Trump has spent the first two years of his Presidency putting corporate polluters ahead of the American people.

Dismantling the Clean Power Plan and Clean Water Rule
In his first year, President Trump moved to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, which means more sick kids, more expensive hospital visits, and thousands of premature deaths that could have been prevented – and could lead to more intense and destructive severe weather events. The Trump Administration recently proposed a rule to significantly ease restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired plants. In December, President Trump and Congressional Republicans began to significantly roll back the Clean Water Rule, which protects the drinking water of one in three Americans by keeping arsenic, lead, and mercury out of our streams, rivers, and drinking water.

Withdrawing From the Paris Climate Accords
President Trump made America less safe, threatened our environment, and hurt America’s standing with our allies by withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accords. The United States is now the only nation in the world to reject the agreement.

Freezing Rules Promoting Fuel Efficient Cars
In August 2018, the Trump Administration froze fuel efficiency rules that ensured car manufacturers were creating cleaner, more efficient cars that reduced dependency on fossil fuels and limited air pollution.

Attacking America’s Public Lands 
Over the last two years, President Trump and Congressional Republicans have taken action time and time again to open up public lands for mining, drilling, and logging. In addition, national parks saw an estimated $11 million in revenue loss during the Trump-McConnell shutdown and untold damage to protected lands as visitors explored the parks unsupervised.

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