334 days. That’s how long this movement, our progressive allies, and hundreds of thousands of activists across the country denied Republicans and Trump a major legislative victory.
Last night, the House passed the Trump Tax Scam 227 votes to 203 votes (with 12 Republicans voting against). In the cover of darkness, the Senate passed the bill in a party-line vote, 51 votes to 48 votes just before 1am. And, just now, because Republicans are literally terrible at governing, the House re-voted on the bill sending it off to Trump’s desk (read up on reconciliation and the Byrd Rule here).
This loss hurts.
This bill will have real, terrible, human consequences. In one fell swoop, Republicans gave huge tax cuts to corporations and their millionaire donors, gutted the centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act leaving millions more without health insurance, opened up Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for drilling… all with essentially no public debate.
With this vote, Republicans thumbed their nose at their constituents, democracy, and regular order. Trump, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and the Freedom Caucus all showed they don’t care about reducing the deficit or representing their constituents. They care about nothing more than lining the pockets of themselves (lookin’ at you, Bob Corker) and their donors. And when you’re facing opponents like that, it’s a hard fight to win.
But let’s be clear: you did everything right. This isn’t the victory we hoped for, but we left it all on the field. Indivisibles held 351 actions to protest the tax scam. You made 323,563 phone calls to progressives in key red states to amp up the pressure and 23,512 calls were made to members of Congress. You dragged this fight out to the bitter end and made it as painful as possible for them to betray their constituents.
Take a minute to grieve this loss, but be proud of everything you did to fight for justice over the last few weeks. But this fight isn’t over.
We wrote the Indivisible Guide a year ago with a lot of lessons from the Tea Party’s successes in mind (minus their racism and violence). And when the Tea Party lost on the Affordable Care Act in March 2010, they didn’t just throw in the towel. They got right back up and kept fighting. That loss fueled their sustained activism and organizing for the next few years. Now, it’s our turn to dust off our shoulders, get back to work, and deliver a progressive counterreaction to this bill.
We know what comes next for the tax scam. The Republicans will start lying about how great their bill is. They’ll use the $1.4 trillion they just added to the deficit to try and force cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as early as January. We cannot let them get away with this.
Next steps: Replace and Repeal
The next step to fighting the Trump Tax Scam is Replace and Repeal. And it’s simple: We must hold Republicans who voted for this bill accountable and replace them in Congress. Then, we must repeal the scam. Check out our new resource here. Here’s where we start:
First: Thank our Members of Congress for voting against the Trump Tax Scam. Let them know you’re grateful they held strong and you hope they stay strong when Republicans come after Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security next year.
Senator Edward J. Markey (D)
255 Dirksen Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510
Senator Elizabeth A. Warren (D)
317 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Rep. William R. Keating (D)
2351 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Second: Join the call TONIGHT at 8:30 p.m. with Indivisible Co-Executive Directors Ezra Levin and Leah Greenberg to talk about what happened in the final days and hours of the tax scam debate and discuss how exactly we hold MoCs accountable. RSVP for the call here and be sure to dial in a few minutes early — even if you RSVP, only the first 500 callers make it on the line.
Third: Get to work to replace Republican scam artists. The only way we replace the Republicans who voted for this disastrous bill and repeal the Trump Tax scam is to build progressive power all over the country. Register for the latest updates on our plan to take back the House (and Senate) on Indivisible435.org and get to work. A great place to start is by putting together a voter registration event in your community: we’ve got a toolkit get you started and an online voter registration tool that makes registering your neighbors easy!
We will not forget. We will not move on. We will replace them with progressives who hold our values.
Tomorrow, the next day, and every single day until we have unified, progressive control of the House, Senate, and the White House, no Republican Senator should be able to appear in public without answering questions about their vote for this bill and their betrayal of their constituents. A few are up for reelection next year. And the rest will come up in 2020 and 2022. They. Will. Lose.
Remember, there’s a reason that Republicans had to rush this tax scam through this week. They’re already beginning to lose their majority. Last week, Republicans lost a Senate seat in Alabama. We’ll say it again: they lost a Senate seat in Alabama, one of the reddest states in the country. That. doesn’t. happen. Republicans know they’re losing. They will be replaced, and their abominable legislation will be repealed.
Today, we lost one (big, huge, scary) fight. But the wind is at our backs. We have the momentum, we’re winning at the ballot box, and the American people are on our side. We will win.
Leah Greenberg and Ezra Levin
Co-Executive Directors of Indivisible