Monday Report from Representative Rick Nolan

 

GOP Tax Plan is Trickle Down Economics - Another Handout to the Rich, Paid for by Middle Class Working Families 


Across the Nation, middle class working people are making it clear that it’s time for super-rich individuals and multi-national corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.

Dear Friend,

President Trump and Republican leaders will unveil a so-called tax “reform” bill this week. But don't be fooled. It's not reform in any sense of the word. In fact, their plan would:

• Hand the richest one-percent of Americans a $1.5 trillion tax cut they don’t need – and force   struggling middle class working families and retirees to pay for it.

• Raise taxes on the middle class. 

• Force deep cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

• Require a massive increase in deficit spending. 

Tax-exempt 401-K retirement contributions are reportedly on the chopping block. So is the provision that allows working families to deduct state and local taxes from their federal taxes. About one in three middle class working families in Minnesota now deduct more than $12,000 every year using this provision alone.

After learning details of the bill on Saturday, the National Association of Homebuilders immediately registered their opposition, expressing concern that the measure could throw the housing industry into a recession that could cost millions of good paying jobs.

In fact, the GOP plan is just plain old trickle-down economics – the failed notion that as the rich get richer, they will invest their extra billions to create more jobs and boost wages for everyone else. That is nonsense. Middle class wages and buying power have been stagnating for 40 years  while America today has by far the most unequal distribution of income of any major county on Earth. The top one percent now earn more than the bottom 50% combined. And the top 1/10th of one percent own as much wealth as the bottom 90%. That is outrageous and dangerous. 

The Republican tax plan is Part Two of their $4 trillion, 10-year budget resolution – a boondoggle that would blow up the deficit – and pay for it by rolling back Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and an entire century of American progress. The rich would get richer at the expense of good paying jobs, clean air and water, lifesaving medical research, pensions and retirement benefits, health care and transportation – just to name a few.

My focus in Congress will continue to be on real tax reform benefits the middle class, boosts wages, ensures that the rich pay their fair share, and creates more good paying jobs by severely penalizing corporations that send American jobs and wages overseas. That’s what we need to really begin moving our great Nation forward.

We will keep you posted as events proceed. Meanwhile, I want to hear your thoughts. Feel free to contact any of our offices listed below or send me an email.

Sincerely,
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The Constitution is Clear - A First Strike Against North Korea Would Require Congressional Approval 


U.S. and North Korean soldiers stare eye to eye on the border between North and South Korea. If war erupts, the lives of more than 28,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea would be immediately at risk.

The Constitution is clear - the power to declare war rests with Congress. And by any definition, an attack on another nation is a declaration of war. So as the Trump Administration and North Korea continued to trade military threats last week, I joined in introducing legislation to prevent President Trump from launching a first strike – nuclear or otherwise – against North Korea without Congressional approval. I continue to believe that diplomacy and tough international economic sanctions are the best way to deal with nations like North Korea.

The President has his finger on the nuclear button. He has the sole authority to launch a first strike attack, and quick retaliation by North Korea would put the more than 23,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea – and millions of innocent people on the Korean peninsula – in terrible jeopardy.

It’s important to understand that our bill, which has strong and growing support in both the House and Senate, would not stop the U.S. from immediately responding if North Korea attacks our Nation or allies first. This legislation simply installs safeguards to ensure that Congress would approve any FIRST STRIKE against North Korea. War must always be our last choice – not our first choice – in protecting our Nation and our people. That’s what this legislation is really all about.

 

When it Comes to Birth Control, Trump Administration Must Enter the 21st Century!


As these protesters are pointing out, birth control is health care, and women should be entitled to it as part of their employee health plans.

Women should not be singled out and discriminated against by rules that force them to pay more for birth control. So last week, I joined 188 of my colleagues in strongly urging the Trump Administration rescind new regulations that allow employers to skirt the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and stop providing birth control coverage as part of their employee health care packages.

The simple fact is – birth control is health care. Contraception helps improve women’s and children’s health, reduces unintended pregnancies, and empowers women and their families to make decisions about whether and when to start or grow a family.

These new Trump Administration rules are set to take effect immediately, with no open and transparent process by which women, their doctors, and other stakeholders could weigh in on the potential effects of the change.

In fact, the American people overwhelmingly support access to birth control. Eighty-six percent of all Americans - 91% of Democrats, and 86% of Republicans - favor policies that make it easier for women to get a full range of birth control methods. And nine out of ten women use contraception at some point in their lives. In short, when it comes to birth control, it’s time for the Trump Administration to start living in the 21st Century.


Two Percent Social Security Boost is Welcome - But America’s Seniors Have Earned More 


Our Fair Cost of Living (COLA) for Seniors Act would provide Social Security recipients with a one-time, 3.9% cost of living increase in addition to the 2% boost on tap for 2018.

The two percent Social Security cost of living boost set to take effect in 2018 is good news for America’s 59 million recipients. They have paid for their earned benefits over a lifetime of hard work.  But two percent is not enough to make up for the zero increase in 2016 and the pittance they are receiving in 2017.

That’s why I’m continuing to press House Republican leaders to schedule a vote to pass our Fair COLA for Seniors Act. With Medicare premiums and the costs for food, shelter and other essentials on the rise, our bill provides folks on Social Security with a one-time, 3.9 percent cost of living (COLA) adjustment.

Our measure has been strongly endorsed by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, the leading advocacy group fighting to protect these vital programs.

The boost roughly matches the average raise that the heads of America’s largest corporations have received in recent years. Additionally, the measure ties future automatic increases to a price index that more accurately reflects the way older people actually spend their money.

Moreover, because inflation often hits seniors hardest, and because more than 50% of all Americans lack any significant retirement savings except Social Security, I have also cosponsored legislation to ensure that lower-income recipients receive a cost of living increase of at least 3% every year.

In short, while we continue to fight risky Republican privatization schemes and ensure the integrity of Social Security for generations to come, our Fair COLA for Seniors Act would provide more fairness for the system and give seniors some well-earned help to pay their bills and stay in their homes.

 

Honoring Minnesota’s “Autism Heroes” 


It was a real honor to be the featured speaker over the weekend at the Minnesota Autism Recovery Foundation’s special night to honor our 2017 Autism Heroes – the individuals, parents, families, friends, educators and staff who work so tirelessly for children with autism. The packed event took place at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

I’m working hard in Congress to dramatically boost funds for medical research to find the causes of autism and associated brain disorders, and to pursue better diagnoses, treatments and eventually a cure. As I pointed out in my speech, autism in its many forms is spreading like a wave across our Nation and the world. In fact, the number of children being diagnosed with autism has nearly doubled over the past 17 years – from one in 150 in the year 2000 to one in 68 in 2017.

According to the latest study by the University of California, in this year alone autism will cost our Nation $275 billion in medical costs, specialized education and lost parental productivity on the job. And by 2025, that figure could hit $1 trillion every year. The emotional costs to parents, children, and families who suffer the stigmas of autism – and the isolation they feel from their friends, schools, and communities – are impossible to comprehend.

So hats off to all of the Heroes of Autism – those recognized on Saturday night and those who work in the trenches without recognition – for all of their hard work in building better lives for our children and grandchildren. Together, I’m convinced we will succeed!

 
Sharing a laugh with Minnesota State Senator Tony Lourey, who received the Minnesota “Hero of Autism” award along with State Senator Jeff Hayden and Minnesota State Representative Roz Peterson.


Our Week in DC


We had a good meeting with members of the Save the Boundary Waters organization to discuss our commitment to protect these precious resources here in Northern Minnesota. 


It was great to see members of the Minnesota Human Rights Campaign, who stopped by to discuss a wide range of issues including immigration and my support for the DREAM Act.


Meeting with members of the Minnesota Telecom Alliance, I stressed that any future package of infrastructure legislation must include a robust rural broadband component. 


We took a delegation from Duluth to the U.S. Department of Transportation last week to meet with top officials and discuss federal funding for Duluth's Twin Ports Interchange Project to replace what's known locally as "The Can of Worms" along I-35/I-135/Highway 53. Pictured here with me, left to right, are Serge Phillips, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Federal Relations Manager; MnDOT engineer Duane Hill; Duluth Mayor Emily Larson; Grover Burthey, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation; Vanta Coda, Executive Director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, and Eddie Wytkind, our legislative assistant for transportation issues.  


Duluth Mayor Emily Larson (on the left in this picture) stopped by our office to discuss funding for several housing and transportation projects important to the City.  Emily German, a member of our Washington, D.C. staff, is in the middle. 


We met with CEO Joe Baltich, Cindy Omerza Stene and other representatives of Fight for Mining Minnesota to discuss our efforts to create more good paying mining jobs on the Iron Range while protecting our water, air and land. It's important to understand that we must accomplish both of these goals here in Northern Minnesota. 

Our Week in Duluth


My district director, Jeff Anderson, attended the Duluth Transportation Day celebration at the Duluth Transportation Center. One of the celebration's highlights was the recognition of Duluth Transit Authority general manager Dennis Jensen's retirement after 37 years of service. Congratulations Dennis!

Our Week in Hibbing


Habitat for Humanity dedicated a brand new home for the Zozgornik family last week in Hibbing, and Nolan Congressional Field Representative Tom Whiteside attended the ribbon cutting on my behalf. Hats off to Habitat for Humanity and all the volunteers who helped build this home for the Zozgorniks, pictured here at the celebration. Habitat for Humanity projects require both money and sweat equity from the new owners, strengthening our communities. 

Our Week in Virginia


Welcome to winter! Folks on Minnesota's Iron Range woke up to several inches of snow and ice Friday morning.

Our Week in Brainerd


WeARE-Advocates for Reproductive Education celebrated the opening of their new clinic in Brainerd last week. Community members were invited to the open house and the organization’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) gave tours. My wife, Mary Nolan, (on the left), took the tour led by YAC member Laura Wadsten. Mary and Nolan Congressional Field Representative Tiffany Stenglein attended the event on my behalf. 

Our Week in Eveleth


Hats off to Lundgren Motors of Eveleth for receiving the Minnesota Organization for Habilitation and Rehabilitation (MOHR) Region 2 Outstanding Employer Award. For more than 30 years, Lundgren Motors has been employing Individuals with disabilities in partnership with East Range Developmental Achievement Center. By providing good jobs and opportunities to people with disabilities, Lundren Motors makes an enormous difference in their lives - and also utilizes their talents and abilities to keep Lundgren's Ford at the top of its game.


Coming Up in Washington

This week:
  • This coming Thursday, I will be speaking in front of the Capitol at the Life & Breath Lung Cancer Rally and Die-In to raise awareness and funding for lung cancer research. My daughter, Katherine, who is a Stage IV Survivor of non-smoking, non-small cell lung cancer, will be there, as well as Reps. Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and Debbie Dingell (MI-12). I hope to see you there!


Click on the photo above to sign up for the Lung Cancer Rally!


Finally...

Open Enrollment for MNSURE Begins November 1st 


Click on the screen above to visit MNsure's website and get more information on how to sign up! 


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