OK. Republicons passed their “tax bill” 51-49 and then stood and applauded to create a photo op for FakesNewsChannel to claim that “Republicons Passed Tax Reform”
But they didn’t.
This has as much validity as when they celebrated in the Rose Garden claiming they had “repealed Obamacare” after the House vote.
I repeat. The Tax Reform Bill is NOT a law yet.
It is NOT ready to be signed by DJT yet. (He is so clueless he may not even know this…)
This bill still has TWO very important hurdles to jump.
If we up our resistance game we still have a chance to stop it.
And, if the Blue Team plays our cards right, we can stop this bill AND make the Republicon party look VERY bad in the process.
I wasn’t going to start my Civics 101 series until next month but this night is kind of a big deal so I am launching early and on a topic that I did not plan to address first. But sometimes you just have to go where the breath of the spirit takes you.
Right now a lot of people who don’t know any better are saying: DAMN, the bill passed the House and it passed the Senate and now there is nothing we can do to stop DJT from signing it. All is lost.
This is not true. All is not lost.
The more I think about it, the more persuaded I am that we may get more political mileage out of stopping the bill in the next stage than if we had managed to win or prevent the vote tonight.
We only have a few days but if we stay focused we can stop this bill, and power-slap a few key Republicons at the same time.
Our saving grace is this: The House and Senate passed different versions of the bill. That is not allowed. Before a bill can go to the White House to be signed, the EXACT SAME VERSION must pass the House and the Senate.
Since the House originated this one, and passed their version first, the Senate now has to send their version back to the House who will then call a CONFERENCE COMMITTEE. This is where the differences between the House and Senate versions are theoretically ironed out until there is one bill with language the House and Senate can agree on.
So the version that comes out of Conference Committee must be voted on AGAIN!
There is a small possibility (very small, as small as DJT’s tiny hands) that Speaker ZEGS will try to strong arm his caucus into voting on the Senate Bill as is, without going to conference committ—BWA HA HA HO HO HO HEE HEE HEH heh heh urp okay. Sorry. I lost my train of thought there just imagining the impossibility of the weakest Speaker in history managing to strong arm anybody to do anything.
I’m sure Ryan will try, and he will get laughed off the stage, in part by the House Rs who think the Senate Bill is NOT CRUEL ENOUGH.
So it is 99 44/100% certain that, before POTUS can sign it, BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE HAVE TO VOTE ON THE BILL AGAIN.
That’s our chance.
The House almost certainly will not be able to vote again on Monday, unless we see the unlikely scenario above of Ryan getting the House to just accept the Senate bill without question. They are more likely to just create the Conference Committee and kick the can down the road a bit.
At a minimum we have until Tuesday before the House votes voting on the conference committee compromise version.
But it may take longer than that because, in case you hadn’t noticed, the Republicon party is having a bit of internal strife. They are having trouble playing in the sandbox with one another. They’ve been taught for decades that compromise is a dirty word, so it will be hard for them to compromise.
Last but not least, EVERY SEAT in the House of Representatives is up for re-election in 2018. So any R voting for this knows s/he may face *very* angry voters in less than a year.
If they get public push-back, they may start to get nervous. They may start to worry that some no-name who has never run for office before will decide to primary them over their vote on the tax bill. Or some no-name Democrat who has never run for office before will keep them from running unopposed and make them fight for a seat they expected to be a cakewalk.
So step one is to put the pressure on House members.
Democrats tried to postpone the Senate vote until Monday, so they would have a chance to read what was in the bill. The postponement was voted down, but that may work in our favor, because now every horrible thing we find in the bill as we read it over the weekend can be laid right at the feet of Republicons.
We spend the weekend letting redvoters and purplevoters know: “there are things in the bill that will HURT you and people you care about.”
Know your audience. Some people will respond better to the news of Medicare cuts, others will react to the cuts to rural hospitals. Some will be upset that students can no longer deduct the interest payments on their student loans. Others will wonder why they can no longer deduct the cost of tax preparation.
Most of all tell them–they aren’t getting a tax cut. The bottom tax bracket is going UP. The bulk of the financial benefit goes to just a few thousand people who will benefit from the end of the estate tax, and to corporations. And their tax benefits disappear slowly over ten years, but the corporate tax breaks don’t disappear over ten years.
Tell them corporations are making record profits and have not created jobs. Giving them more money will not make them create jobs. Tell them DEMAND CREATES JOBS—money coming in at the bottom always gets spent and floats up—money at the top does not always trickle down.
Tell them: “Your Senator voted for this.”
Then tell them, “Your House Member can stop this bill. Make a phone call first thing Monday morning and ask your rep to vote NO.”
We have to be creative in using social media and subversive communication of all kinds, since we can’t depend on a focused message getting out in the MSM.
If it gets through the squabbling House, we reapply the same pressure to the Senate re-vote.
Bottom line: this bill is NOT a law yet and is NOT a sure thing.
They will gloat and celebrate a “big step forward” when in fact they have done NOTHING and still have a LONG night ahead of them within their own party.
We should make it even more difficult for them.
When your enemy is drowning, throw him an anvil.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.