Every other Thursday, Equal Voice News will track the latest from the Trump administration and whether its policies are creating poverty or prosperity, with reports from families and grassroots organizations working on those issues around the country.
March isn’t even half over, and the Trump administration has already flooded the nation’s capital with news on multiple fronts, from health care and criminal justice to immigration and child care. Let’s catch up on the latest.
Health Care’s Weak Opening Night
In Congress, Republicans released their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare this week (see these Equal Voice News reports on how it would affect an Alabama farmer and what it’s like to lack affordable care).
Let’s simply say it didn’t receive an overwhelmingly warm reception. On one side, conservatives said it didn’t go far enough to get rid of the law. On the other, there was a lot of concern the plan would hammer poor families.
Or, as one Washington Post editorial said, “The Republican health-care bill is all about shortchanging the poor.”
The Atlantic put it another way, “The GOP’s Plan Is Basically a $600 Billion Tax Cut for Rich Americans.”
If you are looking for a breakdown, Politico tells you “Who Wins and Loses Under the GOP’s Obamacare Bill.” (Preview: Low-income families lose.)
While we wait for an official breakdown of how many Americans will lose, Vox offers one early estimate that the “bill will cost 6 to 10 million people health insurance.”
Coming Next Week: On Tuesday, March 14 you can dig even deeper when Equal Voice News offers an in-depth look at the true cost of repealing Obamacare with the story of how the act saved a family’s farm, livelihood, and legacy in the heart of Trump country.
Travel Ban Overshadows Immigration Battles
Immigration remains arguably issue No. 1 at the White House. This week the administration grabbed headlines with its revised executive order, or travel ban. But, that news may have buried other big developments, including: “DHS considering proposal to separate children from adults at border” (CNN).
Meanwhile, “Trump’s New Immigration Crackdown Has Private Prison Investors Salivating,” The Intercept reports.
A quick reminder amid this crackdown: “Immigration is the only thing keeping U.S. work force growing,” CBS News says.
Child Care for the Wealthy
On the campaign trail Donald Trump promised to help parents with the soaring cost of child care. It turns out he may have meant wealthier families, TalkPoverty says.
What about parents, such as Angelica Gonzalez?
All Is Not Quiet on Education
On the federal front, there hasn’t been a lot of concrete action on education, but change is coming. “Congressional Republicans Poised to Overturn Obama-Era Education Regulations.“ (Chicago Tribune)
There was good news in Illinois, where Brighton Park Neighborhood Council helped lead the fight that restored “nearly 40% of the budget cuts to Chicago Public Schools.”
The Environment Still Matters
With all of the news out of Washington, D.C., it’s easy to miss important environmental news, such as that the “White House Proposes Axing 1 In 5 EPA Staffers, Cutting Programs For Minorities,“ according to The Huffington Post.
“While this ‘zero out’ strategy would impact nearly every community in the United States, a close examination shows the burden of these cuts will fall hardest on the health of low-income Americans and people of color. This is environmental racism in action.” — Statement by Travis Nichols of Greenpeace USA.
Plus, the “White House proposes steep budget cut to leading climate science agency” (The Washington Post).
Rolling Back Criminal Justice
The Trump administration continues to roll back its predecessor’s criminal justice policies:
- Trump’s First Budget Would End Program to Help Low-Income Americans Get Lawyers (ThinkProgress).
- Justice to Limit Action Against Police Departments on Civil Rights (The Hill).
Voting Rights Case Loses Justice
The Obama administration maintained a Texas law discriminates against minority voters. It turns out the Trump White House doesn’t agree. “Justice Department Changes Position on Texas’ Discriminatory Voter ID Law” Pro Publica reports.
Wages and Work Rise, in the News
Every week, the minimum-wage beat seems to get busier, and some of the latest headlines tell the story:
- “Appeal Filed in Lawsuit Over Alabama Minimum Wage Law“ with Greater Birmingham Ministries helping to lead the fight for the wage increase. (Associated Press)
- “Baltimore City Council moves toward passing $15 minimum wage bill.” (The Baltimore Sun)
- “Minimum wage increase clears Senate“ in New Mexico. (Albuquerque Journal)
- “Missouri Supreme Court upholds St. Louis minimum wage law; will be $11 by 2018.” (St. Louis Public Radio)
On work, Jobs With Justice’s Sarita Gupta offers a powerful reminder about the need for progress on women’s economic issues in Why I’m Wearing Red (Medium).
What We Are Listening to
Want to know what’s happened to the American Dream? Check out the new podcast “The State of the American Dream” from The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Host “Dan LeDuc interviews Erin Currier, director of Pew’s financial security and mobility project, on the state of the American Dream and the financial well-being of American families.” — After the Fact.
(Sources: Jobs With Justice digest; Amazon.com daily, Twitter, Associated Press, news outlets, The Aspen Institute, and, of course, our neighbors. Paul Nyhan is the senior writer for Equal Voice News, which is published by Marguerite Casey Foundation. Ebony Slaughter, an Equal Voice News contributor, provided research assistance with this digest, which has been updated.)