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one year in

Friends --Last week marked the one year anniversary of RISE Stronger. The last year has been nothing short of exhausting, terrifying, and at some moments, paralyzing. But it's also been full of hope and a new sense of empowerment. In many ways, we have prevailed. We have seen millions of people unite to resist an agenda that seeks to erode our democracy and the very values that are core to this nation and its people. And this new movement has achieved tangible victories.We marched — in pink hats for women; for science; to demand Trump's taxes.We rallied — at airports against the Muslim Ban; in front of the White House against cabinet nominees and the repeal of the Affordable Care ActWe made calls— for net neutrality; affordable healthcare; preservation of our National Parks and wildlife; no ban no wallWe showed up — at hundreds of town halls, all around the country, month after monthWe persevered, together, as Americans united by a common cause. Together, we have formed The Resistan...
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The House Republican Tax Bill Would Substantially Increase Graduate Student Tax Burdens

On November 16, 2017, Republicans in the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1 (the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act") along a party-line vote. The bill includes massive tax cuts for the wealthy, while substantially increasing the deficit and, and increasing the tax burden for many middle-income earners. In an attempt to reduce the deficits created by these tax cuts, the tax bill also makes tuition payments by colleges and universities taxable as federal income. This would dramatically increase students' tax bills, by up to $10,000, potentially quadrupling tax bills for students at private universities. Scientific and higher education associations have opposed the measure, noting that it would discourage student enrollment, devastate the teaching and research missions of universities, massively increase the cost of college attendance, and weaken the STEM workforce in the U.S. The analysis below details how the tax bill passed by House Republicans would affect graduate students, usi...
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The Week in Science & Technology: Republican Tax Bill Advances in House; USDA Cancels Regulation Plan; HHS Secretary Nominated

What you can doWe recently held a webinar for our Op-Ed Project (Building a Better Society Through Science). See details and view the recording here.Senate Republicans are aiming to eliminate the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate as part of their tax bill. Learn more and take action here.GOP tax bill advances; would impose large tax burden on graduate studentsThe Republicans' Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has advanced from the House Ways and Means Committee, and it is scheduled to be considered by the full House of Representatives this Thursday, November 16. The bill includes massive tax cuts for the wealthy, while substantially increasing the deficit and, and increasing the tax burden for many middle-income earners. In an attempt to reduce the deficits created by the tax cuts proposed by House Republicans, the tax bill also makes tuition payments by colleges and universities taxable as federal income. As tuition at research institutions is generally higher than typical graduate stud...
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Save the Individual Mandate

Part of a series of background guides, talking points, and phone scripts for a coordinated defense of the Affordable Care Actby Patrick O'MahenRelevant Policy Background: The Individual Mandate The individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act is an important linchpin that keeps premium prices under control. How? Think of the ACA as a three-legged stool. First, it offers anyone not covered by an employer plan or other public insurance the ability to buy a plan on an insurance exchange (guaranteed issue) at the same price as anyone else (community rating). This is great, but healthy people will tend not to buy insurance, which leaves the pool sicker, which causes prices to increase. Then more healthy people leave the pool, causing the pools to keep getting sicker, which causes prices to go up more. This eventually causes a death spiral.[1] The individual mandate plays a critical role in keeping healthy people in insurance pools by charging them a fee if they do not enroll...
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The Republican Tax Plan: a Giveaway to the Rich

Right now, Trump and the Republicans are trying to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion dollars to cut taxes for the rich. Republicans in the House and Senate are working overtime to push a huge tax bill through Congress by the end of the year, at Trump's direction. They've approved a budget resolution that will allow them to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years in order to reduce taxes. The House is hoping to pass their bill this Thursday (November 16) Almost all of the benefits of the tax cut will go to the very wealthy; only 50% of households making less than $100,000 will get a tax cut at all, and their average annual tax cut will be roughly $350. Households making more than $100,000 will get an average tax cut of $3,821, not including the benefits of the lower business tax rate and the estate tax repeal (which will almost all go to high-income households).[1] A tax cut for the rich will do very little to help the economy right now....
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The Week in Energy & Environment: Threats to Wind and Solar, Ignoring Climate Change, and Considering ANWR Drilling

GOP Tax Plan Puts Wind Power at Risk. The House Republican tax plan released last week endangers wind power projects by retroactively rewriting Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance on the meaning of "construction." Wind projects often rely on the production tax credit (PTC), which provides a tax credit based on electricity production from the facility. Projects that qualified for the PTC by beginning construction in 2016 are currently slated to receive the full amount of the PTC ($24/MWh), which is being phased out in the next several years. The bill would make it more difficult for projects that qualified for the PTC in 2016 to maintain their qualified status. As a result, many wind projects currently in development would likely lose an important tax credit and may be scrapped. The bill also threatens to reduce the incentive amount for wind projects qualifying for the PTC from $24/MWh to $15/MWh. Leaked DOI strategic plan favors oil and gas companies, ignores climate science. A...
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November 10, 2017 United States of Resistance Digest

Three Actions to Take This WeekHelp track down provisional ballots in VA//spread the word!Attend an ActLocal event in your community.Check the Trump Tax Toolkit and make those calls!http://mailchi.mp/risestronger/us-resistance-11-10-17 Election RoundupThank you to everyone who volunteered, donated, and voted their time to a campaign. It's been a long, hard year for our country. Tuesday, the mobilization of millions resulted in some major victories. Take a moment to soak it all up. Tomorrow, keep working. At RISE Stronger, we believe the work has to happen 365 days out of the year...not just in the months leading up to an election. Stay active, stay informed, and stay engaged. Congratulations to every candidate who ran -- win or lose, your efforts made a difference. Here's a quick overview of wins -- if we missed a major victory, please know that it was not intentional. Daily Kos has a scorecard of election results here.Statewide: Democrat Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillesp...
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The Week in Science & Technology: Pruitt Bars Scientists From EPA Boards; Clovis Withdraws From USDA Nomination; GOP Tax Bill Targets Tuition Waivers

What you can do We will be holding a webinar for our Op-Ed Project (Building a Better Society Through Science) this Thursday, November 9, at 1 pm EST/10 am PST. See details here.If you have an advanced degree in earth, environmental, or health science, click here to sign an open letter from the Union of Concerned Scientists opposing Scott Pruitt's removal of scientists from EPA advisory roles (see article below). Pruitt removes scientists from EPA advisory boards On October 31, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt announced that scientists currently receiving grant money from the EPA would be immediately barred from its advisory boards. Many of the scientists were removed without warning, some learning of their ouster via text messages or news reports. Pruitt also named new heads of the EPA's three advisory panels: industry consultant Tony Cox replaced University of Iowa professor Deborah Swackhamer; waste-disposal executive Paul Gilman replaced Drexel Universit...
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November 3, 2017 United States of Resistance Digest

Three Actions to Take This WeekVote on Tuesday, November 7. Check out VOTE411.org for more info.Call the Office of Refugee Resettlement near you and demand that 10-year old Rosa be released from detention. Here's How.Submit a Comment to the FEC by November 9 about funder disclosure for online political ads. http://mailchi.mp/risestronger/us-resistance-11-03-17?e=2d5fe13cb0
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The Week in Science & Technology: Tech Companies in Hot Seat; Opioid Emergency Declared; Interior Department Ignores Climate Science

What you can do We will be holding a webinar for our Op-Ed Project (Building a Better Society Through Science) on November 9 at 1 pm EST/10 am PST. See details here. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is preparing to prevent scientists who have received EPA funding from serving on EPA scientific advisory committees, and replace them with industry representatives--a dangerous and unprecedented move. If you have an advanced degree in earth, environmental, or health science, click here to sign an open letter from the Union of Concerned Scientists opposing this move and urging Congress to hold oversight hearings into science at the EPA. The deadline to submit a public comment to the FCC on the proposed takeover of Tribune Media by the controversial Sinclair Broadcast Group is this Thursday, November 2. Comments can be submitted here (see more instructions here). Tech companies face hearings on Russian election interference Representatives of Facebook, Google, and Twitter ...
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