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Ladies & Gents, We have a special counsel!
And that's the way the cookie crumbled...seems to be an appropriate way to kick off this week's United States of Resistance digest. Your demands worked. We now have a special counsel appointed to oversee the Russia/Trump investigation. To recap this week:
  • Comey wrote a memo detailing his conversations with Trump. According to the memo, Trump asked Comey to end the investigation into Flynn. {source}
  • Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), announced his resignation this week. Chaffetz is the head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the top investigative body in the chamber. {source}
  • Even the GOP believe that Putin pays Trump. In a recording earlier this fall, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-23) stated, "There's two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump." Paul Ryan, who was present at the time, stopped the conversation and swore Republicans to secrecy. {source}
  • Robert Mueller, former FBI director, was appointed special counsel in the Russia/Trump investigation. Mueller was appointed by George Bush just days before 9/11, and remained as FBI director until 2013, serving two years under Obama. Reports state that Trump was unaware of Mueller's appointment until 30 minutes before the public announcement. {source}
To add insult to injury, Trump is still claiming that "There was no collusion between, certainly, myself and my campaign – but I can only speak for myself – and the Russians – zero." {source} After Mueller's appointment, Trump told everyone that the appointment of a special counsel for the Russia inquiry is “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history." {source}

Comments, Comments, Comments
After the EPA asked the public which regulations it should slash, the public answered loud and clear by submitting over 55,100 comments. {source} As we continue to see, public comments and calls to Congress are powerful. We have two other issues that desperately need your attention. First, Trump wants to delete the National Forensic Science Commission. You can submit comments through June 9. As of last week only 32 comments were submitted. This week, the count is up to 100. More info on what to say here, or to comment directly go here. Second, Trump and the FCC want to do away with net neutrality - i.e. your freedom to access what you want, when you want, at the same speed and same price. If we get rid of net neutrality, internet service providers (AT&T, Comcast, etc.) will be able to charge you more for various sites, change the speed at which you can access content, and more. Tell the FCC to keep net neutrality. To learn more, click here, and to submit comments directly, click here.

Trump's Budget to be Released Next Week
According to the White House, Trump is expected to release his first full FY 18 budget on Tuesday, May 23. Your Congressional representatives are the ones who will negotiate and pass a budget resolution, and who will negotiate and pass appropriations bills this summer, guided by the budget spending levels. And since your Congressional representatives are accountable to you, you can influence this process. The Rise Citizen's Guide to the Budget is intended to highlight some of the worst parts of Trump's budget proposal and equip you with information and things to say to your representatives. We can shape, or better yet, stop, this terrible budget. This is a working document, and will continue to be updated as Trump's full budget is released.

Public Education Under Attack as DeVos/Trump push School Choice Agenda
Betsy DeVos has come out blazing this week, and what we know is she is pushing hard for school choice. School choice is the term used for channeling public education funds towards private schools, charter schools, and religious schools, under the guise of student freedom. How are they doing this? Trump's FY18 budget. According to budget documents obtained by news outlets, Trump's budget will cut $10.6 billion from federal education initiatives with the savings going towards charter schools, vouchers for private and religious schools (=$400 million), and incentives for public schools to adopt school choice policies (=$1 billion). It appears DeVos will reveal her school choice plans this coming Monday at a Indiana school choice education summit .

What else will be cut in Trump's budget? After-school programs that serve 1.6 million (mostly impoverished) children, teacher training and class-size reduction, programs that provide child care for low-income parents in college; arts education program; international education and foreign language programs; program for gifted students; Special Olympics education programs, and more.

Call, call, call. Tell your members of Congress what parts of the education system matter to you. All of these programs, and so many more, are critical to the success of our nation's youth. Your members need to hear from you so that they know what to fight for. To call the Department of Education directly, dial 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327).

Nonprofit & Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program Also on the Chopping Block
Currently, individuals who have federal loans can work in nonprofits or public service and have their student loans forgiven after ten years of payment. This program, which encourages and provides opportunity for more individuals to go into public service, is being proposed as a cut under Trump's budget. Again, call, call, call. Urge your members of Congress to support nonprofit/public service student loan forgiveness programs. {source}

Help Us Track the Resistance in 2018 Elections
We have started a spreadsheet aimed at tracking who is running against incumbents in 2018 for Congress (House and Senate). Specifically, we want to know who is stepping up to resist the members of Congress that are not serving their constituents, either by failing to be accountable, transparent, or are not serving responsibly. People like Chaffetz, Ryan, MacArthur, and more. If you know of someone who is part of the Resistance that is looking to unseat an incumbent, please take 30 seconds to fill out this form.

RISE Stronger Policy Working Group Summaries
Join the Resistance by Volunteering with RISE Stronger
Want to get more involved in the amazing work of RISE Stronger, but wondering how? Here's a great place to start! We have incredible teams of volunteers working on bringing new tools and initiatives to the Resistance movement, and are specifically looking for help in the following areas.

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