Federal update one—skewing tax policy; And Federal update two—the Dream deferred

Federal update one—skewing tax policy:  The key tax-writing committee in the U.S. House took another step down the wrong road on tax policy today, passing by a straight party-line vote a bill disproportionately benefiting corporate interests and the wealthiest 1 percent at the expense of the vast majority of working Americans. Twenty-four Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee voted for the proposal, including Reps. Kevin Brady of The Woodlands (the committee chair), Sam Johnson of Plano, and Kenny Marchant of Irving. Sixteen Democrats voted no, including Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Austin. The bill is now headed on a fast track toward a vote in the full House.
AFT President Randi Weingarten called the bill “a gut punch to the middle class that would crush the American dream of having a family and owning a home.” She added: “It’s not just that their tax bill is a massive giveaway to the wealthy and big corporations who don’t need it, but also that they’re doing it at the expense of the middle class, homeowners, and local community services like public schools, police departments, and fire departments.”
 
Federal update two—the Dream deferred:  Citizen protests occurred all over the country today urging passage of the Dream Act of 2017, which would rectify the wrong done by President Trump two months ago when he ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA program). Texas events included a march and rally at the state capitol in Austin, with Texas AFT participation. AFT President Randi Weingarten issued a statement today describing what is at stake:

Two months after President Trump ripped the rug out from under hundreds of thousands of young people who have done everything we asked of them under DACA, the clock is ticking for Congress to enact legislation that allows these aspiring Americans to stay in the only country they know.

Trump has exploited and stoked anti-immigrant fervor, painting immigrants as dangerous criminals to justify his racist mass-deportation plan. But DACA recipients are not criminals; they are students, teachers, nurses and lawyers who contribute to our economy and enrich the fabric of our communities.

On this national day of mobilization, we join Americans everywhere who are raising their voices in support of these young people. We call for the passage of the Dream Act of 2017, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrant youth—including 20,000 DACAmented bilingual educators filling critical teacher shortages—and keep these aspiring Americans from disappearing back into the shadows.