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26 Feb
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Joint Statement as Supreme Court Hears Janus v. AFSCME

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DNC Joint Statement as Supreme Court Hears Janus v. AFSCME

DNC Chair and former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Vice Chair Maria Elena Durazo released the following statement as the Supreme Court begins hearing oral arguments in the pivotal labor case, Janus v. AFSCME:

“When unions succeed, America succeeds. But for decades, Republicans have been chipping away at workers’ rights, weakening unions, depressing wages, and concentrating wealth at the top. Now, this GOP-sponsored attack on collective bargaining could slam the door on even more hardworking Americans trying to make it into the middle class.

“While we hope that the Supreme Court will make the right decision and side with the public employees of AFSCME, Democrats will never stop fighting for workers’ rights regardless of the outcome of this case. And we will always stand up and speak out against those trying to rig the economy for corporations and the 1%.”

22 Feb
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DNC On FCC’s Publication of Net Neutrality Repeal

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DNC On FCC’s Publication of Net Neutrality Repeal

Today, the FCC published its rules repealing net neutrality. Congress now has 60 legislative days to pass a resolution reversing the repeal. In response, DNC Chief Technology Officer Raffi Krikorian released the following statement:

“The FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality is a deliberate assault on the very idea of a free and open internet. Net neutrality protections ushered in a new era of creativity, civic engagement, and innovation. The FCC’s new rules will roll back years of progress and could leave American families with fewer choices and higher costs. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is in lockstep with President Trump’s anti-consumer and anti-innovation agenda that favors filling the pockets of big telecom corporations over what’s best for the American people.

“Republicans in Congress must take action and join Democrats in rejecting these rules. We need strong guidelines designed to protect budding startups and businesses from large corporations that might want to stamp out their competition. Democrats believe that an open internet is fundamental to free speech, innovation, and a competitive economy. It also gives the marginalized and underrepresented more resources and opportunities to organize and have their voices heard. Over the next 60 days and beyond, we will keep fighting to protect the free and open internet that is so critical to our democracy.”

20 Feb
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DNC on Trump’s Latest Attempt to Undermine the ACA

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DNC on Trump’s Latest Attempt to Undermine the ACA

In response to the Trump administration’s announcement that they are promoting the use of short-term junk insurance plans, DNC spokesperson Daniel Wessel released the following statement:

“This is the latest attempt by the Trump administration to sabotage health care for millions of Americans across the country. By promoting skimpier short-term health plans, Trump will once again undermine the Affordable Care Act, including its requirements to cover people with pre-existing conditions, and could cause premiums to increase for people who rely on the comprehensive plans offered in the ACA marketplace. Instead of continuing to hurt Americans, Trump should join Democrats in working to increase access to affordable health care coverage.”

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19 Feb
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RELEASE: House Democrats Respond to Newest Round of Budget Cuts

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Communications & Public Affairs
January 19, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Jacquelyn Walsh
Phone: (405) 557-7370

House Democrats Respond to Newest Round of Budget Cuts

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Steve Kouplen, on behalf of the Oklahoma House Democratic Caucus, has released the following statement on the $44 million worth of budget cuts passed on the House floor Monday:

“It is unconscionable that the Republican leadership in the House has led the state to the point where further cuts to the current year budget are inevitable. Today, the House sent $44 million worth of cuts to be approved by the Senate. We firmly believe that there are still options on the table to bring in a small portion of revenue for this year and put the state on a better path forward beginning the next fiscal year.

The House Democratic Caucus stands ready to commit all 28 of our votes to a bipartisan revenue package that includes the Republican Party’s cigarette and motor fuel taxes — along with our original request to increase the incentive gross production tax to 5 percent that has now garnered support from State Auditor Gary Jones and the Oklahoma Council on Public Affairs. This package, coupled with the Senate passing the itemized deduction cap from 2017, would allow us to close the upcoming budget hole and provide teachers and state employees with a raise. With 100 percent of our caucus supporting, we would only need 48 Republicans, or 66 percent of the caucus, to pass this plan.

As we have mentioned in the past, it seems that the Republican Caucus is more worried about political cover while cutting agencies than actually finding a solution. Otherwise, we would be voting on revenue packages regularly until we find a combination that works.

Our fear is that as the race for the next Speaker of the House continues to heat up, we will continue to see fewer options for revenue and more of the same fiscal policy that has plagued this state for the last decade. Nevertheless, the House Democratic Caucus stands ready to negotiate at any time to prevent budget cuts and provide the revenue necessary for a teacher and state employee pay raise.”

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13 Feb
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House Democrats Respond to Failure of Step Up Oklahoma Plan

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Communications & Public Affairs
Feb. 12, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Jacquelyn Walsh
Phone: (405) 557-7370

House Democrats Respond to Failure of Step Up Oklahoma Plan

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma House Democrats released the following statement regarding the failure of House Bill 1033:

“For a year, revenue options have been presented, debated and voted down in this Chamber. In that time, the word compromise has been skewed to the point where it now seems to mean blind acceptance without any real dialogue or negotiation. While the House Democratic Caucus had members on both sides of the vote today, we are unified in our belief that the bill presented today was far from equitable and left unaddressed many of our state’s needs. This bill sought to mend some of our state’s problems with taxes that asked working families to pay more while asking very little of those at the top and the oil & gas industry.

With the support of our constituents, we stand ready to put 28 votes on the board for a plan that addresses the state’s long-term financial needs and ensures tax fairness among all classes and industries. If Republicans insist on a revenue plan that includes taxes that disproportionately affect low and middle income Oklahomans, like the fuel and cigarette taxes, then they must also include:

1) an equitable income tax plan that includes restoration of the top income tax rate of 5.25% on high earners, reinstatement of the earned income tax credit for low income Oklahomans, and an increase in the standard deduction for middle class Oklahomans,

2) A gross production tax equal to the current top income tax rate of 5%

3) An end to the retaliatory attempts to double-tax renewable energy that only serve to hurt both the state’s energy diversification and the ability to recruit next century jobs.

4) An immediate pay increase for both state employees and teachers.

We recognize that this is only the second week of a four-month-long legislative session and know that the will to negotiate a better plan still exists on both sides of the aisle. We look forward to working with our Republican colleagues to put forth a plan that is good for all Oklahomans, not just a select few.”

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