Broken Promises to the Middle Class: After Promising to Work for the “Forgotten Man,” Trump and Republicans Have Rigged the System Against Working Americans

January 30, 2018

Time and time again, the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress have undermined consumer and environmental protections, empowering corporations over working Americans. Trump and Republicans have stripped Americans of the ability to take legal recourse when taken advantage of by major corporations. When presented with a choice between clean water and the interests of fossil fuel companies, Republicans and the Trump administration repealed rules designed to protect drinking water from coal mining waste. And at a time when Americans are increasingly concerned about the security of their private information, President Trump and Republicans sided with internet providers, allowing them to sell their customers’ personal data, from web browsing history to sensitive financial information, without their consent.

After promising to help the middle class, the Trump administration has overwhelmingly benefitted the wealthy and big corporations, leaving working Americans behind. In President Trump’s first year, he and Congressional Republicans wasted months sabotaging the healthcare system and attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, increasing costs for millions of Americans and resulting in millions more Americans without health insurance. The GOP Tax Scam overwhelmingly benefits the wealthy and large corporations at the expense of millions of middle-class families, who will face hikes starting in 2019 – with that number ballooning by 2027. The staggering failure of President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress stands in stark contrast with recent previous administrations. Recent previous administrations worked with both parties in Congress toward bipartisan priorities for the middle class – like ensuring fair pay for women, increasing the minimum wage, and passing the Family Medical Leave Act. President Trump and Republicans in Congress have shown time and time again they have the wrong priorities. 

IN YEAR ONE, PRESIDENT TRUMP AND REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS HAVE SUPPORTED SPECIAL INTERESTS AND DESTROYED COMMONSENSE CONSUMER PROTECTIONS, HARMING THE INTERESTS OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS

H.J.Res.111, Undermining Consumer Protections for Financial Products

President Trump and Congressional Republicans overturned rules established to protect consumers.  The repeal allows banks and financial firms to continue to force consumers into mandatory arbitration and shield potential fraud from the public. [115th Congress, 1st Session, Senate RCV 249 / House RCV 412]

H.J.66, Making It Harder to Save for Retirement

President Trump and Congressional Republicans eliminated a rule that made it easier for states to set up retirement accounts for private-sector workers. [115th Congress, 1st Session, Senate RCV 120 / House RCV 96]

H.J.Res.43, Limiting Women’s Health Care Options

President Trump and Congressional Republicans rolled back protections for family planning clinics and allowed discrimination against our nation’s family planning providers. The rule they rolled back would have clarified existing Title X protections and protected providers from discrimination. [115th Congress, 1st Session, Senate RCV 101 / House RCV 99]

H.J.Res.67, Attacking Americans’ Ability to Save for Retirement

President Trump and Congressional Republicans limited retirement savings options for millions of Americans. State treasurers from across the country said that the resolution “would make it more difficult for states and municipalities to seek solutions to the growing retirement savings crisis.” [115th Congress, 1st Session, Senate RCV 99 / House RCV 95]

S.J.Res.34, Letting Internet Providers Sell Customer Personal Data Without Consent

President Trump and Congressional Republicans allowed internet providers to sell customers' personal data without consent. The FCC rule they rolled back would have protected consumers and their data from being sold without permission by their broadband provider, but Republicans stopped it from implementation.  [115th Congress, 1st Session, Senate RCV 94 / House RCV 202]

H.J.Res.83, Decreasing Worker Safety by Limiting Employer Injury Recording

President Trump and Congressional Republicans reduced worker safety by eliminating requirements to keep records of work-related injuries or illnesses. The OSHA rule they rolled back would have explained that recording requirements do not stop if an employer fails to create records. [115th Congress, 1st Session, Senate RCV 93 / House RCV 121]

H.J.Res.69, Allowing Cruel and Unsporting Hunting Practices

President Trump and Congressional Republicans allowed more cruel methods of killing wildlife. The rule they rolled back would not have prevented hunting but would have eliminated “scientifically indefensible” methods of killing. The Humane Society called the resolution “a cruel, mean-spirited, and duplicitous legislative maneuver.” [115th Congress, 1st Session, Senate RCV 92 / House RCV 98]

H.J.Res.42, Wasting Taxpayer Dollars While Not Helping the Unemployed or Taxpayers

President Trump and Congressional Republicans undermined a bipartisan compromise on drug testing of unemployment insurance claimants. The resolution could result in greater confusion and uncertainty for states. [115th Congress, 1st Session, Senate RCV 87 / House RCV 97]

H.J.Res.57, Undermining Public Education

President Trump and Congressional Republicans undermined clarity in the Every Student Succeeds Act. The passage of this resolution could result in vulnerable students being left behind. [115th Congress, 1st Session, Senate RCV 84 / House RCV 84]

H.J.Res.58, Blocking the Teacher Preparation Rule

President Trump and Congressional Republicans blocked a rule ensuring our nation’s teachers are prepared to teach our nation’s students. [115th Congress, 1st Session, Senate RCV 83 / House RCV 85]

H.J.Res.44, Stopping Americans from Having A Say in the Management of Public Lands

President Trump and Congressional Republicans blocked a rule to increase transparency and improve management of public lands. Hunting and sportsmen’s groups said the rule they rolled back “increases federal agency transparency and incorporates best practices in land-use planning, while maintaining the important cooperating agency role of state and local governments.” [115th Congress, 1st Session, Senate RCV 82, House RCV 83]

H.J.Res.37, Blocking Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule

President Trump and Congressional Republicans blocked rules forcing federal contractors to pay fair wages and provide safe workplaces. [115th Congress, 1st Session, Senate RCV 81 / House RCV 76]

H.J.Res.40, Allowing Americans with Mental Impairment Easier Access to Guns

President Trump and Congressional Republicans reversed a rule that would have made it harder for certain Americans with mental incapacities to own guns. [115th Congress, 1st Session, Senate RCV 66 / House RCV 77]

H.J.Res.41, Reversing Anti-Corruption Rule

President Trump and Congressional Republicans prevented increased transparency for oil and mining companies that make payments to foreign governments. [115th Congress, 1st Session, Senate RCV 51 / House RCV 72]

H.J.Res.38, Endangering Clean Water and Public Health

President Trump and Congressional Republicans undermined the government’s ability to protect our water from mountaintop mining pollutants. [115th Congress, 1st Session, Senate RCV 43 / House RCV 73]

IN FIRST YEAR UNDER TRUMP, REPUBLICANS FAILED TO MEASURE UP

2017 [First Session of Congress under President Trump]: Republicans passed H.R.1, a tax bill that will overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy and big corporations, via a partisan reconciliation process. Republicans spent their first year sabotaging the healthcare system and trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, raising costs and endangering health insurance for tens of millions of Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions. Republicans repealed commonsense consumer protections. Republicans broke the rules of the Senate to confirm President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch. President Trump’s inability to negotiate with Congress caused a three-day government shutdown, despite Republican control of the House, Senate, and White House.

2009 [First Session of Congress under President Obama]: The Senate passed and President Obama signed major legislation into law, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the “stimulus”), the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, and the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The Senate passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010. The Senate also confirmed Sonia Sotomayor to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

2001 [First Session of Congress under President George W. Bush]: The Senate passed and President Bush signed major legislation into law, including the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act, the USA PATRIOT Act, and the No Child Left Behind Act.  The Senate passed a McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill and significant, bipartisan bankruptcy reform legislation.

1993 [First Session of Congress under President Clinton]: The Senate passed and President Clinton signed into law the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the National Voter Registration Act, also known as the “Motor Voter Act,” the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, and the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act. The Senate passed the House of Representatives Campaign Spending Limit and Election Reform Act as well as the Lobbying Disclosure Act. The Senate also confirmed Ruth Bader Ginsburg to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

1989 [First Session of Congress under President George H.W. Bush]: The Senate passed and President Bush signed into law the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act, a bill to implement the Bipartisan Accord on Central America, the Whistleblower Protection Act, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Amendments Act, including an increase in the minimum wage. The Senate passed the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act. 

1981 (First Session of Congress under President Reagan): The Senate passed and President Reagan signed into law the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act and the bipartisan Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981. The Senate confirmed Sandra Day O’Connor to be the first female Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.