Friday, December 01, 2017

Cleaver: What else is the Trump Administration hiding?

(From Fifth District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver)

It has been non-stop action on the Hill since we returned from the holiday break. From the news of a guilty plea from former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, to heated debates on tax reform, it’s been a busy week in Washington. We do not know where Robert Mueller’s investigation will lead but it troubles me that the very person in charge of protecting our national security would lie to the FBI. This is beyond outrageous, and it begs the question, what else is the Trump administration hiding.

On the other side of the Capitol, the Senate has been debating their version of a tax reform bill.

Today, the Senate Majority is preparing for a tax vote on a bill they haven't read, which is supported by only 25% of the country, in order to pass a tax plan in which the majority of the benefits go to the wealthiest 1% in America and raise the debt by at least $1 trillion.

By 2027, people making $40,000 to $50,000 would pay a combined $5.3 billion more in taxes, while the group earning $1 million or more would get a $5.8 billion cut.

Additionally, this week the CBC received a response letter from Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg regarding letters we had sent over concerns of racial bias on their social media platform. Previously, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and I had sent a letter to Facebook and Twitter, encouraging them to take immediate action and take seriously the threat of foreign entities’ use of the sites to undermine American democracy. In her response, Sandberg acknowledged that African Americans had been the victims of divisive and abusive content online and stated that they appreciated the CBC for speaking out in defense of democratic values.

Facebook stated it is committed to strengthening its policies prohibiting discrimination in advertising and providing more education to advertisers about their obligation not to discriminate. They also agreed to temporarily disable a feature known as the multicultural affinity segment which allowed them to exclude certain groups of people when placing ads. Facebook also agreed to do more to include women and minorities when filling senior leadership positions within the company.

I am pleased that Facebook announced these changes. It restores my hope that with a little talk and open minds, we can manage solutions.

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