- American Horror Story: MAGA Congress
- Gas Prices and Inflation
- Guns: Letters to the Editor
- Inflation Reduction Act: Letters to the Editor
- Student Debt Cancellation
- The GOP’s “Grooming” Obsession
- The Inflation Reduction Act
- The MAGA war on free elections
- The MAGA War on Legal Immigrants
- Trump’s push for political violence
MAGA Republicans are on the verge of retaking Congress in 2022, and if they do, we know who will be setting their agenda: Florida billionaire and record-breaking Medicare scammer Rick Scott. He’s got some big plans for the country: from legalizing all kinds of discrimination, to banning porn, to mandatory flag salutes—he’s spelled it all out in a 12-point, full-color MAGA wish list. In this Unpacked, we look at what a MAGA Republican takeover of Congress would mean for you and your community.
Personal freedoms under attack
The mask has fully come off: MAGA Republicans (and their SCOTUS enablers) are practically rubbing their hands together in excitement at the prospect of eliminating a huge host of personal freedoms.
- They’re no longer claiming abortion should be a states’ rights issue: legislation has already been introduced in both the House and Senate that would ban abortion nationwide.
- Scott wants to eliminate federal protections for marriage equality, and codify “one man, one woman” as the only acceptable family unit.
- Gone would be the right to determine your own healthcare — they’re already introducing bans on gender-affirming treatments, even for adults, and contraception is very much at risk.
- The freedom to gather in public safely, without fear of guns and mass shootings – the NRA’s favorite Senators would once again be in charge of writing our gun laws. When Scott says that he will “defend gun rights always, at all costs,” that means he’s comfortable with the cost being thousands of children killed every year by gun violence, and our schools turned into defensive battle zones.
- Standing for the anthem and saluting the flag would become compulsory for kids, and teachers would be required to follow the hyper-nationalist curriculum set by MAGA leaders.
Solidifying permanent conservative rule
What’s left out of Scott’s agenda? The idea that government should reflect the will of the voters. What’s in? Republicans should have permanent, unshakeable control of all branches of government, regardless of how many or how few votes they get. After decades of gerrymandering upheld by Republican-appointed judges, we’re perilously close to seeing this as the new American reality. Case in point is Wisconsin: despite being a 50-50 state, there’s a strong chance that MAGA Republicans will achieve a super-majority in the legislature, allowing them to pass anything they want no matter how extreme, without risk of veto.
How will they do it nationally? Scott has embraced a laundry list of proposals designed to reduce turnout and limit participation in elections. He wants to end same-day and “motor voter” voting registration, implement strict ID laws that target communities of color and trans voters, create sharp limits on anything that makes it easier for people to vote, like early voting and vote by mail, and ban counting any votes that come in after election day. (Which happens to include many votes cast by members of the military serving overseas!) Combined with the opportunity to fill judicial vacancies with MAGA loyalists, influence over the 2030 census, and seriously scary wildcards like a potential Constitutional Convention, we could see our democracy permanently altered within the next few years because of Republican control.
Happy days for billionaires and oligarchs
Tax cuts for everyone! Except poor people and the middle class! OK, actually, it’s just the rich. The economic proposals in Kevin McCarthy’s ‘Commitment to America’ strongly mirror the disastrous plan implemented by former UK Prime Minister Liz Truss – massive, unfunded tax cuts for the very rich, expanded giveaways to corporations and energy companies, and painful service and benefit cuts for regular workers.
What happened when UK conservatives implemented this approach? They managed to tank the British economy in less than two months, cause huge increases in mortgage payments for middle-class homeowners, and force Truss’s resignation after only 41 days. Here in the US, Congressional Republicans are trying to go even farther than creating more legal tax cuts for the wealthy – they also want to make it easier for billionaires and big corporations to cheat on their taxes by cutting the IRS budget. We’ve known for decades that bogus trickle-down tactics hurt our country, and the last thing we need is Scott or Kevin McCarthy to be allowed to call the shots and resurrect a zombified Gingrich agenda.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Attorney General Merrick Garland. FBI Director Christopher Wray. Even President Biden himself: all have been openly named as potential targets for impeachment by MAGA Republicans eager to exact revenge on behalf of Trump. Kevin McCarthy, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and other MAGA leaders have made clear that if they win the majority, they intend to use their new powers not to work for American families or create a better future, but to waste endless time and tax dollars on a series of show impeachments.
It won’t end there, either. After Marjorie Taylor Greene is put back on working committees, you can expect Republicans to target progressive members of Congress—especially women of color—for retaliation. Don’t be surprised to see votes attempting to remove Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib from committee assignments on totally baseless accusations.
MAGA takes hostages: Medicare, Social Security, and student debt
It’s become an ugly annual tradition: Republicans threatening to tank the American economy (and take working Americans’ savings with it) unless they get policy changes they can’t pass via legislation. But under a MAGA Congress, it will get far worse: Kevin McCarthy and other party leaders have pledged to use the debt ceiling to demand massive cuts to Medicare, Social Security, and other benefits that folks have worked hard for—and they’re willing to send America into default for the first time in our nation’s history to do it. They’re hoping to set up a twisted “win-win” for themselves, where they both get to slash programs that support seniors and also destabilize the economy while Biden is president.
Republicans are also targeting other Democratic accomplishments, and are already investigating their options for reinstating student loans canceled as part of President Biden’s student debt relief program. They’ve also introduced legislation to repeal Democrats’ drug pricing law, meaning Republicans literally want to make your prescription drugs more expensive. It’s clear that they put regular, working-class Americans last when it comes to economic policy.
Dismantling our federal government
In Rick Scott’s Senate, ALL federal laws would automatically sunset after five years. Still want to have a functioning air traffic control system or know that your food is safe to eat? Too bad. Congress would have to go through the process of re-passing every single piece of legislation in existence. It’s an absurd tactic designed to grind our federal government to a halt. Scott and his allies also want to force retirement of all federal employees after 12 years, sell most government buildings, cut most Departments, and eliminate ALL federal funding for “non-essential” state and local programs. Scott’s proposals are so extreme that even Mitch McConnell was horrified (you gotta be pretty depraved to shake that guy), but that hasn’t stopped Scott’s fast track to Senate leadership.
The McConnell Rule of Confirmations
Republicans won’t be content to wait for a trifecta to inflict minority rule on the American people. We know full well Mitch McConnnell and his caucus, if they control the Senate, will refuse to confirm President Biden’s nominees to run federal agencies or to fill judicial vacancies. And we know this because no matter what he says, McConnell’s only rule of confirmations is “only Republican Presidents should get their nominees confirmed,” even if it means paralyzing federal agencies’ ability to deliver necessary services or keeping judgeships vacant for years.
For a party that loves to talk about free speech, MAGA Republicans sure seem to propose a lot of authoritarian, anti-free speech policies. From banning books that include mentions of sexuality or gender to forbidding protests (in clear violation of the first amendment), their Orwellian version of ‘free speech’ is anything but. Rick Scott’s Senate majority would take it to an even scarier extreme. Here’s just some of what he wants to do:
- increase enforcement against “obscenity”
- ban all mention of race on federal forms
- forbid diversity training in the military and other government-funded spaces
- punish tech companies that refuse to carry violent or extremist messages
- tightly regulate libraries and other community resources to ensure they include only “approved” content
- force teachers to follow a hyper-partisan educational curriculum that teaches that America is unquestionably superior
- allow invasive, traumatic “gender checks” of young athletes.
Far from some kind of free speech paradise, the MAGA Republican vision is of a country where both ideas and people are heavily patrolled to ensure conformity with their deranged, out-of-touch ideas. Libraries censured, educators targeted, and regular people harassed (or worse) for refusing to follow the MAGA fundamentalist path. It’s dangerous, and goes against our most basic rights as Americans.
What climate crisis?
No one is more excited at the prospect of a Republican takeover of Congress than the fossil fuel industry. From huge tax-dollar giveaways for fossil fuel companies to allowing drilling in even our most environmentally sensitive areas, MAGA Republicans are eager to roll back the historic progress we’ve made during the Biden administration. “Sunsetting” important clean air and water laws and other foundational environmental protections every five years would sacrifice the health and safety of communities, especially those on the frontlines of the climate crisis. And they want to enrich fossil fuel companies at the expense of everyday people: lobbyists are pushing for a repeal of programs that help consumers upgrade their homes to increase efficiency, or help make electric vehicles more affordable. Remember the subsidies for energy and cost saving home improvements that passed as part of the Inflation Reduction Act? If Rick Scott gets his way, they’ll be gone, along with any hope of holding our planetary warming under the 2 degrees targeted by the Paris Accords.
How we’re talking about it
- The Republican agenda is about stripping away rights and benefits from the people and giving them to corporations and the wealthy. Although it often seems that Republicans don’t have a plan, Rick Scott jumped the gun and told the truth: they have big plans, and they’re horrifying. Gone are your individual freedoms and the social services YOU paid for. Instead we’ll get more trickle-down economics, corporate pay days, and restrictions on expression and identity.
- Rick Scott isn’t an outlier in the party. He’s the head of the National Republican Senate Committee, tasked with helping his fellow MAGAs get elected and setting policy for the movement. When he sets an agenda for the party, it affects us all.
- Democrats have an alternative plan: real relief for working people and a restoration of rights to all. The contrast in this election could not be clearer. While Republicans are intent on dragging us backwards, Democrats are running on a platform for the people. With an empowered majority, we’ll be able to pass a bold care package for the American people,
- The fastest way to step back from this precipice is by defeating Republicans. We need a Congress that will preserve its constitutional responsibilities and hold a rogue Supreme Court accountable to the American people and the Constitution. That means electing more Democrats in the midterms to expand our Senate majority and ensure that we don’t allow Republican wins in 2022 to determine the outcome in 2024.
More ways to take action
- GOTV, GOTV, GOTV: in a close race, every volunteer canvassing makes a difference.
- Text banking parties: Peer2Peer texting
- Canvassing made friendly: Neighbor2Neighbor canvassing
- Protect our elections: Volunteer with the Election Protection Coalition
- No MAGA Republican should ever run for office uncontested: Stand up for your community and Run For Something