President-elect Donald Trump is set to take the oath of office this Friday, but one of the largest grassroots conservative groups, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), isn't waiting to start pushing the Republican White House, Senate and House to enact a conservative agenda. Today they released their Reform America 2017 agenda, which outlines its top three priorities for the new administration.
The three pillars are repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, executing tax reform, and rolling back regulations.
Across the country, our activists are going to be mobilizing so that we take advantage of this opportunity to move the country in a better direction
To push its agenda, AFP launched a website, sent a letter to Republicans on the Hill, and is urging their volunteers to participate in phone banks in support of the agenda.
Republicans in Congress have already started repealing the Affordable Care Act through reconciliation. Trump has indicated that a GOP replacement plan would be announced after Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) is confirmed as secretary of health and human services. Trump told the Washington Post that his plan is “going to have insurance for everybody.”
AFP is pushing for any health reforms to include market-based policies that would roll back what they call "the slew of anti-competitive, anti-consumer laws."
Republican leaders have been looking into using tax credits to help people buy insurance, as well as removing rules against selling insurance across state lines.
Under the Affordable Care Act, 20 million Americans have received health insurance, though a large of number of those are insured under the expanded Medicaid provision of the law. Failing to ensure those Americans are still insured is something Republicans are worried about.
“Getting spending under control and reforming the tax code are also a top priority. By rooting out cronyism, we can ensure the tax code works for everyone rather than the best-connected," AFP Chief Government Affairs Officer Brent Gardner said in a statement.
During the campaign, Trump's plan indicated that he wanted to have three tax brackets: 10 percent, 20 percent, and 25 percent. He also wants to repeal the estate tax, and lower the corporate tax to 15 percent (it is currently at 35 percent at the federal level).
Republicans have long complained about the regulations that President Obama put in place. In Congress, the House has already passed the R.E.I.N.S. Act which gives Congress greater oversight over major regulations.
In a video laying out his plans for his first 100 days Trump said, "I will formulate a rule which says that for every one new regulation two old regulations must be eliminated."
AFP is hoping that Trump repeals the Clean Power Plan, which they say "would force America to cut back on affordable and abundant energy."
Notably, AFP did not include trade in its agenda-- which is a topic where the group and the president-elect differ. AFP supports free trade while Trump has proposed tariffs and border taxes.
Despite Trump and AFP both wanting to repeal Obamacare, reform the tax code, and reduce regulations, nothing's guaranteed. The GOP could get cold feet, or Democrats could block some of the legislation.
Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-funded group, boast of having a grassroots army of more than 3 million people who they urge to campaign for conservative candidates as well as push for conservative policy at both the local and federal level. During the 2016 election, they did not get involved in the Presidential election but did support Republicans running for the Senate as well as the House.
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