December 1, 2017
JAC is proud to support Elissa Slotkin who is running for Congress in MI-8. She brings to her candidacy unique experience having spent 14 years of national service in the intelligence and defense agencies working on issues of importance to the U.S.-Israel relationship. She is tough, smart and experienced. She will fight for JAC's issues in Congress. Let's help send her to Congress. (l to r: Dana Gordon, Elissa Slotkin, Nancy Spivak, Arielle Imber, Lisa Imber)

Week In Review Commentary
Tax reform lasts a long time. 1986 was the last time the tax code was changed. Today's tax plan will linger on the backs of women, students, disabled and seniors for another generation as well, if not longer. *

The extremely wealthy, which includes Donald Trump, his family and corporations, seem to be the only ones that will benefit from this draconian bill.

Cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and other health care programs and cuts to education, housing, and food assistance will hurt women and their economic security. Women head a disproportionate number of households and depend on many of the current tax deductions and services to provide for their children.

Families with disabled children or family members suffering from chronic illness are already financially burdened. Now they will no longer be able to deduct those high medical expenses from their tax returns, making it even harder for them to care for their loved ones. That deduction is also used by couples going through costly fertility treatments.

Many people with rare diseases count on the development of new, life-saving drugs. Tax credits to pharmaceutical companies encourage them to develop these news drugs. Without these credits, it may not be financially feasible for them to research new treatments.

However, it gets even worse. With the elimination of the healthcare mandate,13 million people will lose their insurance coverage. Those with private insurance can expect a 10 percent increase in their premiums.

For the first time in tax reform history, anti-abortion language, "personhood," is included in the plan. This does not affect the deficit nor Americans' tax burden. It's just a dark attempt to eliminate women's reproductive rights and eventually overturn Roe v Wade.

The plan also takes a swipe at college and graduate students. The House version eliminates the tax exemption for student loans. As a result, the cost of student loans for borrowers would increase by roughly $24 billion in the next decade. While the Senate version does not exclude this provision, there is strong likelihood it could be included in the conference version. Many graduate students work on their advanced degree in exchange for teaching and research. They now will be taxed on that tuition waiver.

This tax plan is not just about deductions and cuts, it's about people and their ability to succeed and provide for their families. If you look behind the numbers, you see a more divided country with more people hurting and less chance of healing.

Today the bill advances with the help from Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Ron Johnson (R-WI). Both faced tough Democratic challengers in 2016. Elections matter.

Join with JAC to elect candidates who support our issues.

Sources: NPR, Washington Post, NPR
*As of publication time, the bill was still being debated. 
Take Action
OPPOSE Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Call Your Senators
Tell Them to OPPOSE 
Concealed Carry Reciprocity 
  • Concealed Carry Reciprocity (CCR) will make it legal for more dangerous and untrained people to carry loaded, hidden guns in more public places
  • Many states allow people with criminal histories to legally carry concealed guns
  • If CCR passes, states will be forced to recognize the permits of all states, regardless of whether that permit meets that state's standards to carry a concealed gun in public.
  • CCR fails to create a consistent national standard across states regarding who is able to get a concealed carry permit
  • Violent crime rates have increased in states with concealed carry laws 
  • 83 percent of gun owners and 83 percent of Republicans want higher safety standards for concealed carry permit holders than are required in right-to-carry and permitless states

After you call, be sure to tweet!

@RepName @JointActionComm #WeOPPOSE #CCR. Don't let those with criminal histories legally carry guns everywhere. #StopCCR
Pence Says Trump 'Actively Considering' Moving U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
"While for the past 20 years, Congress and successive administrations have expressed a willingness to move our embassy, President Trump is actively considering when and how to move the American Embassy," Pence said.  Congress mandated that the embassy be relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 1995 but it has always been deferred citing security risks.
Three Problems with Trump's 'Ultimate' Middle East Peace Plan

The absence of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, or at least genuine progress toward one, jeopardizes Israel's security and its status as the democratic nation-state of the Jewish people. Moreover, a coalition of moderate Arab countries and Israel, which would be the most effective regional vehicle to counter Iran, is simply not possible without advancement on the Israeli-Palestinian track.  
151 UN States Vote to Disavow Israeli Ties to Jerusalem

The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem as part of six anti-Israel resolutions it approved on Thursday in New York. The vote was 151 in favor and six against, with nine abstentions. The resolution came as the Trump Administration was rumored to be actively considering relocating its embassy to Jerusalem. 
Continued Reading

Outrage Grows Over Rutgers President's Response to Antisemitism on Campus   

The president of Rutgers University in New Jersey is facing increasing criticism for his defense of three faculty members who made widely condemned remarks about Israel and Jews; he has been rebuked by the American Jewish Committee sharply for failing to openly condemn professor Michael Chikindas, who shared "anti-Semitic, homophobic, and misogynistic" posts on social media; Jasbir Puar, who repeated discredited allegations that Israel mines the organs of Palestinians; and Mazen Adi, who served for years as a spokesperson for "the murderous Assad regime."   
A Naked Game of Tag Was Filmed at a Nazi Gas Chamber   

Groups representing Holocaust survivors have asked Poland's president to explain why artists were allowed to film a naked game of tag inside a gas chamber in the former Nazi death camp of Stutthof. The organizations that co-signed the letter demanded to know whether the artists did "obtain permission from the Stutthof administrators to make this video, what rules exist for proper conduct at the site, and how these are enforced."  
Continued Reading
Women Can Be Blocked from Birth Control Coverage by Employers, Says Trump Nominee
"We have to balance a woman's choice of insurance with the conscience of their employers," Alex Azar, Trump's pick for Department of Health and Human Services secretary said.  He went on to call this safeguarding of employers' conscience part of "American values."  Reproductive rights advocates are concerned what Azar's confirmation could mean. 
Medical School Training Is Exacerbating the Shortage of Abortion Doctors across the Country

The country will soon face a serious doctor shortage. The demand for physicians is outgrowing the supply, and the Association of American Medical Colleges projects that by 2025, there will be a shortfall of somewhere between 61,700 and 94,700 physicians. There are already shortages in some specialties; almost half of all U.S. counties lack a single practicing obstetrician and gynecologist. The stigma affecting abortion doctors starts at the very beginning and is contributing to the growing shortage.
Trump Administration Dangles Family Planning Cash for Anti-Choice Priorities

Trump's administration could soon prioritize millions of taxpayer dollars for anti-choice goals rather than providing evidence-based family planning, including contraception & cancer screenings, to a diverse, low-income population.  "This is the Trump administration's true agenda laid bare: restrict and control how women access basic health care for the sake of an extreme political agenda," says Dawn Laguens, Executive VP of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.  
Continued Reading

Opponents in LGBT Case Agree: It's Not about Wedding Cake

In a legal case with profound implications for LGBT rights and religion's place in public life, the opposing sides agree on this: It's not about the cake. The case that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court for oral arguments on Dec. 5 is a showdown between a gay couple from Colorado and a Denver-area baker who in 2012 cited his Christian faith in refusing to make a cake for their wedding celebration.    
Will Tax Reform Alter the Landscape of Jewish Giving?

As Republican Senate leaders tweak the bill to satisfy wavering colleagues, virtually all Jewish groups are convinced it would result in fewer charitable donations to Jewish federations, synagogues, day schools and social safety net programs. The groups oppose a provision in House bill that repeals the 1954 Johnson Amendment banning synagogues, churches and nonprofits from endorsing political candidates.  They fear political groups will set up sham churches to get a charitable tax deduction. 
Supreme Court Refuses to Take up Maryland's Assault Weapons Ban
The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from gun owners and dealers in Maryland challenging the state's ban on military-style rifles and detachable magazines.  The court said the weapons are excluded from Second Amendment protections since they are often used by the military. Petitioners argued these weapons are commonly used for self-defense in the home. By denying the case, the court refused to step into national debate over gun control.
Trump Judicial Picks Lack Decades-long Diversity Drive
As President Donald Trump moves aggressively to advance a legal agenda with racial dimensions, he is simultaneously setting records for the percentage of white people nominated for lifetime appointments to the federal courts. Of the nearly 60 individuals Trump has nominated to preside over the US justice system, only one is black. Only one is Hispanic. 
Get Ready for Concealed Guns in All 50 States
House panel approves law that will allow firearms-owners to cross any state line with a hidden weapon. Republicans rejected Democratic amendments that would ban violent offenders from qualifying under the law, as well as a change that would have prevented forum shopping, which means a New York resident barred from obtaining a concealed carry permit could instead send away for one from somewhere else. The bill, which has more than 200 co-sponsors, almost all Republicans, now heads for the floor of the 435-member House. A similar bill, with 38 Republican co-sponsors, is pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Continued Reading
Michael Flynn's Guilty Plea Is Bad For Trump In Lots Of Ways

The guilty plea of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn - the fourth official from President Trump's campaign implicated in criminal activity - is in several ways even more damaging to the president than special counsel Robert Mueller's charges earlier this fall against Paul Manafort, who actually ran Trump's campaign for a time. In short: Flynn's plea is a sign that Mueller's investigation has reached a more central place within Trump's orbit, and that it could creep closer to Trump still. 
What Will Be Left of the State Department After Tillerson? 

The senior State Department official charged with overseeing Rex Tillerson's effort to overhaul agency has resigned after three months on the job. "Since the beginning of his tenure it has been apparent that Tillerson's 'reorganization' is really just a Steve Bannon-inspired effort to deconstruct the State Department," says former co-worker. Since Tilllerson took the position 10 months ago, jobs haven't been filled, morale is awful, and seasoned diplomats have headed for the exits.
Read Full Article
Tens of Thousands of Newly Registered Felons Could Swing Alabama Senate Election 

Pastor Kenneth Glasgow announced, "Those of you listening in the prison cells right now: You can vote if you don't have a murder charge or any kind of sex charge." The Ordinary People Society, a non-profit organization Glasgow founded after serving a decade in prison on drug charges, has registered thousands of people to vote.  Most have been disenfranchised - until this year. 
Read Full Article
Congress Isn't Really Done With Health Care - Just Look At What's In The Tax Bills 

Having failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Congress is now working on a tax overhaul. But it turns out the tax bills in the House and Senate also aim to reshape health care. Here are five big ways the tax bill could affect health policy including 10 percent raise in premiums and 13 million fewer people having insurance over 10 years.
Read Full Article
Continued Reading
Israel 'Expects' Its Chess Players to Make History By Playing in Saudi Tourney 

World Chess Federation is making 'huge effort' to ensure visas are approved for upcoming competition in Riyadh.
WWII Nazi War Criminal Too Old For Prison? He's 96 Years Old, But German Court Says No 

Oskar Groening, a 96-year-old convicted Nazi war criminal who, as  a young man, worked at Auschwitz, is fit to start serving his prison sentence despite his lawyers' claims otherwise.
The Last Word

"What we did truly represents who we are as Americans. America, we know, is composed of diverse community. We have different languages, different skills, different talents, and different religion. But when our way of life is threatened, like the freedom and liberty that we all cherish, we come together as one. And when we come together as one, we are invincible."
Peter MacDonald, former Navajo Code Talker, at White House Ceremony
JAC 2018 Annual Meeting
Washington, D.C.
Tuesday, March 13th - Wednesday, March 14th, 2018
Special Pre-Conference VIP Tour
Monday, March 12th, 2018
Smithsonian Institution
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Details to follow

  Talking Points with
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL)

Monday, December 11th
9:15 - 10:45 am
Riverwoods, IL

Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) is a pro-Israel PAC with a domestic agenda. We support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship and advocate for reproductive health and the separation of religion and state and incorporate other issues of importance to the Jewish community, including gun violence prevention and climate change. In addition to providing financial support for U.S. Senate and House campaigns, JACPAC educates our membership with outreach events designed to inform and activate their participation in the political process.
Federal law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer for each individual who contributed to JACPAC. Maximum contribution per person may not exceed $5,000 per calendar year. According to law, JACPAC cannot accept corporate contributions. Membership, gifts, or other payments to JACPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.