Taken together, President-Elect Trump’s appointments to date present a significant threat to our democracy, to the people of our country, and to our economy:
· Rep. Tom Price, nominated for Secretary of Health and Human Services, has made dismantling the Affordable Care Act a landmark goal of his political career. Price’s stated goal is to kick nearly 20 million Americans off health care coverage and force people with pre-existing conditions into an expensive and unnecessary fight for their lives, all of which hurts our economy and families. Further, Price’s view that Head Start should be administered and controlled by the states as opposed to the federal government will dramatically reduce the effectiveness of the program overall, creating unfair variabilities across states that hurt access to child care and early childhood education and make our country less competitive internationally.
· Betsy Devos has dedicated her life to undermining public schools and the right of all children to get a good education. Her appointment to Education Secretary would put her in a position to chip away at one of the most fundamental cornerstones of civil society: public education. This direction hurts our children and our economic competitiveness in the future.
· Senator Jeff Sessions, nominee for U.S. Attorney General, has a record of racist rhetoric and was previously rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee over his embrace of policies that would undermine basic civil rights. Sessions’ recent embrace of policies that oppose birthright citizenship and legal immigration are also deeply disturbing from a man who will be the chief legal defender of the rights of all Americans as the U.S. Attorney General.
· Steve Bannon, selected to be incoming chief White House strategist, is a notable white supremacist — with a history of promoting sexism, anti-semitism, homophobia, racism and transphobia. Bannon’s stated goals are to radically remake society in that image — and his close proximity to Donald Trump should make all Americans question the values of the man they elected as President.
It truly is difficult to imagine a more divisive or dangerous set of nominees and these appointments should scare all Americans — whether they voted for Trump or not. In fact, the appointments thus far make it clear that Donald Trump will govern exactly as he campaigned: pushing an extreme right-wing agenda that threatens to destroy the fundamental fabric of our country, our economy, and our communities.
Moms and dads, and people across the nation, know that white supremacists should be no place close to the White House; that anti-immigrant politicians with a history of advancing racist policies should not be responsible for protecting our civil rights; and that health care and education work best when everyone has the opportunity to take part in the process. Donald Trump, the biggest popular vote loser to ever win the electoral college vote, did not come into office with a mandate for this extremist direction. In fact he lost the popular vote by one of the widest margins in history.
Our more than one million members from the Atlantic to the Pacific will continue to oppose this extremist direction, including nominees that hurt our families and economy, and will urge our elected officials to work towards real solutions to our country’s challenges — solutions that treat all Americans equally and fairly, that boost our economy, and that lift our nation.