Odd police behavior at Democrat/Indivisble/Not One Penny protest against Trump tax bill

Update 6PM Nov 15: GOP Sen Ron Johnson will vote NO

On November 15, the Senate planned to vote on Trump's tax "reform" bill that would raise taxes on the middle class and cut them for the rich. No vote by 6:30PM that day, and at noon protesters were outside the Capitol East Front. Several Democratic members of Congress spoke, so a hefty Capitol Police presence was no surprise but their behavior was another matter. As soon as a known antifa journalist set up a camera on a tripod, police fanned out to surround the crowd.

Instead of staying up front where the members of Congress were, police stood at intervals at the outside of the crowd, while at least one dog handler made repeated passes through the crowd. There were references to "a woman" overheard on the police radio, but no apparent female target of all this police activity. Both uniformed and undercover cops were visible in positions spaced around the left and back side of the crowd, with the right side weakly covered. When the author of this story packed out, but stopped minutes later to shoot a long zoom photo from the street, the police appeared to have stood down their aggressive deployment and returned to their defensive postions protecting the speakers.

Background on Trump's Senate tax bill

Trump's tax bill would jack up taxes on the middle class to fund cuts in the corporate tax rate and top tax brackets for the wealthy. It would remove deductions for state and local taxes paid, which benefits pro-GOP low tax jurisdictions at the expense of the densely packed coastal areas. Medical deductions would be eliminated and student loan interest would not be deductable either. A New York Times estimate claims some student loan recipients would pay triple their current taxes. Meanwhile tax deductions for interest on commercial real estate loans and for golf courses are retained.

It is curious that the health care/ACA issue got dragged into this bill. It turns out the GOP using the fact that it is estimated 13 million people would opt out of the health insurance market if the (currently unenforcible) individual mandate were repealed to subtract ACA subsidies (that pay part of the cost of that insurance) from the cost of the bill. That reduction, in turn, keeps the bill under a cost cap beyond which "reconciliation" would not be an option and 60 votes (some of them Democrats) would be needed to pass the bill. Real world: this is about passing the bill and nothing else.

The "individual mandate" repeal also comes coupled with in cuts in Medicaid (again...) just as it did in all five previous attempts to repeal the ACA. Also it includes $25 Billion in cuts to Medicare for elders. With that on the table as well as another round of premium hikes, the price of using the budget "reconciliation" process to avoid needed support from the Dems for their tax bill has become that instead the bill has been targetted by the same coalition (ADAPT included) that torpedoed five previous attempts to repeal part or all of the ACA. The difference is that this time around, the torpedoing in question could sink Trump's tax "reform" and Trumpcare simultaniously.

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