President Trump's 'tactless decision' to Move US Embassy in Israel

The Prime Minister of Great Britain.

The Secretary General of the United Nations.

The President of France.

The Foreign Minister of Australia.

9 Former United States Ambassadors to Israel.

The Pope.

What do all these people have in common? They, and so many others, have decried Trump’s tactless decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump’s decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem was due in large part to promises he made to wealthy donors during the campaign. In exchange for campaign funds that propelled him to the presidency last November, Trump traded in American leadership abroad, stability in the Middle East, and nearly 70 years of American diplomacy.

In 1995, Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act into law, which called for the State Department to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv unless the president determined that the national security risks were too great. Every six months since 1995, the Presidents of three separate administrations (and both political parties) have signed a waiver preventing that dangerous move - until this week.

The issue surrounding Jerusalem is incredibly complicated and nuanced, much like the Israel-Palestine conflict itself. Not only do the Palestinians claim parts of the city as their own capital, but the city holds immense spiritual value for Christians, Jews, and Muslims across the world.

While Jerusalem has served as the functioning capital of Israel since its establishment in 1948, the U.S. and the majority of the international community have until now maintained that Jerusalem is a crucial component of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. By recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the United States has irreversibly damaged its ability to remain a neutral facilitator of peace talks and effectively precluded the possibility of a two-state solution altogether, according to Palestinian leadership.

Trump’s decision, emphatically supported by Jim Jordan, wasn’t smart and it wasn’t necessary. Israel would have remained a vital and committed U.S. ally, regardless of U.S. recognition of Jerusalem or the location of our embassy. Trump’s reckless, politically motivated move demonstrates his inability to grasp the intricacies of global politics and heed the advice of experienced diplomats and policy experts.

By ignoring the advice of experts and advance their own political agendas instead, President Trump and Jim Jordan are damaging America’s international reputation, alienating leaders of the Middle East, prohibiting the U.S. from being an effective peace broker, and destabilizing the entire region in the process.

Janet GarrettComment
Translating the GOP Tax Plan

This week Senate Republicans have continued their work to force a hastily crafted tax plan onto millions of Americans. After months of private meetings designed to create this tax plan in secret, senators and representatives like Jim Jordan have been actively obscuring the worst elements of the plan.

We thought we’d translate some of this deceptive language:

“It streamlines income tax brackets, reducing the number of brackets from seven to four.”

While this bill does simplify the tax code, this streamlining will most strongly benefit the most wealthy Americans who will also no longer pay the alternative minimum tax. This ensures that multi-billionaires will be able to pay less in taxes than middle class Americans.

“It nearly doubles the standard deduction”

What Jordan doesn’t mention is that this plan also eliminates essential deductions for medical expenses, student loans, and theft or loss of valuables. Just to make that clear, according to Jim Jordan you shouldn’t be allowed to deduct major medical expenses, student loans, or expenses arising from theft from your taxes; but don’t worry, if you are inheriting more than 5 million dollars republicans think you need a break. While students and patients struggle republicans have chosen to eliminate the estate tax for anyone inheriting under 11 million dollars and phase it out altogether after five years.

“The average family—regardless of their level of income—will see a tax cut under the provisions of H.R. 1.”

This is a clever way of saying: this plan only good for about half of the country…

I don’t know about Jim Jordan, but I am running to represent all of Ohio. A tax plan that slyly raises taxes on the middle class after 5 years causing taxes to go up for 60% of Americans (most of whom are in the middle class) is nothing to be proud of. Jim Jordan knows that this plan will predominantly benefit the richest people in this country, but he should be ashamed of a plan that makes life harder for 60% of America’s middle class.

“Please feel free to contact my office anytime at 202-225-2676 or online at jordan.house.gov with any other questions or concerns you may have.”

This one is simple. Over the last few weeks Jim Jordan has helped push this bill through congress before we could really understand the consequences. What else is he trying to hide? Call Jim Jordan and tell him that you are ashamed of this tax plan. Then, help us bring better representation to the 4th district and let him know that you’ll be voting Janet Garrett in 2018.

Janet GarrettComment
Statement on Net Neutrality

On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced plans to repeal net neutrality regulations put in place during the Obama administration. These rules guarantee open and equal access to the internet. If repealed, large corporations will succeed in their efforts to disadvantage consumers, which will ultimately stifle innovation and prohibit Americans from wielding the immense power of the internet.

Republicans like Jim Jordan are hoping that Americans won’t understand what repealing net neutrality means for everyday consumers. We will not be fooled.

Here are the facts.

In 2015, the FCC established a set of “net neutrality” rules, which classify high-speed internet as a public utility, much like electricity or the telephone. When you access content or websites from different sources on the internet, the information must first pass through large companies like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon, known as Internet Service Providers (I.S.P.s), which then deliver the content to your smartphone, computer, or tablet. Net neutrality rules guarantee open and equal access to all content on the internet, preventing I.S.P.s from obtaining total control over internet access. This ensures that they don’t favor one source of content over another, slow speeds to certain websites, or block access to content altogether. Simply put, companies would be able to charge more for less without net neutrality.

Why is this so bad?

Currently, we pay a monthly fee to an internet service provider for high speed access to everything on the internet. Period. If I.S.P.s are given the power to become gatekeepers of the internet, with the ability to dictate what we see and how we see it, the internet will start to look a lot more like cable television. There will be dozens of packages containing different websites at different speeds, with the best access reserved only for those who can pay most for it.

As if taking more money from middle class consumers and giving it to some of America’s largest corporations wasn’t bad enough, a repeal of net neutrality would all but eliminate the equalizing power of the internet. These rules ensure that anyone who puts something on the internet - a young girl sharing her musical talents, a small business trying to attract new customers with their first website, or a congressional candidate running to make a difference in Washington - all have the same opportunity to make an impact. Open and uninhibited access to the internet spurs everything from political revolutions to technological innovation, making it crucial to the growth and betterment of American society.

It’s not just everyday internet users who are threatened by a repeal of net neutrality, either. Small businesses, bloggers, and other content providers who are unable to make deals with massive I.S.P.s will be relegated to lower tiers, forcing consumers to view these websites at slower speeds or pay even more to access them, again tilting the scales in favor of the wealthy and powerful.

Large corporations should not have infinite power to dictate how we communicate, express ourselves, or unwind after a long day at work. We owe it to ourselves, and each other, to push back against the repeal of net neutrality. Join me in the fight against big business and President Trump.

Together, we can make a stand for what is right: fair, free, and open internet access for all.

Janet GarrettComment