4/27/17 To-do List
Contact Government Officials
- The vote to replace the ACA could come as early as Friday. While the Freedom Caucus is now on board with the bill, the MacArthur-Meadows amendment would undermine coverage guaranteed by the ACA by allowing states to get a waiver from having to use the ACA’s “community rating” requirement, which prevents insurers from charging premiums based on customers' health. Specifically, it would allow states with waivers 1) to charge people with pre-existing conditions much higher premiums due to their illnesses, putting coverage out of reach for some, 2) to opt out of covering “essential health benefits”, an ACA mandate that all insurance plans cover certain services, such as mental health and prescription drug benefits, and 3) to loosen restrictions on how much more older people can be charged than younger people. http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/330656-new-obamacare-repeal-bill-puts-centrists-on-the-spot In addition, this amendment to the GOP- proposed health plan exempts Congress members and their staffs so that they can maintain their current, ACA-based, health insurance. Also, the bill also features cuts to expanded Medicaid that has helped countless citizens. http://www.vox.com/2017/4/25/15429982/gop-exemption-ahca-amendment We the people have gotten used to having quality care no matter where we live and we expected this administration to live up to its word to improve health care and costs. This does neither. We need to let our legislators know that this is not a healthcare plan, as it will hurt so many people and we want Congress to have the same insurance options as everyone else.
- There is concern that the Senate Intelligence Committee is not moving quickly and thoroughly enough on the Russia investigation: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/04/25/the-gops-russia-investigation-is-a-joke-and-americans-know-it/?utm_term=.4f1740b8201e Let’s write to co-chairs Senators Warner and Burr to call for an independent investigation: Senator Mark Warner, 703 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 and Senator Richard Burr, 217 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
- With years of documentation on why trickle-down economics does not work the way it once thought it would, Trump’s new tax plan appears that he is not privy to that information. It gives big tax cuts to businesses and the wealthy with Trump saying that it will put people back to work. http://thehill.com/policy/finance/330696-trump-proposes-sweeping-tax-reform Let’s let Trump know that experience has shown us that when corporations and the wealthy have more money, they generally do not use it to create more jobs for people who need/want to work.
- While overused, the word despicable comes to mind when Trump had the audacity to compare his first 100 days ratings to those of broadcasting after 9/11. Even the foreign press picked up on this statement. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-9-11-approval-ratings-interview-who-with-first-100-days-us-president-world-trade-center-a7698516.html Let’s tell the President that he is no longer in the television industry and has many more things to worry about comparing ratings. Contact the White House here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
- Fallada Project is yet another postcard initiative, but with a twist. If you missed this soon after the inauguration, it is a great way to get others involved: http://falladaproject.org The logo can be printed and glued to postcards and then addressed and stamped to Trump.
- As the People's Climate March looms, Trump will sign an executive order today to "review" the Antiquities Act, which protects national monuments. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/25/us/politics/national-monuments-energy-drilling.html We should let our MofCs know what we think about the possibility of opening currently protected public land to energy drilling.
- April Doss, who chairs the Cybersecurity and Privacy practice at Saul Ewing, LLP has been hired by the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. It's a start but no subpoenas, emails, memos, or phone records have been requested from the Trump campaign. http://www.businessinsider.com/april-doss-will-join-senate-intelligence-committee-russia-investigation-2017-4 Let's call, and email the members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and let them know we want to see more staff hired, documents requested and critical persons interviewed to get to the bottom of Russia's interference in our elections. https://www.intelligence.senate.gov
- The Trump administration is reviewing all of National Monument designations since the mid-90's in the hopes of making them smaller to allow for drilling, mining, and other developments in those areas. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-interior-monuments-idUSKBN17S03N Let's tell them that we want to keep and protect the existing monuments. Write to: Michael D Need, Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665, Washington DC 20240 or call: 202-208-3801
- The new Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be overseeing the Russian investigation. We need to tell him that we want an independent investigation and that he needs to appoint a special prosecutor. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/25/rosenstein-confirmed-attorney-general-237600 Write him here: Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20530-0001
- Rep.Lieu (D-CA) has introduced the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017 that bans gay conversion "therapy." https://lieu.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-lieu-introduces-therapeutic-fraud-prevention-act-2017 Let’s tell our MoC's that we support this bill. Let’s also write a "Thank you" note to Rep. Ted Lieu at his LA office: 5055 Wilshire Blvd. - Suite 310, Los Angeles CA, 90036
- Rep. Chaffetz (R-UT), chair of the House Oversight Committee, says that it appears that Flynn may have acted illegally. We’ve contacted Chaffetz many times criticizing his lack of action, but now it's time for a "thank you" to encourage him and to let him know that we do appreciate when he does the right thing. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/25/chaffetz-cummings-flynn-no-data-support-he-complied-law/100882356/ Write him here: Rep. Jason Chaffetz, 51 S. University Ave, Suite 318, Provo UT 84601
- A federal judge in San Francisco has temporarily halted the threat of blocking of federal funds to sanctuary cities and once again Trump blasts a judge for doing his job: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/2017/04/25/c9e212c8-29f7-11e7-b605-33413c691853_story.html While thanking judges is not a usual practice, let’s say thanks to Judge William H. Orrick for defending American law. Write him at: San Francisco Courthouse, 450 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco, CA, 94102
- While we are at it, let’s
thank another judge who put country before party when he resigned rather
than follow the wishes of his North Carolina Republican Party. http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/04/24/north_carolina_republican_judge_resigns_in_protest_of_his_own_party_s_attack.html
Let’s thank Judge J. Douglas
McCullough, Court of Appeals, P.O. Bos 888, Raleigh, NC 27602-0888
- Food & Water Watch is launching a campaign to “lay siege to fossil fuels at the local level” in an effort to transition to clean energy in time to avert total catastrophe. The kickoff is a national livestream on May 13. We should consider hosting launch parties in our communities to watch the livestream and learn the details of this plan. http://act.foodandwaterwatch.org/site/MessageViewer?dlv_id=80482&em_id=69574.0
- The Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of groups across the United States representing the interests of black communities, has a terrific idea: in the week before Mother’s Day, organizations across the country will bail out mothers who would otherwise spend Mother’s Day in jail simply because they cannot afford bail. Information on Mama’s Bail Out Day and how to donate are here: https://nomoremoneybail.org
- The idea of net neutrality is that all Internet traffic should be equal to everyone. Corporations and those who can afford it should not get faster speeds any more than they should get cleaner drinking water. http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-wozniak-apple-net-neutrality-2017-4 Here's the direct link for leaving a comment about net neutrality for the benefit of all Americans, an issue already recently resolved after significant public comment! Revisiting the issue is a waste of taxpayer dollars, and threatens the availability of an open Internet for all. FCC comment link: HTTPS://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express (In top box, enter "14-28" for the proceeding number and fill out the rest of the comment form.)
Petitions to Sign
- Let’s join Demand Progress in asking Congress and the FCC: Reject Trump’s plan for a corporate-controlled Internet. http://act.demandprogress.org/sign/trump-pai-attack-net-neutrality/
- Support for legalization of marijuana is at an all-time high. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/support-for-marijuana-legalization-at-all-time-high/ Let’s join Sen. Merkley (D-OR) in telling Trump to respect states’ rights to regulate it: https://www.signherenow.org/petition/let-states-regulate-marijuana/merkley/e/
- We need to find ways to engage to bridge the gap. This is heartwarming and hopeful: https://youtu.be/8wYXw4K0A3g
- Good news about us: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trumps-most-striking-accomplishment-so-far/2017/04/24/904f71e2-23b5-11e7-bb9d-8cd6118e1409_story.html?utm_term=.25a5062a1c67
- “As a Catholic Priest, I am Against an Executive Order on Religious Liberty”: http://religionnews.com/2017/04/26/as-a-catholic-priest-i-am-against-an-executive-order-on-religious-liberty/