Contact Federal Government Officials
- Two more Republican senators have come out against the Senate healthcare bill bringing the total to four and killing the prospect that the bill will pass. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/07/17/537803874/gop-senators-come-out-against-republican-healthcare-bill-ensuring-it-cant-pass Let’s thank those two senators: Mike Lee (R-UT): https://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact and Jerry Moran (R-KS): https://www.moran.senate.gov/public/
- Despite the above good news, we need to keep making calls to continue making sure Congress knows that quality, affordable healthcare is important to and for all of us and we will not stop until a better healthcare plan is in place. McConnell is now calling for a quick repeal of the ACA which will not meet that need. However, that, too will not be easy http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/18/five-reasons-repealing-obamacare-just-got-harder-240656 Let’s continue to contact our senators to let them know that these vicious efforts are not what this country is about.
- White House advisor Kellyanne Conway said during an interview that criticisms of her are gender-based: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/342244-conway-criticism-of-me-is-gender-based?amp Let's take a moment to let her know what our criticisms are actually based on: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20500
- Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow attempted to throw the Secret Service under the bus in on-going deflection efforts away from the Russian scandal. Fortunately, the Secret Service would have none of it: http://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1A10Q9 Let's say thanks to them for their on-going service: https://www.secretservice.gov/contact/
- Every day brings us closer to the U.S. government breaching the debt ceiling and touching off an economic crisis… and the Republicans continue to play games instead of making sure the U.S. will pay its bills. (http://thehill.com/policy/finance/341278-freedom-caucus-backs-three-debt-ceiling-options) Let’s call our members of Congress and tell them this hasn’t escaped our attention, and it’s time for them to do their jobs and pass a clean debt ceiling hike.
- Trump and the Republicans are going so far as to threaten to shut down the government if Congress doesn’t agree to pay for Trump’s ridiculous border wall… at a moment when they’re claiming we can’t afford Medicaid, Meals on Wheels or funding for airport security. (http://thehill.com/homenews/house/341380-trump-wall-moves-to-center-of-shutdown-fight) Mexico has made it clear they’re not paying for the wall. Let’s call our members of Congress and let them know we’re not paying for it, either.
- The Honor Our Commitment Act (HR1695), to provide mental health and behavioral health services to former combat veterans who received other-than-honorable (OTH) or Bad Paper discharges, has already passed in the House and is now out of Senate committee and is heading to Senate floor. http://www.norwalkplus.com/nwk/information/nwsnwk/publish/News_1/Murphy-s-Honor-Our-Commitment-Act-passes-Committee-heads-to-Senate-floor_np_24179.shtml Let's tell both of our Senators that we support the Honor Our Commitment Act, HR1695.
- While most of us do not get our health insurance through the ACA, whatever changes are made in the ACA will affect us, too, and not in a positive way. https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/wonk/wp/2017/07/17/how-the-republican-health-care-bill-could-raise-premiums-for-177-million-americans/ Let’s tell our Senators know that we know that whatever they do to the ACA will touch most all of us, so we want them to make it better for everyone.
- One of the many issues with the House's spending bill is its deregulation of big banks, while also shifting control from the Federal Reserve to Congress http://bit.ly/2tsUTPF Further, the spending bill includes parts of the dangerous Financial CHOICE Act, which was already passed by the House, but was not necessarily going to get voted on in the Senate (whereas the spending bill is a must-pass bill) http://n.pr/2r0PHOz Let's call our Representative and tell them to maintain consumer protection and regulations over big banks; oppose the House's spending bill.
- Walter Shaub, head of the Office of Government Ethics, who is resigning as of Wednesday, called for nearly a dozen legal changes in the federal ethics system to compensate for Trump’s flouting of long-accepted norms and undermining internationally-admired US ethical standards. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is, however, planning to meet with Shaub and has said “The discussion will include ways to improve the ethics process and instill confidence in O.G.E.”: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-ethics-crisis-white-house-chief-interview-walter-schaub-laughingstock-a7845821.html Let’s tell Gowdy we hope his committee will incorporate at least some of Shaub’s recommendations and enforce, if not reinstate, the norms that have characterized our government: Rep. Trey Gowdy, 2418 Rayburn HOB, Washington DC 20515 or 202-225-6030
- The NY Times Monday published an editorial plea to “Save the Census” from underfunding and understaffing. The editorial notes that the 2020 census is on the Government Accountability Office’s “high-risk projects” list: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/opinion/census-trump-budget-cuts.html For a short history of the census, its importance, and the dire predictions for its future, see On the Media’s feature: http://www.wnyc.org/story/save-our-census/ 2020 may seem far away, but the census requires a great deal of lead time. Currently, both the director and the deputy director of the Census Bureau have resigned and no replacements have been named. The Census Bureau is part of the Department of Commerce; we should tell Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross that he will be held accountable by us for the accuracy of the 2020 census: Ross, Dept. of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20230 or 202-482-2000.
- “A recent Human Rights First report says that some Customs and Border Protection (CPB) agents across the southern border are illegally turning away asylum seekers, and those at the official port of entry at San Ysidro have been among the worst offenders.” http://www.teenvogue.com/story/us-border-agents-may-be-illegally-blocking-asylum-seekers-from-crossing-the-border Let’s ask our MoCs to look into this and protect these innocents who have struggled to get here for our help. As the author of this piece says, “The American border should be where suffering stops.”
- We all know that the Trump administration is hot on de-regulating everything, including what we call environmental protections. To help us understand what is happening and how to act on them, a group of former civil servants have created A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump De-Regulation Agenda. Let’s learn more about it and download it here: http://www.saveepaalums.info/
- VA: From one of our own: Charlottesville VA needs the country's help BIG TIME this week to shut down a scheduled white supremacy rally. Details here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5T_XpBiZ6XDZUtaeDlOQ1VReDA/view
- UT: Utah State representative and physician, Ray Ward (R), says providing poor women birth control would prevent hundreds of abortions. http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/sns-bc-ut--birth-control-poor-women-20170712-story.html Let's thank Ray Ward for speaking up about women's reproductive issues: Ray Ward, Utah House of Representatives, PO Box 145030, Salt Lake City UT 84114 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 801-538-1029.
- We all know that fake news is a real problem. There is now an interactive quiz to help us learn how to spot it. http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/07/03/533676536/test-your-fake-news-judgement-play-this-game Let’s play: http://factitious.augamestudio.com/#/
- Little Lobbyists, a group coordinated by parents of children with medically complex needs, is “collecting and sharing stories from families from around the country, who, like ours, rely on access to affordable, quality healthcare to keep our children healthy.” They are then sharing these stories with our MoCs. If we have a story to tell, let’s use this form to help: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe13J9aoFngTdfIs5_KmI_OMQdBUxRFMA2oPV6BMWrasooFkA/viewform
- “Starting on July 25th, The Roddenberry Foundation will begin searching for 20 activists, organizers, and changemakers who are working to make the US a more equitable and inclusive place to live. Selected fellows will receive $50,000 and tailored support to help implement a project or initiative in one of four areas.” Let’s check this out and see if what we are doing could benefit from applying for this! https://roddenberryfellowship.org/
- Here's an interesting interactive by The Kaiser Family Foundation to show what the Senate health plan will mean to citizens. Users can input age, income, and state and see country results. http://www.kff.org/interactive/premiums-and-tax-credits-under-the-affordable-care-act-vs-the-senate-better-care-reconciliation-act-interactive-maps/ Let’s use this info when we contact our MoCs.
- Over 1500 groups have already signed on to the Coalition on Human Needs letter demanding that Congress pass a budget that invests in all. Let’s click here to learn more: https://www.chn.org/take-action/action-alerts/ If we are in charge of a group, we can sign on, too!
- After months of litigation, it has been announced that the Department of Homeland Security will be releasing the Mar-a-Lago visitor logs to government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) by September 8th http://bit.ly/2tjh9Mx Let's give CREW a thanks for demanding transparency in our government https://www.citizensforethics.org/contact-us/ For those of us with the means, we can also donate to help fund CREW as they pursue legal action against Trump http://bit.ly/2kld59I
- Let’stand with veterans and military families and sign VoteVets' petition telling the U.S. Senate to vote NO on any legislation that defunds and degrades Medicaid: http://action.votevets.org/page/s/protect-veterans
Marches/events to attend/organize
- This Sunday is the Medicare For All march, which focuses on providing healthcare for every U.S. resident by asking our Representatives to pass the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/676 We can find out more information about which organizations are participating, get details about what single-payer healthcare is, and see if there will be a nearby march at the March For All website http://www.millionsmarchingformedicare.org/ or by visiting the Millions Marching For Medicare Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pg/March4Medicare
- Greenpeace is offering a series of gathering during their Summer of Resistance. We can find them here: https://www.summerofresistance.org/calendars/greenpeace-summer-of-resistance
- Resistance School, a free practical training program that will sharpen the tools we need to fight back at the federal, state, and local levels, is offered by a group of progressive students at Harvard. We can sign up here: https://www.resistanceschool.com/
- Here’s the real threat to our elections: http://time.com/4837622/voter-suppression-democracy-senator-chris-coons/
- Walter Schaub, whose last day on the job at head of the Office of Government Ethics is today, offers a sobering look at the state of ethics in this administration: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/us/politics/walter-shaub-ethics.html
- Let's remember that the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is not over. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe just won a legal victory: In a 91-page decision, Judge James Boasberg wrote, “the Court agrees that [the Corps] did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial.” https://www.theindigenousamericans.com/2017/07/16/victory-standing-rock-sioux-tribe-court-finds-approval-dakota-access-pipeline-violated-law/ The Court did not determine whether pipeline operations should be shut off and has requested additional briefing on the subject and a status conference next week.