Contact Federal Government Officials
- Like the Monty Python skit, the GOP Senate health care effort is not dead yet. http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/342853-source-senate-leaders-to-offer-200b-to-win-over-moderates?amp There are many confusing options and money being thrown on the table and there is a tremendous amount of pressure without regard to human life and economic impact. The GOP would like us to be quiet now but we cannot be. Trump does not want Congress to leave for August recess until a bill is passed. They couldn’t come up with a good bill in seven years; a few weeks will not be the charm. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/19/trump-congress-no-recess-health-care-240718. As Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz tweeted: "Under-appreciated in 2017 is the biggest grassroots movement in human history just formed w/no politician in charge. Power to the people." We are those people. Please keep up the pressure with your Senators
- In a strange twist of fate amid the health care mayhem, Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with a brain tumor: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/342849-john-mccain-diagnosed-with-brain-cancer Just a couple days ago he released a statement about the importance of bipartisan work on health care. A note of well wishes can be sent to him at his local or Washington offices: https://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/office-locations
- We’ve learned that the majority of GOP members do not value college and that they want to take a more isolationistic approach in our country, but now the Trump Administration has issued a Presidential Budget Request that calls for the reduction or elimination of international education programs in the Department of Education (Title VI & Fulbright-Hays). The House appropriations subcommittee on Labor, Health, Human Services, and Education has proposed level funding for Title VI but proposed elimination of Fulbright-Hays. http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/5458546-155/op-ed-cutting-the-fulbright-program-is This is just the beginning of the appropriations process. Fill out the form to the right to urge your Members of Congress to fund BOTH Title VI and Fulbright-Hays." It couldn't be easier! http://p2a.co/7olnROm
- The Trump White House is working with anti-immigrant senators Tom Cotton (R-AK) and David Perdue (R-GA) on a bill that would dramatically reduce the number of legal immigrants allowed into this country. (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/12/trump-legal-immigration-cuts-240478) We are a nation built by immigrants, where almost everyone is from somewhere else. This measure is an insult to our values, and to everything that truly makes America great. We need to nip this in the bud. Let’s contact our members of Congress and ask them to publicly announce their opposition to any measures cutting opportunities for people to make their home in this country legally.
- Three (3) House Democrats introduced a bill this week that would prohibit the US from forming a collaborative cyber-security initiative with Russia. http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/341689-dem-reps-introduce-bill-to-block-cybersecurity-team-up-with-russia Let's tell our representatives that we support the No Cyber Cooperation with Russia Act (HR3191). We can also thank the bill's primary sponsors: 1) Brendan Boyle (D-PA), 2375 Woodward St Ste 105, Philadelphia PA 19115. 2) Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), 411 N Central Ave Ste 150, Phoenix AZ 85004. 3) Ted Lieu (D-CA), 5055 Wilshire Blvd Ste 310, Los Angeles CA 90036
- Trump has nominated Lee Francis Cissna to head the department of US Citizen and Immigration Services. https://www.propublica.org/article/advocacy-groups-say-senators-should-have-one-word-for-trumps-immigration-pi "More than 300 immigration advocacy groups urge senators to oppose the nomination of Lee Francis Cissna to head the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services..." Let's tell our senators to oppose Cissna for Immigration.
- The Department of Health and Human Services has released a much more favorable score of the Cruz amendment, as a means of competing with the CBO score http://politi.co/2vmR5gX There are many concerns about the HHS score, however, including that it looks only at the Cruz amendment and does not take the rest of the BCRA into consideration; nor do they disclose how they arrived at their numbers http://bit.ly/2vFFkl5While the CBO is considered non-partisan, Tom Price and the HHS have already proven to be highly partisan and their score should not be considered is the discussions on healthcare. Let's make sure our Senators dismiss the HHS score and continue to use the CBO score as a reliable, non-partisan source of information.
- Trump has officially nominated Sam Clovis as the Department of Agriculture's undersecretary of research, education, and economics. Sam Clovis is neither a scientist, nor does he accept that climate change is real http://bit.ly/2uDm8aE Let's be sure our Senators know that this is not someone who should serve as the USDA's top science position and that we know there are better qualified candidates.
- Seven years ago, Joel Clement, a science and policy expert, was hired at the Interior Department in Washington, “where, among other things, I’ve helped endangered communities in Alaska prepare for and adapt to a changing climate. But on June 15, I was one of about 50 senior department employees who received letters informing us of involuntary reassignments. Citing a need to “improve talent development, mission delivery and collaboration,” the letter informed me that I was reassigned to an unrelated job in the accounting office that collects royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.” Clement is now a whistleblower on the Trump administration: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/07/19/538216232/climate-scientist-says-he-was-demoted-for-speaking-out-on-climate-change Let’s contact him at the DOI to thank him and let him know we support him: https://www.doi.gov/contact-us/
- In yet another very troubling arena with so many implications, “The Treasury Department on Thursday fined Exxon Mobil Corp. $2 million for violating sanctions against Russia while now-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was CEO of the company.” http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/342911-feds-fine-exxon-2m-for-violating-russia-sanctions-while-tillerson Let’s let Tillerson know that we know about these Russian connections and insist that while Sec. of State that he put our country’s well being before anything else: U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20520.
- In a move favored by Putin, Trump has ended CIA arms support for anti-Assad rebels in Syria. It is apparently part of an effort to improve the US/Russia relations. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-usa-syria-idUSKBN1A42KC Clearly, this will not help in the overthrow of Assad, but it does cozy up Trump to Putin. Under this administration the support of Assad has gone back and forth. Let’s let Trump and our MoCs know that this is not acceptable. The overthrow of Assad , however complicated, is in the best interest of the Syrian people who have suffered so long. This is not how we back out. Contact: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
- TX: If you are in the TX-07 district and want to unseat Republican John Culberson, then check out Laura Moser, the founder of Daily Action. She wants to change things up and she is just the person to do it! http://www.vogue.com/article/laura-moser-congressional-candidate-texas-7-vogue-august-2017-issue Follow Laura on Facebook and get involved: https://www.facebook.com/lauramosertx/
- TX: Texas is a hot bed of attempts to pass anti abortion laws with ridiculous consequences to women, women's rights, and doctors. "The 85th Legislature has already been among the bleakest for abortion rights. Far-right legislators are no longer claiming their bills are in the interest of “women’s health,” with one House Freedom Caucus member even proposing to make obtaining an abortion a felony. While that bill failed, lawmakers did pass a sweeping anti-abortion measure requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains and banning the most common form of second-trimester abortions. Last year, the Supreme Court struck down two major provisions of another sweeping Texas anti-abortion law, known as House Bill 2, which closed more than half the abortion clinics in the state. But the ruling has not deterredSwanson — the sole female member of the Freedom Caucus — or her colleagues, who aim to abolish abortion entirely. https://www.texasobserver.org/texas-bill-would-revoke-medical-license-of-doctors-who-perform-abortions/ Let's be diligent and watch our our States for laws that take away a woman's choice. The government should not be making medical decisions for women and restricting doctors with jail time for treating their patients. If you live in TX, let your reps know you don't want freshman representative Swanson dictating your medical choices. TX contacts: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/member-page/?district=150
- If you do not have a subscription to the New York times, it could be worth it to burn use of a free article this month on the interview that Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, and Michael S. Schmidt did with Trump. The topics are varied and include some particularly pointed (and at times disturbing) reflections on Sessions, Comey, Mueller, and health care, along with some very troubling riffs on Napoleon, Hitler, and Russia: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/19/us/politics/trump-interview-transcript.html It is an interview that continues to make clear the state of the union. Let's stay in touch with our Members of Congress about our deep concerns about the executive branch at this time.
- The Trump administration cannot pursue its agenda of vilifying and attacking immigrants on its own. Make the Road New York and the Center for Popular Democracy launched the Corporate Backers of Hate campaign to draw attention to and pressure companies that help—either by financing detention centers or private prisons or sitting on Trump’s business council—and they are asking people across the country to write personal letters to these companies. (http://time.com/4755885/trump-protests-corporations-activists/) Many of their recent efforts have focused on JP Morgan Chase; CEO Jamie Dimon sits on Trump’s business council and the company finances immigrant detention centers and private prison companies. Let’s join them in writing a letter to JP Morgan and Jamie Dimon. We can find more information and an easy way to send at this link: http://www.backersofhate.org/en/jpmorgan.html.
- From RISE Stronger: RISE Stronger, 500 Women Scientists, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), and the Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy (ESEP) Coalition have come together to call on you to speak up for science by writing an op-ed in support of government funding for science, technology, and the programs that enrich and improve our society and local communities. For more info, check here: https://risestronger.org/newsroom/op-ed-fy18-budget-science
- Calvin's Eco List is a bio-monthly environmental action list. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LrAqRC26ynxrEeOeGD8zgEu8AcABS4KSZbpbBJ_513s/edit We can check out the latest actions and sign up for our own subscriptions at the linked Google doc.
- There are many ways that the Trump administration can take steps towards dismantling the Affordable Care Act. NPR has detailed six different routes that Trump could take to ensure that the ACA fails. Let's read through it so that we can be wary and ready to act http://n.pr/2tggVlp
- It looks like the Senate may still hold a vote next week on health care next week even though no one knows quite what is in the bill. Let’s sign this petition by the DCCC, the official campaign arm of the Democrats in the House, urging them not to do so: https://action.dccc.org/petition/stop-attacking-obamacare
- Let’s sign the MoveOn.org petition asking our governors defend DACA and not deport these young people: https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/attorneys-general-protect
Marches/events to attend/organize
- Next Thursday, July 27 from 2-3pm EDT, the Union of Concerned Scientists is holding a “webinar on how to write an effective LTE [letter to the editor] and get it published in your local newspaper.” Look for more info here: https://secure.ucsusa.org/onlineactions/7okzv776PE6p35UDzMQP6Q2
- Here’s some fact-checking on Trump’s lunch meeting about health care with the GOP senators: http://www.npr.org/2017/07/20/538171317/fact-check-trumps-confusing-remarks-to-senate-republicans-on-health-care
- An inside look to Bannon’s influence on Trump: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/steve-bannon-pulled-one-greatest-upsets-american-politics/
3. From Bill Moyers & Co.: The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Koch Brothers are in Denver this week. One of the topics of discussion is a model bill to repeal the 17th Amendment, which established the popular election of United States senators in 1913. http://billmoyers.com/story/alec-koch-industries-gerrymander-denver/ Let's be aware of this type of gerrymandering.