Contact Federal Government Officials
- The Senate is back in action Monday, and GOP strategists have leaked to the press that McConnell wants to finish the health care debate by the end of next week. (http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/30/killing-obamacare-without-a-replacement-doesnt-appeal-to-mcconnell.html) It's time to turn up the heat on the Senate GOP hotter than ever and make sure they know if they take away our health care we're going to take away their jobs. Let's call our senators and then check out this list of other ways to help: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19kqrh5SFq3N_L1b9-8ddeid8ddKxPGSETRIhwTqWQAw/edit?usp=sharing.
- The Senate GOP has sent two versions of the BCRA to the CBO; one with, and one without, an amendment proposed by Senator Ted Cruz. Cruz's amendment would allow insurers to provide plans which do not comply with the ACA insurance regulations, so long as one of their plans does follow the rules set forth by the ACA http://bit.ly/2upewpm While this may allow for lowered premiums, the lack of regulations could mean higher deductibles and copayments, effectively pricing those of us with pre-existing condition out of insurance coverage http://bit.ly/2u0Fsih Further, the text of Cruz's amendment has not been made public, leaving constituents out of the decision-making process. Let's contact our senators and let them know that we oppose Cruz's amendment, as well as the BCRA in its entirety.
- Walter Shaub, Jr., the Director of the US Office of Government Ethics, who has stood up to Trump numerous times on ethics issues, has resigned his position: https://twitter.com/waltshaub/status/883007616435269632 Let’s please thank him for his service. His address is on the letterhead of his letter to Trump in the above tweet.
- From one of our own: Regulations.gov only has 400 comments opposing ACA repeal. Comment period ends 7/12. Let’s comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=CMS-2017-0078-0001
- Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) intends to file legislation next week (July 10) to cap rates on student loans at 4% instead of the current cap of 8.25% His legislation would also allow current student loan refinancing. http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/sen-nelson-wants-to-cap-student-loan-rates-at-4-percent-allow-refinancing/454354565 Here's our chance to make some noise about this going into the the session! Let's tell both of our Senators that we support this much-needed student loan reform. We can thank: Bill Nelson, 3416 S University Dr, Ft Lauderdale FL 33328-2022.
- The GOP is considering further cutting funding to the IRS in spite of Trump's own Treasury Secretary suggesting they need more staff. (http://thehill.com/policy/finance/324236-trump-budget-cuts-irs-funding-despite-mnuchins-call-for-more-staff) No one loves paying taxes, so it's easy to demonize these hard-working federal employees. But they play a crucial role in making sure the wealthy pay their fair share, and with Trump claiming we can't afford to feed hungry kids and seniors we need to be making sure they have the personnel they need to make sure everyone pays what they owe. Let's call our members of Congress and encourage them to push back against proposed IRS cuts.
- Defense Secretary James Mattis seems to be trying to temper Trump’s saber-rattling with North Korea: http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-mattis-korea-htmlstory.html Let’s implore Secretary Mattis to stay on the side of diplomacy in this difficult situation: https://www.defense.gov/Resources/Contact-DoD/DoD-Addresses/
- Secretary of Energy Rick Perry has turned a common economic tenet on its head in a strange effort to do CPR on the coal industry: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rick-perry-on-economics-supply-it-then-demand-will-follow/ Let’s ask Secretary Perry to lead energy forwards not backwards: https://energy.gov/contact-us
- Maine Governor Paul LePage has admitted to planting fake news stories: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/07/06/maine-governor-suggests-makes-stories-mislead-media/9e9CfPngCKMevszkaabTbO/amp.html Let’s ask Governor LePage to live up to the dignity of his office: http://www.maine.gov/governor/lepage/citizen_services
- The Interior Department has launched a new offshore-leasing planning process for 2019 to 2024, a move that could open up new areas for drilling in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as the Gulf of Mexico. Bleah. Fortunately they've just opened up a comment period. Let's let them how we feel about drilling in our already besieged oceans. Click here and tell Ryan Zinke in your own words why preserving oceans is important to you! Even one or two sentences will do. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/07/03/2017-13998/request-for-information-and-comments-on-the-preparation-of-the-2019-2024-national-outer-continental
- From RISE Stronger: The Department of the Interior, headed by Secretary Ryan Zinke, is undertaking a review of 27 national monuments, including the San Gabriel Mountains in California, Craters of the Moon in Idaho, and Bears Ears in Utah. More than 11 million acres of national public land are at stake. To date, more than 1.1 million comments have been submitted. The comment period regarding these 27 national monuments ends July 10. Comment today. Tell the Department of the Interior about your own tie to our public lands - a story about a visit, why your job is connected, what you love about national parks, etc. Take the two minutes and submit something today.
- Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) is one of the co-sponsors of The Housing Our Heroes Act [H.R.2733], which “would create a pilot program within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which would provide federal investments to Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) to acquire and update blighted properties to provide housing for homeless veterans.” http://hudsonvalleynewsnetwork.com/2017/07/07/turning-zombie-homes-housing-homeless-veterans/ Let’s ask our own reps to become a sponsor for this win/win piece of legislation.
- KA: Republican Senator Jerry Moran from Kansas has continued to be in play in opposition to his party’s Senate health care bill and met with impassioned resistance at a Town Hall while home: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/06/jerry-moran-gop-health-care-bill-townhall-240268 Are you his constituent? Please continue to express your views and thank him for putting people above party: https://www.moran.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/connect
- ALL: The effort to gather voter data state by state may have violated the law, which gives us a potentially greater base for states to refuse compliance from: http://thehill.com/regulation/other/340738-voter-fraud-commission-may-have-violated-law?amp Meanwhile, the Commission vice chair, Kris Kobach, is denying that 40 states have refused compliance and is calling this “fake news”: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/05/kobach-states-voter-data-fraud-240241 If your state remains undecided on this issue, please reach out to your Secretary of State: https://www.rockthevote.com/get-informed/elections/contact-sos/ We can all check out this page from The Indivisible Guide that is dedicated to taking action against voter suppression. We can sign up to fight back against Kobach's commission, find out where our state stands on the commission request, see who we can call, use call scripts, and submit a letter to the editor. Let's check it out, then stand up against voter suppression: http://kobach.indivisibleguide.com/
- ALL: "Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Democratic Committee are launching a series of voter registration drives across the state this summer in response to proposed changes to the nation’s health care laws." http://legislativegazette.com/archives/5948 Every state should be pursuing this action for the 2018 elections so we can flip the house. Let's get busy with our action groups and run a Voter Registration Drive. Think about the next march and use it as an opportunity to register those Voters. The League of Women Voters has a guideline to get started. http://www.lwvnj.org/images/resources/lwv_voter_broch.pdf
- Tony the Democrat has a new postcard project for us! This time we are supporting Kevin Cavanaugh in the July 25th special election in New Hampshire’s 16th district. Details here: http://mailchi.mp/ind-d6/new-postcard-campaign-in-new-hampshire?e=879c41a3b9
- The Outdoor Retailer trade shows decided to leave Salt Lake City because of Utah's political opposition to public lands, particularly the Bears Ear Monument. Per the Denver Post "Denver will host the prestigious Outdoor Retailer gatherings for the next five years, with a trio of shows drawing upwards of 85,000 people a year, delivering the city a $110 million economic impact." http://www.denverpost.com/2017/07/06/outdoor-retailer-shows-denver-2018/ We can make economic impacts as well. Let's check the websites of our favorite brands of to see how they address environmental or other issues related to their products before we make our next purchases. For example, on outdoor retailer Black Diamond's site, we can see that they are actively engaged civically: https://blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/experience-home?fid=advocacy When we don't find information on their websites, let's remember to send an email on their customer service forms or call to ask what their company is doing and when they will be posting it before we complete our purchase.
- Swing Left will be hosting a National Summer Kickoff Call this Sunday, July 9th at 8pm ET http://bit.ly/2uz1Qwo The call will discuss ways we can get involved in order to prepare for midterm elections, including a focus on voter turnout. Let's join the call and get a head start on the 2018 elections!
- Organizing For Action and Swing Left have joined together to create an online training series: Turning Action Into Organizing. The four-part series will help us better prepare for the August congressional recess. Let's sign up and get organized https://www.ofa.us/turning-action-into-organizing/
- The Resistance will be crowdsourced. The Center for Public Integrity and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting have created a searchable, sortable database of the financial disclosures of members of the Trump administration, and they’re asking us to let them know if we notice something that might be “off” or worth a closer look. https://www.revealnews.org/blog/help-us-investigate-the-trump-administrations-business-connections/. Here’s the database: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1R5AOpTBa6kro2qbSRa7kUD-Gg2FKD7v6vc2EJS7Dooo/edit#gid=1990489212 Let’s dig in.
- With responsible journalists and media under vicious attack by the White House and its enablers, let’s each do our part to uphold the gifts bestowed upon us by the First Amendment. Let’s undertake one or more of these actions: 1) Buy a newspaper today, 2) Subscribe to a newspaper or magazine, or donate to NPR http://www.npr.org/ or ProPublica https://www.propublica.org/ , 3) Send a note of appreciation to a reporter whose work you admire, 4) Reinforce the relevance of journalism by inviting your friends to join you in acting on information revealed in news reports—urge them to subscribe to Rogan’s List https://roganslist.blogspot.com/ and the Weekly Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience https://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/
- MomsRising is asking us to share our childcare stories that they will pass on to our leaders: http://action.momsrising.org/survey/ChildcareStory/
- Let’s join Food and Water Watch and sign this petition to our representatives in support of “The WATER Act — Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability — would provide dedicated funding by closing corporate tax loopholes to keep our water and sewer systems up to date and protect our drinking water for generations to come.” https://secure.foodandwaterwatch.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2627
- Let’s join CHC Bold Pac in seeking Trump’s impeachment: http://go.boldpac.com/page/s/impeach-puppet-trump
Marches/events to attend/organize
- Sen. Cory Booker invites us and our friends to join him “for a grassroots phone call on Sunday, July 9th at 9pm EST to discuss how we can continue to fight back against this craven Trumpcare bill.” We can RSVP here: http://act.corybooker.com/page/s/rsvp-conference-call-with-cory
- If you haven’t seen it, an aggressive second video from the NRA was issues in response to outrage at the first: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgMRP4KOALw On June 14-15, organizers of the Women’s March have announced a 2-day march from NRA headquarters in Fairfax, VA to the Justice Department in DC, with a rally at either end: http://thehill.com/homenews/news/340803-womens-march-plans-anti-nra-protest and https://www.facebook.com/events/220759958443652/ Those of us who think the NRA is out of control, should attend all or part of this event.
- “Summer Reading for your Woke Kid” http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/07/06/534443123/summer-reading-for-your-woke-kid
- Let's read Leonard Steinhorn's historical overview of populism in America: http://billmoyers.com/story/donald-trumps-populism-decoded-billionaire-became-voice-little-people/
- And, for our weekly dose of positivity, here’s Small Victories: http://www.peaceisloud.org/blog/small-victories-issue-27