Contact Federal Government Officials
- 26 bills and resolutions are on the House and Senate calendars for the coming days. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/ Let's take a look so we know what is coming up this week.
- McConnell is pushing for a vote early this week. The problem is that no one knows what the vote will be on. Members are being urged to vote “yes” on a procedural vote to begin debate, but once the process begins, it’s a mystery what will be before them. McConnell’s original bill? The bill with the Cruz amendment? Repeal and delay? A new bill that only McConnell has seen? https://apnews.com/9ff015b3f9744a5488d261a45d3c9c9c With John McCain out as he deals with newly-diagnosed brain cancer, McConnell can lose only one member and still advance a bill. Sens. Susan Collins and Rand Paul have already stated, in response to the unveiling of the most recent version that they will not vote to allow debate to begin. Let’s continue to voice our opposition, as loudly and as clearly as we can. The pressure from constituents needs to exceed the sweet deals they’re being offered and reach deafening levels. The health of millions is on the line. Let’s also call any family and friends we have in the following states to put pressure on: Gardner (Colorado), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Dean Heller (Nevada), Jeff Flake (Arizona), Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Lee (Utah), Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), Rob Portman (Ohio), Jerry Moran (Kansas), and Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia). They are still our best chances for NO votes.
- From Nasty Women Action Network: Let’s tell the women of the Senate to work together to protect the healthcare of ALL Americans. Info here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wxRqpxkMMXdxXvifazD1pZyaY2RjuX_-QxyiC_XU44s/edit#gid=0
- We've heard about the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) lately in terms of their work "scoring" the various healthcare bills that have come up for a vote. The job of this nonpartisan agency is "providing nonpartisan and high-quality analysis" on proposed legislation. We may also have heard Trump and other Republicans attack the integrity and veracity of CBO scoring. These attacks have prompted a letter from signed by "every former Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)." https://email@example.com/letter-from-former-cbo-directors-on-the-importance-of-cbos-role-in-the-legislative-process-278863b7e1c6 When we call our MoCs about healthcare in particular, let's let them know that we value the professionalism and expertise of this important government office, and that we'll take their estimate above those of partisan politicians any day.
- “Congressional leaders have reached an agreement on sweeping sanctions legislation to punish Russia for its election meddling and aggression toward its neighbors, they said Saturday, defying the White House’s argument that President Trump needs flexibility to adjust the sanctions to fit his diplomatic initiatives with Moscow.” The bill has passed the Senate and the House is scheduled to vote on Tuesday. If they pass it, Trump will have to choose between supporting a nearly united Congress or Russia. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/22/us/politics/congress-sanctions-russia.html We need to call our representatives and urge them to vote for this bill.
- On Monday, the Senate will convene at 4:00 pm to resume consideration of the nomination of David Bernhardt to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior. Bernhardt has been a lobbyist for mining and energy interests. Environmentalists are concerned that Bernhardt has too many conflicts of interest for this important Interior position. Voting for Bernhardt's confirmation is expected on Wednesday. http://www.denverpost.com/2017/05/17/david-bernhardt-interior-secretary-environmentalists-concern/ Let's call our Senators to tell them to say "no" to David Bernhardt for Interior.
- “The Climate Solutions Caucus is a bipartisan group in the US House of Representatives which will explore policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate. The caucus was founded in February of 2016 by two south-Florida representatives Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) who will serve as co-chairs of the caucus.” Let’s use this link to see if our are members of this important group yet, and if not, ask them to join: https://citizensclimatelobby.org/climate-solutions-caucus/
- From one of our own: “Our nation’s food supply relies on the hardworking men and women who labor to put food on our tables, so the solution must include an earned path to legalization for these people and their families who are essential members of our society. “ A different and better way to help these workers our country relies on has been introduced in Congress: The Agricultural Worker Program Act (S.1034/H.R.2690) -- known as the "Blue Card”. http://action.ufw.org/page/speakout/bluecard Let’s make sure our MoCs know that we support this approach to helping our valued workers.
- On Friday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned, purportedly because of Trump's appointment of Anthony Scaramucci as White House Communications Director. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the new Press Secretary and Scaramucci, a former Clinton supporter who called Trump a hack during the campaigns, is already showing his opportunist side by praising Breitbart News: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/343318-scaramucci-asks-breitbart-reporter-to-apply-for-wh-job There are different perspectives on this shake-up at the White House but let's keep an eye on the messaging from the White House going forward.
- Representative Adam Schiff has introduced H.J.Res. 113, proposing a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United http://bit.ly/2tRhjWWThe Citizens United ruling has opened up the opportunity for few wealthy individuals and organizations to influence elections through dark money http://bit.ly/2nCpJOG Let's call our representatives to make sure they cosponsor and support H.J.Res.113.
- The Trump administration has finally spoken out against the atrocities in Chechnya, with State Department spokesman Heather Nauert stating that Chechen leader Kadyrov's remarks about the gay community were "very concerning and also upsetting," and that Washington has raised the issue with Russian officials "at the highest levels." http://nbcnews.to/2uAC5OZ This is not an adequate response to the humanitarian crisis occurring in Chechnya http://abcn.ws/2uFL3Kv Let's call on our MoC to demand that Trump respond to the torturing and killing of gay men in Chechnya, as well as the remarks made by Chechen Republic leader Ramzan Kadyrov http://read.bi/2eFBN2V
- Today, the public comment period will close for those wishing to share their thoughts on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. The EPA is considering a ban on some of the most commonly used neonics, which studies have shown to be harmful to some bee populations. Sum of Us has some helpful talking points we can use, as well as an easy-to-submit comment form: https://actions.sumofus.org/a/the-science-is-in-on-neonics-now-let-s-make-sure-the-epa-listens/
- “Congressman Adam Schiff of California has introduced a joint resolution to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. The joint resolution calls for a constitutional amendment allowing the United States Congress and individual states to regulate contributions and expenditures in political campaigns. The proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution would also enact public financing of elections. The move is intended to get big money out of politics and restore democracy, “ http://www.inquisitr.com/4382612/congressman-adam-schiff-introduces-constitutional-amendment-to-overturn-citizens-united/ Let’s tell our MoCs that we support this effort to get dark money out of our elections.
14. “The Interstate Crosscheck system is a database used by officials in 27 states to identify voters potentially registered to vote in more than one state. States need a mechanism to maintain accurate voter rolls, but the states participating in the Interstate Crosscheck system risk purging legally registered voters—with a significant oversampling from communities of color—from the voting lists. “ https://healthofstatedemocracies.org/factors/intercross.html Kobach, of Trump’s Election Integrity Commission, wants to use this system nationwide. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-gop-anti-voter-fraud-program-nationwide-20170720-story.html Let’s tell our MoCs that there are too many false positives to make this an effect tool and that too many people will erroneously be removed from voter lists.
- Amy Siskind is keeping a list of all the not-normal things that are happening around us. Let's read her list for Week 36: https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-36-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-5f21d774631e
- Saturday morning, Trump had a lengthy tweet-storm on Twitter taking disturbing angles on a few topics: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/trump-pardon-tweets/534594/ Perhaps the most disturbing is his assertion of his complete power to pardon. His teetering relationship with Sessions and on-going dance with Mueller lead some to be concerned that there is a constitutional crisis ahead. Please stay tuned-in to these issues and let your MoC's know of your concerns about rule of law.
- Tony the Democrat has more campaigns of postcards to voters starting up! We can find out more about the project here and how we can sign up to help! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSexYwaJk3Qu9VtiV5iQCbbX7qwHHVnEQxje7aY6ma-31UHjpw/viewform
- The Indivisible Guide has a good entry on how to write effective letters to the editor. https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/write-letters-editor-really-get-attention/ Let’s follow their advice and start writing letters about issues that speak to our democracy and us.
- The Women’s March was the beginning, and when one looks more closely, much of the #resistance continues to be forged by women. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/23/trump-resistance-one-adjective-female-womens-march Let’s all take some time to thank the re-sisters we know who are working so hard for all of us.
- Democrats take control and turn the entire West Coast into blue trifectas: http://chewelahindependent.com/valley-resident-announces-senate-campaign/ We can help her out by texting to get our voters out to the polls - which is especially important in a rural district like Karen's, which are harder to door-knock. We can sign up and find more information here: openpr.gg/a/a5b68de8
- From one of our own: Thorough investigations must be done by the judicial system and each person needs to be represented by a lawyer. Then we may have a system we can trust. Colleges and universities have little or no training to be deciding what took place in an alleged crime. https://act.credoaction.com/sign/devos_titleix
- We know that voter suppression is real and that “and the victims will be disproportionately people who are low income, the elderly, and people of color”. Let’s sign this to tell Republicans to stop attacking our voting rights: https://petitions.signforgood.com/protectthevote/
Marches/events to attend/organize
- As the Trump administration slowly tries to dismantle the NIH and strip funding from science organizations, let's make sure we're standing up for scientists in the U.S. http://n.pr/2qWP4sa Rise Stronger, 500 Women Scientists, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy Coalition, have launched the Op-Ed Project: Building a Better Society Through Science. This is a multi-step project which utilizes the power of the op-ed to promote government funding for science and technology. We can read more about the project, and sign up to join in as a writer or editor here https://risestronger.org/newsroom/op-ed-fy18-budget-science We can also tune in to the first conference call which will explain the project in greater detail today, Monday July 24th, at 8pm ET https://www.freeconferencecall.com/join/rise-science-tech
- With Jason Chaffetz having stepped down, we have another special election for the House coming up in Utah's Third Congressional District. This is a very conservative seat, but we have a strong progressive Democrat standing up for our views. (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865685369/Democratic-3rd-Congressional-District-candidate-supports-taxpayer-funded-health-care-for-all.html) She's going to need all the help she can get in this tough district. Let's join folks across the country in a national fundraising virtual phone-a-thon for her this Saturday. We can find more information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/917477401723989
- On Saturday, July 29, Americans all over the country are gathering to say “Our Lives Are on the Line” if Republicans pass Trumpcare. The list of partners is impressive. Let’s check here to attend or host an event: http://ourlivesontheline.org/
- Washington Post op-ed by Jennifer Rubin with dire perspective on potential endurance of Trump presidency: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/07/21/this-presidency-cant-be-saved-its-all-downhill-from-here/?utm_term=.bb9087ed7b40&wpisrc=nl_most-draw16&wpmm=1
- Good piece in The Atlantic about Special Counsel Mueller's ability to look into Trump's finances: https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/534525/
- This is an interesting analysis of what state attorney generals and congress could possibly do if trump pardons himself or fires Mueller: https://shugerblog.com/author/jshugerman/