Fight Trumpcare/Defend the ACA, July 21 UPDATED: Die-In Protest Planned for July 24

Updating this post to add some news from Ben Wikler at MoveOn.org. It’s having an Emergency Die-In to Stop Trumpcare in Washington, D.C., on Monday July 24.

Even if you can’t go, clicking the ‘interested’ button helps the cause, as does reposting, retweeting, and generally spreading the word.

See the Facebook post about Monday’s protest here:


Ok, before we get into the update proper, we want to acknowledge last night’s breaking news–Trump has started to ask about whether he can use his presidential pardon power for his family, his associates, and himself.

See this Washington Post article for more:


He’s clearly worried about Robert Mueller’s investigation looking into his finances, and evidently, Trump expressed concern that Mueller might be able to see several years of his tax returns. Hmmmm.

The fact that Trump is even asking about the extent of his pardon powers is as alarming as you think it is. FWIW, a sitting president cannot pardon himself, per Walter Shaub, but do see both of his tweets on this:

In 1974, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) explained that Nixon could not pardon himself.

but never underestimate willingness of OLC, which issued torture memo + nepotized WH, to revise its views when WH finds rule of law annoying

And to recap–Trump cannot fire Mueller directly, but he can fire Rod Rosenstein, the person at the FBI who has the power to fire Mueller, and Trump can keep firing FBI folks until he finds one who will agree to do his bidding.

The larger point. We at OTYCD are going to break our own rules and give you two things to do today.

When you call your Senators to oppose any bill that would wreck the nation’s health care system, be it Trumpcare or a move to repeal the Affordable Care Act–make it clear to your Senators that if Trump tries the bullshit move outlined above, you expect them to vote to impeach him. Then call your House rep and tell them that if Trump tries this bullshit move, you expect him or her to start work on writing up articles of impeachment.

Sample script on readying for a potential impeachment (when talking to your Senators, mention this after dealing with the health care bill): “Dear Senator/House Rep (Firstname Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code), and I am calling to urge you to be ready to support articles of impeachment against Donald Trump if he actually moves to fire Rod Rosenstein at the FBI and keeps firing people until he finds someone who will fire Bob Mueller. I also expect you to support articles of impeachment if Trump moves to pardon himself or anyone in his circle. I trust I do not have to explain why. Know also that you will have my full support come election time if you support impeaching Trump under those circumstances. Thank you for your time.”

Now on to the update on the health care bill situation.

UPDATE July 21: The chaos continues. The efforts to wreck health care legislation might be dead, but we’re still living this, and McConnell and Trump will not accept the bill’s death gracefully.

They want to do something and they’re still figuring out what they can do. It’s possible they can do nothing. But they’re pressuring the holy hell out of various GOP senators to get them to change their minds.

We have to make them more scared of us than them. We’ve got to keep calling.

Here are a few things to read before you dial.


From Vox: Your calls and protests are indeed having an effect:



Here’s a Politico article that underlines the difficulties the Republicans face:



From Slate: Can Republicans Do the Impossible on Health Care? It lays out what they might try to do in the days to come.



Here’s a key passage from the story, under the section that talks about the necessary motion to proceed:

“As I count it, though, there are not any other hard noes on the motion to proceed at the moment. “At the moment” should be stressed. McConnell may be masking the true number of hard noes by keeping the ball in the air: Senators such as West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito, Nevada’s Dean Heller, and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, at least, eventually will want to know the plan before voting to proceed. (In the most delightful quote of the day, a reporter asked Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn on Thursday: Don’t some senators want to know the plan before they vote to proceed? “That’s not a luxury we can afford,” he replied.)

When you make your calls, you will want to bring up Cornyn’s quote and remind folks that knowing the plan before they vote to proceed is a goddamn necessity, not a luxury.

And here’s the final paragraph, which sums up why the political atmosphere is so dangerous and tough to read:

“But the fact that the Republican Senate majority is willing to make such fools of themselves still trying to make this happen should give anyone pause about writing the effort off. It is their signature legislative effort, and they will be a laughingstock if they fail. Miracles, like the separation of millions of low-income older people from their health coverage, can happen.”


Now some selected tweets.

From Angel Padilla (@AngelRafPadilla), Policy Director for Indivisible, on July 20:

Now hearing that the only firm NOs on are Collins and McCain (absent). Now’s a good time to check-in with your Senators.


From Andy Slavic (@ASlavitt), who ran Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act under President Obama:

MY VIEW: Be careful. The GOP is not playing this for next week. They aim to get them on record, then embarrass, threaten & payoff any nos.1

If Trumpcare fails, Plan E will be 2 work these Senators while they want for McCain’s return. Plan F also in the works… GOP not quitting.

We know we’ve asked you to call every day on this for weeks. We know we’ve limited the daily new post to posts on this issue. We’re asking you to hang in there, stick with this, and keep urging your friends across the country to do the same.

First, send a get-well postcard to John McCain:

Senator John McCain

2201 East Camelback Road

Suite 115

Phoenix, AZ 85016

Then call. Or write the postcard while you’re on hold. Your choice.

If your senators are solid Dems, call and thank them for standing firm against the BCRA for the last few weeks, and urge them to fight repeal and replace and defend the ACA.

If your senators are Republicans, call call call call call and make it damn clear that you want them to FIX the Affordable Care Act, not repeal and replace, and if they do the latter, you will vote for their opponents come reelection time.

See https://trumpcaretoolkit.org for phone numbers and tweetable statistics about health care coverage loss in these senators’ states.


If you can’t wait till tomorrow to stay on top of this matter (and we don’t blame you), try this:

Not following Topher Spiro on Twitter? He’s all over Trumpcare and will have news first. See his tweets here:



Another good person to follow is Andy Slavitt, who ran Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act under Obama. His Twitter handle is:



Lastly, Ben Wikler, Washington, D.C. director at MoveOn, is all over the anti-Trumpcare protests. He’ll know what’s happening first. Follow him here: