Call your members of Congress (MoCs) and urge them to renew CHIP and pass a clean DACA bill, dammit.
CHIP is the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It covers the medical needs of about nine million American children. Passed in 1997, it expired on September 30, 2017.
Congress should have renewed it before it expired. But Congress is controlled by the GOP, which had other priorities.
Donald Trump deliberately left those covered by the Deferred Access for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program hanging when he pulled the plug on it last year (something he did not have to do) and gave Congress until March to act.
The people in the DACA program are often called the “Dreamers.” Their parents brought them to America when they were small; they are Americans in every respect except that they lack citizenship documents.
Damn near everyone agrees that Congress should fund the doctor bills of poor kids and should not kick out people who’ve lived in America for most if not all of their conscious lives. The GOP is dithering on the first, and Trump and his white supremacist toadies in the White House are mucking with the second.
Please call your MoCs–all three of them–and ask them to knock it off and do their jobs.
Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_pewter), who you should follow on Twitter (you are, right?) has your calling script:
Now, some discussion of how this is tangled up in the need to avoid a government shutdown.
Congress needs to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government funded past Thursday, January 18. They passed a short-term CR late last year that expires Friday.
The CR under discussion in the House of Representatives includes a six-year extension for CHIP, but nothing about DACA.
Not including DACA has enough Congresspeople annoyed–mostly Democrats but including some Senators who have been working on a bipartisan solution–to make them tilt against voting for a CR.
Things are still pretty liquid right now, and are changing by the minute, seemingly.
To stay on top of things we at OTYCD recommend following the Twitter feeds of:
Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt)
Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro)
Ben Wikler (@benwikler)
And the aforementioned Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter)
They will have news on CHIP/DACA/government shutdown situation faster than we will.
Here also are some articles from The Washington Post, Vox, Politico, and The Hill on the situation, and on aspects of it:
Below is an opinion piece from the Washington Post on the matter: