Call Your Senators · Senate Bills, Federal

Call Your Senators About CHIP, DACA, and the CR, January 19 Edition

Call your senators about renewing CHIP and passing DACA with no strings attached.

 

The continuing resolution (CR) drama continues. The bill passed the House of Representatives last night, moving it to the Senate.

Congress must pass the CR before end of business today to avoid a government shutdown.

 

Other reminders and recaps:

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt) tweeted some observations on the evening of January 18. Here are some selections:

 

I’ve just talked with a handful of members of Congress and several other staff members. The chances of a government shutdown are now completely unpredictable. More here shortly. Follow if interested. 1/

 

Word is Trump was required to negotiate with the Freedom Council [sic] to get them support a Republican-only CR with CHIP and no DACA in it. Freedom Caucus apparently committed. 3/

 

Word is there are a number of Senate Rs (at least 3) that won’t vote for the CR as is. They plan to try to add DACA in a bipartisan amendment. 4/

 

Never underestimate the personal politics of a shut down. House is on recess next week. One Congressman reminded me that many have overseas travel & family trips planned. Senate is here next week any way. Expect them to be more willing to vote no if they don’t like the bill.6/

 

Back to the House deal. Freedom Caucus votes came at a price and that price seems to be quick life of defense caps with a conservative immigration bill— rejecting the bipartisan Senate compromise on DACA.

 

This would mean no domestic caps lifted. No reasonable DACA. I way that gets through the Senate. This is the closest I can get to surmising to where Trump is on the issue. 10/

 

 

When the bill came to the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned before  rather than work into the night. Independent Maine Senator Angus King objected, as relayed in this tweet from Senate D [Democrat] Floor Watch (@DSenFloor):

 

Sen. McConnell asked consent to adjourn until 11AM tomorrow. : I object. I don’t understand why we’re adjourning when we’re in this urgent situation. We can vote tonight on cloture and have an entire day tomorrow to work on this matter.

 

 

Also on January 18, Ben Wikler (@benwikler) had several things to say about the CR mess:

 

The fact that the GOP’s strategy is still to pass a CR with entirely GOP votes in the House is so dumb. They’ll need 60 votes in the Senate to avert a shutdown. They’ll also need 60 votes in the Senate to *end* a shutdown.

 

A bill that can get to 60 in the Senate will also be a bill that draws significant D support in the House. So Ryan’s bright-red strategy will have to end. He’s just delaying an inevitable compromise. People say Trump acts like a toddler, but he’s not the only one.

 

They’ve convinced themselves the public will blame a shutdown on Dems, leading to Dems caving. So they’re triggering a shutdown. Which is a profound misread. They apparently still think Dems believe the 2018 electorate will look like the 2010 electorate, instead of like 2008.

 

There’s no reason for CR after CR. And last week, it seemed like the CR era was going to end. Trump told Graham and Durbin he liked their DACA deal, right up until his pet racists got him riled up and started ranting about shitholes. That’s when everything derailed.

 

 

Others have pointed out that if the shutdown happens, it will coincide with the first anniversary of Trump’s inauguration. Make of that what you will.

 

We’re going to point you to the January 17 calling script by Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_pewter), who you should follow on Twitter (you are, right?).

It doesn’t mention anything about the CR–just CHIP and the DREAM Act.

You will want to call just your Senators:

 

 

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 and links throughout the day.