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Attend a #SaveSCOTUS Event Between Monday July 9 and Friday, July 13, 2018

Attend a #SaveSCOTUS event between Monday, July 9, and Friday, July 13, 2018.

 

Team Trump intends to announce the name of its Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) nominee on Monday, July 9, 2018.

 

A team of organizations, headed by the good folks at Indivisible, have planned a week-long series of actions to protest the nominee, who will no doubt be a hard-right extremist.

 

See the website below to find an event near you:

http://savescotus.indivisible.org

 

 

Download the #SaveSCOTUS toolkit, which includes tips on how to plan a local #SaveSCOTUS event:

https://savescotus.indivisible.org/toolkit/

 

 

Visit Indivisible’s main website:

https://www.indivisible.org

 

 

Donate to the Indivisible Project:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/indivisibleproject?refcode=homepage

 

 

Like the Indivisible Guide on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/indivisibleguide/

 

 

Follow the Indivisible Guide on Twitter:

@IndivisibleTeam

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Learn How To Get Your State to Rescind A Resolution Calling for a Constitutional Convention

Learn how to get your state to rescind a resolution calling for a Constitutional Convention.

 

A cadre of right-wing folks have been agitating for years to call a new Constitutional Convention (also known as a “Con Con”) with the notion of reshaping the U.S. Constitution. They want to pass a balanced budget amendment, evidently to curtail spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

 

See OTYCD‘s past post on how to thwart a Constitutional Convention:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/03/24/thwart-a-constitutional-convention-by-electing-democrats-to-state-legislatures/

 

A minimum of 34 states are required to call a convention, and anything hatched at the convention would need 38 states to pass.

 

Set aside the fact that a Constitutional Convention would bring a heap of chaos–the Constitution does not lay out any procedural rules, and Article V, the part of the Constitution that allows conventions, has never been invoked before.

 

The fact remains that the push for a Constitutional Convention is a right-wing hobby horse, pursued by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other dubious folk.

 

Working to elect Democratic state legislators helps thwart these plans, as we note in the previous post. But there is another step that should be taken.

 

A state that assents to a Constitutional Convention is not locked in. It can rescind its resolution agreeing to the Con Con.

 

Some states have rescinded. In 2017, Nevada, Maryland, and New Mexico all did so.

 

If your state has passed a resolution calling for a Con Con, you can petition your legislature to rescind it.

 

A pro-Con Con group, COS Action, tracks its progress with a map. Yellow states have passed the bill in one chamber. Green states have passed the bill outright. Blue states are those where the bill is “active legislation.” White states are inactive–they have not passed Con Con legislation and don’t appear to be targeted for legislation.

See the map by scrolling down to the header ‘So, Are You Making Any Progress?’ and click on the progress map button:

https://conventionofstates.com

 

 

If you don’t know who your state house rep and state senator are, go to the link below and plug in your address and zip code to get their names:

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org

 

 

Is your state colored green on the map? Are your state legislative representatives open to sponsoring a bill to rescind a call for a Con Con? If so, ask them to get to work, and check in on them periodically to make sure they’re on it.

 

If your own state legislators would favor this move, do some research and see if there are other legislators in your state who would support it. Recruit friends in that part of the state and ask them to ask their reps for this.

 

 

Is your state colored blue on this map? Call your state legislators, say you oppose calling for a Constitutional Convention, and ask them to fight any state bill that calls for one.

 

 

Yellow states are trickier. The COS map indicates that the bill has passed in one state chamber, but does not say which one. In this case, call your state legislators, say you oppose calling for a Constitutional Convention, and say what you know–a pro-convention interest group indicates that one chamber has passed a bill but you’re not sure which one.

 

Ask for help finding out which state chamber passed the bill. When you have that information, you can take the next step. If the bill passed in the house and is now in the senate, ask your state house rep to prepare a bill to rescind, and ask your state senator to vote no on any state senate counterpart that might be live. If it’s the other way around, act accordingly.

 

And as stated before, continue to work to elect state-level representatives who aren’t on board with a Con Con. In general, that means voting for Democrats, sane Republicans, and sane Independents.

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Read a November 2017 backgrounder on the Con Con from the CBS website:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/will-there-be-a-new-constitutional-convention/

 

 

Read an August 2017 piece from the Bill Moyers site on the right-wing push for a Con Con, led by ALEC:

http://billmoyers.com/story/alec-constitutional-convention/

 

 

Read a May 2017 story from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) website on states that rescinded their calls for a Con Con:

https://www.cbpp.org/blog/nevada-joins-maryland-new-mexico-in-rescinding-calls-for-a-constitutional-convention

 

 

See the language of Nevada’s 2017 state bill rescinding its call for a Con Con:

https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/79th2017/Bills/SJR/SJR10.pdf

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Call Your Senators to Oppose the Nomination of Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State

Call your senators to oppose the nomination of Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State. 

 

First, some background: Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on March 13, 2018, in a move that surprised no one except Tillerson, and he quickly nominated Mike Pompeo, head of the CIA, to replace him.

 

Unlike other posts close to Trump, Pompeo will have to face confirmation hearings in the Senate. (Despite the way Trump moves people around in his administration, being confirmed by the Senate for one job does not transfer to any subsequent high-level jobs.)

 

Pompeo should not have been CIA director, and he should not become secretary of state. He believes in a form of evangelical Christianity that makes him view Christian-Muslim relations as something out of the Crusades, and not something more appropriate to 2018. Separation of church and state is already a problem for this guy; he should not be in charge of managing how America deals with Muslim-led countries.

 

You won’t be surprised to learn that Pompeo holds dangerously retrograde views on LGBT rights, and pretty much the rights of anyone who isn’t straight, white, Christian, male, and able-bodied. He’s the sort of Christian that Christopher Stroop has doggedly warned us all about. He should not get this job, no matter how much Trump likes him personally.

 

The GOP holds a Senate majority by a painfully narrow 51-49 margin (the two Independent senators caucus with the Democrats), and Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky has already said he will vote against Pompeo for Secretary of State as well as voting against Pompeo’s proposed replacement at the CIA, Gina Haspel (we at OTYCD are prepping a separate post on her).

 

This Washington Post story quotes Paul as saying he “cannot endorse [Trump’s] nomination of people who loved the Iraq War so much that they want an Iran War next.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/sen-rand-paul-opposes-confirming-trumps-secretary-of-state-and-cia-nominees/2018/03/14/dc941f9e-27b0-11e8-874b-d517e912f125_story.html?utm_term=.441f7b6e9a96

 

Paul’s refusal is helpful, but it’s no guarantee that Pompeo’s nomination for Secretary of State will fail. When the Senate confirmed Pompeo to his CIA post last year, it wasn’t all that contentious. He succeeded with a vote of 66 for, 32 against. (Paul voted against Pompeo as CIA director, and was the only Republican to vote no on that nomination.)

 

The following Democrats and Independents voted for Pompeo as CIA director in 2017:

 

Joe Donnelly of Indiana

Dianne Feinstein of California

Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire

Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota

Tim Kaine of Virginia

Angus King of Maine

Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

Joe Manchin of West Virginia

Claire McCaskill of Missouri

Jack Reed of Rhode Island

Brian Schatz of Hawaii

Chuck Schumer of New York

Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire

Mark Warner of Virginia

Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island

 

Two other Democratic senators, both from Connecticut, did not vote because of a winter storm that stopped them from arriving in time to participate: Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal.

 

We at OTYCD are asking you to call your senators and ask them to vote no on Pompeo for Secretary of State.

 

Suggested script: “Dear Senator [Lastname], I am [Firstname Lastname from town, state], I am calling to ask you to vote against Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State. Pompeo is a committed theocrat who privileges his religious views of the world, and would rely on them as Secretary of State. If he’s appointed, he will almost certainly complicate and worsen our relations with Muslim-led nations, such as Iran and Iraq. Anyone who has as much trouble as Pompeo has with separating church and state should not become Secretary of State, a post that is all about diplomacy. Again, I urge you to vote against his nomination. Thank you.”

 

 

Read a CNN piece on the firing of Tillerson, which includes an acknowledgement that Trump has long wanted to replace him with Pompeo:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/13/politics/rex-tillerson-secretary-of-state/index.html

 

 

Read more articles that show why Pompeo is a bad choice for Secretary of State:

https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/3/15/17117298/mike-pompeo-trump-secretary-of-state-politics-battle-evangelical-holy-war-christian

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/03/pompeo-muslims/555680/

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/13/why-new-secretary-of-state-mike-pompeo-is-probably-bad-news-for-iran.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-vanburen-pompeo-commentary/commentary-the-pros-and-cons-of-pompeo-as-secretary-of-state-idUSKCN1GR2DL [This is an Op-Ed]

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/pompeo-will-face-a-host-of-foreign-policy-challenges-if-confirmed-as-secretary-of-state/2018/03/13/a37180d4-26c6-11e8-b79d-f3d931db7f68_story.html?utm_term=.3ca062537ea3

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-04/mike-pompeo-is-the-anti-tillerson

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

 

 

 

First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Separation of Church and State · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Uncategorized

Support the Student Press Law Center, Which Fights for the First Amendment Rights of Journalists In High School and College

Support the Student Press Law Center (SPLC), which fights for the First Amendment rights of journalists in high school and college.

 

Good journalists don’t come from nowhere. They have to learn their craft, and many start with their high school or college papers.

 

Unfortunately, these young journalists face barriers that adult journalists face far less often–outright censorship from school staff, pressure to change stories, retaliatory budget cuts, and the like.

 

The SPLC is the only nonprofit that defends the free press rights of journalists in high school and college. It fields more than 2,000 inquiries on its legal advice hotline every year. It also advocates for open campus government, defends online speech, and encourages civic participation. It provides its legal services to students for free.

 

With the uptick in student walkouts and protests, which began rising after the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement, the intensity surrounding the plight of the Dreamers, and demands for common-sense gun laws after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, student journalists will be under more pressure and more in need of help.

 

The actions of the Trump administration has shown why good journalism is vital to a healthy democracy. We need to support tomorrow’s journalists as well as today’s.

 

 

See the SPLC webpage:

http://www.splc.org

 

 

See its ‘Covering Walk-outs and Protests’ page:

http://www.splc.org/page/covering-walkouts-and-protests

 

 

Request legal help from the SPLC:

http://www.splc.org/page/legalrequest

 

 

Become an attorney volunteer for the SPLC:

http://www.splc.org/page/volunteer

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Donate to the SPLC:

http://www.splc.org/page/donate

 

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/StudentPress

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@SPLC

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Tell Your MoCs to Keep Church and State Separate By Leaving the Johnson Amendment Alone (GOP Tax Bill Update–Good News)

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017.

Tell your members of Congress to reject any efforts to destroy or rewrite the Johnson Amendment, a restriction that affirms the separation of church and state.

GOP tax bill update: Congressional Republicans included language that would lift the Johnson Amendment in the GOP tax bill. When you call to ask your MoCs to vote against the tax bill, please ask them to fight to remove the language and preserve the Johnson Amendment. See our updates on fighting the GOP tax bill for a script for calling your MoCs.

Update to the update: Democrats succeeded in removing the language from the GOP tax bill that repeals the Johnson Amendment. Read more here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/14/in-small-win-for-democrats-the-final-tax-bill-wont-include-a-provision-to-allow-churches-to-endorse-political-candidates/?utm_term=.a274d9645ca0

Original text follows.

Many people have wondered why so many evangelical Christians embraced candidate Donald Trump so heartily. Here’s your answer: He promised to gut the Johnson Amendment. Sponsored by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson and passed in 1954, it curtails the ability of tax-exempt organizations–churches included–to speak out on political issues.

According to the IRS web site, the Johnson Amendment says that tax-exempt organizations “are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”

To be clear: A pastor is in fact free to stand up at his megachurch pulpit today and endorse a specific candidate for public office during an election cycle. But he would put his megachurch’s tax-exempt status at risk if he did so.

Killing the Johnson amendment would embolden that pastor to endorse candidates by name to his congregants without fear of the IRS coming down on him. Mega-churches could in essence choose to become political super PACs, and all that that implies. It’d be the second coming of Citizens United, and we’re only sort-of joking when we say that.

If you value the separation of church and state, you want the Johnson Amendment to stay in place and untouched.

Important: Do you live in a part of the country that is dominated by evangelical right-wing Christianity? Then it’s extra-important for you to call your members of Congress and speak in favor of retaining the Johnson Amendment.

Sample script: “Hello, I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code), and I am calling to ask Senator/House Rep (Lastname) to fight any attempts to destroy or rewrite the Johnson Amendment. The law prevents tax-exempt organizations from endorsing political candidates. If it is removed, it would inject politics into the religious sphere in a way never before seen. Church and state should stay separate, for the good of both. Please retain the Johnson Amendment in its current form. Thank you.”

 

Read the tax code language that governs political expressions by tax-exempt organizations:

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/the-restriction-of-political-campaign-intervention-by-section-501-c-3-tax-exempt-organizations

 

Read an NPR brief on what the Johnson Amendment is, and isn’t:

http://www.npr.org/2017/02/03/513187940/the-johnson-amendment-in-five-questions-and-answers

 

Read about how Trump pleased the evangelical right by pledging to scrub the Johnson Amendment:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/how-trump-is-trying-to-put-more-money-in-politics/493823/

 

Read a Nonprofit Quarterly editorial speaking against the repeal of the Johnson Amendment:

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2017/02/06/losing-johnson-amendment-destroy-unique-political-role-nonprofits/

 

Read about how the National Coalition of Nonprofits has launched a campaign to resist any changes to the Johnson Amendment:

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2017/03/02/national-coalition-nonprofits-launches-campaign-oppose-repeal-johnson-amendment/

 

Read about a poll by Independent Sector, a champion of nonprofits, that shows a majority of voters support preserving the Johnson Amendment:

http://www.independentsector.org/news-post/national-poll-johnson-amendment/

 

Read an Atlantic piece from a rabbi who urges keeping the Johnson Amendment as is:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/a-rabbi-defends-the-johnson-amendment/516981/

 

 

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Fight the GOP Tax Bill, December 13 Update, Plus Defending Net Neutrality

Here’s your December 13 update on fighting the GOP tax bill, with side notes on defending net neutrality.

The language you see here is largely similar to previous days, but there are some notable updates. Please read on, and thanks for reading.

If you live in Washington, D.C., Not One Penny will be holding a People’s Rally Against the GOP Tax Scam at the East Front of the U.S. Capitol building from 1 pm to 2 pm EST:

https://www.facebook.com/events/100850750707551/

 

Not in Washington? There still might be a protest near you. Check this link:

http://stoptrumptaxcuts.org/events/

 

Politico is reporting that the House of Representatives will not vote on the bill during the week of December 11. The December 8 story opens like so:

The House will not vote next week on a final agreement to rewrite the tax code, though House and Senate negotiators are expected to work through the weekend.

“It will not come up next week, but if it could, I would bring it up as soon as we come out of conference, because I do believe the American people are waiting for a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told colleagues late Thursday in remarks on the House floor.

Full story here:

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/08/final-tax-vote-schedule-timeline-287243

 

 

That means they’re going to work on the bill all week. And that means you need to keep calling, and keep urging your friends and family to call, too.

Here’s a December 10 Twitter thread from tax expert Michael Linden that you should see, which lays out what makes this week important:

 

This coming week is make-or-break for the GOP tax scam. If you have any interest in fighting this disastrous bill, follow along for a state-of-play update. Short version: we CAN still stop this thing. 1/

Here’s where we are: Both the Senate & House have passed versions of the GOP tax scam. They have a lot in common (huge tax cuts for the wealthy & corporations, tax hikes on millions of middle class families) but aren’t identical. 2/

To become law, the House & Senate have to pass identical bills. So to come up with ONE new version that both chambers can pass, the GOP has sent their bills to a “conference committee.” 3/

That Conference Committee is, right now, behind closed doors, ironing out the differences between the House & Senate bill. The bad news is that the bill is much more likely to get worse than it is to get better. 4/

Once the Conference Committee creates a new bill that they think can pass both chambers, both the House and the Senate will have to vote AGAIN. That’s our last chance to . 5/

The Conference Committee is going to have precisely 1 “open” meeting (it’s not much more than a photo op), and that’ll be THIS WEDNESDAY, December 13th, at 2 PM. 6/

it’ll be only a matter of days before the FINAL vote in the House & Senate. Those votes could be as soon as Thursday, but likely will be early the week of the 18th. 7/

That means this week is CRITICAL. If we’re going to stop this bill, Congress needs to hear and feel the backlash. We can stop it either by flipping 10 GOP votes in the House or 2 GOP votes in the Senate. Tall orders, yes, but not impossible. 8/

Here’s a list of 50+ potentially flippable House GOPers. These all have some combination of the following characteristics: •From states that would be particularly hard hit •Voted against ACA repeal •Are in competitive 2018 races We need 10 of ‘em. 9/

In the Senate, our best bets are Susan Collins and Jeff Flake (and it would help if Doug Jones wins on Tuesday). Both were promised concessions that aren’t likely to be in the final bill. Both want to be thought of as “serious” and “independent.” 10/
So, what can you do? 1. Call EVERY day. Especially if you are in AZ, ME, or one of those 50 House districts, but call daily even if you aren’t (Congress needs to feel the backlash everywhere – & they talk to each other). 11/ <Note from OTYCD: Yes, this is one of those times when it is OK to call for days in a row on the same issue.>
2.If you are in the DC area, or can get here, come to the People’s Rally Against the Tax Scam at the Capitol on WEDNESDAY. This is our last best chance to make a lot of noise in DC. 12/
3. Go to a local protest or event. Check out and & for lists of local events. 13/
Bottom line: the GOP knows their tax scam is historically unpopular. They’re hoping that voters will forget about it by next November and beyond. Our best bet to stop the bill is by showing them we won’t forget. /end

 

And here are more things you might want to know:

There might be a GOP Tax Scam protest near you. Check this link to find out:

https://notonepenny.org/take-action/#events

 

In her December 6 update on fighting the GOP tax bill, Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) offered talking points that you can use with friends, family, and co-workers:

8. Here are talking points you can include in any contact you share w/ friends/family/colleagues. Key point is that the impact on the deficit could eventually result in cuts in entitlement programs.

 

The Senate has chosen its lineup for the Tax Conference Committee. They will represent the Senate when trying to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the GOP tax bill.

If any of these Republicans are your senators, it is super-extra-important for you to call and make your opposition known.

Orrin Hatch of Utah

Mike Enzi of Wyoming

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

John Cornyn of Texas

John Thune of South Dakota

Rob Portman of Ohio

Tim Scott of South Carolina

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

 

Before that, the House GOP named its tax conference committee members. If any of these folks are your reps, it is super-extra-important for you to call (again, all are Republicans):

Kevin Brady of Texas

Devin Nunes of California

Peter Roskam of Illinois

Diane Black of Tennessee

Kristi Noem of South Dakota

 

Rob Bishop of Utah

Don Young of Alaska

Greg Walden of Oregon

John Shimkus of Illinois

 

 

 

Here also are several other folks aside from @MichaelSLinden, @Celeste_Pewter, @TopherSpiro, and @aslavitt who you should be following on Twitter to stay on top of the GOP tax bill, which is morphing constantly, like a suspect science experiment in a horror movie. Some of these people are old friends from the Trumpcare fights. Some are tax experts.

Ben Wikler @benwikler

Seth Hanlon @sethhanlon

Sunjeev Bery @sunjeevbery

Lily Batchelder @lilybatch

Greg Leiserson @gregleiserson

Chad Bolt @chadderr

 

In addition, you can call your members of Congress (MoCs) to ask them to defend Net Neutrality–that vote could come on December 14.

To clarify: The vote will be taken by the five members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), not Congress. The vote is likely to go 3-2 to repeal Net Neutrality. If that happens, Congress can do things to counteract it.

Here are @Celeste_Pewter’s notes on what to say when talking to your MoCs about defending Net Neutrality (don’t forget to follow her and her project, @roadto2018):

Here’s reason to hope that Congress will get behind finding ways to restore Net Neutrality with legislation: On December 12, Mike Coffman, a Republican House member from Colorado, sent a letter to Ajit Pai, head of the FCC, asking him to delay the vote planned for December 14.

Coffman tweeted a screenshot of the letter, which you can see on his Twitter feed:

@RepMikeCoffman

 

We at OTYCD have been beating the Net Neutrality drum all year. Below is a post that explains why we need to keep it:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/02/defend-net-neutrality-and-keep-the-internet-a-level-playing-field-for-all/

 

 

Here also are two more recent posts that relate to the GOP tax bill and its effects that you should see if you haven’t yet:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/02/refresh-review-and-prep-for-2018-gop-tax-bill-related-briefing/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/03/commit-now-to-put-any-tax-benefits-you-might-get-from-the-gop-tax-bill-to-fighting-its-effects/

 

One last note, which we’ve stated before: Even if this bill ultimately implodes and never becomes law, we still need to vote out every Republican that we can in 2018. This whole process has been nothing less than legislative malpractice. They should be punished for aiding and abetting it. Period.

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Fight the GOP Tax Bill, December 7 Edition (Now With the Names of the Senate Tax Conference Committee)

Keep fighting the GOP tax bill, as you have been doing for the past several weeks. This post contains actions that will work for Thursday, December 7. (Much of this worked the past few days, too. If you saw those posts, you will notice there are updates but not many changes here. Keep calling, keep fighting, recruit your friends and family to do the same, and also do something to assist Doug Jones’s Alabama Senate campaign. Thanks)

First, let’s talk about where we are. If the bill hasn’t traveled to the Rose Garden, we still have time to stop it.

It’s not there yet. We can still stop it.

Now, fighting back.

 

There might be a GOP Tax Scam protest near you. Check this link to find out:

https://notonepenny.org/take-action/#events

 

Moveon.org is leading an effort to encourage constituents to drop by the offices of their members of Congress to speak to them directly about the effects of the GOP tax bill. Learn more at this link:

https://act.moveon.org/survey/taxscamdropby/

 

The Senate has chosen its lineup for the Tax Conference Committee. They will represent the Senate when trying to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the GOP tax bill.

If any of these Republicans are your senators, it is super-extra-important for you to call and make your opposition known.

Orrin Hatch of Utah

Mike Enzi of Wyoming

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

John Cornyn of Texas

John Thune of South Dakota

Rob Portman of Ohio

Tim Scott of South Carolina

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

 

In her December 6 update on fighting the GOP tax bill, Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) offered talking points that you can use with friends, family, and co-workers:

8. Here are talking points you can include in any contact you share w/ friends/family/colleagues. Key point is that the impact on the deficit could eventually result in cuts in entitlement programs.

 

Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt) tweeted the following updated analysis of the tax bill situation on December 5:

Here’s what I’ve picked up on tax bill…. 2/

House has named their conference. Tomorrow [December 6] the Senate will name their members. Heard they are deadset on finishing the tax bill by 12/18.3/

Collins gave her vote in good faith for a lot of promises from WH/Ryan/McConnell.4/

The House is now saying no 2 Murray-Alexander, no to reinsurance & maybe to stopping the automatic Medicare cuts.5/

But they want the conference report out and voted on before the CR and all its complexity (DACA, CHIP) needs to be passed (with 60).6/

The current plan is to adopt the Senate approach to the ACA— leave in ending the mandate: see if Collins blinks & one more joins her.7/

One thing I’ve learned is never give up until it’s over and then make them drag you off the field. Then get back on as soon as possible.

 

Celeste Pewter, as always, will have news and actions faster than anyone.

We’ve been telling you for weeks and weeks and weeks to follow her. If for some odd reason you haven’t yet, best get on that:

@Celeste_Pewter

She has the best instructions on what to do today. We’re going to cut and paste her December 4 tweets below. Again, all credit goes to @Celeste_Pewter for this.

 

Names of conference committee members for the slowly coming out. If you’re repped by: Kevin Brady (TX) Devin Nunes (CA) Peter Roskam (IL) Diane Black (TN) Kristi Noem (SD) Take note.

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/363214-ryan-picks-his-negotiating-team-for-tax-cut-bill

 

Yes, I rolled my eyes at this list too. It’s a pretty awful one. But if you’re repped by them, you’re now in a unique position to sound off on GOP House’s efforts for this bill. Take. advantage. of. it.

[Note from us: In other words, Pewter means that if any of these folks named in the tweet or in the Hill story are your House reps, it’s extra-important that you call and make your voice heard.]

Interrupting this string of Celeste Pewter tweets to insert a tweet from Scott Wong that gives the full list of nine House reps chosen for the task. Again, if they represent you, CALL CALL CALL:

NEWS: expected to name the following GOP conferees for tax negotiations: 1. Chairman Kevin Brady (TX) 2. Devin Nunes (CA) 3. Peter Roskam (IL) 4. Diane Black (TN) 5. Kristi Noem (SD) 6. Rob Bishop (UT) 7. Don Young (AK) 8. Greg Walden (OR) 9. John Shimkus (IL)

[Back to Pewter. At 7:30 pm EST she tweeted:]

In other words, yes – the House voted to go to conference. The Senate is expected to vote on the same this week. Your job: continue calling electeds from both chambers on why this tax bill harms you, and push them to strip as many of the egregious amendments as possible.

 

I realize it feels like we’re doing the same thing over and over, but GOP leadership in both chambers are counting on: 1. All the other ongoing issues (e.g. CR demands/potential shutdown), 2. the holidays, distracting you. Keep it up, and let them feel our fury.

 

This last tweet of Pewter’s brings up a good point. 2017 has been exhausting, and it has demanded a lot of you. If you’re feeling frayed, get rest. Coming up with and sticking to a self-care routine is one of the most important things you can do. Literally. We say so right here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/the-most-important-thing-you-can-do/

Don’t skip on rest breaks, folks. We need you here to carry on the fight. Every last one of you. For serious.

 

Another point, just for our friends in Maine: Senator Susan Collins says she voted yes in exchange for specific conditions.

Well, Topher Spiro (@topherspiro) tweeted on December 4:

BREAKING: The 3 big promises got will NOT be done before the final vote on the tax bill. The bill to keep the govt open does NOT include Alexander-Murray, reinsurance, or waiver of Medicare cuts.

And also see this piece from the Daily Beast, which notes that Mitch McConnell gave his colleague Jeff Flake promises that the House of Representatives might torpedo:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/house-republicans-already-shooting-down-tax-bills-promises

If you are a constituent of Collins’s or Flake’s, now is the time to melt their phone lines with requests to ultimately vote no on this sorry mess of a bill.

 

And here also is a string of tweets that the aforementioned Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt) sent on the night of December 4 that sheds light on things:

What’s going on with the tax bill and ACA repeal component? I will catch you up on what I’m hearing shortly. Follow if interested.

Will also include update on CHIP. In I Hiram today where they are preparing to send out cancellation notices. 2/

House & Senate will go into conference (after some drama) to reconcile their bills. For all the other important issues, on health care…3/

The House bill doesn’t touch the ACA, Senate bill does. Two Senators can stop the ACA part from being added. 4/

With Collins promised the [sun], the [moon], and the [stars], all eyes turn from the tax bill to the C.R. 5/

Collins believes she will get all those things in the end of year CR (presuming it is extended from Friday). 6/

The CR is also where there needs to be a clean CHIP for Ds to back. And potentially DACA & a number of other things. 7/

Word is that conference/CR is complicated, entangled with lots of players & could take longer than Trump hopes. Specifically…8/

The Freedom Caucus is unlikely to give Collins her astronomy set and will still want her to vote for ACA mandate repeal. No way. 9/

The tax deal is not done. There’s a good chance this all sees January w right pressure. The ballgame (& Senate) could be different then. end

 

…Yes, folks, you read that right. This could stretch into January. We know, we know, we can sense your muscles tensing from here, but every extra day this gets dragged out is an extra day we have to fight.

 

Here also are several other folks aside from @Celeste_Pewter, @TopherSpiro, and @aslavitt who you should be following on Twitter to stay on top of the GOP tax bill, which is morphing constantly, like a suspect science experiment in a horror movie. Some of these people are old friends from the Trumpcare fights. Some are tax experts.

Ben Wikler @benwikler

Michael Linden @michaelslinden

Seth Hanlon @sethhanlon

Sunjeev Bery @sunjeevbery

Lily Batchelder @lilybatch

Greg Leiserson @gregleiserson

Chad Bolt @chadderr

 

Also, you might want to check the posts we put up over the weekend and make sure you’ve already done everything they recommend. For instance, if you haven’t called your governor yet and asked him or her to make a statement about the GOP tax bill, please do.

 

Links to our recent posts:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/06/fight-the-gop-tax-bill-december-6-edition/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/05/fight-the-gop-tax-bill-december-5-edition/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/04/emergency-update-post-fight-the-gop-tax-bill-still-december-4-edition/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/03/emergency-update-post-fight-the-gop-tax-bill-december-3-edition/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/02/emergency-update-post-fight-the-gop-tax-bill-still-over-the-dec-2-3-weekend/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/03/commit-now-to-put-any-tax-benefits-you-might-get-from-the-gop-tax-bill-to-fighting-its-effects/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/02/refresh-review-and-prep-for-2018-gop-tax-bill-related-briefing/

 

Also consider helping Democrat Doug Jones in his run for a seat in the Alabama Senate. There’s no guarantee that Jones will win but if he does, it will reduce the GOP’s numbers in the Senate from 52-48 to 51-49 and create more headaches for McConnell.

Posts on ways to help Doug Jones (we’ve deleted the link to our post on the GOTV postcard campaign because its deadline has passed):

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/02/support-doug-jones-the-democratic-candidate-for-alabamas-u-s-senate-seat/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/02/support-gop4jones-a-movement-by-independents-and-republicans-to-vote-for-democrat-doug-jones-for-alabamas-next-senator/

You can also donate to a GoFundMe that will pay for buses, vans, and gas for getting Alabama voters to the polls on December 12. As of 9 pm EST on December 6, it had raised more than $18,500 toward its $20,000 goal:

https://www.gofundme.com/eliminateroymoore

 

One last note, which we’ve stated before: Even if this bill ultimately implodes and never becomes law, we still need to vote out every Republican that we can in 2018. This whole process has been nothing less than legislative malpractice. They should be punished for aiding and abetting it. Period.