House Bills, Federal · Save These Tools · Senate Bills, Federal

Learn Whether and When to Freak Out Over Bills Moving Through Congress

This OTYCD entry originally posted in February 2017.

Learn whether and when to freak out over bills moving through Congress.

A while back, various corners of the internet whipped themselves into a minor freakout over H.R. 193, a bill that, if passed, would withdraw the United States from the United Nations.

In this Medium post, former Congressional aide Emily Ellsworth explains why H.R. 193 won’t go anywhere, and shows you how to spot the bills that could become laws.

To summarize her points:

No more than three percent of all bills became laws during the last four Congressional sessions.

Members of Congress introduce bills for lots of reasons, and making law isn’t necessarily one of them. They’re just as likely to offer a bill to:

 

Look productive

Roust their base

Please activists

Generate headlines back home

 

She offers three tools for following legislation that matters to you, and schooling yourself on them before you call your members of Congress about them:

https://www.govtrack.us

https://www.countable.us

https://www.popvox.com

 

Also, when looking at a bill’s prospects to become law, keep these thoughts in mind:

How many times has the bill been introduced before without going anywhere? If the answer is “a whole honking lot,” it’ll probably stall this time too.

Bills get referred to relevant Congressional committees. Do the bill’s sponsors and cosponsors actually sit on the right committee? If not, its chances aren’t that great.

Is the timing right? A bill that has to do with Standing Rock and the pipeline under construction will probably get more traction now than a general environmental bill.

How well does the bill suit the broader plans of the majority party? Congressional leaders will likely prioritize those.

 

…And this is where we at OTYCD feel compelled to admit a possible mistake.

About 10 days ago we wrote a blog post asking you to oppose H.R. 490, a bill that would ban abortion upon detection of a heartbeat. Its sponsor, Iowa Republican Steve King, dubbed it the Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017.

While it is a legitimate bill and King evidently hasn’t introduced something like it in previous sessions of Congress, it’s likely to wither and die. As of February 4, the Govtrack.com site says it has yet to be referred to a committee, and the Govtrack summary of the bill cites Predictgov odds of passage at 4 percent.

We will continue to watch this house bill and other bills of interest, but we admit (and, frankly, hope) H.R. 490 may well go nowhere.

See the Govtrack.com summary of H.R. 490:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr490

See the OTYCD post on H.R. 490:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/01/23/call-your-house-rep-and-oppose-h-r-490-an-abortion-ban-bill/

 

 

 

Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Choose Your Core Four for 2018

Choose your Core Four–two Democratic senators and two Democratic house reps, an incumbent and a challenger for each chamber–to support to in 2018.

 

From late 2016 until now, we’ve been going to bat for Democratic candidates in individual special elections. Usually, we’ve supported one Democrat at a time.

 

2018 will test our collective resolve as never before.

 

Literally hundreds of races–34 senators, and all 435 House reps–are taking place, and all of them will end on November 6, 2018.

 

If the Democrats are to win control of the House of Representatives (tough, because of gerrymandering, but doable) and the Senate (tougher, but thinkable now that Alabama Democrat Doug Jones won his special election Senate race in December 2017), we’ll all need to concentrate on, and help, more than one Congressional race at the same time.

 

We at OTYCD suggest that you prepare for what’s coming by choosing your “Core Four”–four Democratic candidates who will receive the bulk of your efforts.

 

 

Two Democrats for the House of Representatives.

Two Democrats for the Senate.

One incumbent and one challenger for each chamber of Congress.

 

 

How to Pick Your Core Four

 

There’s no right way or wrong way to choose your Core Four, but we suggest starting in your own backyard, with the members of Congress who represent your state.

 

 

If you don’t know who your members of Congress are, go to this website and plug your street address into the search engine:

whoaremyrepresentatives.org

 

 

…then research the three names–one House rep and two Senators–that come up.

 

 

Do you have a good Democratic House Rep? Then embrace him or her.

 

Do you have a lousy House Rep, or is your district’s seat being vacated? Look up the Democratic challengers for the seat and choose one. Look to Ballotpedia.org for help with finding challengers in your federal district.

 

One-third of all senators will be up for re-election in 2018. It’s possible that at least one of your senators (and possibly both) is due to run (but scroll down for a list of states where neither senator has to run).

 

Is one or both of your senators up for re-election? Are they good Dems? If so, embrace them and get behind them.

 

Is your senator who’s running for re-election a lousy senator? Learn about the Democratic challengers for the seat, and be ready to help a challenger however you can. As always, Ballotpedia.org is your friend here.

 

Your help can take the form of time, money, word of mouth, or some combination of the three. But you need to choose your four Democrats, and you need to think seriously about how you will juggle the needs of all four.

 

You’ll need to sit down and plot this out as you might plot a semester’s course schedule in college. The demands of the four candidates will overlap and they’ll all come due at the same time–in the weeks and days leading up to November 6, 2018. You’ll also have to factor in appointments and life events of your own, too, of course.

 

 

Choosing your Core Four: A Test Case

 

 

Let’s say you live in New Hampshire.

 

Your House Rep is up for re-election because they all are. Is yours a good Democrat? Then you have your House incumbent settled.

 

If your House Rep is not a good Democrat, or is a lousy Republican, or is retiring, check Ballotpedia and see who’s challenging for the seat.

 

Let’s assume for the sake of this example that your House Rep is a good Dem. There’s one of your four settled.

 

Now look for a challenger who’s aiming to take a terrible House Republican out.

 

 

**How about Andrew Janz? He hopes to push House Rep Devin Nunes out of his perch in California’s 22nd District. A worthy choice. Allocate time and money to him. You’ve chosen your two House Dems, one incumbent and one challenger.

 

 

Now turn to the senators. It so happens that neither of the incumbent senators from New Hampshire are up for re-election in 2018. You are free to devote your resources elsewhere.

 

Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is running for her second term in 2018. How about helping to defend her? There’s your third choice made.

 

Now look for a candidate who hopes to push out a terrible sitting Republican Senator. Hey, how about Beto O’Rourke? He hopes to send Ted Cruz of Texas packing. Hard to find a nobler cause than that.

 

 

And there’s your Core Four: Your good incumbent Democratic House Rep, Randy Bryce in Wisconsin, Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, Beto O’Rourke in Texas.

 

 

Of course, you can choose more than four Congressional candidates to back. But the idea here is to help you focus.

 

If you can take on more than four, do it. But four is just enough, in our opinion–more than one, but still a number small enough to count on one hand.

 

You can certainly look to orgs such as Swing Left, the Road to 2018, Emily’s List, and the like to help you make your choices. The main thing is nowrightnow is the time to think seriously about those choices.

 

 

Also, if you live in one of the states listed below, neither of your Senators is up for re-election, and you can devote your resources to incumbents and candidates in other states:

Alabama

Alaska

Arkansas

Colorado

Georgia

Idaho

Illinois

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

New Hampshire

North Carolina

Oklahoma

Oregon

South Carolina

South Dakota

 

 

* Our ‘Core Four’ only covers federal Congress races. You might have other important races happening at the state and local level–for governor, attorney general, mayor, what have you. Please don’t neglect those races.

 

**The original suggestion we had here was Randy Bryce, aka Ironstache, a Democrat who is running in Wisconsin’s 1st District. In mid-April 2018, his lousy Republican opponent, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, announced he would not run again. We cheered for Ironstache, and then we realized we should swap in a different example of an incumbent House Rep who needs to GO. It’s a good problem to have. Here’s hoping we face it a few more times before November 6.

 

 

See the website for Ballotpedia.org:

https://ballotpedia.org/Main_Page

 

Visit the website of Swing Left, which focuses on taking back the House of Representatives:

https://swingleft.org

 

Visit the website of The Road to 2018, which focuses on defending vulnerable Democratic Senators:

http://www.roadto2018.com

 

Visit the website of Emily’s List, which helps elect pro-choice Democratic women to office:

https://www.emilyslist.org

 

See OTYCD‘s past posts on picking House Reps and Senators to support in 2018, and on starting a 2018 fund:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/09/start-scouting-for-senators-who-you-can-donate-time-and-money-to-in-2018/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/09/think-about-which-house-reps-to-support-or-oppose-in-2018/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/09/start-a-2018-fund/

Call Your Members of Congress · Community Activism · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Learn the Best Way to Talk to Your Congressional Representatives

Congress is about to do something that you feel strongly about. You need to tell your representatives what you think. But what’s the best way to do that?

This blog post will help you learn the most effective way to make your voice heard.

First, you need to learn who your Congressional representatives are. Go read the first One Thing You Can Do post, Self-advocacy 101: Find Your Congressional Representatives.

Once you have the names of your reps and their contact information in hand, think about why you are calling, how your reps can act on your request, and which reps you should call.

Sometimes you will need to call all three–both senators and your house rep. Other times, you’ll need to call only your senators, or only your house rep. It is important to call only those who can help you. Senators can’t assist with house matters, and house reps can’t address things handled by the senate.

Other things that interest you might be better directed at someone else–your state-level legislative reps, your local school board, your governor, your mayor. Think about what, specifically, you want your Congressional reps to do. If they don’t have the power to act on your request, don’t call them. Find out who does have the power, and call them instead.

After you’ve learned who to call, compose a short script on the topic you want to discuss. It should be no more than five sentences–equivalent to an extremely short blog post or two tweets’ worth of material.

Your script needs to include your name, your zip code, why you are calling, and what specific action you want your representative to take on your behalf.

Shorter is better. Writing and following a script will help you avoid rambling.

 

Example for a Senator: I am (Firstname Lastname), from zip code (12345), and I wanted to ask Senator (Lastname) to oppose the nomination of Jeff Sessions to the office of the Attorney General of the United States. His civil rights record is abysmal, and it should disqualify him from this critical post. (If your senator is on a relevant committee, say, ‘I know Senator (Lastname) is on the Judiciary Committee. I am asking the senator to vote against Sessions in Committee.’) Thank you.

 

Example for a House rep: I am (Firstname Lastname), from zip code (12345), and I wanted to ask Representative (Lastname) to vote against H.R. 2802, the so-called First Amendment Defense Act. It would allow bigots to discriminate against LGBTQ people under the cover of religion. Please uphold the rights of gays, lesbians, transgender people, and others by fighting to defeat this bill. Thank you. (Note to readers–this is a real House bill. OTYCD will address it in a future post.)

 

Be impeccably polite to the person who answers the phone. If the topic you need to talk about makes you too angry, rehearse your script until you can say the words without getting mad.

Giving your name and zip code is key. It lets their staff know you are a real person who lives in the area they represent. They do not count, or act on, calls from people who live elsewhere; their actual constituents’ needs come first, as they should.

Calling is the best method of reaching your Congressional representative. While many Congressional representatives are active on social media, they and their offices don’t give much weight yet to statements that come to them through social media platforms, even if they’re from genuine constituents. Don’t tweet, Snapchat, or Facebook it–call!

Email is second to calling. Postal mail can matter, but might arrive too slowly, depending on the situation. If you can use the phone, do it.

 

 

Call Your Members of Congress · House Bills, Federal · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Save These Tools · Senate Bills, Federal · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Learn When to Call Your Members of Congress a Second Time on the Same Issue

June 2017 Update: It’s the last week of June. The Senate version of the AHCA is out. It’s terrible. Some Republican senators are wavering. Now is the time to call, call, call and tell your senators that you oppose the AHCA.

Call every day this week (June 26-30) but please, only call your own senators.

If you or your family would be hurt by the passage of the AHCA, think hard about whether you are comfortable telling your story. If you can tell it, please do.

Calling is especially urgent if your Republican senators are any of the following people:

 

Susan Collins of Maine

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Rob Portman of Ohio

Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

Cory Gardner of Colorado

Dean Heller of Nevada

Bill Cassidy of Louisiana

Jeff Flake of Arizona

 

Text of the original post follows.

You’ve called your senators and your house rep to oppose the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare. (OTYCD suggested this action on January 5.)

But ACA issues are still making headlines. In the early hours of January 12, the Senate voted 51-48 on an action that would help them bulldoze the law later on. It paves the way for the passage of a reconciliation bill, a type of bill that can’t be filibustered:

Should you call your members of Congress every time the ACA comes under threat?

Usually, the answer is no, you should not call your members of Congress if you have already called to speak your mind on a specific issue.

But there are a few exceptions. If they apply to you, go ahead and call again.

 

You have new information that the member of Congress can freely use. An ACA-related example would be your willingness to share a story about how the ACA’s repeal would hurt you directly and personally, which you did not share when you called the first time.

Important side note: “Free use” means you’re letting your reps talk about your ACA story in public, in their own words, as they see fit, in whatever venue they choose, and on whatever media platform they choose (social media or otherwise). Once you give them your story, you lose control over it.

You are never obliged to share personal medical information in public. And if the ACA story is not about you–if it’s about a spouse, a grown child, a minor child, a friend–you must get that person’s permission before you share it with your reps.

But many members of Congress who are trying to defend the ACA have explicitly called for personal stories from their constituents. Offering yours can help the cause, if it’s your story to tell and you feel comfortable sharing it. (End of side note.)

 

You can call to thank or complain to your members of Congress after a key vote takes place. Some Democratic senators voiced objections during the Jan 12 actions. Two were Ron Wyden of Oregon and Maria Cantwell of Washington. Do they represent you? Then you could call and say thank you–but you should be specific, and cite exactly what they did to merit the thank-you.

Sample thank-you script: “I am (Firstname Lastname) from (town, zipcode). I see that Senator (Lastname) spoke up during the late-night session that ultimately voted to weaken the Affordable Care Act. I thank you for fighting for the law, and I will remember that you did the right thing.”

If you are angry about how your senator behaved during the vote, you could call and complain. But again, be specific. Tell the senator exactly what they did to make you complain.

Sample complaint script: “I am (Firstname Lastname) from (town, zip code). I see that Senator (Lastname) voted for Senate Resolution 3 on January 12. This bill paves the way to cripple, even kill the Affordable Care Act. My family and I depend on the ACA for our health care. I oppose what Senator (Lastname) just did, and I will remember that you did the wrong thing.”

Updated to add on May 21: You can also call multiple times on the same issue if you are joining a campaign that requires daily calls. A good example is the recent effort to ask your MoCs, daily, to pursue an independent investigation of the #TrumpRussia scandal and encourage them to slow or stop the work of Congress until that happened.

Never forget: Do not call anyone who does not represent you. Stick to your two senators and your one house rep.

Also, only call the relevant reps. The January 12 vote took place in the Senate, so you should call your senators, and only your senators; you should not waste time and energy calling your house rep.

And still call if your members of Congress don’t reflect your views. If anything, it’s more important for you to call. If you don’t say something, it’s that much easier for your reps to believe that people who think like you don’t exist.

If you are so delighted, or angered, by the actions of an out-of-state member of Congress  that you must say something, find a street address for their office and mail them a postcard. Alternately, you could leave a message on their Facebook page or tweet at them. But please keep the phone lines free for their own constituents.

 

Bonus resource: Below is a link to Liberal Spirit, an exceptionally useful web page on the topic of contacting your members of Congress. In point 3, the author generally recommends against calling your reps a second time on the same topic.

https://www.liberalspirit.com/dca

 

 

 

Call Your Members of Congress · Community Activism · Health Care · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Defend Obamacare (aka the Affordable Care Act)

Important: As of April 30, the House GOP is allegedly close to having enough votes to pass  their terrible health care bill. Please call to support Obamacare and in particular, encourage friends in red states to call their House reps to oppose the bill.

Beating this drum again because the GOP is at it yet again, and we need to push back against it. If you haven’t called to voice your support for Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act (ACA), please do. Even if you have, please step up again and make it clear that you want to fix Obamacare, not repeal and replace it. This is extra-important if your rep is a Republican.

This action targets your Congressional delegation–both senators and your house rep. Call and express your support for Obamacare, which is also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

To the Democrats, say that you support them telling the Republicans that the Dems will help the GOP address the flaws in the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) if and only if they drop their interest in repealing and replacing the law.

Also tell them that if the GOP refuses to let go of ‘repeal and replace’, you want the Dems to step back and let the GOP own the consequences.

To the Republican reps: Tell them that you want the GOP to help fix the ACA, and drop  ‘repeal and replace.’ Tell them that if they vote for ‘repeal and replace,’ you will vote for their opponent the next time they’re up for re-election.

Bonus: Will you be directly affected if the ACA is repealed? Take some time thinking through the facts of your situation, compose them into a short story–three to five sentences–and tell your short story to your reps when you make your calls.

Examples:

My college-age child has a chronic illness (name it if you have your child’s permission and you’re comfortable doing so). Without the ACA’s provision that allows young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they are 26, my child could not have gone to college.

I have a pre-existing condition (say what it is if you are comfortable doing so). Before the ACA became law, I could not get insurance at all (or you were quoted a four-figure monthly sum, or whatever the obstacle was–tell them what you experienced). Without it, I will be uninsured again.

The ACA made it possible for me to leave my job and start my own company. If the ACA goes away, I will have to close my company and seek work with a company that can offer me health insurance benefits.

If you are comfortable letting your reps use your ACA story, tell them so, and give them the information they need to do so.

Call Your Members of Congress · Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) · Uncategorized

IMPORTANT: Are Your Senators Republican? Call Them and Say You Oppose Neil Gorsuch for SCOTUS

The floor vote on Gorsuch might happen as soon as today (Friday April 7). If your senators are Democratic, thank them for filibustering. If your senators are Republican, tell them you do not support the destruction of the filibuster and you do not want Gorsuch on the court. And if you can back your promise in 2018, tell your Republican senators that you will spend your own time and money to remove them for office because of their SCOTUS on Gorsuch.

View at Medium.com

Original post below.

Call your senators and tell them to oppose the choice of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

It’s not news that Neil Gorsuch is Trump’s pick to fill the seat opened by the death of Antonin Scalia. OTYCD held off writing about it until now because it will take months for the nomination to proceed through the senate, and tons of other things were happening, and continue to happen, that have shorter political lifespans.

Staying on the concerns that could lead to impeachment–the Trump-Russia story, forcing the release of Trump’s tax returns, and pursuing his violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution–remain the most important things to do.

Below is a link to the SCOTUS Courage Tracker List. It has not been updated since February 8, but it should give you an overview of where your senators stand on Gorsuch, along with the numbers of their Washington, D.C. offices. (Only senators participate in handling and vetting SCOTUS nominees. That’s why no house reps appear on this list.)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1f3bVASBF8WNvYJ22H3UKiGyNuX1tYKyjFB1wI-EqAMA/edit#gid=0

Gorsuch is competent but, as expected, he’s extremely favorable to the right wing in his rulings. If he takes a seat on the court, people we love will suffer. But even if his judicial record wasn’t as bad, we’d need to oppose him anyway because the Republicans effectively stole the SCOTUS seat from the Obama administration.

Obama offered Merrick Garland, a competent, centrist candidate that is well-liked by both sides of the aisle. The Republicans refused to even give Garland a hearing–an unwarranted and unprecedented move. The Republicans should be made to suffer as much as humanly possible for this bullshit behavior, so that no one, from any party, tries it again. If they want Gorsuch, they should pay dearly in time and opportunity costs and soul-crushing tedium, AND at the ballot box when their senate terms are up. Those who will be hurt by a post-Gorsuch Supreme Court deserve no less.

 

 

 

 

 

Call Your Senators · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia...

Call Your Senators to Support S.54, Which Would Prevent Creation of a Muslim Registry

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump voiced support for banning Muslims from immigrating to the United States. In January, he signed an executive order that attempted just that, causing chaos and strife at airports across the country.

He also voiced support for a Muslim registry–creating a database of Muslim immigrants. Many fear that he might try to make it happen.

It won’t be as easy as it could have been; between the election and the inauguration, Barack Obama’s administration moved to dismantle the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), a program that was put in place after 9/11 that had gone dormant, but could have been revived and repurposed by Trump.

Members of Congress are stepping up as well. Call your senators and ask them to support S.54, which is designed to prevent creation of a Muslim registry.

Introduced by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who has called it the Protect American Families Act, S. 54 forbids the federal government from making any “immigration-related registry programs that classify people based on religion, race, age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, or nationality.”

Sample script: “Hello, I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code,) and I would like Senator (Lastname) to support S.54, the Protect American Families Act. It was introduced by Cory Booker and it would forbid the federal government from creating a Muslim registry. When he was campaigning, Donald Trump had expressed interest in a Muslim registry. He has already tried to implement a Muslim ban. Let’s pass a law against a blatantly unconstitutional registry before he has a chance to try.”

IMPORTANT NOTE: You will notice, in checking the GovTrack links below, that PredictGov gives the bill a one percent chance of passing. Yes, this could be one of those 97 percent of bills that goes nowhere.

That said, we at OTYCD realize that pushing back against the creation of a Muslim registry is important to you. This is why we chose to devote a post to this bill, even though it is a long shot. We also chose to cover it because it leads to a positive action–asking you to support a bill that most of us would like to see become law. OTYCD is far less likely to ask you to spend energy opposing a nasty, scary bill that probably won’t become law.

If you don’t think this is the most important thing you can do today, you are welcome to head to the “Want To Do More?” page and pick something else.

 

See the S.54 entry on GovTrack.com:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s54

 

Read GovTrack’s summary of S.54:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s54/summary

 

Read Washington Post articles in which Trump mentions or discusses creating a Muslim registry:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/12/21/trump-on-the-future-of-proposed-muslim-ban-registry-you-know-my-plans/?utm_term=.27b4ede78fc8

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/11/17/registermefirst-takes-off-after-trump-camps-talk-of-muslim-registry/?utm_term=.1d41b8c50190

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/17/the-evolution-of-donald-trump-and-the-muslim-database/?utm_term=.aec9db47a7ec

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/11/17/japanese-internment-is-precedent-for-national-muslim-registry-prominent-trump-backer-says/?utm_term=.7f11d821a975

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call Your Members of Congress · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia...

Call Your Members of Congress and Ask Them to Write Laws Overturning the Muslim Ban

 

ICYMI: This is an updated and modified post that showcases actions that must be performed when Congressional offices are open: specifically, calling your members of Congress to ask them to write legislation opposing Trump’s executive order creating the Muslim ban that caused chaos over the weekend. It is followed by a list of organizations that are helping the victims of the EO.

Call your members of Congress and ask them to introduce legislation that would overturn Trump’s Executive Order.

Here is a spreadsheet that shows you which senators have spoken to date, in favor or against. If yours is in yellow, they haven’t said anything yet. (Unclear who compiled this but it comes via a friend on Facebook.)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hSGjyWJZIQJpGz4V2ftX_qioCgBtL59oJkkhx146nFE/htmlview?usp=sharing&sle=true

 

If your MoCs are Republican, it is extra-important that you call and ask Congress to negate the EO. Not enough Republicans have stepped up to condemn the ban. As of Sunday January 29, only five Republicans in Congress had decried it: Senators Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, and Susan Collins, of Arizona, Nebraska, and Maine, respectively; and house reps Justin Amash of Michigan and Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania. Republican members of Congress need to hear that their constituents do not want this.

If your MoCs went to the airports to help, call to thank them. If the helpful reps aren’t your reps, send them a thank-you postcard. New York house reps Nydia Velasquez and Jerry Nadler were at JFK. Georgia house rep John Lewis went to Atlanta International Airport. Senator Elizabeth Warren was at Boston’s Logan airport. And Senator Bob Casey left some sort of fancy event to join the protesters at Philadelphia International Airport, still wearing tie and tails.

Here is a New York Times piece on the immediate, and heartbreaking, effects of Trump’s executive order:

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/28/us/refugees-detained-at-us-airports-prompting-legal-challenges-to-trumps-immigration-order.html?mwrsm=Facebook&_r=1

 

 

Here also is a Washington Post piece on the sluggish Republican response:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/paul-ryan-trumps-refugee-ban-does-not-target-muslims/2017/01/28/e0cf1fe4-e56e-11e6-a547-5fb9411d332c_story.html?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.61b3a53afb88

 

 

List of organizations that could use your donations:

 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU):

https://action.aclu.org/secure/donate-to-aclu

 

The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP):

https://irap.urbanjustice.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=13

 

The National Immigration Law Center (NILC):

https://nilc.z2systems.com/np/clients/nilc/donation.jsp?campaign=15&

 

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC):

https://niac.secure.force.com/giving/rc_connect__campaign_designform?1&id=701o0000000ALaA#!form=00Po0000007ZBpVEAW

 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR):

https://www.cair.com/donations/general-donation/campaign/#/donation

 

 

Cabinet Nominees · Protect the Environment

Updated: Ask Your Senators to Delay the Vote on Scott Pruitt as Head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Update: It seems that while he was attorney general of Oklahoma, Scott Pruitt denied requests to reveal emails sent from his office to fossil fuel companies for the past two years or so.

A liberal watchdog group just won a court battle that has forced Pruitt to disclose these emails. They will become public on Tuesday (Feb 21).

But Republicans, at last check, intended to proceed with the full floor vote on Pruitt’s nomination today (Feb 17).

So, in addition to calling your senators to oppose Pruitt if you haven’t already, demand that they delay the floor vote until at least Friday Feb.24, to give everyone some time to receive and review these emails.

Here is an NBC News piece about the emails case:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/scott-pruitt-president-trump-s-epa-nominee-ordered-release-thousands-n722161

Original post text is below.

Call your senators and oppose Scott Pruitt, Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Trump’s shown a pattern of picking the worst possible person to head each agency, and Pruitt is no exception. The Oklahoma attorney general has said that the global warming debate “is far from settled” (though he admitted in his confirmation hearings this week that human activity has contributed to climate change “in some manner.”)

Upon taking office as his state’s attorney general, he took apart the team that was devoted to protecting Oklahoma’s natural resources. He resisted many Obama-era climate change initiatives, and he has joined at least eight lawsuits now in progress against the EPA, the agency that he would like to lead. During his hearings, he has declined to say whether he would recuse himself from these suits. Nine attorneys general have signed a letter opposing Pruitt’s nomination. (Scroll down for more information.)

Sample script: “Dear Senator (Lastname.) I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I am calling to ask you to vote against Scott Pruitt as the head of the EPA. His statements and actions show that he does not take climate change seriously and he will not do enough to keep our water and air clean.”

More on Pruitt:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/can-the-epas-main-antagonist-become-its-next-leader/2017/01/17/d24308ca-dcf7-11e6-ad42-f3375f271c9c_story.html?utm_term=.926da8c76ceb

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/records-show-trump-epa-pick-crusading-for-industry-donors/2017/01/18/151f0928-dd84-11e6-8902-610fe486791c_story.html?utm_term=.a99187526cc2

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/trump-pick-to-lead-epa-has-spotty-state-environmental-record/2017/01/18/00e0909e-dd61-11e6-8902-610fe486791c_story.html?utm_term=.aa47bfb7b0ca

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/in-letter-9-attorneys-general-urge-rejection-of-epa-nominee/2017/01/18/83d7c79a-dd95-11e6-8902-610fe486791c_story.html?utm_term=.9490bb2b377a

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cabinet Nominees

Oppose Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s Pick for the Office of Management and Budget

ICYMI: Reposting because the floor vote on Mulvaney is likely today (Feb 16). There is still time to act on this. If you haven’t called your senators yet to oppose Mulvaney, please do.

Call your senators and oppose Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

Mulvaney, a house rep from South Carolina, was elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010 and is a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative Republicans who helped force John Boehner to resign as Speaker of the House.

Mulvaney voted in favor of shutting down the federal government in 2011 (Congress managed to avert it at the eleventh hour, almost literally). And in 2013, he nearly succeeded in killing a $50 million emergency relief bill for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

While no one questions the need for fiscal responsibility, letting someone who’s okay with government shutdowns run the Office of Management and Budget is a terrible idea.

In addition, Mulvaney failed to pay $15,000 in payroll taxes for a household employee. He has admitted his mistake and has moved to rectify it, but three other past cabinet nominees who had similar tax problems–Tom Daschle for Health and Human Services, under Clinton; and Kimba Wood and Zoe Baird, under Clinton–were forced to withdraw under pressure from Republicans.

Is your senator on the Budget Committee? If so, it is extra-important for you to call and speak out against Mulvaney’s candidacy. See the link below to check:

http://www.budget.senate.gov/about/committee-members

Sample script: “Hello, I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code,) and I am calling to ask you to vote against Mike Mulvaney as the head of the Office of Management and Budget. No one who has voted in favor of shutting down the government should be allowed to run its budget office. And if tax payment issues were enough to sink cabinet nominees chosen by Obama and Clinton, they should sink Trump’s choices, too. Double standards are not ok.”

More information about Mulvaney:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/01/24/budget-nominee-mulvaney-to-face-questions-about-trumps-plan-for-tax-cuts-and-spending/?utm_term=.1e4d7d02602b

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congress/trump-budget-pick-mulvaney-faces-senate-hearing/2017/01/24/00e805cc-e211-11e6-a419-eefe8eff0835_story.html?utm_term=.e1f84611a5b6

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-cabinet-nominees-meet-growing-ethical-questions/2017/01/18/a7d82af8-ddaf-11e6-acdf-14da832ae861_story.html?utm_term=.cc49a5c72e46

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/whitehouse/budget-pick-mulvaney-acknowledges-payroll-tax-lapse/2017/01/18/0c4ff024-ddb0-11e6-8902-610fe486791c_story.html?utm_term=.035b1caeca2e