Weekly Actions 2/7/2017

Click on each action for details and scripts:
ACTION 1: CRA

In the past week Congress has used an obscure rule –The Congressional Review Act (CRA) — to repeal several important, common sense rules including the Stream Water Protection Act, which prevents mining companies to dump waste in streams, and the Resource Extraction rule, an oil/gas SEC disclosure rule on payments to foreign governments. Some additional rules have already been repealed by the house but are still awaiting action in the Senate.
 

  • Social Security Gun Rule” — which enabled the Social Security Administration to submit info on recipients of disability insurance to the National Instant Background Check System if they met certain “mental impairment” criteria.
  • Methane Waste Rule” — which requires companies to curb methane leaks on federal and tribal lands
  • Blacklisting Rule” for contractors — a Department of Labor rule requiring federal contractors to disclose labor violations from the past 3 years before they can receive a government contract.

 

Please call your Senators and ask them to speak out to protect these very important rules from being overturned. Also protest the overuse of the CRA, which has only been used once before this administration took office. Since voting may take place quickly, it is okay to mention all three rules at once, but if you feel passionately about one of them, it would be great to address it specifically in a separate call. Details about the specific issues can be found below.

Script:

Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I understand that Congress is using the Congressional Review Act to repeal several rules put in place to keep us safe from guns and mitigate harm to our environment. I am dismayed to hear this and wanted to share my concerns about these potential repeals. Firstly, I hope that Senator _____ will vote to protect the Social Security gun rule, a common-sense measure that would help prevent guns from falling into the hands of mentally ill people and is badly needed in light of the many shootings that occurred last year. I would also like to ask Senator _____ to protect the Methane Waste Prevention rule, as repealing this rule would increase methane pollution and could reportedly waste over $300 million in taxpayer-owned gas. Finally, I believe it is important for the Senator to protect the Blacklisting rule, which assures that companies doing business with the government adhere to fair labor laws. I hope that the Senator speaks out against using the Congressional Review Act to repeal important physical, environmental, and labor safety rules like these as Congress should adhere to the already established due process for considering repeals, which requires more thorough investigation and deliberation.

ACTION 2: Get Steve Bannon off the Security Council.

While people were busy reacting to the outrageous travel ban on Muslims, DT quietly appointed his chief advisor Stephen Bannon, former head of “alt-right” Breitbart News, to the National Security Council, an unprecedented move for any administration. At the same time, he announced that the Director of National Intelligence and the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would only be allowed to attend meetings in which they had specialized interest and expertise. This move has been widely criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike, and is dangerous to the national security of the American people, as people in this position should have security, rather than partisan political interests, as their primary concern.
 

Call the Senate Committee on National Homeland Security at 202-224-4751 (many of you have already done this action, thanks to an emailed action alert from the Southern Poverty Law Center, and they’ve gotten flooded with calls. Add your voice if you haven’t done so yet!)
 

Call your representatives and ask them to support Senate bill S291, sponsored by Senator Mark Warner (VA), and House bill HR804, sponsored by Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (FL.) Both of these bills would modify the requirements for membership in the NSC so that no one whose objectives are primarily political in nature can be assigned a seat there. (This was already the case, de facto, until this administration.)

Script to Homeland Security Committee:
I am calling to oppose the appointment of Stephen Bannon to the National Security Council. Appointing someone with a clear partisan political agenda is dangerous to our national security, and I’m even more dismayed that people with expertise such as the Director of National Intelligence and the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been downgraded. Please take action to assure our safety and security by re-establishing proper protocols for the NSC.

Bills:

Script to Representatives:
Hi, My name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I would like to ask (Senator/Congressperson) _____ to support (S291 / HR804), which assures that the makeup of the NSC be non-political in nature. Can you tell me the (Senator/Congressperson)’s position on these bills?
[If supportive, thank them for their support, ask them to co-sponsor/urge others to get on board.]
[If opposed or undecided] I would like to urge (Congressperson/Senator) _____ to support these bills in the interests of our national security. Bannon’s appointment has been questioned by Republicans as well as Democrats, and more importantly, by those in the know, such as the ex-NSC chairman of the joint chief’s of staff. I would like to urge (Senator/Congressperson) _____ to put our collective interest in national security ahead of partisan politics.

ACTION 3: Urge companies to stand up against Muslim ban.

Thanks to a huge public outcry complete with protests, phone calls, and more, the Muslim ban is on shaky ground. The number of protests at area airports and other public spaces was amazing, as well as the number of volunteer lawyers who showed up to protect people’s rights. Some of the business community has also gotten on board: 97 tech companies filed an amicus brief proclaiming the ban illegal and the CEO of Uber, in response to public pressure (activism works!) withdrew from DT’s Economic Advisory Council. As we’re sure you know, a federal judge has put a stay on the Muslim ban for now, but the fight is not over. We need to continue to put pressure on our community to stand up against the ban, and others on the CEO Economic Advisory Council have yet to speak out against it. This week we’re partnering with Wall-of-Us and AdStrike to ask these companies to vocally oppose the Muslim ban and withdraw from the Council.
 

Go here for the Call to Action. Follow the prompts to email, FB, or tweet companies, asking them to publicly oppose the ban. We recommend that you personalize your message and also consider asking them to follow Uber’s lead and withdraw from the Council.