Weekly Actions 4/04/2017

Click on each action for details and scripts:

This week, another House Committee (Ways and Means) voted along party lines against Rep. Pascrell’s (D-NJ) resolution to request DT’s tax returns, despite the results of bipartisan pressure, calls to Congress, and several major polls that show the majority of American people believe DT has a duty to do so. Undeterred, Republicans have continued to put the interests of their party over the interests of the country. Without this common sense disclosure, how can Americans reasonably be expected to have faith that their chief executive is free from conflicts of interest and isn’t in violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution? Every president since Nixon has released tax returns. What makes DT think he can get away without doing so?
 
Let’s make sure he doesn’t get a free pass.
 
Here is what you can do:

  1. Attend a Tax March demonstration near you on April 15th. Sign up at http://taxmarch.org. Add your voice to this growing national call, proclaiming that we will not put this issue to rest. Thousands across the country are projected to protest.
  2. Call your MoCs and urge them not to support any legislation for tax reform until the president has released his taxes. If your MoC is on the House Ways and Means Committee, comment on his/her vote for or against Rep. Pascrell’s (D-NJ) resolution. (They voted strictly along party lines.)

Script:
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a constituent calling from_____. I’m dismayed that once again, the House Ways and Means Committee has obstructed justice by putting party over country and has ignored the interests of the majority of Americans who want to see the President’s tax returns.
 

[If your rep is on the House Ways and Means Committee, add: I do know that Rep _____ voted for/against Pascrell’s resolution and I am grateful/dismayed.]
 

This isn’t a partisan issue; all presidents in the modern era, Democrats and Republicans alike, have released their tax returns. Why should this president be any different? I urge (Sen./Rep.) _____ to continue to push for transparency in our government, especially with the shadow of conflict of interest that hangs over this President, and I encourage (Sen./Rep.) _____ to put pressure on the President by refusing to move forward with any tax reform legislation until the President’s tax returns are released.

 

Each time the president goes to Mar-A-Lago, it costs taxpayers approximately $3 million. The cost of keeping the First Lady in Trump Tower amounts to approximately $500,000 per day or $183 million per year. If, as has been suggested, the secret service were to rent a floor of Trump Tower, the approximate cost would be $1.5 million per year, money that goes directly into the President’s pocket. And taxpayers pay the tab when the President’s sons travel for business. It’s safe to assume this trend will continue unless we do something. (To add some perspective, Obama only spent $97 million in vacation expenses during his entire eight-year term).

Looks like Trump’s budget decisions could use some auditing. In light of his excessive personal spending, the cuts and expenditures proposed in his budget plan are even more ludicrous. Consider that the annual cost to fund the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is just under $148 million (too expensive for Trump!) But his precious “big, beautiful wall” (his words) is projected to cost around $21 billion.
 
Here is what you can do:

  1. Call your Rep. and urge him/her to support H.R.1452: No Trump Act of 2017, which seeks to limit the President’s out-of-control spending. Remind your Rep. that these expenses could and should be used to support programs like the National Endowment for the Arts, Meals on Wheels, and other initiatives that help the poor and elderly, all things DT wants to cut in his proposed budget.
  2. Sign this petition, which gives more information about the act.
Bills:
H.R.1452: No Trump Act of 2017 (aka) No Taxpayer Revenue Used to Monetize the Presidency Act of 2017

Script:
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a constituent calling from _____. I’m disgusted with the excessive spending of the Trump administration on trips to Mar-A-Lago and the high costs of security at Trump Tower (and concerned that some of these expenditures might actually be putting money into the pockets of the President and his family.) I wanted to urge Rep _____ to speak out against this fiscal irresponsibility, work for a budget that serves all Americans, and support the No-Trump Act (H.R. 1452) which would prevent any taxpayer revenue from monetizing the presidency. The president is on track to spend a ridiculously greater amount than Obama spent in his first year of office, which makes his budget proposal all the more concerning. Tax payer money should be used to support programs that help the poor and elderly; national parks; the arts; and national media like PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; it shouldn’t be used for the President’s personal spending. Not acting on this issue constitutes a grave breach of morality, and I will be watching Rep _____’s actions very closely to see whether (he/she) is acting in the best interests of all Americans.

 

Last week, the House voted to pass the HONEST Act, which basically guts EPA scientific research, as explained in The Atlantic and The Hill. While framed as a protection against “questionable science,” this bill – introduced by a rep whose top donors are oil and gas companies – would prevent the EPA from accessing many of its scientific experts, make it extremely difficult to use certain types of scientific data, and bury the agency in ridiculous costs. This misleadingly named act isn’t the only instance of the current administration using language to hide or misframe important issues: The Department of Energy has recently instructed staff not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction,” and “Paris agreement!”
 
We can’t let DT’s administration censor science.
 
Here is what you can do:

  1. Contact your Senators now and urge them to vote NO on The HONEST Act, which is currently in the Senate Environment Committee. If your Senator is on the Committee, make sure to ask him/her to stand up for science, rather than for corporate polluters, who are the only people who will benefit from this bill. Remind them that climate change is a matter of national security and that the EPA shouldn’t be prevented from doing its job.
Bills:
H.R. 1430: HONEST Act: To prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from proposing, finalizing, or disseminating regulations or assessments based upon science that is not transparent or reproducible.

Script:
Hi, my name is _____and I’m a constituent calling from _____. I’m urging Sen. _____ to vote NO on the misnamed “HONEST Act,” HR 1430, as this act would make it extremely difficult for the EPA to access the scientific research it needs to do its job. The HONEST Act is nothing but an insidious effort to reduce regulations on climate change and hide the facts – which are accepted by 97% of the scientific community – from the public. Climate change is a grave threat to our safety and we need to do everything in our power to mitigate its effects: the EPA’s work is necessary to this endeavor and we can’t afford to restrict their work and bury them in bureaucratic costs. I urge Sen. _____ to put the interests and safety of the American people and the planet – which equates to our very survival – before the interests of corporate polluters and the Republican Party and vote NO on this ill-named act.