Weekly Actions: July 26, 2017

Click on each action for details and scripts:

 

ACTION 1: Fight the attempts to revive Trumpcare

 

 

ACTION 2: Defend our First Amendment right to boycott

 

 

ACTION 3: Oppose legislation that allows for fast-tracking of pipelines and unsafe nuclear waste disposal.

 


ACTION 1: Fight the attempts to revive Trumpcare

Not surprisingly, Trumpcare has made one last attempt at revival and the Senate has just approved a motion to debate, with all the Republicans voting to proceed except Collins (Maine) and Murkowski (Alaska). It is still unclear exactly what bill will be debated. Last night, they defeated one of three possible proposals: the revised BCRA with the dreaded Cruz Amendment. However, debate will continue, with two additional repeal proposals likely to be voted on. This includes a scaled down version of health care repeal that is more likely to appeal to moderates and which could later be scaled back up in conference with the House.

It is more important than ever to pressure your senators, as well as the key swing senators below. Let them know that you are watching to see how they vote on the actual bill, whatever it turns out to be. Remind key swing senators that this is not about getting a “win.” Instead, it’s about taking care of the American people whom they were elected to serve, at least 22 million of whom will lose health insurance under the plans in question — plans whose approval estimates range from 12% to 27%. Also remind them that voting on a new bill now — which would not have time to be analyzed and scored by the Congressional Budget Office and vetted to the American public — constitutes a serious breach in our Democratic system.

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:

    • Call your Senator; then call the key Senators below: Most of the time you can leave a message and not have to identify yourself as a non-constituent. If an aide asks for your information, remind the Senator that the fate of all Americans is in their hands.
    • Contact other Senators who may still be persuaded to vote no: The nine Republicans who voted against the BCRA last night were: Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rand Paul (R-KY), Bob Corker (R-TN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Dean Heller (R-NV). (Note: some of these, like Paul and Lee, voted NO because the bill wasn’t conservative enough.) Other Senators like McCain and Flake (Arizona); Cassidy (Louisiana); Hoeven (North Dakota); and Gardner (Colorado) are also seen as possible NO votes due to past positions they’ve taken. These lists compiled by the New York Times, and Trumpcaretoolkit.org give more information.
    • Sign up with Indivisible to make calls to progressives in key red states and ask that they call their senators.
    • Call your governor: Ask them to join the chorus of these brave governors (Democrats and Republicans) who have spoken out against the health care bill and to put pressure on your state’s senators to vote against it. Call to thank them if they’ve already spoken out against it.
    • Attend an Our Lives on the Line Rally in your area this Saturday, July 29.

Script:
I’m calling to urge Senator _____ to vote NO on any version of the Senate Healthcare Bill that includes cuts to Medicaid and causes a large number of people to lose their insurance, which all of the plans on the table currently do. Even the scaled down version of the bill would raise premiums by eliminating the individual mandate, resulting in exactly the opposite of what health care repeal was meant to accomplish. I’m also concerned that provisions that are not in the American people’s best interests will be added back in during conferencing if a “skinny” version of the bill is passed, and for this reason, Senator _____ MUST vote no on any version of the healthcare bill. I also hope that Senator _____ will vote NO on any plan to repeal now/replace later. [FOR KEY SENATORS: INSERT CUSTOMIZED SCRIPT ADD-ON for each person listed below.] The Senate should work on a bi-partisan solution to the problems with the ACA, rather than allowing the president to deliberately sabotage it by threatening to withhold subsidy payments and ending contracts that provide assistance for people signing up. [FOR DEMOCRATIC SENATOR]: Please do everything you can to stall a vote on any version of Trumpcare by adding amendments.

Customized Script Add-Ons for Key Senators:

  • Dean Heller, Nevada. (202) 224-6244: I am extremely disappointed that Senator Heller voted for the motion to proceed after expressing opposition to the bill, but I want to thank him for voting against the BCRA. Polls have shown that the majority of people in Nevada are opposed to Trumpcare, and I’m proud that Governor Sandoval has taken a strong stance against the Senate bill. Please ask him to stand with the governor and vote NO on any version of the Senate healthcare bill.
  • Lisa Murkowski, Alaska. (202) 224-6665: I wanted to thank Senator Murkowski for voting against the motion to proceed and against the BCRA. Additionally, I hope that Senator Murkowski will stand by her statement that defunding Planned Parenthood would be a non-starter and reject any version of the healthcare bill that does this. I know that she stands in opposition to the Repeal only option, and the Medicaid cuts, which would be disastrous, so I sincerely thank her for that and urge her to stand strong in this opposition and refuse to be bought by any “skinny” version of the bill that could be scaled up during conferencing..
  • Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia. (202) 224-6472: I am extremely disappointed that Senator Capito voted for the motion to proceed after expressing opposition to the bill and I am outraged that she voted for the BCRA. West Virginia has the highest number of people on the Medicaid expansion program, and scaling back Medicaid would be devastating to our state, especially given its older and rural population. Even if extra money is allocated to combat opioid addiction, this money is not nearly enough. and as the Senator has said, if people can’t access treatment because of cuts to Medicaid, then more money for treatments doesn’t help.
  • John Portman, Ohio. (202) 224-3353: : I am extremely disappointed that Senator Portman voted for the motion to proceed after expressing clear reservations to the bill and am outraged that he voted for the BCRA. Governor Kasich stands in opposition to Trumpcare, and I hoped Senator Portman would stand with him. 700,000 people in Ohio have coverage thanks to Medicaid expansion, so any bill with cuts to Medicaid must be rejected, regardless of whether extra money is allocated to combat opioid addiction. If people can’t access treatment because of Medicaid cuts, more money for treatment doesn’t help. Please urge Senator Portman to vote NO on any other versions of the Senate bill.
ACTION 2: Defend our First Amendment right to boycott

A very scary bill, which has both Democrat and Republican co-sponsors, has been introduced in the House and the Senate. The bill prohibits persons and organizations from boycotting companies that do business with Israel. Violations could result in civil fines of up to $250,000 or criminal penalties that could reach to a 1 million dollar fine and 20 years in prison.

While we take no position on whether or not to support this particular boycott, we (and the ACLU) see this as a direct violation of the First Amendment. Boycotts are a way that people can make their voices heard; they were a key part of bringing about civil rights in the 1960s. In these dangerous times of encroaching fascism, setting any precedent that restricts boycotting can create an irreversible slippery slope. Once such a precedent is established, what could prevent a bill from being introduced that punished the Sleeping Giant campaign against Brietbart News or the Grab Your Wallet campaign against Trump products?

Democrats, as well as Republicans, need to be told that supporting Israel cannot supersede people’s right to stand up for their beliefs, whatever they might be. As Americans, we must be allowed to exercise our First Amendment Rights.

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:

      • Call your MoCs. If they are among the Senators and Representatives sponsoring the bill, ask them to consider withdrawing their sponsorship–and their support. If they do not have a position yet, ask them to vote no on any bill that makes any boycott a felony.

Script:
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m calling to urge Sen./Rep._____ to vote against the Anti-Israel Boycott Act. Protecting our diplomatic relationship with Israel cannot supersede individuals’ First Amendment rights to protest non-violently. Passing this bill would set a dangerous precedent, especially with a President who called the Constitution a really bad thing for the country. Please vote no (withdraw your sponsorship/reconsider your position) on this very dangerous bill.

ACTION 3: Oppose legislation that allows for fast-tracking of pipelines and unsafe nuclear waste disposal.

Two dangerous environmental bills are also currently before the legislature. H.R. 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act, allows for the relaxing of regulations regarding the safe disposal of nuclear waste, and S. 1460, the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, would enable fast tracking of pipelines. These bills may be voted on as early as this week.

H.R. 3053: 49 organizations sent a letter to Congress, opposing the passage of H.R. 3053, which aims to put in place temporary nuclear waste storage facilities before finding a permanent solution. This interim storage plan is exceedingly dangerous, as it would result in a massive increase in the transport of nuclear waste throughout the country, impacting nearly 100 million Americans on route, as well as leave open the possibility of permanently putting waste in places that are not equipped to handle them. The bill also tries to revive the Yucca Mountain project, which advocates storing nuclear waste on Yucca mountain in Nevada, which not only is on tribal land but is also on an earthquake fault. This project was defunded by the Obama administration, but the Trump administration is attempting to revitalize it. For more about H.R. 3053, read the linked pages and see this document.

S. 1460: As Food and Water Watch puts it, S. 1460 would “speed approval of exports of liquefied natural gas, give FERC new authority in approving pipelines, and authorize hundreds of millions of dollars to explore for methane hydrates. On top of that, the “Renewables” section of the bill doesn’t even mention solar or wind energy!”

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:

        • Call your Rep about HR. 3053
        • Call your Senators about S. 1460

Script for H.R. 3053:
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m asking Rep. _____ to oppose HR 3053, the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act. It is dangerous and irresponsible to implement interim storage for nuclear waste without a permanent solution in place, and the relaxation of important environmental reviews and safety regulations cannot be taken lately given the dangers of nuclear waste. This bill would preempt state and local rights and oversight. I am very concerned about the effects of massive nuclear waste transportation so close to areas where Americans live. Furthermore, any attempt to revive the Yucca Mountain project – which would advocate for the storage of nuclear waste on an earthquake fault line – must be nipped in the bud. Please urge Rep. _____ to vote NO on this bill.

Script for S.1460:
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m asking Senator _____ to oppose S. 1460. We need an energy policy that allows for due diligence in determining the environmental impacts of pipelines, and we should be shifting our priorities to renewables, rather than fossil fuels, in light of the impending dangers of climate change. Please urge the senator to oppose this bill.


 

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