Weekly Actions: June 20, 2017

Click on each action for details and scripts:

ACTION 1: Health Care: Shut down Senate business until the GOP agrees to open hearings on the healthcare bill.

ACTION 2: Demand increased congressional oversight for the spike of civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria

ACTION 3: Follow the money: Jam Trump’s brand and speak out against DT’s continued violations of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.


Thirteen conservative white men are continuing their closed door sessions – rewriting the Senate Healthcare bill with a plan to rush it to the Senate floor for a vote as soon as it’s completed. (According to Axios, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is attempting to force the vote before July 4th.) In contrast, the Obamacare bill went through 106 hearings before it was passed.



 

This is an affront to Democracy. Democrats, frustrated by being shut out of the process, finally took action by holding the Senate floor.

 
While the specifics of the bill continue to be shrouded in secrecy, what’s known so far is that the Senate version of the bill is not terribly different from the House version. In some cases, it’s worse – aiming to limit protections for those insured under employer plans.

 
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
 

  • Call your Senators:
    • If your Senator is a Democrat, call and express your support for holding the Senate floor, and demand that your senators do everything in their power to force the GOP to share the bill with the public and consent to a committee hearing process, even if that means shutting down Senate business until the GOP will work with Democrats on this bill. Indivisible has specifics about what it means to withhold consent and filibuster by amendment, as well as sample scripts.
    • If your Senator is a Republican, look up the percentage of your state’s residents that support/oppose the ACHA, and let your Senator know how low this percentage is.
  • Submit an Amendment: Get your name and story on the congressional record by submitting an amendment. According to ouramendments.org, “by introducing tens of thousands of amendments, Democrats can slow down the process [of reconciliation]” that Republicans are using to try to ram through Trumpcare with 50 votes instead of the usual 60.

Script (for Republican senators):
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. According to a report in the New York Times, only __% of our state’s voters support the AHCA bill. In addition, the bill has been called out for serious flaws by several prominent medical groups including the American Medical Association, the American Heart Association, and the AARP. I would like Sen._____ to urge GOP leadership to slow the process down, work with the Democrats, and conduct open, transparent hearings so the Senate can create a bill Americans and the medical community can actually support.

 

While we’ve been concerned with health care and the Russia scandal, reports have emerged this week of a staggering increase in the number of civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria. According to this New York Times op-ed, we can blame a deadly cocktail of increased bombing combined with limited military and congressional oversight.
 
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
 

  • Call your MoCs: Script below.
  • Follow/Support: Airwars, “a collaborative, not-for-profit transparency project aimed both at tracking and archiving the international air war against so-called Islamic State and other groups in Iraq, Syria and Libya.”



Script:
Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m very concerned about reports of escalating civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria. Congressional oversight is needed here to prevent the loss of innocent lives, so I wanted to ask Senator/Rep _____ to push Congress to fund awareness training for coalition officers, hold public hearings so that people are held accountable and we can learn from botched strikes, and mandate that the Pentagon report on the steps being taken to protect civilians. Currently, there is no independent assessment of the criteria used to identify targets, and that also needs to change. I know that President Trump has increased military funding, so let’s use some of that to push for better oversight. According to Centcom, 484 civilians have been unintentionally killed by air strikes in the four months since President Trump took office, and, according to the watchdog group Airwars, the total number is closer to 4,000. In light of this ever-increasing death toll, I hope that you’ll pass this message along to Rep/Senator _____ with urgency.

 

Activist and environmentalist Naomi Klein has a great 8-minute video on things you can do to jam Trump’s brand. In fact, following the money may be our best hope in stopping the President, who continues to be in violation of the Emoluments clause of the Constitution, an impeachable offense. Last week, 196 members of Congress filed a lawsuit against the president, the largest number of Congressional plaintiffs in history. Trump is also being sued for flagrant and continuous emoluments clause violations by the AGs of Maryland and the District of Columbia. And it remains to be seen how his economic interests might have played a part in the Russia scandal.

 
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:
 

  • Watch Naomi Klein’s video on jamming Trump’s brand and consider what you can do to take part in this resistance.
  • Join the Grab Your Wallet Campaign to boycott Trump products and spread the word to your friends.
  • Call your MoCs: If they are among the plaintiffs, thank them. If not, ask them to sign onto the lawsuit and/or express your deep concern about the President’s consistent violations of the emoluments clause and ask them how they plan to address this.
  • Check out Naomi Klein’s new video on resisting the shock doctrine and her recent book No Is Not Enough for strategies on staying calm, sane, and achieving a better political future.



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    The most effective thing you can do is to pick up the phone,
    but if you’re short on time, you can leave a message or video below.