Weekly Actions: November 13, 2017

Action 1: Keep resisting the GOP tax plan.

Action 2: Support The Background Check Expansion Act and other common sense gun legislation. 

Action 3: Oppose the nomination of Brett Talley for U.S. District Court, and tell your Senator that people who have never tried a case should not be considered for federal judgeships. 



Action 1: Keep resisting the GOP tax plan.

We covered many reasons why this tax plan was a bad idea in our post last week. Here are a few more:

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO: 

  • Call your MoCs (Again!): We’ve added a sample script below, but please mention  the items from the list above that you are personally most concerned about. Note that many of these provisions are currently only in the House bill, not the Senate bill. However, if these items are important to you, you should still mention them to your Senators, since – if both bills pass – there will be a negotiation process before the final product. Tell your Senators that these portions of the House bill concern you, and express relief that they are not included in the Senate version.

Reject Bill: HR 1, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is _____and I’m calling from _____. I’m calling about the tax bill, which I strongly urge Senator/Rep _____ to vote against. I am strongly against repealing the individual mandate, which will result in 13 million people losing their health insurance, in order to give more tax cuts to corporations. I’m concerned that these tax cuts will be permanent, while the middle class tax cut is set to phase out, and how all of this will raise the federal deficit.

I’m also concerned about the following things that are included in the house bill, which I strongly oppose. (NOTE: This script is long, so feel free to pick what concerns you of the items listed below.) 

  • The repeal of the electric car tax credit. We need to support alternative energy and make these cars affordable in order to address global climate change. 
  • The designation of student tuition waivers as taxable income. This is going to make higher learning unaffordable for many. 
  • The elimination of the Johnson Amendment and the section designated a fetus as a beneficiary. These provisions violate separation of church and state.
  • FOR HOUSE–ADDNone of these provisions are in the Senate bill. They shouldn’t be in the House bill. FOR SENATE–ADD: I’m very glad that these provisions are not included in the Senate version of the bill and I wanted to urge the Senator not to yield on these issues when the final bill is negotiated. 
  • FOR BOTH HOUSE AND SENATE: I’m also concerned about the elimination of the tax deduction for teachers who purchase classroom supplies. Teachers are among the lowest paid members of the workforce, and yet due to their dedication they often spend their own money for the benefit of their students. It’s unfair the multi-million dollar corporations can deduct “operational expenses” and teachers can’t.
  • FOR BOTH HOUSE AND SENATE: I  think that the recent revelations related to the many ways corporations and the wealthy already dodge their taxes should be investigated before any “tax reform” – especially a package like this which rewards the wealthy in much greater percentage terms than the rest of us – is considered.

 


Action 2: Support The Background Check Expansion Act and other common sense gun legislation. 

Mass shootings continue to dominate the headlines, the latest last week at a church in Texas. The perpetrator had a history of violence and domestic abuse, and legally should not have been allowed to buy a firearm, but due to loopholes in the existing gun laws and in this case, negligence on the part of the Pentagon, another tragedy occurred. In other cases, people convicted of domestic abuse can still acquire guns as long as they are not married or living with the victim, nor have had a child with the victim. In other words, stalkers have free reign. The Giffords law center outlines the many reasons why anyone with a history of domestic violence should not have a firearm here.

Meanwhile, over 200 members of the House and 38 Senators have co-sponsored S446/HR 38, the “concealed carry reciprocity” bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons in states that currently don’t allow concealed carry, a move that has been designated a priority of the NRA despite being actively opposed by seventeen Democratic Attorneys General.  And Slide Fire, a leading manufacturer of gun accessories, has announced that it will resume sales of bump stocks.

Luckily, there is some good news: a federal court ruled yesterday that assault weapons are not protected by the Second Amendment. Additionally, several bills have been introduced to try to address the issues mentioned above, and they need our strong support:

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO: 

  • Call your MoCs: Ask them to support the three bills listed above and to OPPOSE the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill (explained above) and the SHARE Act, which deregulates gun silencers. Also tell them to reinstitute the ban on assault weapons and lift the ban on gun violence research. See script below.
  • Contact Slide Fire: Give them your opinion on bump stocks: Twitter @SlideFireSol, or phone: 325-945-3800.
  • Contact the Inspector General of the Air Force here and ask for a complete review of potential negligence that resulted in Devin Kelley’s ability to buy an assault rifle and murder 26 people in a church in Texas. Follow the form prompts and choose Air Force Public Inquiries. Also ask that they follow through on their promise to “conduct a complete review of the Kelley case, as well as a comprehensive review of air force records to determine whether other cases had been reported correctly.”
  • Divest from Guns: One way to impact the gun industry is through their wallet. Goodbye Gunstocks is a website that will let you know if your investments include gunstocks.

 

BILLS: The Expanded Background Check Act (S 2009); Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act of 2017 (S 1539/HR 2670); The Automatic Gunfire Protection Act (S 1916/HR 3947); Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill (S 446/HR 38); The SHARE Act (HR 3668)

 

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m calling to ask Sen./Rep. to support bills that promote common sense gun control such as The Background Check Expansion Act (S 2009); Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act of 2017 (S 1539/HR 2670); and The Automatic Gunfire Protection Act (S 1916/HR 3947) I would also like to ask Sen./Rep. to OPPOSE the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill and the SHARE Act as these bills endanger us further. States should have the right to determine how to best protect their own communities. Furthermore, in light of the recent court ruling that assault weapons are not protected by the Second Amendment and the many tragic shootings that involved assault weapons, I would like Sen./Rep. to sponsor legislation that would reinstate the ban on assault weapons. Finally, I would like to ask Sen/Rep.____to support funding for gun violence research so that we can have the knowledge we need to prevent future tragedies. 


Action 3: Oppose the nomination of Brett Talley for U.S. District Court, and tell your Senator that people who have never tried a case should not be considered for federal judgeships.

Brett Talley, the recent nominee for U.S. District Court in Alabama, a lifetime appointment, has never tried a case.  He is the second person nominated by the administration to receive a unanimous “unqualified” rating from all 14 members of the American Bar Association. The last unanimous unqualified rating before these nominees was given in 1989. Nevertheless, in an outrageous display of partisanship, Mr. Talley’s nomination was approved along party lines by the Judiciary Committee and the full Senate will vote on his nomination this week. Today, it was reported that Mr. Talley is married to a White House lawyer, a potential conflict of interest that he did not disclose.

We believe that the Senate should be taking experience seriously when confirming judicial nominees. Anything less would show that they are putting party politics over the good of the American people. These judges have life and death decisions in their hands. You wouldn’t hire a surgeon who has no experience in the operation room.

More information about Mr. Talley and this nomination can be found on this page from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Call your Senators: Ask them to oppose Brett Talley’s nomination and any other judicial nominations where a person’s experience and qualifications are being called into serious question.

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is _____and I’m calling from_____. I was dismayed to hear that the Senate Judiciary Committee just voted positively on a nominee who was ranked as unqualified by all 14 members of the American Bar Association. It is the Senate’s job, like any good “employer,” to consider a person’s qualifications and experience for a judicial position, not to put party politics above what is good for the American people. This is a lifetime appointment, and a judge is often dealing with life and death decisions. Mr. Talley has only actively practiced law for three years and he has never tried a case. Furthermore, it’s been disclosed that he is married to a White House lawyer, which presents a conflict of interest. To confirm such a nominee calls the Senate’s own credibility into question. I urge you to vote “no” on this confirmation and to demand that only experienced and qualified people be nominated for federal judgeships. 

 


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.



Leave a Reply