Weekly Actions: November 27, 2017

Action 1: Prevent the GOP from repealing Obamacare in their tax bill.

Action 2: Don’t let the GOP pay for its tax plan with Arctic drilling.

Action 3: Oppose the Sinclair-Tribune Media merger, which will allow one company to dominate the airwaves with a share of 72% of  U.S. households.



Action 1: Prevent the GOP from repealing Obamacare in their tax bill.

Just a couple of days before the House passed their version of the tax bill on November 16, the Senate decided to include in their bill a repeal of the individual mandate for Obamacare, which could result in 13 million people losing their insurance. According to the Center for American Progress, “the tax bill would not only increase taxes for millions of middle-class families but would also have disastrous effects on people’s health care.” This move is projected to raise premiums by 10% in 2019, meaning that a typical middle class family would see their premiums rise by nearly $2000. And according to the Congressional Budget Office, the House plan would result in a $25 billion cut to Medicare in Fiscal Year 2018 alone, with billions of dollars cut to the program overall.

 

Adding insult to injury, while corporate tax cut rates would remain permanent under the GOP plan, whatever tax cuts some middle class families might gain would only be temporary. And a large portion of middle class families would actually end up paying more, since the cuts are structured in a way that gives the largest percentage to the wealthiest, as illustrated here by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

 

Federal budget expert and Forbes contributor Stan Collender calls the GOP tax bill “almost a textbook definition of economic insanity.” Finally, recall that the state of Kansas recently tried a very similar tax bill. According to Alexandra Thornton, senior director of Tax Policy for Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress, “dynamic revenue never materialized; Kansas’ budget was thrown into crisis; and law makers were forced to slash basic services.” Surely, this should give us some pause before applying the same flawed trickle-down logic to the entire country. This bill is opposed by a majority of small businesses, and the Congressional Budget Office has validated the claims that this bill will ultimately hurt the poor at the expense of the rich.

 

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO: 

 

  • Call your Senators (Again!): See sample script below.
  • Sign up for the Indivisible calling tool: You’ll be connected with progressive voters in key swing states to ask them to call their Republican Senators in opposition to the tax bill.
  • Call key Senators on your own: And reach out to friends in these states. Other Senators who have expressed reservations about the health care bill are: Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Dean Heller (NV), Rob Portman (OH), and Lamar Alexander (TN).
  • Write a letter to the editor: For more information and resources, click here.

 

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m calling about the current GOP tax bill, which I urge Senator _____ to vote against. I am strongly against repealing the individual mandate, which experts say could result in 13 million people losing their health insurance, in order to give more tax cuts to corporations. The tax bill should not be used as a back-door way to repeal the ACA. Additionally, non-partisan experts have said this bill would raise taxes for millions of middle class families as well as raise the federal deficit. Please vote against and speak out against this bill. Thank you.

 


Action 2: Don’t let the GOP pay for its tax plan with Arctic drilling.

Since the GOP tax plan is projected to add $1.7 trillion to the deficit, they are looking to reduce the cost by cutting Medicare (as described above) and also by leasing portions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling companies. Renowned scientist Jane Goodall has outlined numerous reasons why allowing such drilling would be devastating to the native peoples and wildlife species that currently inhabit the area. To learn more about the impact of Arctic drilling, see this photo essay from Earthjustice. Arctic drilling has been a contested issue for years, and likely wouldn’t pass the Senate under normal procedures; however, as this is currently being proposed as a budget add-on, the proposal, which has already cleared the Senate Energy Committee, CAN BE PASSED BY A SIMPLE MAJORITY via the rules of reconciliation.

 

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO: 

 

  • Call your Senators: See script below
  • Donate to Earthjustice: an organization that is committed to taking legal action against drilling and other environmentally dangerous policies.

 

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I am strongly opposed to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve and I would like to ask Sen._____ to vote against this proposal. The Senator and his/her colleagues should not be sacrificing sensitive environmental land and wildlife habitats, nor threatening the livelihood of the indigenous tribes in the Arctic who depend on these wildlife populations, in order to fund any tax plan, especially one that benefits corporations much more than the middle class. Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve has been a contested issue for years and it is unethical to sneak this in as a budget addition, rather than having the issue fully debated under full Senate rules. Something this important should not be decided by reconciliation. 

 


Action 3: Oppose the Sinclair-Tribune Media merger, which will allow one company to dominate the airwaves with a share of 72% of  U.S. households.

 

In 1935, the board game Monopoly first hit store shelves. It was designed to teach people about the perils of inequality and what can happen when one or a handful of companies control an entire market.

 

On November 16, the FCC voted to relax regulations that had previously prevented any one broadcasting company from owning too large a share of the market. The new rules pave the way for mega media-mergers, including a currently proposed merger between Sinclair, (which contractually requires its TV stations to air conservative news segments it produces) and Tribune Media. Sinclair already has 81 stations and reaches 38% of U.S. households. With the merger, Sinclair’s reach would expand to 72% of U.S. households.

 

A group of Democratic Senators led by Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Tom Udall (D-NM) have argued that through this decision, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is giving preferential treatment to the pro-Trump Sinclair, and they are calling for an investigation. They’ve also asked Chairman Pai to recuse himself from this vote and for any future votes related to Sinclair.

 

 

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO:

 

  • Call your Senators: Ask them to oppose the Sinclair-Tribune Merger and to support Cantwell and Udall’s call for an investigation into the FCC’s action.

 

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is _____and I’m calling from_____. I am opposed to the Sinclair-Tribune Merger and to any mass media merger that restricts competition among the media markets and exposes the public to one point of view. Sinclair has been known for requiring their stations to air segments that have a conservative bias. It would be extremely dangerous for any media company, liberal or conservative, to dominate the networks. Our country was founded on freedom of the press and the FCC should be making regulations that make media access more widespread, not regulations that permit domination and large monopolies. I worry that FCC Chairman Pai is giving preferential treatment to Sinclair and I would like Sen. _____ to join Sen. Cantwell and Udall’s call for an investigation into the FCC’s decision to relax ownership rules, in order to make sure that the FCC’s motives are ethical and fair to all media outlets. I would also like Sen. ____to do everything s/he can to prevent the Sinclair-Tribune merger.

 


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



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