Weekly Actions: September 13, 2017

Action 1: Stop Trumpcare 3.0: Don’t let the Senate pass the Graham-Cassidy bill.

Action 2: Ask your MoCs to pass legislation to protect DACA recipients. 

Action 3: Shame MoCs who helped remove chemical safety rules.




Action 1: Stop Trumpcare 3.0: Don’t let the Senate pass the Graham-Cassidy bill.

Republicans in the Senate have been quietly crafting a third bill to repeal Obamacare, which they intend to roll out this week. Senator John McCain, whose “no” vote defeated the last Obamacare repeal attempt, has indicated that he supports this bill, which may give the Republicans the votes they need.

Unfortunately, this bill is no better than what has previously been proposed. In short, it puts caps on Medicaid, allows states to waive essential benefits, and undermines protection for people with pre-existing conditions. For more information about the bill, check out Indivisible’s resource here and/or read this excellent article from Vox.

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Call your Senators: If you need a script, check out this one from 5calls.org. Remind them that the Senate committed to a bipartisan process after the collapse of the last repeal attempt and that the failure to repeal Obamacare is not a “loss” but a “win,” given that the majority of Americans support the Affordable Care Act.  Also ask them to make sure any bill goes through due process–hearings, scoring by the CBO, etc. It should not be rushed through Congress simply so Republicans can “save face” at the expense of the wishes of the American people.
  • Spread the word on the upcoming Obamacare sign-up period: DT has cut outreach funding by 90% in an attempt to sabotage the system. This link can help people find assistance in their local area, and this link from out2enroll specializes in helping the LGBTQ community get coverage.  Members of the action alliance have also developed this graphic, which can easily be shared on social media:

Bill: Graham-Cassidy Bill 

Script (from 5calls.org): Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY].

I’m calling to express my strong opposition to the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal plan. Any plan that eliminates Medicaid expansion and fails to guarantee affordable coverage for low-income Americans is unacceptable. The American people want a bipartisan approach to repairing the ACA, not a repeal for it.

 


Action 2: Ask your MoCs to pass legislation to protect DACA recipients. 

Last Tuesday, Donald Trump called for a suspension of the DACA program, removing legal protections for approximately 800,000 people, but leaving open a six-month window during which Congress could act to protect Dreamers. Despite calls for action from both sides of the aisle, strong advocacy will be needed to actually get a bill through Congress, particularly since legislators are divided on how much protection they’re willing to give. There are three current proposals, described here. The most generous and far-reaching of these is the Dream Act, which currently has wide support in the House, but only nine co-sponsors in the Senate. Additionally, some Republicans are trying to bargain passage of the Dream Act in exchange for border wall funding, and others would like to see the program end completely.

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Call your MoCs: Ask them to support the Dream Act and the Bridge Act, and ask your senators to sponsor the Dream Act, or thank them if they are already a sponsor. Tell them you want to see this act passed independently. It should not be tied to ineffective and wasteful border wall funding. If you need a script, use this one from 5calls.org.
  • Call key legislators: (or reach out to people in their districts to get them to call). Use this toolkit from Indivisible to let them know how much money their state will lose if DACA is repealed.
  • Reach out: to your state legislators and ask them to join these 18 states (CA, CO, CT, FL, IL, KS, MD, MN, NE, NJ, NM, NY, OK, OR, RI, TX, UT, and WA) in enacting legislation that permits undocumented residents to attend state universities.
  • If you are an attorney: Consider volunteering for a DACA clinic.
  • Read: Indivisible has good resources. The Associated Press has compiled a fact check on DACA.

Bill: S. 1615: Dream Act of 2017 | S 128/H.R. 496 The Bridge Act of 2017

Script (from 5calls.org): Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY].

[IF CALLING SENATE]: I’m calling to urge Senator _____ to take immediate action and pass S. 1615, the DREAM Act. Our DREAMers deserve legal status and a path to citizenship, and I expect the Senator to act swiftly to help the 800,000 people who relied on DACA for access to jobs, education, and security.

[IF CALLING HOUSE]: I’m calling to urge Senator _____ to take immediate action and pass H.R. 3591, the American Hope Act. Our DREAMers deserve legal status and a path to citizenship, and I expect Senator _____ to act swiftly to help the 800,000 people who relied on DACA for access to jobs, education, and security.

[IF CALLING COMMITTEE]: I’m calling to ask that the committee immediately schedule a hearing to move forward with [S. 1615 for Senate Committee/H.R. 3591 for House Committee]. Our DREAMers deserve legal status and a path to citizenship, and I expect Congress to act swiftly to help the 800,000 people who relied on DACA for access to jobs, education, and security.


Action 3: Shame MoCs who helped remove chemical safety rules

On Thursday, a handful of police and EMTs injured by the chemical fire at Arkema chemical plant sued Arkema for their negligence in preparing for Harvey. However, the fire and explosions at the plant also endangered the health of residents in the surrounding area, contaminating the air with harmful chemicals. What’s most infuriating is that, in addition to Arkema’s negligence in adequately preparing for Harvey, they actively (and successfully) worked to kill safety rules that could have prevented or mitigated such a catastrophe (rules which would have  taken effect March 14th) with the help of Texas politicians, Congressional Republicans, and the Trump administration.

The lawmakers who sacrificed their constituents’ safety in exchange for huge campaign contributions from the chemical lobbying industry need to be shamed, especially in light of recent events. With the increasing frequency of high-intensity storms (exacerbated by climate change) and the high volume of nuclear power and chemical plants in unstable areas (five of Arkema’s six plants are on the coast!) there should be consequences when our representatives endanger us in exchange for money. Our government must do everything in its power to protect us from extreme safety hazards and impose proper safety regulations to help mitigate catastrophe when natural disasters or other threats loom.

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Shame MoCs who put profits over safety: Check if your MoCs co-sponsored H.J. 59 or S.J. 28,  legislation introduced in a push to help block the chemical safety rules. (See the co-sponsors of H.J. 59 here and S.J. 28 here.) If so, call them to express outrage.
    • Read: David Sirota’s piece to see more info about the $652,000 that Texas lawmakers who backed H.J. 59 have received from the chemical industry.
  • Write/Call/Tweet Scott Pruitt (202) 564-4700; pruitt.scott@epa.gov; @EPAScottPruitt.)
    • Tell him he owes Texas an apology for blocking the Obama-era chemical safety rules. Let him know that:
      •  We aren’t fooled by arguments by the chemical lobby that releasing the names of chemicals stored at the plant could aid terrorists. If terrorists were to attack a plant, knowing the chemicals stored there would help officials protect the public, and not knowing them would endanger us further.
      • We know about the $50,000 from the American Chemistry Council that went into the Association which supported his campaigns, and which he chaired during his time as a state official (For more on this, click here.)
  • Research the regulations in your state: Find out what hazards would be posed by a natural disaster in your state and whether your state has safety plans and regulations to protect you in place. If not, call your state senators and demand that they step it up.

Bill: H.J.Res.59 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to “Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs under the Clean Air Act”.

Script: Hi, my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m calling because I’m outraged about the events at the Arkema chemical plant during Harvey, which endangered and sickened emergency responders and residents of the surrounding area. I know that Senator/Rep _____ co-sponsored legislation (mention H.J. 59 or S.J. 28) that pushed to overturn important chemical safety rules and that Senator/Rep _____ has received [amount of money, if you can find it – Sirota’s article, above, lists amounts for many senators] money from the chemical industry, and I’m disgusted by his role in the events that transpired. He/she certainly does not have my vote anymore. Please tell him/her that I hope he will start standing up to chemical lobbyists and supporting regulatory safety rules that will protect his constituents in the future, instead of selling them out. 


 

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.