Weekly Actions: September 25, 2017

Action 1: Keep fighting Trumpcare – it’s not dead yet!

Action 2: Tell your senators to say NO to anti-environmental and anti-LGBTQ nominees for the EPA and the federal judiciary.  

Action 3: Tell your reps to vote against deregulating gun suppressors/silencers.



Action 1: Keep fighting Trumpcare – it’s not dead yet!

[Update: Lacking support, Republicans decided not to vote on Trumpcare this week. But make no mistake, they may be down, but not out. Today, Senator Mitch McConnell said of Trumpcare, “it still lies ahead of us, and we haven’t given up.” So it goes without saying that only persistent opposition will prevent this bill from ever becoming law. So keep calling. Thank your Senator(s) if they opposed the bill or pressure them if they are undecided or in support of removing healthcare from 20+ million people.]  

While we’ve received heartening news that Senators Susan Collins and John McCain have come out against the Graham-Cassidy Trumpcare bill (and some news outlets will therefore declare this latest effort dead), we all know from recent experience that Republicans will continue to wheel and deal until they cobble together enough votes.

The latest version of Trumpcare is even worse than previous versions. It puts caps on Medicaid, allows states to waive essential benefits, and undermines protection for people with pre-existing conditions. For some added perspective, consider that only 4 out of 110 industry groups, as tracked by the New York Times, have come out in favor of this bill, with the remaining 106 putting out statements explicitly opposing it.

It’s extremely important to keep calling your senators in order to block the latest iteration of Trumpcare, as Republicans are trying to do anything they can to pass this bill before September 30th, the deadline by which they can pass this with 51 votes. We need to keep the pressure on!

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO: (Even if you called last week, please do so again!) 

  • Call your Senators–Early and Often: Check out the Indivisible website for background on the bill, and key calling strategies. If your Senators are Democrats, ask them to withhold consent on all Senate business in order to run out the clock before this can be passed, using this calling script. If your senators are Republican, use this script to hold them accountable for their past Trumpcare votes. There are also special scripts for key senators in Tennessee, Ohio, Arizona, Alaska, and West Virginia. Some talking points:
    • The Senate committed to a bipartisan process after the last repeal failed, and we want to see that process enacted.
    • Over 50% of Americans support the Affordable Care Act. Repealing it will not be a “win” for the American people. Remind them that the last repeal attempt had the support of only 12% of the population, and this one is not very different.
    • Any bill that is proposed should undergo due process, be vetted by the CBO and go through a hearing process. It should not be rushed through.
  • Use this calling tool from Indivisible to directly reach voters in Red States so they can call their Senators. Republican senators must be pressured to vote against the bill and Democratic senators must be urged to stall Senate business and run out the clock until the September 30th deadline passes.
  • Call to thank Senators Susan Collins and John McCain for opposing this bill. Call key swing Senator Lisa Murkowski and urge her to also oppose: You can find contact information here.  Other possible no votes are Senator Jerry Moran (KS), Senator Rob Portman (OH), and Senator Shelley Capito (WV). There are special calling scripts listed above for many of these Senators. If you have friends in these states, please encourage them to call as well.

Action 2: Tell your senators to say NO to anti-environmental and anti-LGBTQ nominees for the EPA and the federal judiciary.

One area in which Trump has been horrifyingly effective has been his ability to fill open federal court positions with extremely conservative judges. Jeff Mateer, Trump’s latest pick for a federal judgeship in Texas “has said gay marriage will lead to bestiality, has advocated for gay conversion therapy and has suggested transgender children are evidence “’of Satan’s plan.’”

On the environmental front, Trump has picked two anti-environment nominees for key EPA positions. Bill Wehrum, nominee for Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, is a known defender of the oil and gas industry and a proponent of weakening  clean air regulations.  Currently, he is defending industry against OSHA’s worker safety rule related to silicon dust exposure.

And to lead the EPA’s chemical regulatory program, Trump has nominated Michael Dourson, an ally of the chemical industry whose career has focused on fighting restrictions on the use of potentially toxic chemicals in consumer products. This nomination is particularly concerning in light of Congress’s 2016 chemical safety overhaul, whose weak consumer protections give the EPA authority to override protections at the state level that protect us from dangerous chemicals.  (Read more about that here).

The nomination hearing for Dourson and Wehrum was supposed to take place on September 20, but has been postponed, leaving us more time to act.

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Call your Senators:  Demand that they ask the tough questions and vote NO on all these appointments.  A script is below. You can find more talking points from the National Resources Defense Council. 

SCRIPT: Hi my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m calling to oppose three nominations: Bill Wehrum and Michael Dourson for EPA positions, and Jeff Mateer for a federal judgeship. Mr. Wehrum and Mr. Dourson have made a career defending the interests of industry against environmental regulations. In fact, right now, Mr. Wehrum is compromising workers’ health and safety by defending industry against an OSHA rule that regulates workers’ exposure to silicon dust. I am also opposed to Judge Mateer, based on his anti-gay comments, which go as far as to link gay marriage to bestiality and transgender people to Satan. This is highly inappropriate for any judge and I question his ability to enforce anti-discrimination laws and to preside fairly in cases involving hate crimes against gay people. Please urge Senator _____ to vote NO on the Wehrum, Dourson, and Mateer appointments.


Action 3: Ask your rep to vote against deregulating gun suppressors/silencers.

Congress is currently considering the SHARE Act (H.R. 3668) which contains a number of provisions that weaken federal gun laws. Most disturbing is that it deregulates gun suppressors/silencers. This decision has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with profitability. According to Moms Rising and columnist Michael Hiltzik of the LA Times, among others, gun suppressors/silencers, once deregulated, will be an exciting new addition to the market, allowing gun company sales to soar. However, gun silencers further undermine public safety (silent gunfire is harder to track), which is why deregulation of gun silencers is opposed by major law enforcement officials , as well as 73% of gun owners.   

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Call and tell your representative to vote against gun suppressors/silencer provisions in the SHARE Act

BILL: HR 3668: SHARE ACT: To provide for the preservation of sportsmen’s heritage and enhance recreation opportunities on Federal land, and for other purposes.

SCRIPT: Hi my name is _____ and I’m calling from _____. I’m calling because I’m very concerned about the provision in the SHARE Act, HR 3668, that calls for the deregulation of gun suppressors/silencers. This will undermine public safety by making it harder for law enforcement to trace gunfire, which is why major law enforcement officials, along with 73% of gun owners, are against this measure. Really, the only people who benefit are the stockholders in the gun industry, as it will allow for a new gun-related product to enter the market. Public safety should not be compromised in the interest of profits. Please fight against this dangerous provision and do not vote for any bill that contains it.


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.