(updated, Mar 19, 2017, 10:00 AM)
A reminder that you can get contact info (now includes link to free fax service online) for our Members of Congress at our “Links You Can Use” tab.
Need resources on the health care bill? Unlike Republicans, we’ve got you covered.(from Indivisible)
- We’ve collected all our materials on health care together so that you can find our brand new script plus talking points, district-level data, legislative process explainers, and more in one place: Save the ACA.
- Last week, we joined up with health care experts from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Families USA, and Planned Parenthood Action for an emergency call providing an overview of the American Health Care Act and what you can do to stop the repeal of the ACA. If you missed it, you can listen to the recording here.
- Make sure you know where your MoC stands with this handy tracker from NPR.
(Fri., Mar 17th) DNC Talking Points-Trump Budget
NEA Update, Mar 19, 2017
Updates from INDIVISIBLE
(Mar 12, 2017)
More Capitol Hill highlights
Want more to talk about with your MoCs’ offices this week after you’re done reminding them how you feel about saving health care? We’ve got a few suggestions:
- In the House of Representatives: Stop the secrecy around Trump’s taxes.
We’re all still being kept in the dark about Trump’s conflicts of interest—including information that could be important to revealing further ties between Trump and Russia. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) has introduced a Resolution of Inquiry (H.Res. 186) directing the Treasury Secretary to provide to the House of Representatives Trump’s tax returns from 2006 through 2015, as well as other financial documentation. If you think that Trump’s tax returns need to be made public, tell your MoC to cosponsor H.Res. 186. Here’s our background and script for asking your Representative to cosponsor the resolution.
- In the Senate: The Most Boring and Dangerous Bills You’ve Never Heard Of.
Yes, even as former congressional staffers, our eyes glaze over at the mention of “regulatory rollback.” You know who doesn’t think this is boring? Corporate lobbyists—and they’re hoping you don’t notice. The Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome (SCRUB) Act (H.R. 998) would create an unelected board to make recommendations to Congress on cutting regulations. This may not sound like a big deal—but it is. It’s a quiet way to give big business a big gift: the end of regulations essential to protecting our environment, health, and workplace safety. This bill has already passed the House and is currently before the Senate: here’s our script for telling your Senator to vote NO on this dangerous legislation.As if that weren’t bad enough, the Senate is also considering the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (S. 21), which requires congressional approval for a huge number of regulations. This bill would put corporate lobbyists in the driver’s seat—taking aim at the health and safety protections Americans depend on. REINS is a truly reactionary, fundamental reworking of the federal government, and not in a fun way. It’s been called “the most dangerous bill you’ve never heard of.”
Extra credit: want to learn more about the legislative process? We’ve got a new explainer on House of Representatives Committee Action.
Looking ahead: Stop Gorsuch
America has never been more in need of an independent judiciary. With President Trump escalating his attacks on our most basic rights, the courts are our last safeguard. And with the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, a right-wing apologist (more conservative than Scalia!), to the Supreme Court, Trump has made it clear that he hopes to enshrine his agenda through our nation’s judiciary too.
That’s why we’ve joined The People’s Defense, a campaign bringing together grassroots activists to fight the appointment of any Supreme Court Justice who will not stand up to this president. Gorsuch’s first hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee is March 20, and Senate Republicans are trying to force a final vote before Senators go home during the April recess to face you. It’s time to step up our game.
- Visit The People’s Defense and read about why Gorsuch is bad for American families. Use this information to call your Senators and tell them to oppose Neil Gorsuch. Spread the word on social media, at your Indivisible meetings, and with your friends and family on why Gorsuch is a dangerous pick for an independent judiciary.
Need some inspiration?
Last week, local group Indivisible Austin and Spotzen Film released I Stand Indivisible, a bold, powerful video featuring group members from all walks of life speaking about what brought them to the Indivisible movement, what they’re fighting for, and their confidence that when we stand indivisible, we’re capable of creating change. It’s a must-see, and we hope it inspires you as much as it’s inspired us.
Summary: H.R.610–Voucherizing Ed Across the Country
From a family member in another state:
Family members, I know I have been very political on Facebook and some of you may or may not agree with my beliefs. But we are a family of educators and I’m urging you to please educate yourself on House Bill 610 proposed by Iowa’s Steve King with support from Arizona Representative Trent Franks and a few others. This bill would, among other things, eliminate and defund a number of vital programs to education, including the funding that has provided me with my job for 14 years. My livelihood could very well be affected by a bill that would be devastating for children. Replacing Title 1 funding with a voucher system greatly affects public education and does very little to help rural children or inner city children.
“In addition, the bill will ELIMINATE THE ELEMENTARY and EDUCATION ACT of 1965, which is the nation’s educational law and provides equal opportunity in education. ESSA is a big comprehensive program that covers programs for struggling learners, Advanced Placement classes, ESL classes, classes for Native Americans and other groups, Rural Education, Education for the Homeless, School Safety, Monitoring and Compliance and Federal Accountability Programs”
Googling Education House Bill 610 will let you find your own information as I don’t want to be promoting inaccurate or hysterical perspectives. Regardless of how you feel about our current president, there has been very little evidence that vouchers work. Title 1, and the ESSA are critical to public education serving all.
Please consider sending a letter or making a phone call to your Senator or representative.
Introduced in House (01/23/2017)
Choices in Education Act of 2017
This bill repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and limits the authority of the Department of Education (ED) such that ED is authorized only to award block grants to qualified states.
The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which each state shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA’s geographical area. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1) distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses.
To be eligible to receive a block grant, a state must: (1) comply with education voucher program requirements, and (2) make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect to enroll their child in any public or private elementary or secondary school in the state or to home-school their child.
No Hungry Kids Act
The bill repeals a specified rule that established certain nutrition standards for the national school lunch and breakfast programs. (In general, the rule requires schools to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat free milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat in school meals; and meet children’s nutritional needs within their caloric requirements.)
Want to Join a group to take action against the Trump administration? Here are links to some different groups:
Indivisible. A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR RESISTING THE TRUMP AGENDA: Former congressional staffers reveal best practices for making Congress listen.
Center for Popular Democracy. We’re building a rising movement of people fighting for a future of opportunity, equality, and inclusion.
Huddles. We gather together in our neighborhoods all over the world to define our next steps, and envision how to transform the energy we saw at Women’s Marches into local and national action.
#Resist. Resist Meet-up groups. Meetup exists to connect people so they create opportunity and make the world they want.
Michael Moore’s Group + MMs 10 Things (download linked document)