Tuesday 12th of December 2017

People from all over the Seattle area meet with our Senators’ staffers at the Federal Building in Seattle 12:30-1:30 every Tuesday.
It is extremely helpful to hear from those who work professionally in politics – and other Indivisibles. We also rally 11:45-12:30.
This page is updated by 3pm each Wednesday. From 12/5: notes & rally: 23:47. Other Tuesdays’ notes.

These notes from December 12th 2017 from all attendees; calls to action and links provided by me. Rally vid: 32:24.
New information in the meeting is black.

Met with

Kate Baumgartner, Senator Murray’s Seattle Metropolitan Director.
Email: Kate_baumgartner@murray.senate.gov
Senator Murray: Email ~ P: (202) 224-2621 / Toll Free: (866) 481-9186 ~ F: (202) 224-0238

Tommy Bauer, Senator Cantwell’s Seattle Outreach Director.
Email: tommy_bauer@cantwell.senate.gov
Senator Cantwell: Email ~ P: (202) 224-3441 ~ F: (202) 228-0514

The holidays are coming. We asked our Senators and their staffers to take care of themselves and be rested over the holidays. Their offices will be closed over the Holiday period, but they answer emails. There is a rally next week on the 19th (Tommy may not be at the meeting, but Kate will be); but not the next 26th of December or 2nd of January.

The Senate will be in State work period from Dec. 18-29: Senate.gov. This means that they will be home from DC.

Resist Drumpf Tuesday is a great opportunity to meet other resister sisters (and brothers 😉 ) – and grab a warm coffee!

We had a pup protester this week! Rally vid: 32:24.

Ricann lead us singing a political version of the 12 days of Christmas!

Net Neutrality

Our rally this week was about net neutrality. The FCC vote is on Thursday. Please protest! More.
Senator Cantwell and Rep. DelBene had a press conference last week about net neutrality: FB vid. 25:04.
Gov. Inslee is going to protect Washington State’s net neutrality: Twitter.com & Medium.com.
If net neutrality was taken away, it would be challenged by lawsuits because it takes away first amendment rights. A free internet allows people to have free access to any information without any of it being slowed down or eliminated.

The Vote

The FCC (3 Republicans, 2 Democrats) will vote on repealing net neutrality on Thursday the 14th of December. If they vote affirmatively, it will dismiss 22 million online comments in favor of corporations.

Clean Dream Act

We want a clean Dream act. S.1615 – Dream Act of 2017 would enable DACA recipients and other eligible and productive individuals to continue working or being in education in the USA, with their families. There are around 800,000 people this will affect. Thousands lose their ability to work and maintain residency each month. The bill is bipartisan, and is sitting in the Senate judiciary committee. Contact Republican members of the committee. Chuck Grassley, an Iowan Republican is not taking it to the Senate floor. The fight is purportedly really in the House. The Republicans cannot get it through using reconciliation: so once it is on the floor, Democrats will have some control because it would be voted through if there is a 60 / 40 vote, and so it would need bipartisan support.

Our Senators Are Not Representing Us

We had asked that our Senators vote against a Continuing Resolution (for 2 weeks of Federal budget continuation) unless we pass the DREAM Act. The vote for the CR was on Thursday, December 7th. If the Senate had voted against the CR, and they had to shutdown the government it would show everyone what this administration is doing: the Republicans are holding everything up. Our Democrat Senators would simply be standing firm and offering their votes.

This is part of a national Indivisible initiative to protect our 800,000 Dreamers: DreamerPledge.org. Even though Republicans have control of the government (the presidency, the majority in the House and Senate, and they head all of the committees), Republicans can’t get anything done.

However: despite our pleas, our Senators voted for the continuing resolution. They say they have no power because the Republicans have the majority. We disagree: and even if their votes will not be pivotal and sway the motion, they are not representing us. We want to protect our dreamers. Our dreamers registered and handed over personal information, at potentially great personal cost: and they are qualified, and productive – and we want them to stay. Including their families and communities, this affects millions.
The 22nd of December is when they are expecting a solution for Dreamers. We are watching. Our Senators have said that they are using the time to negotiate a dreamers act.

The WA Republican to contact

We need to pressure the Republicans: they control all of the committees because they have the majority.
We, in WA have a Republican Federal Representative who is continuously and actively pushing for this – Rep. Newhouse, Rep. for the Tri-cities and surrounding area: WA CD 4.
Two of his press releases:
“Newhouse Supports Legislative Protections for DREAMers” (January 2017): Newhouse.House.gov
“34 House Republicans Urge DACA Fix Before End of Year” (December 2017): Newhouse.House.gov
He is a good person to talk to – and like all of the other Reps, he is up for re-election in 2018. 😉

Tax Scam

Will there be a CBO score on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017? Actually, the CBO points to the Joint Committee on Taxation for information about the implications of the Act. Their analysis, putting the Senate and House versions side by side: JCT.gov. There will be 3 pro forma hearings about the bill.

<-- the lame bill that the Senate passed in the wee hours, with scribbles in the margin.

We don’t know if the Johnson amendment is in or out of the tax cuts bill. It would enable non-profits (including religious institutions, including churches) to promote opinions and monies toward political candidates.

We don’t know if the Republicans will get the votes to keep the Alternative Minimum Tax. The AMT ensures that when the wealthy take big deductions, they still have to pay a minimum. In Drumpf’s 2005 tax returns, he paid 36% in tax. Without AMT, he would have paid 5%.

Also, we don’t know if Rand Paul will vote for the tax scam, because he has said that he won’t vote for a bill that increases the deficit.

What Would Happen if the Government Shut Down?

Non-essential services would be shut down: some Members of Congress would temporarily lay staff off, parks would close, etc. “Government Shutdown: Explained with Examples”: theBalance.com / USAtoday.
The government is now financed through December 23rd.

The Budget

The Republican administration cannot get the Federal budget through with reconciliation (50 votes and the vice president’s). They will have to shoot for the standard 60 votes to pass it.

Leslie stood up to say that Sen. Franken resigning shows us that the ethics committee process takes too long, and it will not do its job. Senator Franken’s resignation opened the flood gates, and allows other Democrats to be attacked. The process takes too long, is stacked against the accused. We need the same ethical standards for politicians and us. Thank our senators for standing up for this. Legal process should deal with the accusations. Senator Murray’s statement about the issue: SeattleTimes.com.

Jones in in Alabama

Jones got elected into the Federal Senate seat representing Alabama on Tuesday night. This means that we have one more Democrat – and one less Republican – in the Senate. It was a special election to fill Jess Sessions’ seat so that he can commit treason in Congress.

Grasz Confirmed as 8th Circuit Judge in Nebraska

Senator Murray was totally against his appointment: Omaha.com.

CHIP & SNAP Funding

Washington State, and others have got funding as a stop-gap to ensure that children are covered. Jimmy Kimmel featured the CHIP program on his show: USAToday.com. Washington State’s funding runs out soon, though.

SNAP funding is taken care of through the Farm Bill. it comes up for the vote every 5 years. It comes up again in 2018.