Tuesday 1st of May 2018

Updated 3pm Wednesday. 5/1/18 notes from visiting our senators’ staffers. The rally vid: 24.56
4/24/18 notes from our meeting to discuss enriching the meetings: PDF. FAQs & Archive.

Sens. Murray & Cantwell. Senate Reps & Dems ~ Their votes: Sens. Murray & Cantwell ~ Senate Dems site

Met with


Kate Baumgartner, Sen. Murray’s Seattle Director ~ Main P: (202) 224-2621 / (866) 481-9186 ~ F: (202) 224-0238

No Tommy today: he was elsewhere in WA. Our senators are in WA this week.
Tommy Bauer, Sen. Cantwell’s Seattle Outreach Director ~ Main P: (202) 224-3441 ~ F: (202) 228-0514


Our rally


Tae sang 🙂


Kati Wilkins talked about the opioid crisis

New Format for Meetings

Last week rally attendees discussed a change in format to the meetings with the senators’ staffers to focus on around 3 issues to encourage more in depth conversation with Kate (Senator Murray’s staffer), and Tommy (Cantwell’s). We will email them a week ahead to allow them to prepare. Topics decided upon for this week included Puerto Rico, Net Neutrality, and the opioid crisis.

Please suggest topics for future meetings!
To join the Slack group, please email holly@hollybrewer.com.
Notes from our meeting: PDF.

Stopping Mueller’s Investigation Being Attacked

Our senators can’t cosponsor this legislation in the Judiciary committee because it is bipartisan, and they want to keep it that way and not have too many of one party cosponsoring it.

Senators Tillis & Coons have introduced bipartisan legislation to stop Trump being able to directly fire Trump: S.1741. Senators Graham & Booker have too. Their legislation “would require the judges panel to review any attorney general’s decision to fire a special counsel before that firing could take effect”: More about both here.

The four senators have merged their legislation to make it bipartisan and asked Sen. McConnell to take it for a vote: TheHill.com. Sen. McConnell does not want the Senate to vote on it.

Rep. Grassley has taken a vote on the new merged bill in the committee to get it onto the Senate floor. It passed: CNN.com.
No zip authentication required to email.
email Rep. Grassley Phone: 202-224-3744 Fax: 202-224-6020
To thank them:
email Tillis: Phone: (202) 224-6342 Fax: (202) 228-2563
email Coons: Phone: (202) 224-5042
email Graham: Phone: (202) 224-5972 Fax: (202) 224-3808
email Booker: Phone: (202) 224-3224 Fax: (202) 224-8378

Sen. Murray’s Pharma $

Sen. Murray receives a large amount of funding from pharmaceutical companies. In this election cycle, she received $1,275,284 from health companies: VoteSmart.org.

AG Ferguson’s Lawsuit Against Purdue

Sen. Murray’s response to the lawsuit by WA A.G. Bob Ferguson against oxycontin producer Purdue Pharma was questioned because of the contributions that her campaign accepts. The lawsuit: “accuses Purdue Pharma of fueling the drug epidemic in Washington with a massive marketing campaign.” SeattlePI.com.

Net Neutrality

The Resolution of Disapproval

5.9 Sen. Markey is bringing a resolution of disapproval to the Senate floor for a vote. It is a tactic from the CRA: and requires 30 signatures to bring a bill to the floor if it has sat for more than 20 days without action. About the resolution: DailyDot.com

They have the signatures for it in Senate Joint Resolution 52.

SJR. 52

as of 5.2: “the Office of Management and Budget has to approve the new order” (removing net neutrality) “, which it hasn’t done. Once that happens, we’ll get another notice in the Federal Register. And that’s when we’ll know for sure when the ISPs will be able to legally start changing their actions.: GizModo.com. “Basically, the OMB has to ensure that any new ways the FCC requires broadband providers and ISPs to collect information do not place an undue burden on them.”: TheRoot.com.

more.

2015

2.26: Net neutrality rules put into place: ObamaWhiteHouse.Archives.gov.

2017

12.14: The ruling against net neutrality from the FCC: TechCrunch.com

2018

2.22: It was registered in the Federal Register: TheVerge.com.

4.23: The Federal Register rules indicate that Congress had 60 legislative days to stop the repeal of the rules taking effect by this date: FederalRegister.gov. They could use the Congressional Review Act to do it: TheVerge.com.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is still suffering, 7 months after Hurricane Maria. The Department of Education is giving them $589 million: ABCNews.Go.com. It is not enough.


Sen. Murray’s tweet

Documentary

Frontline and NPR have a documentary about this: NPR.org.

Make Puerto Rico a State

Puerto Rico is not getting funding to enable their 3.3m American citizens to have infrastructure and safety to live their lives: PBS.org.

PR should become a state: so that their constituents’ votes count – and they are taken better care of – and they will probably elect democrats. Hawaii and Alaska became states through a simple majority vote in Congress and confirmation by the president. PR have lobbied for this and failed. When democrats have the majority they need to make it happen: and to make Washington DC a state: PDF. Hawaii becoming a state: SmithsonianMag.com Alaska becoming a state: Learning.Blogs.NYTimes.com.

Nominees

Jackson For the VA

Earlier this week, Trump’s nominee to head the Dept of Veteran’s Affairs Ronny Jackson withdrew his nomination due to allegations of mismanagement and mistreatment of employees, the unlawful dispensing of prescription medication, and personal misconduct while he was the White House physician. Even before the allegations, serious questions were being raised about his overall fitness for the post: RollingStone.com.

Sen. Murray Calls Out Poor Nominees

Jackson’s nomination follows a pattern of extremely lax vetting of nominees to high-level posts in the Trump Administration. Sen. Murray is just one of our senior officials exasperated by the stream of poorly vetted candidates for top posts: CBSNews.com.

Pompeo for SoS

Sen. Murray lobbied against confirming Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State: YouTube.com.

Supporting the NLRB

Sen. Murray co-wrote a letter with Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) to the White House Office of Management and Budget, urging them to follow the law and not defund the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB is an independent government agency responsible for enforcing labor law in relation to collective bargaining and unfair labor practices. The letter: HELP.Senate.gov.

Sen. Murray grilled John ring as nominee to head the NLRB: HELP.Senate.gov. He was voted in.

Fun fact: the NLRB office in Seattle is across the hall from Senator Murray’s office: and they work hard 🙂

The CDC Director’s Salary

Sen. Murray voiced strong concerns about the high salary of the current director of the Center for Disease Control: TheHill.com.

Senator Murray is the ranking senator for healthcare in the HELP Committee, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. This means that she is the second in seniority, as the senior democrat in the committee.

Opioid Crisis

S. 2680: Opioid Crisis Response Act (OCRA)
Sen. Murray’s and Sen. Lamar Alexander’s bipartisan Opioid Crisis Response Act was passed unanimously out of the HELP Committee and is notable for its patient/family/community-centered health focus, compared to the administration’s law enforcement approach.
Sen. Murray’s statement: HELP.Senate.gov. Video of her speech in committee: YouTube.com. Committee hearing 4/24: HELP.Senate.gov.

Funding For OCRA

There is $3.3bn allocated for it from the omnibus bill: TheHill.com. This is not enough. The Council of Economic Advisors said that in 2015 it would take $504billion to fully solve the problem. Their Nov. 2017 report: WhiteHouse.gov. There is $100bn allocated for treatment of those with HIV / AIDS, for context.

Synopsis

Reauthorize and improve grants to states and Indian Tribes for prevention, response, and treatment of the opioid crisis, authorized in 21st Century Cures, for three more years.

Spur development and research on of non-addictive painkillers, and other strategies to prevent, treat, and manage pain and substance use disorders through additional flexibility for the NIH.

Clarify FDA’s regulatory pathways for medical product manufacturers through guidance for new non-addictive pain and addiction products.

Encourage responsible prescribing behavior by clarifying FDA authority to require packaging and disposal options for certain drugs, such as opioids to allow a set treatment duration—for example “blister packs,” for patients who may only need a 3 or 7 day supply of opioids—and give patients safe disposal options.

Improve detection and seizure of illegal drugs, such as fentanyl, through stronger FDA and Customer Border Protection coordination.

Clarify FDA’s post-market authorities for drugs, such as opioids, which may have reduced efficacy over time, by modifying the definition of an adverse drug experience to include such situations.

Provide support for states to improve their Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) and encourage data sharing between states so doctors and pharmacies can know if patients have a history of substance misuse.

Strengthen the health care workforce to increase access to mental health services in schools and community-based settings and to substance use disorder services in under-served areas.

Authorize CDC’s work to combat the opioid crisis, including providing grants for states, localities, and tribes to collect data and implement key prevention strategies.

Address the effects of the opioids crisis on infants, children, and families, including by helping states improve plans of safe care for infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome and helping to address child and youth trauma.

Authorize the Department of Labor to address the economic and workforce impacts for communities affected by the opioid crisis, through grants targeted at workforce shortages for the substance use and mental health treatment workforce, and to align job training and treatment services.

Improves treatment access to patients by requiring the Drug Enforcement Administration to issue regulations on how qualified providers can prescribe controlled substances in limited circumstances via telemedicine.

Allow hospice programs to safely and properly dispose of unneeded controlled substances to help reduce the risk of diversion and misuse.

Longer summary: Murray.Senate.gov