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 1/16: notes & rally: 34:20. Other Tuesdays’ notes.
These notes from January 23rd 2018 from all attendees; calls to action and links provided by me. Rally vid: 19:40.
New information in the meeting is black.
Government Shutdown is Done
The vote for a Continuing Resolution to fund the government for 3 weeks passed 81-18 (Sen. McCain is sick).
It does not include or mandate passing the Dream Act, protection for our DACA residents – S 1615 & HR 3440: although these are the clean dream bills that Sen. McConnell agreed to bring to the floor before the next CR / budget bill. This bill is applicable through February 8th. Why push for these particular bills? TheHill.com.
What is in the CR?
‘the bill includes language to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years, a provision that allows the Department of Defense to provide funding for “Missile Defeat and Defense Enhancements” activities, and extensions of several health care-related tax provisions.’ from: Appropriations.House.gov
Clean Dream Act
What is a clean dream act? Nat’l Immigrant Law Center: PDF.
The Dream Act: S 1615 in the Senate & HR 3440 in the House.
Why Are Our Senators Not Cosponsors?
The senators are unable to cosponsor S. 1615 until another Republican cosponsors it – they are on the list to do so – but to keep it bipartisan every time a Democrat cosponsors it, a Republican has to – kind of like when you need a date for a dance. It has 3 out of 7 Republican cosponsors – Murkowski, Gardner & Flake. Please still tell the senators how the Dream Act personally affects you so that they can use your stories on the Senate floor.
Some other health care funding is still needed and community health care centers still need funding.
“the nation’s health centers are funded with $1.5 billion from discretionary funds … However, this fund expired September 30, 2017 leaving America’s 1,400+ health center organizations to face a 70% cutback in program funding, if Congress doesn’t act.”: NACHC.org
Who Voted for the CR?
Sen. Murray & Sen. Cantwell, and 79 colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
Only 16 Dems voted no. Their contact information.
Sen. Cantwell has no statement about her vote as of 1/23.
Sen. Murray’s statement:
One DREAM Act in the House
We only need 22 more signatures on this discharge petition to get one of the Dream Acts to the floor in the House with this bill: HR.1084. It has 29 Democrats as cosponsors and no Republicans.
We need more than half the representatives and Sen. McConnell to get it through. Democrats have 193 representatives, and Republicans 239: PressGallery.House.gov.
If you saw Legally Blonde 2, you may know what a discharge petition is, lol!
Comments About Our Senators’ Votes on the CR
We need short and more pointed statements.
We need a statement about MoCs using CHIP as a bargaining point.
More than 80% of people want our DACA recipients to be taken care of. 87% according to: CNN.
That our senators voted yes was good because we want them to be voted back in in 2018.
On Friday united Democrat senators stood for up for their principles and on Monday they backed away. Why?
Monday was the first time that McConnell committed to getting a vote on the dreamer bill.
It has brought the conversation of the dreamers to the front – and it will show Sen. McConnell’s true colors if he keeps his promise.
We couldn’t trust McConnell if he said he was leaving a burning building.
Senators have personally spoken to DACA recipients and said they would be their champion. Now they want a face to face meeting. Our senators need to fight. Once these people lose their protection it is permanent. They leave. Up to 983 people could lose protection each day: CNN.
Democrats need better messaging – they need to make it clear that they want the Dream Act so that they can protect our qualified and law-abiding residents. Nate Silver’s tweet about this: ‘”Message 1—”The shutdown is Republicans’ fault.” Message 2—”It’s worth shutting down the government because DACA, etc. is so important.” Instead, there’s been a roughly even mix of both. And those messages sort of contradict one another.’
They can lose donations and supporters like this.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) stood up and we were in a strong position. Watch the moment Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) tried to pass a bill guaranteeing military pay and death benefits during the gov’t shutdown — and GOP leader Mitch McConnell blocked it: 1:30 Then Sen. Schumer backed down.
Older people need to step down especially in Democratic leadership. We need more representatives like Harris and Booker.
Washington Dreamers Coalition went to Olympia recently to ask for protections: it is disappointing that our senators voted for the CR and did not stick up for them.
I don’t think our senators understand the Hispanic issue is personal to all of us. We all have friends / neighbors / colleagues who are affected. And they didn’t have to vote for it because 81 senators voted for it; they could have voted against it. 79 yea votes would have passed it.
How about our senators have no other legislation pass until we get a clean dream act? They can’t stop all legislation going through or say that they are trying to stop legislation.
We had the Women’s March this Saturday and then got out the vote on Sunday. We had 150 volunteers getting out the vote. Monday sucked. We will still fight along with you: but we want our senators to know that we want our dreamers protected.
Ezra Levin of Indivisible on the CR vote: ‘“This deal was morally reprehensible and political malpractice. It’s Senator Schumer’s job to keep the caucus together and fight for progressive values. He failed in that today,” said Indivisible co-founder Ezra Levin. “The big blue wave that Schumer hopes will make him Senate majority leader in 2019 will not build itself.”’: FoxNews.com & NYT Opinion.
Alicia lives in Lynnwood. She cleans for a living. Her children are 8, 7 and 3 years old and live with her and her mom . The children are citizens. She should not be deported.
We need to talk about racism.
We need to frame it like that: call it racism.
The DACA people are the easiest to advocate for.
The Dream act is the bill to root for. It’s S.1615 & HR.3440.
McConnell committed specifically to that bill when they made the deal and the Democrats voted for the CR. We will keep watching.
Systemic and institutional racism is throughout our country. Our senators are part of that system. Are our senators working along with the system or are their actions working against? Racism is how Drumpf got in And what the GOP stands for. They should call it out. That is what we want to see: them using that word.
White House Budget Priorities
The White House insists on 3 things: money for the wall; ending family reunification; and an end to the lottery visa program. Where is the middle ground? How will our senators work with or against this? We don’t know.
(Please note: about family reunification, originally this was said as chain migration. Chain migration is a Republican framing phrase to infer that there is a malicious and intentional system happening.)
The wall: “Mr Drumpf claims the total cost of the wall will be $10bn … to $12bn. But estimates from fact checkers and engineers seem to be universally higher … Mitch McConnell estimated it will cost between $12-15bn … A study by the Washington Post estimated the cost of the president’s wall would be closer to $25bn.”: BBC.com
About the lottery visa program “About 500,000 people have come to the United States through the program since 2007” WaPo. That’s 50, 000 a year.
20 million immigrants came to reunify families from 1981-2016 (35 years): CIS.org. That’s 571, 429 a year.
The individual mandate from the ACA was repealed in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. About the mandate: NYTimes.com.
Murray and Alexander are pushing for provisions to stabilize it in other ways.
You can’t stabilize a program that only sick people apply to and belong to. More at SADfor.us.
Radio stations and other media outlets are being bought by Conservative groups.
We need an accurate census report and census director. The census director quit last year: NYTimes. The census is due in 2020.
Alex Azar is being heard for Secretary of HHS on Wednesday. Sen. Murray is against it. Her tweet: “Mr. Azar’s belief that employer ideology should trump women’s health care decisions is one of many reasons he is exactly the wrong choice for Secretary of Health.”: Twitter.com. He was voted in on Wednesday: Democrats.Senate.gov.
We want town halls.
Have the sanctions in Russia been enforced? We don’t know.
Drumpf is insane. There is legislation being worked on to take him from office. The 25th Amendment of the Constitution was written for this. BusinessInsider.com.
What will our senators do about attending the State of the Union? We don’t know. Senator Murray wants people to focus more on her legislation to stop sexual assault and protect women.
Rosie O’Donnell’s tweet said that Sen. Murray was always frowning. Sen. Murray’s Senate seat is right behind Sen. Schumer’s, so she is often in the spotlight. The best response was “she is America”. 🙂