Tuesday 27th of February 2018

2/27/18 Tuesday notes. Updated 3pm each Wednesday. The rally: 30:54. FAQs & Archive.
3/6/18: No meeting, the staffers have other meetings.

Senate Cloakroom & Dems: & web site / Sen. Murray: & her votes / Sen. Cantwell: & her votes

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

Dana Murray: Tommy Bauer, Senator Cantwell’s Seattle Outreach Director couldn’t join us this week.
Email: tommy_bauer@cantwell.senate.gov
Senator Cantwell: Email ~ P: (202) 224-3441 ~ F: (202) 228-0514

The Rally

We were on the news 🙂 Komo 4.


Nina Martinez

Nina Martinez from the Latino Civic Alliance spoke about the Washington State Dept. of Licensing’s shameful disclosure of personal information to ICE and what changes the Alliance and a large coalition of other immigrant rights organizations are asking to be made at DOL so that this never happens again. Seattle Indivisble is calling for Pat Kohler‘s resignation: she is the head of the DoL. More: King 5.

Please call 360-902-4111 or fax 360-753-4110 or email Gov. Inslee and ask that he calls for her resignation.


The rally: 30:54


Komo 4 was there! We were on the news 🙂 Komo 4.

DACA

Supreme Court ruling on DACA recipients allows program to continue: OregonLive.com

One of our participants asked if there was a new bill to protect our dreamers. We did not know. They said that Republicans took ages to resist Obamacare: and Democrats should give McConnell and Ryan a new bill for gun control and DACA every day to give them the opportunity to act on it – and show their lack of movement on it.

Gun Control

Sen. Murray on Guns

Sen. Murray is making gun control speeches this week. She made a statement last week. Research by the CDC into gun control has been banned. Her letter 2/27/18 to Azar asking for research into gun control: “Senator Murray Asks Trump Health Secretary for Details of Department’s Plan to Prioritize Gun Violence Research”: Murray.Senate.gov.

She is against automatic weapons and bump-stocks: Nov. ’17: “Senator Murray, Senate Democrats Introduce Assault Weapons Ban”: Murray.Senate.gov.

Sen. Murray commissioned a report about this last year: “According to the report, government-funded research is 0.7 percent of that for sepsis, another important health issue which has a comparable mortality rate,”: Murray.Senate.gov.

“1996 … Congress passed an amendment to a spending bill that forbade the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using money to ‘advocate or promote gun control.'”: TheAtlantic.com.

Sen. Cantwell on Guns

Sen. Cantwell supports an assault weapon ban. Her quotes from visiting Spokane recently:
“While Cantwell believes that Washington State law on closing the background check loophole and dealing with the mental health issue should be implemented at the federal level, It was a different story when she was asked about a full ban on rifles like the AR-15 ‘so no interest in the ban of certain?’ ‘thank you,’ said the senator.”: KHQ.com.

Both of our senators have an F from the NRA. Yay!: Patch.com.

Sen. Feinstein’s Gun Bill

S. 1916: Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act
It has no Republican cosponsors. It would stop bump stocks. Both of our senators are cosponsors.

Betsy DeVos May Have a Hearing

Sen. Murray is hoping that DeVos will have a hearing about gun control soon: “Senator Murray to Secretary DeVos: I Agree, Let’s Hold Hearings on School Shootings and Gun Safety”: Murray.Senate.gov.

Sen. Gillibrand

Sen. Gillibrand is very outspoken about gun violence. We want our senators to be more outspoken. Sen. Gillibrand: “This is unfathomable how many deaths we’ve had to see over and over and over again, and Congress has done nothing,”: TheHill.com.

Net Neutrality

Who to call: BattleForTheNet.com.
Operation #OneMoreVote was Tuesday Feb. 27: Act.FreePress.net.

Sen. Cantwell Introduced a CRA

We need one more senators’ vote to pass it. Sen. Cantwell had a press conference on Tuesday morning: Columbian.com. Her press release: Cantwell.Senate.gov. Sen. Markey is cosponsoring the same bill: TechCrunch.com.

more about net neutrality and the CRA.

Health Care

Opioid Use

In the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee, they had 6 of the 7 hearings on opioid use today. It was about technology: HELP.Senate.gov.

Senator Cantwell was speaking about preventing opioid abuse around the state this week: KitsapSun.com. She has merged her opioid bill from mid-February with the bill from Sen. Harris: Cantwell.Senate.gov.

The Murray-Alexander Bill

Sen.s Murray and Alexander are working on their stabilization bill: they have adjustments to make, since the tax scam bill removed the mandate.

The Mandate
“in order to insure people with pre-existing conditions at the same rates as healthy people of the same age, insurers need plenty of healthy consumers—those who pay premiums but don’t use much care—to subsidize the sick.

… It is worth noting that Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty remains in effect for 2018. The penalty for going uncovered for 2018 will be the same as this year: $695 per adult or 2.5% of household income in excess of tax filing thresholds, whichever is higher”: Time.com

Needed Health Care Funding

CHIP was funded in the January 23rd CR for 6 years; but these following programs lost funding at the same time as CHIP did.

2/6/18: Sen. Cantwell Joined a Letter to Protect CHCs

“Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined a bipartisan group of 66 senators in calling on Senate leadership to immediately reauthorize funding for community health centers.”
“By offering preventative care, treating chronic conditions, and working to fight the opioid epidemic, community health centers are not only greatly improving the health and well-being of those they serve, they are also saving significant taxpayer dollars.”: Cantwell.Senate.gov.

Community Health Care Centers

Community Health Centers run out of funding in April. This means that small clinics in rural areas will close, leaving people there with no care. We want that funding in the Continuing Resolution Bill coming up by February 8th. We also lost funding for the diabetes program for natives; the program of health care visitors visiting moms and kids; and the health training program.

“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

Teaching Health Care Centers

Teaching Health Care Centers: BHW.HRSA.gov. Sen. Murray’s tweet about this: “Your daily reminder that Republicans could have fully-funded our community & teaching health centers last week—or when funding for these vital centers lapsed last September—but chose instead to play politics with families’ health care. Again.”: Twitter.com.

Special Diabetes Programs for Indians

About the Special Diabetes Program for Indians: IHS.gov.
“In the face of drastic budget cuts to the Special Diabetes Programs for Indians, Navajo President Russell Begaye called on Congress and federal agencies to prioritize Indian health and allocate funding for essential programs Jan. 17.”: NhoNews.com.

Health Care Visitors for Mothers and Children

“Now that Congress has acted on CHIP, we urge a similar bipartisan approach to the other pressing child health issues that remain unresolved, such as the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), which serves at-risk pregnant women and parents with young children”: AAPPublications.org. More about MIECHV: MCHB.HRSA.gov

The Environment

When our senators are working on the infrastructure bill, please preserve NEPA and the Clean Air Act.
NEPA: EPA.gov; Clean Air Act: EPA.gov. The Democratic Blueprint takes the environment into account. The Blueprint: Democrats.Senate.gov.

Disability Rights

The Attack on the ADA

HR. 620: ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017
The Bill
“The bill prohibits civil actions based on the failure to remove an architectural barrier to access into an existing public accommodation unless: (1) the aggrieved person has provided to the owners or operators a written notice specific enough to identify the barrier, and (2) the owners or operators fail to provide the person with a written description outlining improvements that will be made to improve the barrier or they fail to remove the barrier or make substantial progress after providing such a description. The aggrieved person’s notice must specify: (1) the address of the property, (2) the specific ADA sections alleged to have been violated, (3) whether a request for assistance in removing an architectural barrier was made, and (4) whether the barrier was permanent or temporary.”

Sen. Murray’s press release
about HR. 620:
“Proposed attack on disability rights ‘misguided, harmful, and an embarrassment'”: HELP.Senate.gov.

It Was Voted Through the House
The House voted it through 225-192. The votes.
2.26.18 it got to the Senate. Many bills that get to the Senate from the House die. Next, it will be assigned: probably to the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee, of which Sen. Murray is the ranking member. If it is not voted out of committee, it will never get to the Senate floor. Also, Dana is working closely with a disability rights group. They are working hard to resist this bill.
How a bill becomes law: Scholastic.com.

Disability Integration Act

S. 910: The Disability Integration Act of 2017
This bill enables the disabled to stay in their own homes – rather than being in institutions, with a rigid schedule and rules. It has 15 Dem. cosponsors and one Independent. It was introduced by Sen. Schumer. It is in the HELP Committee, and Sen. Murray is its ranking member.

Neither of our senators are cosponsors of this helpful bill. They are not cosponsors of bills because: the bill is just introduced; and / or they are not familiar with it; or they have concerns about them. This legislation aligns with the Olmstead ruling, “a ruling that requires states to eliminate unnecessary segregation of persons with disabilities and to ensure that persons with disabilities receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.” (emphasis mine).

The Budget

Trump proposes replacing half of the benefits that SNAP recipients get with food chosen by the administration, mainly pre-packaged: NPR.org. They want to allow people to have ‘food boxes’. The administration are trying to cut its budget by 30%: CBPP.org. “Trump administration’s proposal to replace nearly half of poor Americans’ monthly cash benefits with a box of food. It would affect households that receive at least $90 a month in food stamps, or roughly 38 million people.”: Money.CNN.com.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps: FNS.USDA.gov.
The SNAP Program is funded through the FARM Bill, which is due to be re-authorized in 2019 by Congress: NIFA.USDA.gov. Original bill, HR. 2642.

Unless there is a change to the FARM Bill, it would continue to serve people when re-authorized.

FOSTA

HR. 1865: Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017
This bill has morphed from S. 1693, SESTA: Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017. It has been voted out of the House. roll call.

It is “to amend Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects websites from lawsuits over user-generated posts.”: EnGadget.com.

The concern about the bill is that in protecting victims of sexual crimes, it will affect the rights of social media sites such as Facebook: and restrict commenting.

Protecting Our Votes

Our senators should ask to see Trump’s tax returns; and protect us from Russian attacks on our democracy. The Senate Intelligence Committee should look into his finances; we don’t know what their investigation is looking into. Trump accused them of treason: that’s how you know there is something to find there.

What Are Our Senators Doing About it?

They have rolling floor speeches: like they did to protect dreamers, and with Chris Murphy’s filibuster a year or two ago.
Are there any limits on how many bills they can cosponsor? No.

The States’ Election Systems

Each state controls its own election system according to the Constitution: ConstitutionCenter.org.
Each state’s voting systems’ grades: AmericanProgress.org.
We should contact all SoSs and ask that they secure their voting systems: TheBalance.com.

2/27/18: “Cyber chief says he hasn’t received orders from Trump to disrupt Russian cyberattacks targeting elections”: TheHill.com.

Protecting Mueller’s Investigation

Sign up to rally if Mueller gets fired: here.
If Mueller gets fired, it will be a Constitutional crisis. We don’t know what actions any of us would take in a constitutional crisis. A constitutional crisis is when the system of checks and balances could be on the verge of breaking down. Maybe it has already happened: the White House is not implementing the sanctions against Russia (which passed the Senate 98-2) because of its interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Ten Reasons Why We Must Protect Mueller’s Investigation: standupamerica.

April of 2017

The Senate could stop Trump firing Mueller. In April 2017, to stop Trump firing Sessions and putting in a new AG to fire Mueller,
“the Senate has set up a series pro forma sessions. Essentially, they’ll gavel into session every few days — perhaps even for just minutes at a time — through Labor Day to keep the lights on.” CNN.com.

Tillis’ & Coons’ Bill

S.1741: Special Counsel Integrity Act
Senators Tillis & Coons have introduced bipartisan legislation to stop Trump being able to directly fire Trump. WaPo.

Graham & Booker’s Bill

S. 1735: Special Counsel Independence Protection Act
Senators Graham & Booker’s legislation “would require the judges panel to review any attorney general’s decision to fire a special counsel before that firing could take effect”: NationalReview.com.

Both bills are in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Please ask Rep. Grassley to take a vote on either to get them out of the committee and onto the Senate floor. No zip authentication required to email.
email Rep. Grassley Phone: 202-224-3744 Fax: 202-224-6020
Other republican members of the Judiciary Committee.

Please contact the senators involved to encourage their efforts:
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

Whilst we were in the meeting, “Kushner security clearance is downgraded”: CNN.com.

WA Voting Legislation

WVRA

Passed Congress: awaiting governor’s signature. Disables at-large voting, and enables minority communities to be represented. Spokesman.com.

Same-day Voter Registration

Passed Congress: awaiting governor’s signature. NWProgressive.org.

Automatic Voter Registration

Passed Congress: awaiting governor’s signature. SDC.WAStateLeg.org.

Do Our Senators Weigh in on WA Legislation?

Not usually. That is a different area of legislating. Sometimes they do though, when they want to hold legislation up as an example for what we could do Federally. An example from Sen. Cantwell, about gun legislation:
“I think what we need to do is take the good success that Washington state has done on closing the background loophole and dealing with the mental health issue and get those implemented at the federal level.”: KHQ.com.

“Wash. Gov tells Trump: We need less tweeting, more listening” – watch the fabulous clip here: Kiro7.

Republican Going Against Sen. Cantwell

‘Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson plans U.S. Senate run in Washington’: OregonLive.com: “It’s going to take a miracle to happen for me to win,” Gibson told roughly 100 supporters at the historic Red Cross Building at Fort Vancouver, a national park site near downtown. “But miracles happen in America every day.”‘