Tuesday 3rd of April 2018

Updated 3pm Wednesday. 4/3/18 notes from visiting our senators’ staffers. The rally vids: 34.21 & 19.43.
3/27/18: notes & rally vid: 29.45. FAQs & Archive.

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

Met with

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

– No Tommy today. –
Tommy Bauer, Sen. Cantwell’s Seattle Outreach Director ~ Main P: (202) 224-3441 ~ F: (202) 228-0514

The Rally

The anti-war vigil has been here every Tuesday since 2006. The Veterans for Peace joined them this week, as they do once a month. Their site.
Their petition: Tell Congress: Trump cannot act on North Korea without congress: Action.VoteVets.org.












Each week, they read the names and hometowns of the soldiers from Washington who have been killed in overseas wars and ring a bell for each name.

Venezuela

The US has repeatedly attacked Venezuela by applying sanctions and interfering because they have a leftist government. “U.S. considering broad oil sanctions on Venezuela”: Reuters.com.
“US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has suggested Venezuela may face a military coup.”: BBC.com.
Their election is on May 20th and they may try to interfere: and now Bolton is the National Security Advisor. They interfered in the past: “The US Role in the Failed Attempt to Overthrow Hugo Chavez”: TeleSurTV.

Privatization of the Veteran’s Administration

Shulkin has been ousted as secretary of the VA. He “Warns of Privatization Push”: Bloomberg.com. Ronny L. Jackson is nominated to head the VA. More details in Shulkin’s op-ed: NYTimes.com.

Sen. Murray Will Fight Hard

Sen. Murray will work hard to protect our veterans. She has a staff member specifically working on veteran’s affairs: and Washington State veterans work hard to be heard. She is the first female on the Veteran’s Committee in the Senate. Her father was a World War II veteran and a Purple Heart recipient. When he got Multiple Sclerosis and was unable to work, the VA helped them. Also, when she was at WAZU, she did an internship at the psychiatric ward of the VA and saw Vietnam vets being treated: Murray.Senate.gov. More about her work for veterans: Murray.Senate.gov.

Letter to Reform Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Rules in Congress

Congress has different accountability rules because of the Congressional Accountability Act: Wikipedia.org.
Sen. Murray’s press release about it: Murrray.Senate.gov. The letter: Murray.Senate.gov.

Civil Justice

Overtime Pay Bill

S. 2177: Restoring Overtime Pay Act of 2017
Scott, Takano, Brown, Murray Introduce Bill To Expand Overtime Pay For Millions Of Workers: BobbyScott.House.gov. 11/30/17 it was introduced in the HELP Committee. That was its last action.

Teachers’ Strikes

“Teachers in multiple states have walked off the job or are making plans to do so after a statewide teachers’ strike in West Virginia last month yielded a pay raise and significant public support.”: NYTimes.com.

Preventing the Attack on the ADA

HR. 620: ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017
Sen. Duckworth wanted all senators to sign her letter to Schumer and McConnell. She got 42. The letter: Duckworth.Senate.gov. Sens. Murray and Cantwell have signed it. We thanked them! Sen. Duckworth on HR. 620: Curbed.com.

Protections for Workers’ Tips

Sen. Murray secured legislation in the omnibus budget bill stopping employers taking their workers’ tips. ‘Deal “Comes As a Sigh of Relief” For Workers’: HELP.Senate.gov.

She is the ranking (most senior Democrat) on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the Senate.

Military Force

45 Deploying Troops on the Mexican Border

He could deploy troops on the border. He is the commander in chief: WaPo. The Department of Homeland Security is understaffed: we can see that at the airport. About the caravan of people from central America moving through Mexico: CNN.com.

Authorization of Military Force

S.J.Res. 23: Authorization for Use of Military Force, from 2001
Both of our senators voted for it. It passed 98-0: Senate.gov. It enables ongoing wars in the middle east, and for the president to send troops without declaring war. It was a reaction to the September 11 attacks. There is no will in the Senate to stop it.

An Amendment to Stop It
Sen. Rand Paul proposed an amendment to stop it. The amendment: Static.Politico.com / Congress.gov. Sens. Murray and Cantwell voted against tabling it, but it was voted to be tabled 61-36. The roll call.

Iraq War
Sen. Murray voted against the war in Iraq. Sen. Cantwell vote for it: GovTrack.us. It passed 77-23.

Pompeo and Haspel

There are concerns about CIA Director Pompeo as Secretary of State; and Haspel as CIA Director: CNN.com.

Sentencing Committee Nominees

Two of the nominees for the Sentencing Committee are problematic: MotherJones.com.

Yemen

S.J.Res. 54: A joint resolution to direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.
Sens. Sanders and Lee brought a joint resolution to the Senate to stop spending US money on the war in Yemen. It was voted to table it (it failed, in other words) 55-44. Both of our senators voted against tabling it: Senate.gov

Russia Will Replace Its US Diplomats

Our senators should watch who replaces them closely.
“The State Department confirmed the United States and Russia can replace diplomats in each other’s countries who were expelled last week”: CNN.com.

Sen. Murray in State Work Period

Town Hall!

The senators are in State Work Period from Mar 26 – Apr 6, which means that they are in the state: Senate.gov. We would like a town hall.

In WA: Looking at Funding Childcare

Sen. Murray is looking at ways to provide affordable childcare. “The effects of low-quality child care are real: In Longview and Kelso, only 26 percent of children were considered ready for kindergarten last year, according to a 2017 state study.”: TDN.com.

In WA: Veterans

Sen. Murray is working for veterans. “Senator: Walla Walla VA’s low rating should be wake-up call”: Union-Bulletin.com.

In WA: Talking to Constituents

Sen. Murray “talked tariffs, dams, shoreline control and tennis shoes during a visit to the Tri-Cities”: Tri-CityHerald.com.

How She Communicates Online

We can see what she does on her Twitter account. Her Facebook account is a non-official source. Her Twitter feed is on her website.

How Many Calls Does She Get?

She gets less this week because it’s recess. When she asks us to, we react quickly: we are doing a good job.

Her Committee Assignments

Sen. Murray is ranking member (most senior in the Dems, a minority) in:
the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee &
the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education in the Appropriations Committee.
She is also on numerous other committees: Murray.Senate.gov.
She cannot help with teachers’ salaries because it is a localized problem.

Net Neutrality

No vote on net neutrality this week because the Senate is not in session. Net neutrality rules will officially end on April 23: Money.CNN.com. There are lawsuits pertaining to it: more.

Social Security

Social security is under attack because of the tax cuts. “By 2019 under current law, the federal government will be adding trillion-dollar deficits each year under Trump,”: Bloomberg.com. Baby boomers are aging and pressuring our financials: PaulRyan.House.gov. Sen. Murray is keen to protect Social Security. From her web site: Murray.Senate.gov.

Sinclair Merger

The Sinclair merger would put local TV stations under Sinclair’s authority, causing unacceptable levels of media consolidation; and they are mandating that newsreaders read certain statements, ‘must-runs’. A video showing many stations simultaneously saying ‘must-runs’: TheConcourse.DeadSpin.com. John Oliver episode about this: YouTube.com. Sinclair employees also say that they face high penalties in their contracts if they quit: Bloomberg.com.

Sen. Cantwell Sent a Letter

Sen. Cantwell has sent a letter to the relevant Congressional committees, along with other senators about it: Cantwell.Senate.gov. Sen. Murray has expressed her concern.

DACA


Sen. Murray: Twitter.com.
Senator Murray’s floor speech last December: “Eight hundred thousand people—including nearly 17,000 men and women, boys and girls, from my home state of Washington who shared their information, paid a large fee, and upheld their end of the bargain, only to have President Trump rip the rug out from under them three months ago when he and Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of the DACA program.”: Murray.Senate.gov. She is fighting to get extensions for those accessing the DACA program – and expediting the process.

Health Care

We need to take profits out of healthcare. We need to protect CHIP and lower pharmaceutical costs. Sen. Murray is working towards that.

Legislation Threatening Planned Parenthood

Last March: “Pence breaks tie to allow states to strip family-planning dollars from abortion providers”: WaPo.com.

Teen Pregnancy Program

“omnibus spending bill … protected funds for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program funding, providing $108 million for fiscal year 2018. Supporters cheered the change, but acknowledged that the funding is a temporary fix for a program whose longer-term future under President Donald Trump remains very much in doubt.”: PBS.org.

The Environment

Pruitt Undermining Scientific Underpinnings

Pruitt is taking away the requirement for the EPA to operate under the advice of scientists: Vox.com. Congressional Review Acts can be used to fix this.

Rolling Back Car Emissions Rules

Pruitt’s statement was suggesting to “roll back, Obama-era rules requiring automakers to hit ambitious emissions and mileage standards by 2025…its language suggesting that the Trump administration would take on California’s authority to set its own rules.”: NYTimes.com.


Sen. Murray’s tweet.

Previous Car Industry Bailout

Bush and Obama bailed out the auto industry: Reuters.com – is there a connection between this and the reduction in emissions standards?

Puget Sound Cleanup

Puget Sound cleanup was totally funded in the omnibus bill. Previously, it had been slashed by 92%. More information about Puget Sound cleanup: EPA.gov.

The Antiquities Act

S. 2354: ANTIQUITIES Act of 2018 A summary
Sen. Murray has cosponsored this bill. Sen. Cantwell has not. It has 20 Dem. cosponsors as of 4/4. It prevents 45 from shrinking national monuments.