Tuesday 9th of January 2018

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 12/19: notes & rally: 36:37. 2 meetings’ gap due to Holidays. Other Tuesdays’ notes.

These notes from January 9th 2017 from all attendees; calls to action and links provided by me. Rally vid: 21:14.
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

Net Neutrality

On the CRA to ensure net neutrality, Sen. Murray cosponsored it Monday (January the 8th) night: Markey.Senate.gov. 40 Senators have now. It took 30 to take it to the floor. When it is on the Senate floor, it takes 51 votes to pass the CRA. Sen. Cantwell had a net neutrality press conference this morning (Tuesday 9th Jan). It is on her Twitter feed: 2:04. Sen. Murray’s tweet about it: Twitter.
About CRAs.

Nominations

Andrew Puzder

is being considered for a position in the cabinet. In 2017, he withdrew his nomination as the nominee as the head of the Office of Management and Budget because he battered his wife. “Puzder pulls his nomination, Murray celebrates on Senate floor” SeattlePI.com.
Senator Murray is fighting this nomination. Politico.com.
His wife’s interview about the abuse: TheGuardian.com.

Alex Azar

is being nominated. Sen. Murray’s tweet about him. his nomination for health and social services was rejected because his previous job was focused on harming patients: Politico.com.

There are unqualified people being nominated for district judge positions. The hearings are all on the judiciary committee and our Senators have no access to them.

Health Care

Opioid Crisis

There is a hearing coming up on the opioid crisis in the HELP committee regarding families and treatment. Please tell Sen. Murray your stories: and tell her about the things that clinics have found to be successful to combat the epidemic. Her tweet about what she saw at a hospital in Longview: Twitter. Sen. Murray’s Jan. 9th press release about this: Murray.Senate.gov.

CHIP

It is the 100 day anniversary of losing CHIP funding. Sen. Murray will speak about this on Thursday. Please share stories about how the loss of CHIP funding would affect you. “If Congress fails to reauthorize CHIP at the current level, Washington will face a near $200 million dollar loss in federal funding.” from 50StatesofBlue.com.

Sen. Murray wants CHIP funding included in the CR.

Higher Ed. Campus Issues

Sen. Murray is looking at accessibility to higher education and regulations against sexual assault in the next few months.

Dreamers

If there is no Continuing Resolution before January 19th, the government will shut down. Nancy Pelosi is asking senators to vote against it and shut down the government unless we have a dream act in place. The DREAM Act: the Senate bill: S. 1615 the House bill: HR. 3440.

the Infrastructure Bill

The Infrastructure bill is expected from the administration on the 15th.

The infrastructure bill needs to include water treatment, VA facilities and internal infrastructure. Bridges and roads are sexier than the basics underground – but it is all important. Sen. Murray was on the subcommittee for housing. Now she’s the ranking member in the infrastructure committee.

The Blueprint to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure: PDF.

Can Democrats please unite and write an infrastructure bill to take leadership on this?
They could show the press – and John McCain – a return to normal process. They could have unofficial committee meetings.
The Blueprint (above) does that. Purportedly, there is a bill in the House like that. I couldn’t find it.

P3s

P3s are Private-Partnership Partnerships where there is potential for the administration to sell public property or rights to private entities and then ensure that the public pays toll to use roads / bridges / parks. P3s: Cato.org.

Surveillance

The NSA will act this week on a surveillance bill. The Senators need to watch for this.
“The bill reforms Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to end warrantless backdoor searches of Americans’ calls, emails, texts and other communications that are routinely swept up under a program designed to spy on foreign targets.” from Wyden.Senate.gov. S. 1997 ~ HB. 4124

An Amendment to Protect Us From Citizen’s United

The Citizen’s United decision was in 2010. The Supreme Court can uphold the ruling again. We need more Democratic Senators to change that.
In Washington State, initiative 735 passed. Do the Senators support a Federal Constitutional Amendment? We need a resolution in the Senate the same as the one in the House (HR. 343).

Senator Murray wants to get rid of Citizen’s United. She is cosponsor of a bill in the Senate for transparency in social media advertising funding. This does not limit how much money is involved in politics. The Stranger article about it.
Senator Cantwell has been involved in the McCain-Feingold legislation

N. Korea Threat

We want our Senators to keep us safe from the threat of North Korea. The CDC is having a meeting on January 16th about how to protect people from a nuclear attack: “Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation”: CDC.gov. Senator Murray does not like Drumpf’s rhetoric: but we need a plan.

Town Halls

People said a few things about whether town halls are planned by the Senators. Our town hall style meetings (like this one) on Tuesday are an ideal forum – and in a big town hall you may not get your questions answered. There was a recommendation that the Senators at least have an AMA on Reddit to discuss the issues: to enable people at work to be heard. We can also email, call and fax. She had town halls in summer 2017 and a Twitter town hall on net neutrality on Twitter on Dec. 19th: Twitter.com.

Our Senators’ staffers are extremely responsive – that is their job. Their emails: Kate_baumgartner@murray.senate.gov & tommy_bauer@cantwell.senate.gov.

How Can we Protect our Coasts from Offshore Drilling?

Senator Cantwell has introduced a bill with Sen. Murray: Energy.Senate.gov. They issued a joint press release. Senator Rubio of Florida is against the drilling, along with many others.

Marijuana

Senator Murray will protect its use by those of age who use it legally in Washington State.
Both Senators have written a letter to the Department of Justice about it: Murray.Senate.gov.

It is the last week to enroll for health care on the marketplaces. Senator Murray has promoted it on Twitter.

Kate, Sen. Murray’s staffer (on right) with constitutents

There is also Special Enrollment.
“You qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you’ve had certain life events, including losing health coverage, moving, getting married, having a baby, or adopting a child.” From: Healthcare.gov.

Puerto Rico

Since Hurricane Maria, there is Federal shortage of IV bags because the factory in Puerto Rico that makes them was damaged. This has driven their price up. Hospitals are struggling to cope. ‘Most hospitals have resorted to administering medications through “IV push”, a procedure that requires a nurse to inject the drugs directly into an IV line. The change in procedure has been “frustrating and stressful for nurses” ‘: TheGuardian.com

Salvadorans

200, 000 Salvadorans will lose their TPS status in 18 months. What will the Senators do? Will there be a bill to protect them? We don’t know.

ICE Separating Families

There is a new ICE policy where they separate families when they come into the country to discourage families from trying to come in. The Senators can help to stop Washington State families from being separated by writing a request for stay of removal. Please contact them if you need that. Sen. Murray’s tweet about this: Twitter.