Tuesday June 19 2018

Updated 3pm Wednesday. 6/19/18 notes from visiting WA’s senators’ staffers. Rally vid: 33:00. Deep dive questions
6/12 notes & rally vid: 38.41. FAQs & Archive. Online info about our senators.
By Holly Brewer and Loren Bast.

Please note: the meeting 6/26/18 will be from 11.30-12.15 because we are rallying with Maru at 12.30 at 1000 2nd Ave. More: 11.30-12.15 meeting & Maru’s rally & about Maru

Met with


Kate Baumgartner, Sen. Murray’s Seattle Director ~ Main P: (202) 224-2621 / (866) 481-9186 ~ F: (202) 224-0238
Tommy Bauer, Sen. Cantwell’s Seattle Outreach Director ~ Main P: (202) 224-3441 ~ F: (202) 228-0514

Tuesday’s Rally


Sylvia Gonzalez of Women without Borders and Casa Latina. The rally vid: 33:00


Kate Baumgartner, Sen. Murray’s staffer read Sen. Murray’s statement about this.

Separating Families at the Southern Border

Actions we can take: Google Doc.

The vileness of the Trump administration sunk to even lower depths this week, as thousands of immigrant babies and children were separated from their families at the border between Texas and Mexico. The children were housed in converted Walmart stores, tents, and behind cages (chain-link fences) while their parents were sent to federal jails awaiting trial. These immigrants included asylum seekers, who the administration claims they are allowing to stay united; however, the ACLU has filed class-action suits claiming the contrary: ACLU.org.

6/20 Executive Order Stopping the Separations

Today (6/20/18), Trump has signed an executive order putting an end to the separations: but the order is likely to encounter its own challenges: Time.com. It’s unknown how quickly the separation policy will be enacted; how many families will ultimately be affected; and if families currently separated will be allowed to reunite.

For Profit Detention Centers

” Private prison lobbyists have focused on persuading Congress to maintain a federal quota that requires the detention of a certain number of immigrants at all times.”: Slate.com.

‘due to a surge in illegal border crossings and the Justice Department’s “zero-tolerance” policy — designed to discourage illegal border crossings — the agency needed to acquire access to more than 1,600 beds in Bureau of Prisons Facilities… (including) 209 beds in SeaTac;’ KomoNews.com.

Nielsen says it is Nothing to do With Her


Nielsen, Secretary of the HHS says that toddlers being taken away from their families and handed to DHS are their problem: Twitter.com.
Nielsen being mocked by resisters at a Mexican restaurant last (Tuesday) night: Twitter.com.

Trump Yelled at HHS Secretary

In May: “Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, told colleagues she was close to resigning after President Trump berated her on Wednesday in front of the entire cabinet for what he said was her failure to adequately secure the nation’s borders”: NYTimes.com.

The most damaging thing that families can go through is when they don’t know when they will see each other: Vox.com. We need CPS to be able to arrive unannounced so that we know that the children are cared for.

How do we Protest Families Being Separated?

The abuse is caused by policy – even though the border guards are the ones separating families. We are reporting against the federal government. We need to contact republican senators.

Guns in Central America from the US

People leave central America as a result of guns from the USA infiltrating their communities.

An article about this: “a “straw buyer.” “I developed a group of customers,” he said … “And it dawned on me one day that they were all Hondurans; and that they all seemed to want the same type of guns; and they all seemed to want more and more.” By the time he was caught, Crumpler had resold roughly a thousand guns, including Glocks and AR-15 assault rifles. He eventually agreed to coöperate with American authorities in exchange for a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence.”: NewYorker.com.

US Pulls out of Human Rights Council

‘The US has pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, calling it a “cesspool of political bias”.’: BBC.com.

We request that our senators do not cave in immigration bill: and do not negotiate with terrorists (our administration).

Propaganda From the WH

This is from an email this week from the White House: bending the ‘separating families’ rhetoric to nonsense extremes:

Protests Against Separating Families at the Border

Sen. Schumer and Leading Democrats

6/19/18: Sen. Schumer with leading Democrats – including Sen. Murray – spoke out about the separation of families at the border: C-Span.org.

In Seattle

There was a huge rally at Westlake Center on Sunday to protest against families being separated at the border: King5.com. Kate was there!

2 Sweeping Immigration Bills

– that don’t address family separation. More: Vox.com

Call!

Senator Cantwell received 1,000 phone calls this morning. This is the kind of action that changes laws.
Please also contact republican senators – by phone or email. No zip code required: Senate.gov.

Keep Families Together Act

Sen. Feinstein has introduced the Keep Families Together Act to stop this. It got to the senate recently: Feinstein.Senate.gov PDF. It is a basic attempt to stop separating families: and shouldn’t be controversial.
31 senators have joined her, including Sens. Murray and Cantwell: Feinstein.Senate.gov. It will take a week or two to do markup.

Sen. Murray’s Statement
“As a mother and grandmother, the idea of having your child taken from you and sent away is an absolute nightmare—and the idea that this Administration is using this as a so-called ‘deterrent strategy’ is horrifying and unacceptable,”: Murray.Senate.gov.

Sen. Cantwell’s Statement
“I am concerned about the detainees who were moved to SeaTac. The Trump Administration’s policy of separating children from their parents is inhumane and contrary to American values. Congress must take immediate action to end this cruel and senseless policy,”: Cantwell.Senate.gov.

A Letter from 40 Senators to the Trump Administration

“This policy has traumatized children who are fleeing extreme violence. Our government has a humanitarian duty to the children and families seeking asylum in the United States to end this policy immediately.”: Murray.Senate.gov. The letter: Cantwell.Senate.gov PDF.

Sen. Murray questions Azar about this in the HELP committee: at 6:25.

The Illegality

The Judges’ rulings; use of jail cells; and detention centers’ enacting the policy of separating families is all in violation of state and Federal laws.

The ACLU
The American Civic Liberties Union have challenged families being separated. June 6th, a federal judge allowed the suit to move forward: HuffPo.com. It will take months.

The United Nations
“The Trump administration’s practice of separating children from migrant families entering the United States violates their rights and international law, the United Nations human rights office said on Tuesday, urging an immediate halt to the practice.”: NYTimes.com.

June 9th, Saturday at the Detention Center


Gov. Inslee, AG Ferguson, Dow Constantine, Rep. Jayapal and others were at the detention center.
The press conference: King5.com. The rally, with about 1, 000 people present: Facebook.com.

Rep. Jayapal Went Into the Seatac Detention Center
“Nearly all of those migrants — 174 out of 206 — were women, said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who spent about three hours Saturday morning meeting with the recently moved detainees at the SeaTac facility.

Most of them were from Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, she said, but there were also people from as far away as Eritrea. Many spoke of fleeing threats of rape, gang violence and political persecution, Jayapal said.”: WaPo.com. “She asked how many were mothers who had been forcibly separated from their children: More than half of the women raised their hands.”

Legislation Introduced by Sens. Kaine & Warner

This is the ‘Keeping Families Together Act’: Kaine.Senate.gov.
“Separating children from their parents at the border, many of them coming here desperate to escape the terrible violence in their countries, is a policy that is directly at odds with the fundamental values of this nation.” said Sen. Warner: Kaine.Senate.gov.

More.

Recissions of Spending in the Omnibus Bill

This administration has decided to pull back some spending allocated in the omnibus bill, including CHIP funding. It is allowable up to 45 legislative days after the omnibus bill on June 22nd, this Friday. Then any challenges to the appropriations are no longer allowed. There are restrictions on what funding they can pull back: RollCall.com. The omnibus bill: Vox.com.

About the CHIP Program

The Children’s Health Insurance Program is an insurance program that provides low-cost health coverage to children in families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to buy private insurance. In some states, CHIP covers pregnant women. It covers 9 million children.
HealthCare.gov.

The Minibus

HR. 5895: Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019
“The House passed a roughly $147 billion three-bill fiscal 2019 spending package on a partisan 235-179 vote Friday, overcoming Democratic objections to environmental policy riders and funding priorities in the GOP-drafted Energy-Water title.”: RollCall.com. How did your Rep. vote? Clerk.House.gov.

National Asking Saves Kids Day

June 21,Thursday is Asking Saves Kids Day. Please ask your children if their friends have guns: and find out if they are locked up.
Asking Saves Kids day: BradyCampaign.org. More: AskingSavesKids.org.

Sen. Murray Supported the GAO Report About this Last Year

“GAO Report Validates Brady Center’s ASK Program As Most Effective National Safe Storage Awareness Program”: PRNewsWire.com.

Sen. Murray’s Opioid Bill

Sen. Murray’s Opioid Bill is Working Through the Senate.

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

The Farm Bill

The Senate Version

HR. 2: Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018
The House version of the Farm Bill failed in the House. The Senate Version of the Farm Bill came out last week.
More about the bill:
“If Congress does nothing at all on the farm bill, crop insurance, which is permanently authorized, would continue. SNAP, which is reauthorized under the farm bill, would continue through appropriations. The food stamp program, which serves more than 40 million people a year, accounts for nearly 80 percent of farm bill spending.

However, an extension could be complicated because 39 programs in the farm bill, including ones popular with urban and suburban lawmakers such as organic agriculture and farmers market programs, would lose funding after Sept. 30. If included in an extension, it would take $2.8 billion over five years to save all the expiring programs. Appropriators could decide to save all, several or none of them.”

RollCall.com.

About the CHIP Program

The Children’s Health Insurance Program is an insurance program that provides low-cost health coverage to children in families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to buy private insurance. In some states, CHIP covers pregnant women. It covers 9 million children.
HealthCare.gov.

Puerto Rico

“FEMA … is granting Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello’s request for an unconditional extension of the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program until June 30

Since October, FEMA has provided hotel rooms for more than 7,000 families through the TSA program and is continuing to help those in need find longer-term housing solutions. Approximately 2,300 families remain in TSA-participating hotels in more than 30 states and Puerto Rico.”: FEMA.gov.

NDAA Repeals Pay Restrictions on Ship Workers

“Provisions pushed by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) to repeal restrictive per diem regulations on shipyard workers traveling for temporary duty assignments passed the Senate yesterday as part of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The change would impact roughly 800 workers at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard who travel to Guam and Japan every year to help with work.” VoteSmart.org.

Conversation on Tariffs

Hearings in the Senate Finance Committee: C-Span.org. More about the tariffs: WaPo.com.

Trudeau on the Tariffs

“Canada Responds To Steel Tariffs By Imposing Dollar-For-Dollar Tariffs On U.S. Goods”: NPR.org.

Trudeau Calls Tariffs “Absurd”

‘US decision to slap tariffs against Canada on national security grounds was “absurd”‘: CNN.com

Tariffs Directly Affect WA

Agriculture
Washington’s exports of apples and cherries: “China is the top export market for Washington cherries, buying 2.9 million cases worth $127 million each year. China also bought about $50 million worth of apples and $1.5 million worth of pears just last year. All three are included in the trade dispute.” SeattleTimes.com.

Plane Production
Boeing says: “it “relies on U.S. suppliers for approximately ninety percent of our end-use aluminum. Because of the way we manage that portion of our supply chain, we do not see these steel and aluminum tariffs as having a material impact on our business, though we continue to evaluate the broader impact of these actions on our suppliers and global trading relationships.”” planes

Past Tariffs

Previous trade wars did not end well: CNBC.com.

Pride Week

Sen. Cantwell will participate in a pride parade: not in an official capacity.
The Seattle Pride Parade on Sunday: FB event.

Juneteenth

This week commemorates Juneteenth. “is an … announcement of … the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans throughout the former Confederacy of the southern United States”: Wikipedia.org.

Trump Wants to be a Dictator

This week, Trump’s love affair with dictatorial once-adversaries continued – while allies felt his wrath, currently exposed on Twitter and the resulting trade wars. The Singapore summit where Trump and Kim Jong-Un met and signed a “compromise” has been shown to give North Korea everything it wants, with American receiving almost nothing in return: Economist.com. Trump was so enamored with Kim Jong-Un (who the United Nations has leveled charges of crimes against humanity due to executions and massive human rights violations) that he saluted one of Kim’s top generals: CNN.com. Later in an impromptu Fox & Friends interview, Trump praised Kim and stated that “he speaks, and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.” : TheGuardian.com.

Drug Pricing

There are many hearings about this going on in the HELP committee right now: HELP.Senate.gov.

Sen. Murray questions Azar about this in the HELP committee: at 6:25.

Great Quotes From Sen. Murray

(spacing and emphasis mine) “Murray: ‘As a candidate, President Trump talked a big game on lowering drug prices, but after 500 days
the only health care price he has dropped is his former Secretary.’

Murray: ‘…
your Blueprint has 135 questions—that’s not a plan Mr. Secretary, that’s a questionnaire.

Murray unimpressed by late update of Obama Administration’s Medicare pricing dashboard that lacks previous information: ‘… you can’t simply turn in someone else’s work, months late, incomplete, and expect to get extra credit for it.’

During questioning, Secretary Azar failed to provide any timeline for when the blueprint will bring down list prices”

Key excerpts and full transcript: HELP.Senate.gov. Video: YouTube.com: 6.52.

Within the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Murray is Ranking Member.

‘Ranking’ means that she is the most senior Democrat on the committee: and therefore the second senior (after the senior Republican)

Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) Bill To Restrict Military Force

No- Sens. Corker and Kaine’s Bill

Sens. Corker and Kaine brought in a bill to release unlimited military force: Indivisible.org.

Yes – Merkley’s Bill

This bill maintains Congress’ role in going to war, not leaving it all up to the president: Merkley.Senate.gov.

More about the bills: TheNation.com.

From the September 11th Attack

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.

Jayapal Town Hall: We Want One!

Rep. Jayapal has a town hall coming up. We want one with our senators.

600 Methodists Accuse Sessions

“More than 600 members of Jeff Sessions’ church just charged him with violating church rules”: CNN.com.

Our Norms

Our Norms and traditions are not codified in law – and this administration is eroding them. We need to cite norms so that people know what they are voting for in the midterms.

States are Demanding Tax Returns

Without a tax return, MD and CA will not accept presidential candidates: MD & CA.