Tuesday November 21st 2017

These notes from November 21st 2017 from all attendees; calls to action and links provided by me.
New information in the meeting is black. This week’s rainy rally: FB vid: 18.13.

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 was away in southwest Washington today –
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


This week’s rainy rally: FB vid: 18.13.

Please note: We are collecting personal stories about how the raised health care costs resulting from the tax scam would affect you, your family and your community for the rally on Monday the 27th.
It is a national day of protest with Indivisible.

The Senators are in State / District work period (in-state, in other words) this week up until the 24th, inclusive: Indivisible.com.

The Budget

Why We Need One

The Government is funded through December 8th and we need a budget. They could do do a continuing resolution to drag it out it out for a few weeks. No vote is scheduled yet. It could be the week after Thanksgiving. “the full 2018 fiscal year (FY) … runs from October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018” & definition of a continuing resolution: PGPF.org. President Trump wants to have the budget signed into law on Christmas day.

It is in Committee

It is in the Finance Committee. Senator Cantwell is in the committee. Ask her to apply pressure on this. It is being pushed through in the Senate through the reconciliation process: where it only takes 51 Senators to vote for it to pass; and they cannot increase the Federal deficit by more than $1.5 trillion. This means that republicans are stripping away at what they regard as ‘entitlements’ (Medicare, Medicaid, education, etc.) to offset the tax cuts. More about the reconciliation process: Politico.com.

The Alabama Election

The election in Alabama is affecting the timing of the bill: WaPo.

CBO Score

The CBO score is due around Thanksgiving. It will not be accurate – because republicans keep changing the bill. Its initial score indicates:
“$18 billion less spending for Medicaid,
$4 billion less spending for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments,
$1 billion less spending for the Basic Health Program (BHP), and
$4 billion more spending for Medicare because of changes in payments to hospitals that serve a disproportionate share of low-income patients.”
CBO.gov

Net Neutrality

The December 14th Vote

Wording from:
Restoring Internet Freedom Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order – WC Docket No. 17-108: PDF:
“In 2015, the Commission imposed heavy-handed, utility-style regulation on Internet service providers (ISPs)” (translation: the commission imposed rulings that compelled corporations to allow free traffic in the internet).
This is the ruling that will be voted on on December 14th from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm EST: FCC.com.
They will play a livecast.

If it went through a lawsuit would follow, which could take years. This would be a repeal process of regulations, which would also be a lengthy process. The Senate could pass a law to enforce free internet. Our Senators should make sure that they communicate clearly to the FCC.

Things We Can Do

Contact FCC Commissioners
* Ajit Pai, Chairman: Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov.
* Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner: Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov.
* Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner: Mike.O’Rielly@fcc.gov.
* Brendan Carr, Commissioner: Brendan.Carr@fcc.gov.
* Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner: Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov.
Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554
Toll-Free Voice: 1-888-CALL FCC (225-5322)
Toll-Free TTY: 1-888-TELL FCC (835-5322)
ASL Videophone: 1-844-4-FCC-ASL (432-2275) 202-810-0444
Toll-Free Fax: 1-866-418-0232

Protest at Verizon Stores for Net Neutrality
There is a national protest on Thursday, December 7 from 12pm-7pm EST.
Find a protest near you: http://www.verizonprotests.com.
Find a local Verizon branch, and set up a protest there: Google.com.


More net neutrality actions.

Sinclair-Tribune Merger

We thanked Senator Cantwell for pushing back on the Sinclair-Tribune Merger.
11/15/17: ‘Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell (Wash.) and Tom Udall (N.M.) led a group of senators in sending a letter to Pai on Wednesday saying “it is imperative you recuse yourself from certain matters in order to protect the public interest, integrity and independence of the agency’s decision-making process until after the FCC’s inspector general determines whether the facts warrant your permanent recusal.”’ theHill.com.

Letter About DeVos’ Offshore Funds

Senator Murray recently sent a letter to ask that the ethics committee look into Betsy DeVos’ offshore funds, in light of the Paradise Papers: the letter. This is mentioned in Chronicle.com.

S 2152 Amy Act

S.2152: A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for assistance for victims of child pornography, and for other purposes. More about Amy: HuffPost.

We want our senators to cosponsor this bill. As of 11/22, it has 3 republican cosponsors and 2 democrats.

Health Care

ACA Signups

Senator Murray has been tweeting to remind people to sign up for the ACA. We said thank you!
Senator Cantwell has not.


the tweet


the tweet

Alexander-Murray Bill

Health insurance costs have gone up 25-30%. Sen Murray is working on stabilizing health care markets. The Alexander-Murray health care bill will go to the vote when Mitch McConnell chooses to bring it to the floor.

The tax bill attacks the ACA by taking away the individual mandate: and so mainly people with health problems would sign up (but not the healthy) and that would push premiums up. Sen Murray compares putting the Murray-Alexander bill into the tax bill to putting fire out with penicillin:

Video: 2.27 ~ Tweet

CHIP

CHIP is in the Finance Committee. Senator Cantwell is a member. They have to vote on it to get it to the floor. It is worth contacting Senator Cantwell about this: and the republican members of the committee.
Senator Cantwell
In DC: Phone: (202) 224-3441 ~ Fax: (202) 228-0514 All contact info / email
In Seattle: 915 Second Avenue, Suite 3206, Seattle WA 98174

The CHC Also Needs Funding

The Community Health Clinics fund also needs to have its funding renewed.
“Often situated in medically underserved areas, the health centers provide care to some 26 million of the nation’s most vulnerable people. They’re required to take any patient who seeks care, regardless of whether they can pay.” TheHill.

An Act to Fix This
S.1899 – Community Health Investment, Modernization, and Excellence Act of 2017.
This act seeks to fund the program for five years. The CHIME Act is in the HELP Committee: and Senator Murray is the ranking (head of the democrats) member on the committee. Please ask her to get it voted on, out of committee and onto the floor. It has 9 democrat cosponsors and 8 republican.

WIC

WIC is part of the farm bill. It is currently covered: SNAPtoHealth.org

Kate was serenaded by the Seattle Raging Grannies:



She was a huge fan!
These fantastic ladies are Seattle Raging Grannies. Check out their lyrics! Woot! Woot!

The Russian Investigation

There is a petition to stop judicial nominees: ActionNetwork.org. I could not find the petition to stop the tax scam until the Russian investigation is finished: but I found this. Please sign it: WhiteHouse.gov – 1.1m signatures.

How are the Senators Informing Us About These Issues?

How are the Senators and staffers informing people about all of these issues?
They post on Twitter: Sen.Murray ~ Sen. Cantwell.

Senator Cantwell’s FB postings

Net neutrality ~ ANWR ~ GAO report on global warming ~ Protesting the fees hike to go to certain national parks ~ Protesting the president’s tax break, whilst others pay more.

Senator Murray’s Tweets

the tax scam ~ how the tax scam would attack affordable housing ~ net neutrality ~ affordable housing ~ throwing people off coverage for tax cuts for billionaires and corporations.

Empty Offices in Administration

There are 300 offices empty because of the president: CNN: and so subordinates step up. What happens long term if the postiones are not filled is not clear: Vice.com.

AUMF

Re. Authorization for the Use of Military Force: Nov. 1, “Corker noted that the Congressional Research Service had informed him that the committee had not held a hearing on the process for launching a nuclear attack since the 1970s, and stated his intent to convene one shortly.”: LawFareBlog.com.

Other Important Issues

We noted that we want our Senators to pay attention to these other important issues:
the threat of nuclear war
the Mueller investigation
Voting issues, especially delegates in virginia
the banning of general use of assault weapons.

Restricting the Use of Assault Weapons

Sen Murray cosigned a bill last week: S. 2095. It has 23 democrat cosponsors, and 1 independent (Sen. Sanders).

Bill Demanding Background Checks For Guns

Senators Murphy and Cornryn have created bipartisan legislation about this that has bipartisan support: CNN.com.

We are waiting on the Supreme court ruling on gerrymandering. They won’t be in session until October 2018.