Tuesday November 7th 2017

These notes from all attendees; calls to action and links provided by me.
This page is updated by 3pm each Wednesday.

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


The theme for the rally this week was the proposed tax cuts. Trump is too chicken to release his tax returns!
FB Video of the rally: 40 min.

Contact Our Senators – And Others

Call 202-224-3121 to reach our senators (or email their staffers or through their websites) every day.

We need to contact them more. They only got 10 calls on Tuesday morning. We should call, email, fax, mail letters, etc. Our calls are tallied: contact them often in a day because they tally calls, etc. and our opinions about the issues. They note the number of contacts; our name; and zip code. For longer and more detailed information – about how budget cuts would affect us or our work or city, for instance, please email it so that they can copy and paste it and pass it to senators to use in speeches on the floor. They ask permission.

Find out what part of the process a bill is in, and contact the committee members. Contact Reps and senators in other states – the national issues affect you.

Health Care

Open enrollment in WA Ends January 15

“there are two enrollment deadlines in state of Washington: Dec. 15, for coverage starting Jan. 1, 2018, and Jan. 15 for coverage starting in February 2018.”: KomoNews.com

Alexander-Murray Health Care Bill

Contact the majority (R) members of the HELP Committee, where the health care bill is.
Both senators support health care for all; they are focusing on the bipartisan fix for now.

Sen. Murray and Sen. Alexander’s health care bill will be voted affirmatively for by 60 Senators, so it can pass. It is supported by 200 organizations. It is waiting for Sen. McConnell to take it to the floor for a vote; and he is waiting for Trump to approve it. There is no other way to get it to the floor, other than tagging it onto another bill. Nag Mitch McConnell to take it to the floor. You can write a letter to the editor to newspapers in his state to encourage people to demand it: contact info for them.

CHIP Funding

Senator Murray is very concerned about CHIP funding. The bill for that is in the Senate Finance Committee. The funding ran out September 30th, and states are struggling to make up the difference. Senator Cantwell is on the committee.

Nominations

Wheeler for the EPA

Senator Murray is totally against the nomination of Wheeler to the EPA, as many bipartisan senators are. “President Trump today nominated well-known coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to be the second-in-command of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).” edfaction.org.

Peter Robb for NLRB general counsel

Senator Murray opposes this: “Peter Robb, a management-side labor and employment lawyer from Vermont, to be the National Labor Relations Board’s next general counsel,”: Reuters.com.

Bill Wehrum to head EPA Clean Air Program

Both senators oppose this nomination. “President Trump’s nominee to head EPA’s air program is an industry lawyer who was largely responsible for the Bush EPA’s record of violating the Clean Air Act more often, and allowing more illegal emissions of harmful air pollution, than any EPA administration before or since.”: NRDC.org.

VA Student Loan Protections

“Senator Murray Keeps Up Pressure on VA Secretary Shulkin to Uphold Protections Against For-Profit College Corruption Following Decision to Back Down From Blanket Ethics Waiver”. This affects veterans: Murray.Senate.gov. Led by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate education committee, 10 U.S. Senators sent a letter.

The Proposed Tax Cuts

Progress of the Bill


It is in the House Ways and Means Committee.
Contact the majority (R) members: majority in the House Ways and Means Committee.

What’s the difference between the bipartisan health care bill and the tax bill? The tax bill will be tougher to pass in the Senate (because the tax cuts strip money from health care and everything else too?) There was 1 hearing.

Builders Are Against the Bill

“Kevin Brady (R-Tex.) informed NAHB that he would not be including a homeownership tax credit as part of the new tax legislation, which will be released on Wednesday.”: WaPo.

We can fight the tax proposal mainly by mentioning mortgage deductions and SALT. We should rally in the streets; make calls; write faxes; email; letters; post cards. Call Dave Reichert.

They can slow it down… with hearings, amendments, etc.

SALT

“The state and local tax deduction (SALT for short) is the most significant tax break eliminated under the tax reform “framework” … “it … makes residents of high-tax states … defenders of the deduction. Many of those residents … live … in states like New York, New Jersey, and California, and those suburbs tend to be in swing congressional districts held by vulnerable House Republicans.” vox.com.

Drilling in ANWR

The administration seeks to offset deficits that would be caused by the huge tax cuts by drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: NYTimes.
If we drill, it would poorly affect the caribou, who are important to the native people there: ArcticCircle.Uconn.edu. We need to contact Corey Gardner (CO), Michael Bennet (CO), Todd Young (IN), Joe Donnelly (IN) and other senators in mountainous states to tell them our thoughts about this.

Also contact businesses in Alaska and tell them your thoughts. Businesses in AK: AKbizMag.com.

Five Bills Attacking Wildlife Protections

“Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) recently shepherded five bills out of the Natural Resources Committee he chairs that would dismantle the law piece by piece.”
WaPo
His contact info: P: 202-225-0453 F: 202-225-5857
He is on the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee. Its calendar. Its members.

The DREAM Act

The DREAM Act is being tied to a Continuing Resolution.
A continuing resolution is legislation to keep the government running. Congress is supposed to adopt a budget by first agreeing to a broad outline in the spring, then adopting spending bills, each dealing with a different subject. The work is supposed to be done by Oct. 1, the start of the fiscal year. For decades, Congress has routinely failed to meet that deadline: McClatchyDC.com. Pramila Jayapal used a discharge petition to get it out of committee in the House. Sadly, you can’t do that in the Senate.

Gun Control

The ATF, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives cannot make regulations about gun control about bump stocks without the direction of the White House.

In Washington, our gun laws could be endangered by the HR 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. It allows people in any state to have a concealed weapon permit

DeVos Resigning

We can dream. The Salon article has been updated: “I’ll tell you, in Washington education circles, the conversation is already about the post-DeVos landscape, because the assumption is she won’t stay long,” said Thomas Toch, director of independent education think tank FutureEd.

There are many articles about this. About her troubles in office: “If there’s one thing DeVos has learned so far, it’s that getting your way in Washington requires time, patience and government savvy—three things she does not have.”: politico.com.

Menendez Going to Jail?

Menendez is a NJ Democratic senator.
“Menendez, 63, accepted an abundance of campaign donations, gifts and vacations from Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist. In return, Menendez used his position to lobby on behalf of Melgen’s business interests,” FoxNews (sorry).

It is not likely that he would be removed from Congress because it would take a 2/3 majority. This would affect democrats because “If Menendez’s office is vacated in time, Republican Gov. Chris Christie could select his replacement. If that happens, it’s likely the New Jersey governor would select a Republican”: TheFederalist.com. This is because Christie is the Governor. That would take a Democrat out of the Senate: and we need all the Dems we can get.