Weekly Action Recommendations: Week of April 23, 2017

This is only a partial list of actions which might be taken this week to defend ethical government. For more ideas, you might visit For more ideas, you might visit 5calls.orgactionalliance.co/, or roganslist.blogspot.com/.

  • More needs to be done to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia and Russian interference in our election. This article reminds of why this is important: “A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters.”    Given the fiasco on the House Intel prove, the Senate Intel Committee was supposed to be the credible investigation.  However, there are reasons to worry.  There is not a single staffer dedicated to it full time.  None of the staffers working on it have investigative backgrounds.  Although they launched their work 3 months ago, has not even started looking at Trump’s ties to Russia yet: There have not yet been any interviews with figures in the Trump orbit (ie Flynn, Stone, Page, Manafort, Kushner). At this rate, their probe will take years.  Finally, Mary McCord, Acting Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice (DOJ), has announced she will leave the Department in May.
    • ACTION: Let your MoCs know, yet again, that a special prosecutor and an independent investigation are the only ways for us to know the truth. And now.  POSSIBLE SCRIPT: This is [NAME] and I’m a constituent in [ZIP]. I’m calling to ask [Rep/Sen____] to demand that the Attorney General appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the president, his ties to Russia and Russian interference in our election.  [OPTIONAL] I’m very disturbed to hear that the Senate’s investigation hasn’t assigned any full-time staff and hasn’t even begun to review the President’s ties to Russia. Also, I’m very concerned about Mary McCord’s departure from the DOJ. How can we trust the investigation if no neutral people are left in the DOJ? Thanks. I greatly appreciate your time.
    • GOOD NEWS (though it might not be enough): The House Intelligence Committee has invited several current and former senior Obama administration officials, including former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, to testify publicly in the panel’s probe into Russian interference in the U.S. election.  Let’s let the Committee know that we think this is a step forward and that we will be watching:  Majority members and minority members.
  • The budget and the threat of government shutdown. The current temporary spending bill expires this Friday (April 28th), yet five months remain in the fiscal year. If Congress fails to pass a budget extension, the government will shut down on April 29, President Trump’s 100th day in office (a shutdown actually costs millions of dollars, so it’s not the best way to reign in spending).
    • The White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a supplemental budget request for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year asking for $30 billion in additional defense spending, a $5 billion “down payment” for construction on a U.S.-Mexico border wall, an additional $1.5 billion for detaining and deporting undocumented persons, and $18 billion worth of unspecified budget cuts. An OMB spreadsheet provided to Congress and subsequently leaked to the press identified a “menu” of suggested budget cuts, including cuts to the Women, Infant, and Children program, AmeriCorps, a reduction in Pell Grants which help low-income youth attend college, and much more.
    • Trump is pressuring Congress to include a billion dollars for his wall and 30 billion in new military spending. If this is not what you want, here are some possible actions:
      • Call the White House comment line: 202-456-1111.
      • Call your 3 MoCs: Possible Script: I’m from ZIP, calling about Trump’s budget. I want my tax dollars to fund (fill in the programs you support), not a billion dollar wall and 30 billion in new military spending. What is NAME planning to do about his budget ideas?
    • Learn more about the budget here: “USAFacts is a new data-driven portrait of the American population, our government’s finances, and government’s impact on society. We are a non-partisan, not-for-profit civic initiative and have no political agenda or commercial motive. We provide this information as a free public service and are committed to maintaining and expanding it in the future.”  They offer an interesting look at where our money comes from and where it goes.
    • Not a single representative or senator who lives in the states that would be touched by the proposed border wall wants it built.  We can ask our legislators to talk with them and find out why.
  • Health and Health Care: Several policies and legislation affect our health. Consider what is important to you and take action.
    • Chlorpyrifos is a neurotoxic pesticide that was banned by the Obama EPA, but Pruitt’s EPA has reversed that.  Corporate pressure is big: Dow Chemical is pushing Trump administration to ignore studies of toxic pesticide.  We need our voices to be heard as well.  We can apply consumer pressure by contacting the largest food corporations to tell them that we don’t want chlorpyrifos used on the products they sell us.
      • Conagra, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago IL 60654  phone: 800-252-0672
      • General Mills, PO Box 1113, Minneapolis MN 55440  phone: 800-328-1144
      • Kellogg Company, PO Box CAMB, Battlecreek MI 49016  phone: 800-62-1413
      • KraftHeinz, 3 Lakes Dr, Northfield IL 60093  phone: 800-431-1001
      • Nestle USA, 800 Brand Ave, Glendale CA 91203  phone: 800-225-2270
    • Learn about the newest version of the AHCA (TrumpCare). Reports are that it will:
      • Raise premiums by 20%
      • Result in 24 million more uninsured
      • Give 600 billion in tax breaks to the wealthy and large insurance and drug companies
      • Create an age tax
      • Effectively eliminate Medicaid expansion and ration future Medicaid care
      • Threaten essential health benefits like maternity care, and critical mental health services
      • Allow states to seek waivers to get rid of protections for people with pre-existing conditions and to get rid of Essential Health Benefits like maternity care, prescription drugs, and hospital visits. Allowing states to strip these protections would cause premiums to skyrocket for people with pre-existing conditions, according to a new CAP analysis.
    • If you are still worried about the revisions, you can
      • Call your MoCs, yet again.
      • Deliver the message—in pill bottles! Here’s what you do: Go to MessageInAPillBottle.org. Fill out the form with your message and click send. Call and tweet your representative to tell them a #MessageInAPillBottle is coming their way; it will be delivered in a week. Fun!
    • (A petition…not so effective.) We need healthier families and communities, and grocery stores and pharmacies could help promote this by lining their checkout lanes with healthier food options. MomsRising is asking Walgreens to get rid of junk food in their checkout aisles: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/walgreens/
  • Taxes = Truth and Transparency.
  • Support voting rights: Consider whether this bill to eliminate the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is the best move. The EAC is an independent agency that was established in the aftermath of the 2000 Presidential election to ensure overall election integrity.  The agency helps state and local governments secure their electronic voting systems from cyberattacks, standardize and approve ballot language and design, and approve new voting machines and software. At a time of real concern over the hacking of our elections, we might need to strengthen agencies like the EAC, not cut them.
    • Call your Representative and ask that they publicly oppose HR 634 the Election Assistance Termination Act.
    • Call Representative Greg Harper of Mississippi, who has led the charge to end the EAC: (202) 225-5031 (601) 823-3400
    • Possible Script: Hi my name is ___ and I’m from [ZIPCODE]. I’m calling to ask that Representative ___ publicly oppose and vote against HR 634, the Election Assistance Termination Act.