Weekly Action Recommendations: Week of May 7, 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/.

  • Health Care: It will be tougher to pass the healthcare bill in the Senate. If you are opposed to the present AHCA, here are some actions to take and some resources to learn from.
    • Call your Senators: If you’re concerned about health care–the ACA needed improvement; the AHCA may need more–start the calls and the faxes to your Senators now. They need to hear from their constituents. Insist that the CBO gives its report first, too. More information and call scripts at here.
    • The American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Osteopathic Association, and Primary Children’s Hospital in Utah, as well as nurses and patient groups, have come out in strong opposition to the AHCA. But many insurance companies have remained silent, probably because they stand to make even more money.  Let’s make sure our senators know that we know big pharma and profit-making insurance companies are part of the problem.
    • Rooted in Rights, a disability rights group, and the National Council on Independent Living are asking for video submissions for the #IAmAPreExistingCondition campaign. The campaign is working towards humanizing those of us who will be affected by the AHCA, so that our senators can associate the dangerous effects of this bill with real people.
    • Certain Republican senators may be especially open to listening to constituents across the aisle. If you are concerned about a healthcare bill that leave millions uninsured because of pre-existing conditions, cuts Medicaid for our most vulnerable, and gives tax cuts to the wealthy, and these Senators are yours, be sure to contact.

    1) AK: Lisa Murkowski, 1900 First Ave Ste 225, Ketchikan AK 99901-6059,

    2) AZ: Jeff Flake, 6840 N Oracle Rd Ste 150, Tucson AZ 85704-4252,

    3) CO: Cory Gardner, 102 S Tejon St #930, Colorado Springs CO 80903-2231,

    4) ME: Susan Collins, 1 Canal Plz Ste 802, Portland ME 04101-4035,

    5) NV: Dean Heller, 8930 W Sunset Rd Ste 230, Las Vegas NV 89148-5010,

    6) OH: Rob Portman, 37 W Broad St Ste 300, Columbus OH 43215-4180,

    7) PA: Pat Toomey, US Federal Bldg, 17 S Park Row B120, Erie PA 16501-1156,

    8) WV: Shelly Moore Capito, 48 Donley St Ste 504, Morgantown WV 26501-5900

    • What else is there?  According the World Health Organization, the U.S.A ranks 37th in the world in regards to health care. We do not have a healthcare system that compares favorably by quantitative or qualitative measures.
    • Town Halls: Rep. Maloney (D-NY) has said that if the GOP members of the House avoid town halls to shirk telling their constituents why they voted for the AHCA, then perhaps the Dems in the House should go on their stead.  I’d like my rep (Chaffetz) to hold town hall, but maybe Kathryn Allen should go in his place?
    • Tax cuts and the AHCA: Warren Buffet has commented on the math behind the bill: “If the Republican bill had been law last year, he said, “my federal taxes would have gone down 17 percent last year, so it’s a huge tax cut for guys like me…. That is in the law that was passed a couple days ago,” he added. “Anybody with $250,000 a year of adjusted gross income and a lot of investment income is going to have a huge tax cut.”
    • If you support a single payer system: A recent Pew Research Center survey revealed that more Americans are leaning toward government-sponsored healthcare.  Even Trump likes a single-payer system.  But single-payer is not the same as “public option.” Let’s note that many of our legislators will try to turn a conversation about single payer into one about the public option, which would not cover as much.  If Single Payer is what you want, understand the difference and stay focused in asking for it.
  • Slowing down nuclear strikes. Senator Markey (D-MA) has introduced S. 200, the “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act,” to make a president—any President—unable to launch a nuclear strike without a declaration of war from Congress: http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/05/us_sen_ed_markey_introduces_bi.html The Union of Concerned Scientists urges us to write to our MoC and tell them to immediately cosponsor this bill.
  • Advocate for integrity in leadership.
    • Object to Trump’s conflicts of interest. As President Trump focuses his attention on overhauling America’s tax code, he has considered turning to the other side of the aisle to reach a bipartisan deal. But an obstacle has already surfaced, dimming the chances that a “grand bargain” will be achieved: Democrats are sounding the alarm that reshaping the tax code presents Mr. Trump’s biggest conflict of interest yet: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/07/us/politics/democrats-see-opening-in-tax-overhaul-fight-trumps-own-deductions.html.  Call your MoCs and voice your concern.  You can also ask them to support The Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017 (S.65/H.R.371), currently stuck in the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Possible Script: This is [NAME] and I’m a constituent in [ZIP]. I’m calling because I want [Sen/Rep____] to support (S.65/H.R.371), which would require the President to divest financial assets which create a conflict of interest. I’m very concerned about the appearance of corruption and think this legislation would go a long way to solving the problem. [Optional: I’m particularly concerned about the President vacationing at his own properties at taxpayer expense, his continued involvement in his business and potential conflicts in foreign countries like the Philippines and Venezuela.] I appreciate your time!
    • Support an independent investigation of 45’s ties to Russia. Continue to call your MoCs. Possible Script: I’m from _ZIP_ and am more concerned than ever about Trump’s ties to Russia. Is _NAME_ willing to join Republicans like John McCain and Darrell Issa and Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden in publicly supporting an independent investigation?
    • Advocate for White House visitor transparency. Call your two senators.  Possible Script: I’m calling from _ZIP_ to request that _NAME_ support and cosign Senate Bill 953 which would make White House visitor logs public. I don’t trust our president and want more transparency. Will _NAME_ commit to cosigning this bill? (hat tip: POPVOX)
    • Speak out against Jared Kushner’s conflicts of interest: Call your MoCs.  Possible Script: I’m a constituent from _ZIP_. I’m concerned about Jared Kushner’s integrity. He didn’t disclose meetings with a foreign bank or ambassador to gain security clearance and is still benefitting financially from his businesses. I would like _NAME_ to join Sen. Warren, Sen. Carper, and Rep. Cummings in asking ethics officials for information about Kushner’s dishonesty and failure to divest.
  • We are a nation of immigrants.
  • Consider supporting EPA regulations and the Paris agreement. The Paris agreement, signed in 2015 by 196 countries including the US, asks each country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to regularly increase their ambitions. Tthe US pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. Here’s ten things you should know, according to the Nature Conservancy: https://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/global-warming-climate-change/the-paris-agreement-what-does-it-mean.xml.  Senior administration officials have met twice over the last week to decide whether the US should abandon the agreement. According to the Washington Post, officials are considering whether the US should “stay in the agreement but renegotiate it in some form, or opt out entirely. Even if Trump decides to abandon the agreement — which is not a treaty, and therefore did not undergo Senate ratification — it may take three years for the United States to formally withdraw from it.”
  • Support healthy meals in schools. Write Secretary Sonny Purdue 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250. Possible script: As a parent (or tax-paying community member), I oppose your plan to make school lunches less healthy (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-administration-relaxing-obama-era-school-lunch-standards/story?id=47134641). Your priority should be protecting the health of America’s youngest citizens, not the interests of corporate agriculture.
  • Acts of Gratitude: If any of these issues speak to you, get out your stamps, postcards, and sparkle markers for some gratitude mail.
    • Thank Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for publicly condemning the ongoing persecution of gay men in Chechnya, and Russia’s tacit enabling of such abuses. Thank you for speaking up against tyranny and advocating for the voiceless. Address: 284 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
    • Thank Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) for publicly opposing the revised ACHA plan, that would “severely harm the health and lives” of her constituents. Putting people over party makes a great leader. Address: 4960 SW 72 Avenue Suite 208 Miami, Florida 33155
    • Thank your own representative for voting to keep the ACA, especially if they are among the 20 Republicans who did. Share why this is meaningful to you, personally.
    • Thank Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) for recognizing that Congress should have the same healthcare options as all other Americans, not special privileges. Proposing legislation that ensures equal treatment is good leadership. Address: 506 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC, 20515
    • Thank Bill Shuster (R-PA), House Transportation Committee Chairman, for holding airlines accountable for their treatment of passengers, insisting on improved systems. Address: T&I Committee, S. House of Representatives, 2251 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515