Olympia Indivisible Weekly Call to Action: Climate Change, Save the ACA, Stand Up for Our Citizens in Puerto Rico, Oppose Republican Tax Plan and More

October 2, 2017

ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE?

Meet up with your fellow members and attend our Membership Meeting!  This coming Monday, October 2, Olympia Indivisible has arranged a dynamic speaker, Rich Harris, to talk with us about the Citizen’s Climate Change Lobby and their national carbon fee and dividend initiative.  Join us at the Thurston County Courthouse, Building 1, Room 152.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.  Meeting starts at 7:00 pm.  See you there!   Please RSVP at  olyindiRSVP@gmail.com  

There are many ways to act this week, but our top 3 priorities are Healthcare, Stopping Tax Cuts for the Wealthy, and Puerto Rico. 

Be sure to read Olympia Indivisible’s Research Report to find other important ways to act:  http://www.olympiaindivisible.com/archives.html

Save The ACA

We are TREMENDOUSLY GRATEFUL that the latest Obamacare repeal bill, Graham-Cassidy, failed. Now we must focus on fixing the Affordable Care Act. Even Republican Senator John McCain has asked that we work in a bipartisan way for a long term solution rather than a short term political fix.  Here are three QUICK ACTIONS that will make a difference:

  1. Thank Senator Murray -Convey your support and appreciation of her work with Republican Senator Lamar Alexander on their ACA stabilization bill which will make important improvements to the insurance market and reduce costs to consumers. Phone: (253) 572-3636
  2. Call and or email President Trump (and cc our MOCs) and demand that his replacement appointment for Secretary of Health and Human Services (now that  Secretary Price has resigned) should be someone who will work in a bipartisan way  to FIX our Affordable Care Act and not destroy it through sabotaging enrollment or other key elements.  You can call the president at 202-456-1111 or email him at www.whitehouse.gov/contact/.  You can also post your response to him on our secret Facebook page. We would love to read it!                                  
  3. Save the Children’s Health Insurance Program    Urge Senators Murray and Cantwell to support the Hatch-Wyden bill that would save CHIP (the Children’s Health Insurance Program).  This crucial program ran out of money October 1st due to the Republicans failure to pass a budget.  Senator Murray (253) 572-3636  Senator Cantwell (253) 572-2281

Save Our Democracy

Stand up for our fellow Puerto Rican Citizens in their hour of need!

Background:  Congress must pass an emergency relief package for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is unconscionable that our government has failed to give the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (U.S. Citizens!) the same attention as it did the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  Just prior to Maria, the island declared bankruptcy and faces the largest municipal debt crisis in US history since Detroit, but because of its Commonwealth status, it was denied debt absolution. Specifically, Puerto Rico’s government owes $74 billion to bondholders, and an additional $50 billion in pension obligations to teachers and almost all other government employees. Since Puerto Rico is not sovereign and cannot restructure with the World Bank or IMF, this small island has no chance at correcting this generational economic crisis. Our legislators need to reprioritize the needs of this island territory, home to 3.5 million Americans and absolve the debt. Trump has already tried to use this debt as a weapon against the people of the island who are without food, water, and electricity.

Compounding this dire situation is the effect of the Jones Act.  This federal legislation was enacted in 1920 and was designed to protect American shipyards and workers. It prohibits the use of foreign flagged vessels to transport goods to Puerto Rico.  Under the Jones Act, all relief supplies must arrive in Puerto Rico on US flagged vessels, which limits the number of vessels that can bring supplies.  Although President Trump temporarily lifted the Act last week, Congress needs to revise and permanently change the Jones Act.  Congress also needs to act urgently to pass an Emergency Relief Package for the residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands .

Call Senator Patty Murray (253) 572-3636, Senator Maria Cantwell (253) 572-2281 and Representative Denny Heck (360) 459-8514.

Script:  Hello, my name is ___________, and I am a member of Olympia Indivisible. I am calling to ask {Senator Murray, Cantwell, Representative Heck} to provide an emergency relief package for the victims of Hurricane Maria and to permanently revise or rescind the Jones Act, a law that has made it difficult for supplies to reach the Island of Puerto Rico. Thank you for your help.

PROTECT OUR QUALITY OF LIFE

Oppose Republican Tax Plan and Budget

 

Background: Republicans plan to use a budget resolution that would allow the Senate to pass tax cuts with a 51-vote majority. Senate bills often need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, but the budget resolution would allow Republicans to use “reconciliation” to avoid that higher threshold. The Senate Budget Committee is expected to send a draft budget to the Senate floor this week. The House will vote on the budget resolution on Thursday. The proposed budget removes critical services and would force deep cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. The budget resolution could also pave the way to opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling in Alaska.

The Republican tax plan would repeal the ACA’s taxes on high-income earners. The plan would lower tax rates on “pass through” income, primarily benefiting the top 20% of households. Donald Trump would see his tax bill cut in half. The tax plan also repeals the Alternative Minimum Tax so the wealthy can once again exploit the tax code and pay little or no tax at all.

This tax plan comes at a time when the federal government needs more revenue, not less. For example, we need more funding for disaster relief efforts following the hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. If the pattern of natural disasters continues, we need to strengthen our ability to respond rapidly and help all Americans.

ACTION:  Call Congressman Heck and ask him to oppose the House Budget Resolution, calling for billions of dollars in cuts to Medicaid and Medicare to give a huge tax cut to the wealthy and corporations.  Call Senators Murray and Cantwell and ask them to withhold support for any tax plan that has tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

  • Senator Patty Murray (253) 572-3636
  • Senator Maria Cantwell (253) 572-2281
  • Congressman Denny Heck (360) 459-8514

Script for Denny Heck:

Hello, my name is _________, and I am a member of Olympia Indivisible. I am calling to ask Congressman Heck to oppose the House Budget Resolution. We must fight to protect Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.

Script for Senators Murray and Cantwell:

Hello, my name is __________, and I am a member of Olympia Indivisible. I am calling to ask Senator ____________ to withhold her support for any tax plan that has tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. I want to advocate for poor, hardworking Americans who need help more than the wealthy need tax cuts. Thank you.

OTHER ACTIONS! 

Are you still fired up and ready for more? Olympia Indivisible’s Fabulous Research Report has additional important issues and actions. From Sinclair’s efforts to control our local news stations, to protecting our civil rights with the Do No Harm Act, you will find many additional topics.  Every action you take makes a difference and strengthens our voice! Read more here by clicking on this week’s Research Report: 

 http://www.olympiaindivisible.com/archives.html

You can read more about these developments:

HR 3222 Do No Harm Act; Legislation to reaffirm that one person’s religious freedom can never be used to deny another one’s civil liberties. Action; Ask Representative Denny Heck to co-sponsor HR 3222.

HR 3144 Operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System; This bill would undermine the planning and recovery efforts for salmon on the Columbia and Snake Rivers and endanger the orca population. Action: Ask Denny Heck to vote NO on HR 3144.

SJR 47; Nullification of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule which would protect financial companies from class action lawsuits. Action: Ask our Senators to Oppose SJR 47.

Net Neutrality; Thank Senator Cantwell  for joining advocates to block the Federal Communications Commission Chairman from being reaffirmed for a second term.

 

Thank You For Taking Action This Week!

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