Trying to figure out where to even start…. The week started out with a mad rush to try to voice concern and stop the gutting of the House Ethics Committee. Social Media WORKED to spread the word quickly, and phone calls were made to register displeasure and the effort to demolish the ethics committee was dropped.
Unfortunately, this was just a piece of what was on the docket for the week, and a few other things got through – such as expanding “the power of committee staff to haul private citizens and government officials to Capitol Hill to be questioned under oath — without any lawmakers present, in some cases.” And making it easier to sell off federal land. At the very least this week started with a strong reminder that we’re going to have a lot thrown at us quickly and it’s important to be paying attention and ready to take action quickly.
There is fast movement happening around de-funding Planned Parenthood, and repealing the Affordable Care Act – without having something else to put in its place. The return of the Holman rule, which “allows lawmakers to lower the salary or eliminate the job of individual federal employees,” and the passing of a provision that will fine members of the House “for the use of an electronic device for still photography or for audio or visual recording or broadcasting….”
And then there is the fact that the confirmation hearings of Trump’s Cabinet picks is being pushed through before they can be subject to a proper evaluation by the Ethics Committee and have been scheduled in a very rushed time frame.
Oh, and Trump has been disparaging the Intelligence offices, and talking about revamping them.
And then there was the “blanket edict requiring politically appointed ambassadors to leave their overseas posts by Inauguration Day,” a break from tradition…. And I’m sure there is more that I’ve missed. Like I said, a LOT is being thrown at us at once.
That small victory at the start of the week, where there was clear change based on the actions we all took, was a powerful one.
And there was the attempt of delivering 87,000 petitions to Paul Ryan by volunteers for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. There were security guards called in and were unable to deliver the petitions — but we did get the fun #PaulRyanSoScared hashtag out of it.
And, it seems, more Republicans are standing against the party-line. It’s a small step, but promising, that there are more and more who are expressing concern at repealing the ACA without a replacement plan in place, for instance.
Call to Action:
Call the Senators about the Cabinet appointments. The hearings are THIS WEEK (January 9th at 12:30 EST), so it’s important to get these calls in as soon as you can. This spreadsheet lays out a lot of information for you – the hearing date, the cabinet appointment, the name of the nominee, their background, why they are a concerning choice, which committee they will be appearing before, the committee members and a script option. Also, the twitter handles and tweet-scripts to be used. Do this if you AT ALL CAN! (This is another form to use if you’d like – more basic for mobile-viewing) These both focus on some key nominations – the Democrats have indicated that they are planning on targeting the eight worst nominations.
One other action of importance, if you can.
#StandingRock still needs your commitment and solidarity.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has neglected to log their intent to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement. This crucial step will make it more challenging for the Trump administration to restart DAPL construction.
Continue to Stand with Standing Rock and make the call today.
ARMY CORPS COMMENT LINE: (202) 761-8700