Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill

This is it. TrumpCare is back and Republicans are as close as they’ve ever been to passing it. The time to act is now. Call Rob Portman’s offices. Attend a statewide action. Tell him to oppose this bill because of all the Ohioans that lose coverage. Because it jeopardizes women’s health. Because it ends Medicaid as we know it. Because people will die as a result of this bill.

CALL THE D.C. OFFICE (202) 224-3353
EMAIL CHIEF OF STAFF  mark_isakowitz@portman.senate.gov
EMAIL DEP. CHIEF OF STAFF Pam.thiessen@portman.senate.gov
EMAIL HEALTH STAFFER  sarah_schmidt@portman.senate.gov

Graham-Cassidy
Senator Portman supported TrumpCare the first time around, but he can still make up for it by opposing Graham-Cassidy. Under the bill, Ohio stands to lose $2.5 billion in federal funding by 2026. Not to mention the 1.9 million Ohioans with pre-existing conditions that would be hurt by this bill, and the 220,000 Ohioans relying on the ACA for treatment for opioid abuse whose care would be in jeopardy.

After the defeat of TrumpCare in July, Senator Portman said he would work across the aisle on health care—but there is nothing bipartisan about Graham-Cassidy. Tell him: support a bipartisan approach, like he said he would, and vote NO on Graham-Cassidy.

SAMPLE CALL SCRIPT

Caller: Hello! My name is [ ] and I’m calling from [part of state]. Can you tell me how Senator Portman will vote on the Graham-Cassidy health care bill if it comes up for a vote?

Caller: I want Senator Portman to oppose Graham-Cassidy. The bill is just like other TrumpCare bills in that it destroys Medicaid as we know it by turning Medicaid into a capped system. This hurts children with disabilities, seniors, and even victims of natural disasters like Harvey and Irma. It also takes away funding to help people afford health insurance through the marketplace. Our state would lose $2.5 billion in federal funding because of this bill.

Caller: If that’s what the Senator wants to do, then supporting the bipartisan, transparent process that Senators Alexander and Murray are leading through regular order would be a better option than supporting the Graham-Cassidy bill. I expect Senator Portman to respect regular order and reject the Graham-Cassidy bill if it comes to a vote.

Caller:  I will be watching this vote closely and I expect Senator Portman to oppose. Please take down my contact information so you can let me know what Senator Portman decides to do.

 

DEMAND A CLEAN 2018 BUDGET WITH NO POLICY RIDERS

On September 14th, the House passed H.R. 3354, the “Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act of 2018.” The bill was a package of all 12 spending bills for FY 2018 and was stuffed full of disastrous partisan provisions and policy riders. It slashed the EPA budget by half a billion dollars while increasing funds for ICE agents, detention beds, and the border wall. It blocked the implementation of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and crucial oil and gas industry regulations. It even went so far as to withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities, Planned Parenthood, teen pregnancy prevention programs, and the entirety of Obamacare.

At the beginning of September, Congress passed a ‘Continuing Resolution’ (CR) to continue funding the government at its current appropriations levels for 3 months after the end of the 2017 Fiscal Year; federal funding will now last until December 8th. This helped to avoid a government shut down and gave Congress more time to work on new 2018 spending levels.

While the House has now passed all 12 spending bills for FY 2018, the Senate has yet to pass a single one. Senators will spend the next 2 months writing, debating, and amending their own versions of 2018 spending bills. (Regular order involves passing bills individually, not in packages like the House passed.) Unlike the House, the Senate needs a supermajority of votes (60) to pass their bills which should lead to more bipartisanship. It is vital that the Senate reject all of the partisan provisions included in the House’s disastrous spending plan and act to fund the federal government fairly for all Americans.

Call Rob Portman R-OH 202-224-3353

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from Dayton.

I’m calling to urge Senator Rob Portman to pass a 2018 appropriations bill that contains no partisan policy riders. Instead of pushing forward controversial one-sided agendas, Congress must pass a fair, bipartisan spending bill in the best interest of all Americans.

Thank you for your time and attention.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

 

 

Trumpcare 3.0

We knew we weren’t completely out of the woods on TrumpCare, but we got good news on September 1, when the Senate Parliamentarian (basically the referee on Senate rules and procedure) announced that the legislative vehicle that Republicans were trying to use for TrumpCare would expire at the end of the fiscal year. While this might seem straightforward, this was a totally open question to which no one in Washington knew the real answer.

That decision set a new deadline of September 30. As Congress returned to Washington, that seemed like a tough deadline to meet, given Congress’s packed September agenda. The packed agenda worked in our favor—with so many deadlines to meet, Republicans would have a hard time pivoting back to health care or moving on to the Trump tax scam. The Senate had also committed to a bipartisan process with hearings—based on your work—and this process is expected to produce a bipartisan bill to improve and stabilize the ACA marketplaces. It did not seem like there was room for TrumpCare.

Donald Trump wasted no time lighting a fire under Senate Republicans to take another stab at TrumpCare. And despite the tight timeline, some Senate Republicans are not willing to give up on a 7-year goal without one last try and are working on a last ditch effort. And that’s exactly what Republicans are doing now. Senator John McCain, who opposed TrumpCare in July, said that he would support the Graham-Cassidy bill, under certain conditions. If all other Republicans hold, that would give Mitch McConnell the 50 votes plus Vice President Pence’s tie breaker that he needs to jam TrumpCare through the Senate.

Call to see where our reps stand on this new bill

Call Sen Portman 202-224-3353 DC

Call  Sen Brown (202) 224-2315 DC

Republicans are using the budget to tee up massive tax cuts for the wealthy

The House budget resolution puts in motion the procedural steps Republicans need to pass massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations through the Senate with only 51 votes. Just like they used the reconciliation process to try to jam through TrumpCare, they plan to jam through their tax cuts the same way. And in order to pay for these tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, critical programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and food assistance could be cut — either now or in the future. The details are appalling:

  • $1 trillion cut from Medicaid over ten years (that’s 20% of Medicaid’s budget)
  • Over $150 billion cut from SNAP (that’s 22% of SNAP’s budget)
  • Nearly $500 billion cut from Medicare—and it’s turned into a voucher system
  • $3.3 billion cut from Pell grants—and they’d be harder for students to use
  • Untold billions in cuts to education, the environment, housing, and worker training

Our job is to make sure Mike Turner knows these cuts are unacceptable.   He needs to oppose any budget resolution that:

  1. Requires cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, food assistance or any other programs that help families afford the basics.
  2. Allows cuts to critical programs to pay for tax cuts

Use this sample script to tell Mr. Turner how you feel about cutting vital services.  Dial 202-225-6465

Caller: Hello! My name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [ADDRESS]. Can you tell me how Congressman Turner plans to vote on the House budget resolution?

(He is probably in favor of the GOP plan, but his staffers likely “don’t know” how he’s planning to vote.)

Staffer: The Congressman doesn’t have a position on the budget resolution yet.

Caller: That’s terrible. This budget resolution calls for billions of dollars in cuts to Medicaid and it turns Medicare into a voucher program. I’m opposed to that and so is the majority of the American people. Congressman Turner should oppose this destructive resolution that makes deep cuts to programs people rely on in order to give tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations.

Staffer: I’ll let the Congressman know your thoughts.

Caller: Yes, please do, and please take down my contact information so you can let me know how the Congressman votes in the end. I’ll be watching this vote closely.

 

Adapted from Indivisible’s “Trump Tax Scam, Step 1: The Budget Resolution”

Urge state legislators to oppose dangerous gun bills

The Ohio Legislature is back in session and focusing on further loosening restrictions on concealed carry permit holders.
Two important bills dealing with firearms will receive hearings this week in the House Federalism & Interstate Relations Committee on Tuesday @ 2:30 pm.
HB 142 would eliminate the requirement that a concealed carry permit holder must inform a police officer during a traffic stop that he or she is carrying a concealed firearm.
HB 253 would allow law enforcement officers to carry firearms while off duty in places that currently do not permit concealed carry. The bill would essentially allow off duty law enforcement officers to carry wherever they would normally be permitted to carry while on duty.
We need you to contact Committee Members and urge them to oppose bills that will undermine public safety in our state, like HB 142 and HB 253.

House Federalism & Interstate Relations Committee contact information is below:

Kristina Roegner (R  – Chair):  (614) 466-1177
P. Scott Lipps (R – Vice Chair): (614) 644-6023
David Leland (D – Ranking Member): (614) 466-2473
Michael Ashford (D): (614) 466-1401
John Becker (R): (614) 466-8134
Wesley Goodman (R): (614) 644-6265
Glenn Holmes (D):  (614) 466-3488
J. Kyle Koehler (R): (614) 466-2038
Derek Merrin (R): (614) 466-1731
Adam Miller (D): (614) 644-6005
Wes Retherford (R):  (614) 644-6721
Ron Young (R): (614) 644-6074
Paul Zeltwanger (R): (614) 644-6027

PREVENT THE DEPORTATION OF NONVIOLENT UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS

On Tuesday, September 12th, Trump’s supporters in the House of Representatives will attempt to ram through H.R.3697, the so-called “Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act.” This bill’s misleading title hides its malicious content: it amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to give the Department of Homeland Security sweeping authority to designate who is (or was, no matter how many years ago) in a gang, and to deport them without challenge. For example, undocumented immigrants who commit “immigration offenses” under section 274 of the Immigration and Nationality Act – including harboring another undocumented immigrant – would be considered gang members. The Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security would have the authority to label even non-violent and petty offenders as gang members, with no statute of limitations on their alleged crimes.

Call Rep Turner

202-225-6465 DC

937-225-2843 Dayton

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from Dayton.

I’m calling to express my strong opposition to H.R.3697, the so-called “Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act,” which would label many non-violent undocumented immigrants as gang members and give the Department of Homeland Security the power to deport them without challenge. Rep. Michael R. Turner must vote NO on this undemocratic and immoral bill.

Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

 

OPPOSE THE GOP’S LAST-DITCH EFFORT TO REPEAL THE ACA

After a summer of trying and failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Republicans are making a last-ditch effort to end the healthcare law before the reconciliation deadline on September 30th. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) have proposed yet another ACA repeal bill that is even more disruptive than previous GOP plans.

Call Sen Portman

513-684-3265 – Cincinnati, OH
216-522-7095 – Cleveland, OH
614-469-6774 – Columbus, OH
419-259-3895 – Toledo, OH

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from Dayton.

I’m calling to express my strong opposition to the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal plan. Any plan that eliminates Medicaid expansion and fails to guarantee affordable coverage for low-income Americans is unacceptable. The American people want a bipartisan approach to repairing the ACA, not a repeal for it.

Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Oppose the nomination of Sam Clovis to the top USDA science post

Donald Trump has nominated Sam Clovis, his longtime campaign aide, to serve as the USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, a position typically held by people with advanced degrees in science and medicine. As Under Secretary, Clovis would manage the USDA’s $3 billion research and education portfolio and serve as the USDA’s top scientist, coordinating the setup and implementation of the USDA’s policies.

The 2008 Farm Bill specified that nominees to the Under Secretary post should be “distinguished scientists with specialized training or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.” However, Clovis lacks an advanced science degree and has shown blatant disregard for scientific evidence by refusing to acknowledge that humans are causing the majority of climate change. He has called climate science “junk science” and proudly declared himself a climate change “skeptic.” Because one third of our greenhouse gas emissions come from agricultural production, it is critical that the USDA’s top scientist acknowledges that climate change is real, human-caused, and a dire threat to our global security (not to mention our global food supply).

In addition, as a talk radio host and blogger from 2011 to 2014, Clovis stoked racist birther conspiracy theories about then-President Obama, made derogatory racist comments about then-Attorney General Eric Holder, and stated homosexuality is a choice and can lead to pedophilia. In light of the white supremacy rallies in Virginia, the appointment of a racist, bigoted birther to a top job in the executive branch is unacceptable. The Senate must take a firm stance against racism, and Trump’s ongoing endorsement of it, by rejecting Clovis’s nomination.

Call Rob Portman to oppose this nomination: (202) 224-3353

Here’s a script you can use:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from Dayton.

I’m calling to express my opposition to Sam Clovis’s nomination to be USDA Under Secretary. It is unacceptable for the USDA’s top scientist to be a climate change denier with no formal scientific training, and for the Trump administration to continue endorsing racism and bigotry by appointing a birther. I strongly urge Senator Rob Portman to reject Clovis’s nomination.

Thank you for your time and attention.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

From our friends at 5calls

Call Rep Mike Turner regrading DACA

Yesterday we rallied in front of Rep Turner! Today please call his office telling him to take action! He also has yet to make a statement about DACA announcement. Please ask him to make public statement!

(937) 225-2843 Dayton

(937) 225-2843 DC

Script:
I’m calling to urge Rep Mike Tuner to take immediate action and pass H.R. 3591, the American Hope Act. Our DREAMers deserve legal status and a path to citizenship, and I expect Rep Turner to act swiftly to help the 800,000 people who relied on DACA for access to jobs, education, and security.

Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Tell Your Elected Officials to Stand up for Childhood Arrivals

Media reports this weekend indicate that Trump is getting ready to eliminate the DACA program — and yank the American Dream from 800,000 young immigrants who are living in the U.S. lawfully. Congress can prevent this. You can make them.

We need you to call all three of your MOCs right away and ask them co-sponsor S.1615 in the Senate and H.R. 3591 in the House to permanently protect these young Americans, and take their future out of Trump’s hands.

Sen. Sherrod Brown
Phone: 202-224-2315

Sen. Rob Portman
Phone: 202-224-3353

Rep. Mike Turner
Phone: 202-225-6465

CALL SCRIPT

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY, ZIP].

[IF CALLING SENATE]: I’m calling to express my support for S. 1615, the DREAM Act, and the thousands of Dreamers who contribute to our society. I urge Senator Jerry Moran to support this legislative solution to protecting the DACA program and the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on it for access to jobs, education, and security.

[IF CALLING HOUSE]:  I’m calling to express my support for H.R. 3591, the American Hope Act, and the thousands of Dreamers who contribute to our society. I urge Senator Jerry Moran to support this legislative solution to protecting the DACA program and the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on it for access to jobs, education, and security.

Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]