2 weeks to save our healthcare

Well, we certainly had another action-packed week. Just this past week we:

  • Watched the highest law enforcement officer in our nation refuse to tell us what our president said to him.
  • Learned that Russia hacked far more voting systems than we thought
  • Saw the RNC’s response to a foreign power meddling in our election was to release speaking points that instruct GOP congress members to say, effectively, “this investigation has gone on long enough.”
  • Learned that 70% of Trump real estate deals in the past 12 months have gone to secret buyers, vs. 4% in the two years prior to that.
  • Saw that the number of ethics waivers Trump has written is excessive compared to past presidents, and the powers granted are broader.
  • Learned that Pence has hired a lawyer, and Trump’s lawyer has hired his own lawyer! (Hilariously, in the words of one journalist: “Trump is the Typhoid Mary of treason.”)

I was somewhat comforted to see that our system jumped in with some checks on the insanity. This also happened just last week:

  • The FBI investigation expanded to look at obstruction of justice
  • Attorneys general for DC and Maryland filed suit against Trump, for accepting millions from foreign governments, violating anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution. A first.
  • 196 congressional Democrats filed a lawsuit against Trump for accepting foreign emoluments.
  • The court ruled against the Dakota Access Pipeline, saying the Army Corps of Engineers failed to perform an adequate study of the pipeline’s environmental impact, particularly the impact of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, and environmental justice.

In the meantime, the most critical item facing us RIGHT NOW is the Senate’s ploy to repeal the ACA in secret before the July 4th recess. Not even our Secretary of Health and Human Services knows what’s in the senate bill.

The good news is IndivisibleGuide last week came up with two ways our Democratic senators can fight the bill.

Both are designed to slow things down so the bill can come out into the light of day, giving time for the press to report on it, and for constituents to learn and respond to what is in it:

  • Filibuster by amendment. Republicans are using a special process called “reconciliation” so they can pass the bill with fewer votes, but the trade-off is they have to allow an unlimited number of amendments. Our Senators can file as many amendments as they want and then call them up for a vote. This takes time. We want to ask our senators to plan thousands of amendments and keep them going until there are adequate public hearings on the bill. (more info)
  • Withhold consent on all senate business. The rules of the Senate are so complicated that Senators have to regularly consent to waiving some of them so that they can actually get work done. Our Senators can slow the Senate down to a crawl by withholding consent on legislative business until there are adequate public hearings on the bill. (more info)

On Thursday a group from Stand Up SF brought up the filibuster by amendment tactic with Senator Harris’ Director of Constituent Services, Daniel Chen. Daniel was not familiar with the tactic but thought it was an interesting strategy. He promised to look into it. Now is the time for us to follow up with more calls requesting it. Read the Action Report to learn what was discussed in the meeting.

Stand Up SF actions:

Call and ask Senators Harris and Feinstein to withhold consent on ALL Senate business until we have public hearings and a complete CBO score for the senate’s health care bill.

Call and ask Senators Harris and Feinstein to prepare hundreds or thousands of amendments to the the health care bill and keep them going until we have adequate public hearings.

Thanks for all you do.