Making the Most of April Recess: Five Policy Priorities


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During the last congressional recess, you stood indivisible all around the country—and the results were incredible. Your town halls and protests were instrumental in defeating Trump’s single most important domestic policy priority: dismantling the Affordable Care Act. Thanks to your efforts, we killed the bill. Now, 24 million people will be able to keep their health insurance. You did that.

Beginning April 8, Members of Congress (MoCs) will once again return to their districts and states for another district work period (“recess”). This is another opportunity for your local groups to give feedback directly to your MoCs on the issues that matter most to you.

We will continue to roll out useful materials in the coming days, but here are the issues that Indivisible will be prioritizing to help you prepare. The issues below are ones that will be coming up for Congress shortly, which is why we think they’re important to focus on—but as always, you should also push your MoCs on the issues that matter most to you.

We will continue to roll out useful materials in the coming days, but here are the issues that Indivisible will be prioritizing to help you prepare. The issues below are ones that will be coming up for Congress shortly, which is why we think they’re important to focus on—but as always, you should also push your MoCs on the issues that matter most to you.

Ongoing Congressional Issues:

  • Investigate Russian Interference in 2016 Election
  • The Federal Budget
    • No Funding for Trump’s Deportation Force

    • No Cuts to Essential Programs

  • Demand Trump’s Tax Returns

Direct Feedback on Votes and Positions:

  • How did your MoC plan to vote on TrumpCare?
  • Did your Senators oppose “going nuclear” over Neil Gorsuch?

ONGOING CONGRESSIONAL ISSUES

  • Independent commission to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. Each day the American people watch as new bombshells drop related to Russian interference in the 2016 election, and connections between Russia and the Trump administration emerge. Trump officials have lied, been forced to resign, and now are shopping for immunity. Alarmingly, key Republicans leading investigations into Russia have closed ranks to protect Donald Trump, suppressing testimony and public hearings.

    Enough is enough. The American people deserve better. Congress should appoint a special commission to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. Members of Congress have introduced bills in both the House and Senate that propose setting up an independent commission, composed of experts outside of Congress, to examine Russian influence in the 2016 election.

    Ask your Representative to co-sponsor the Protecting Our Democracy Act (bill number H.R. 356). This bill would create an independent commission to investigate Russian interference in our elections.

    Ask your Senator to co-sponsor Senator Cardin’s bill S. 27, which would similarly establish an independent commission to investigate Russian interference.

  • Budget Fight: No funding for Trump’s deportation force at the expense of essential programs. Congress needs to pass a funding bill by April 28 of this year, or the government will shut down. And Donald Trump is using the budget process to ram through one of his most vicious policies.

    Trump is requesting additional money (a “supplemental request”) in order to begin work on his border wall, expand his internal deportation force, and add more detention facilities to hold immigrants. This money will be used to rip apart American families, harm communities, and make us all less safe.

    And how does he plan to pay for this? By cutting funding from essential programs that actually keep us safe and healthy—programs like education, housing, disease prevention, disaster response, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Tell your MoCs that you don’t want Congress to spend one penny more to fund Trump’s deportation force, detention facilities or border wall. Tell them that you don’t want funding for essential programs cut.

  • Demand Trump’s tax returns. The release of tax returns is an essential tradition in American democracy—it demonstrates that a presidential nominee does not have conflicts of interests that would prevent them from fulfilling their duties as President. Yet even after being elected, Donald Trump continues to refuse to release his tax returns. This would be unacceptable for any President, and it’s particularly shocking given Trump’s ties to Russia. But Congress can and should do something about it.Until we see Trump’s tax returns, we cannot be certain that foreign governments don’t have leverage over Trump that can be used to influence American policy.  The integrity of American democracy is at stake here, and Congress needs to defend it.

    Demand that your three MoCs co-sponsor the Presidential Tax Transparency Act that would require Donald Trump to make his tax returns public. The bill numbers are S. 26 in the Senate and H.R. 305 in the House

GIVE YOUR MOC DIRECT FEEDBACK OVER VOTES AND POSITIONS ALREADY TAKEN

  • Obamacare is the law of the land, and we intend to keep it that way. Congratulations! Your actions leading up to the scheduled vote on TrumpCare were extraordinary and you achieved something no one imagined possible: You stopped Donald Trump and Paul Ryan from taking health care away from millions of Americans.But the fight’s not finished yet. Republican Members of Congress are already toying with another Affordable Care Act repeal effort. In fact, last week Republican lawmakers told Bloomberg Politics that House leaders are discussing holding a vote on TrumpCare soon.

    The only thing stopping Republicans from trying to gut the ACA again is YOU. Over April recess, you have to keep showing up and you have to keep the the pressure on your MoC. MoCs considering another stab at TrumpCare need to hear from you that this fight is over, and it’s time to move on.

    If your MoC committed to backing Donald Trump’s health care bill at the expense of their own constituents, make sure you let them know you won’t stand for it. Tell them you disagree and demand that they vote against it should Republicans try again.

    If your MoC publicly committed to vote against TrumpCare, make sure to praise them for their decision. Let them know you expect the same if Republicans try to bring it to a vote in the future.

  • Your Senator’s vote on Neil Gorsuch and the “nuclear option.” By the April recess, we will know if Mitch McConnell and his caucus were really willing to “go nuclear” on the Senate rules to ram Gorsuch through with a simple majority. Supreme Court appointments are for life and a change to the Senate rules would be permanent—these decisions will far outlive the Trump administration’s desperate need for validation on its extreme agenda.

    It is all but certain that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will fall short of the 60 vote threshold required to move onto his confirmation under the current Senate rules. If 2017 were a year of politics as usual, Republicans may have admitted defeat and worked to put forward a more mainstream nominee who could garner at least some bipartisan support. But Trump’s apologists in the Congress are desperate to avoid another embarrassment after their failure on health care last week, and they just might be willing to blow up a 230-year-old Senate standard to turn Gorsuch into a win.

    If your Senator voted to “go nuclear” on the Senate rules to shove Gorsuch past the standard every Supreme Court judge before him had to pass, let them know that you’ll be holding them accountable.

    If your Senator stood up against the ‘nuclear option’ to preserve a high bar for confirmations to the Supreme Court, let them know you appreciate that they thought beyond the pressures of this political moment to safeguard a process that guarantees a degree of bipartisanship in confirming our top judges.