Federal Action Alert – August 20, 2021

Produced by The Coconino County Democratic Party & Democrats of the Red Rocks

This week: S1 and John Lewis Act and modified filibuster; passing the bipartisan bill with $3.5 billion social and climate/environment infrastructure;  Modify the War Powers Act 

Modify the filibuster – pass voter protection bills.   Congress is in recess and its first order of business on return is to take up voter protection.  As reported in the NYT we are nearing the last chance to pass significant voter protection legislation if it is going to be timely enough to impact the 2022 elections and prevent massive gerrymandering.  Sen. Sinema’s opposition to modifying the filibuster is well-known.  Kelly is less clear.  Here we ask both senators to carve an exception to the filibuster for voter protection issues.  

Sample text or voice message for both Senators:  My name is XXXX.  I’m a mainstream Democrat living and voting in XXXXX.  I am so concerned that the Republicans are attempting to destroy our voting rights and even our democracy by passing many, many voter restriction laws in dozens of states including here in Arizona.  I am strongly urging you to carve out an exception to the filibuster when it comes to protecting voting rights.  Please fight for passage of S1 and the John Lewis Voter Protection Act.  Attempts at finding 10 Republicans who believe in full democracy have failed.  It’s time to protect the best of America – the right of all to vote – by this selective modification of the filibuster. 

Sen. Sinema:  Call (202) 224-4521 (DC) or (602) 598-7327.  Email via her website at “http://www.sinema.senate.gov”  Tag the Senator at @senatorsinema.

Sen. Mark Kelley: Call (202) 224-2235 (DC),  Email via his website at http://www.kelly.senate.gov Tag the Senator at @senmarkkelly

Social Infrastructure for both Senators and Rep. O’Halleran: 

While we can commend Sen. Sinema for her role in the bi-partisan $1.1 trillion infrastructure plan, we need to badger her to also pass the $3.5 trillion social infrastructure bill through the reconciliation process.  This requires all 50 Democratic Senators to get on board.  Sen Sinema is already squeamish saying it should be less money.  We need to tie our support of Sinema to her support of the basic Democratic Party values contained in the $3.5 trillion “social infrastructure bill”.  We also need to be sure that Sen. Kelly and Rep. O’Halleran will be on board.  The social infrastructure bill could change the face of American by funding major climate initiatives to combat global warming, universal Pre-K and community college, by adding dental, vision and hearing benefits to Medicare, and much more.  Unlike Sinema’s bi-partisan infrastructure bill it would fully paid for and funded by restoration of traditional tax levels on super wealthy corporations and individuals who benefited so grossly from the massive transfer of wealth in the Trump Tax Bill.  

Sample text or message for both Senators and Rep. O’Halleran, (Environmental Focus):  My name is XXXX, and I’m a Democrat living and voting in XXXXX.    The coming bi-partisan infrastructure bill is a great start to building back better, but I’m really concerned that it doesn’t scratch the surface of what we need to address climate change. Living here in Arizona, we all see the terrible effects of climate change [personalize here with what you care about – fire, floods, drought, heat waves, loss of winter snow…].  Last week’s release of the major international report from the IPCC just confirmed we need to get started tackling this issue right now! The larger $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill is desperately needed in addition to the smaller bipartisan package – and it needs to include as much climate action as possible. Funding climate-smart infrastructure, training, and employment will keep us competitive with other nations as well as helping moderate the catastrophic effects of climate change for us and our children. Funding this larger package by helping the IRS collect legitimate taxes and by modest reversals of tax cuts for the super-wealthy is just plain smart AND a major investment for the future.

   Sen. Sinema:  Call (202) 224-4521 (DC) or (602) 598-7327.  Email via her website at “http://www.sinema.senate.gov”  Tag the Senator at @senatorsinema,

Sen. Mark Kelley: Call (202) 224-2235 (DC),  Email via his website at http://www.kelly.senate.gov Tag the Senator at @senmarkkelly

Rep. O’Halleran: Call (202) 225-3361 or send an email via his website at http://www.ohalleran.house.gov

Congress Needs to Reassert Its power to Declare War (or Not)

For both Senators and Rep. O’Halleran:  Support the National Security Powers Act of 2021.    This bi-partisan bill, sponsored by Senators Sanders (D Vermont), Lee (R Utah) and Murphy (D -Conn.), would replace the War Powers Act.  Over the past many decades Congress has abdicated its responsibility to authorize (or not) military interventions and for the approval of arms sales to other countries.  Congress stood by granting presidents authority to decide to lead us in war.  Those bad presidential decisions led to the lost wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan and the optional war in Iraq based on faulty, if not fraudulent, information.  The Act strengthens Congress’s role in declaring war and requiring Congressional consent for the deployment of troops in hostilities lasting more than 20 days.  It would also require Congressional approval of massive arms agreements involving other countries.   

Currently, Congress needs to have veto proof majorities to prevent arms sales to other countries if approved by an American president.  Hence, Congress was powerless to prevent (or approve) the $23 billion sale of F-35s to the United Arab Republic and $8 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia under Trump and $735 million in munitions to Israel during the recent Gaza conflict under Biden.  There is no oversight.  Congress needs to weigh in on these deals and reassert its traditional authority over the purse strings.  Under this Act Congress would be called upon to approve proposed arms deals, and to authorize military interventions if they last more than 20 days.   

Sample script for both Senators My name is XXXX.   I’m a mainstream Democrat living and voting in XXXXX. I’ve long been concerned about Congress giving up its authority over US military interventions in other countries, its power to declare war, and its ability to act against questionable arms sales to other countries.  I urge you to support S. 2391, the “National Security Powers Act of 2021”, which would replace the War Powers Act and give that authority back to where it belongs – to you and the US Senate.  

Sen. Sinema:  Call (202) 224-4521 (DC) or (602) 598-7327.  Email via her website at “http://www.sinema.senate.gov”  Tag the Senator at @senatorsinema,
Sen. Mark Kelley: Call (202) 224-2235 (DC),  Email via his website at http://www.kelly.senate.gov Tag the Senator at @senmarkkelly

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