Federal Action Alert – August 6, 2021

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

This week: Senator Sinema and Rep. O’Halleran on the $3.5 billion social infrastructure; reform the War Powers Act returning essential war powers to Congress 

Social Infrastructure: 

While we can commend Sen. Sinema for her role in the bi-partisan $1.1 trillion infrastructure plan, we can’t stop there.  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”.  This bill will need to be passed via the reconciliation process requiring the votes of all 50 Democratic Party senators.  The social infrastructure bill could change the face of America 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.  It would be 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.  Predictably, Sen. Sinema has come out against the price tag of the social infrastructure bill and is non-committal about its passage.  

    Nancy Pelosi has stated she will not support Sinema’s bi-partisan package unless she is assured the reconciliation package will also pass.   Rep. Ocasio-Cortez recently tweeted referencing Sen. Sinema, “Good luck tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you’ll survive a 3 vote House margin.”  Tell Sinema what you think.   

    Sample text or message for Sen. SinemaMy name is XXXX.  I’m a mainstream Democrat living and voting in XXXXX.    While it’s great that we may have a bi-partisan infrastructure bill coming I just can’t support you in any future primary unless you also support basic core Democratic Party values contained in the $3.5 trillion social infrastructure bill.  I was stunned to learn that you are lukewarm on funding the social infrastructure package even though it would be paid for by reversing the Trump tax cuts to super wealthy individuals and corporations.  

   This package would fund basic core values of the Democratic party.  I’d urge you to come home to your original beliefs and increase educational opportunities, expand Medicare, and fund anti global warming projects on a massive level.  Please support full funding of the Social Infrastructure Bill.    

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.

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 (you’ll recall the Vietnam War) and for the approval of arms sales to other countries.  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 Congress.  

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

For Senator Kelly: Support the Western Wildfire Support Act of 2021. This bill, S. 2404, was recently introduced to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (where Senator Kelly is a member). This bill authorizes funding for fire risk planning and preparation, for fire detection and suppression, and for post-fire recovery activities. Provisions in the bill would address the enormous challenge the US Forest Service faces (being forced to expend much of its budget on fire suppression rather than proactive forest management) by directly supporting suppression costs as well as fire-related planning. The bill also includes provisions for supporting community-based planning and recovery efforts. Senator Kelly could play a substantial leadership role by becoming a co-sponsor of this bill. More information available at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/2404

Sample script for Senator Kelly: My name is XXX; I’m a voter and constituent in YYY, Arizona. I am calling to encourage the Senator to become a co-sponsor of S. 2404, the Western Wildfire Support Act of 2021. This year again wildfires are devastating forests and communities across the west. And while the fires in our region earlier this year were contained without too much damage to structures or communities, we are seeing major post-fire flooding and other damage from the Museum Fire in Flagstaff and other Arizona fires. We need to invest much more in fire risk reduction and planning efforts, and also in post-fire recovery and hazard mitigation. And increased funding for suppression would help the US Forest Service return a focus to better management practices. Given long-term projections for drought and increased temperatures, these investments are badly needed to protect Arizona’s forests and the people who live in and love them! Please show your support for the health of our forests by co-sponsoring this bill and working to assure its timely passage.
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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