Federal Action Alert – Feb. 27, 2022

Produced by Democrats of the Red Rocks and Coconino County Democratic Party

THIS WEEK’S ALERTS:   Support Pres. Biden’s Ukraine Strategy; Prod Homeland Security to Streamline Parole Process for Admitting Afghan and Ukrainian Refugees; Urge a Ban On Congressional Stock Trading: Support the Climate Solutions Act

A.  THANK OUR CONGRESSIONAL REPS FOR SUPPORTING PRES. BIDEN’S UKRAINE STRATEGY.

As you know Russia has invaded Ukraine in a blatant disregard for the international law prohibition against incursions into foreign countries, and the acquisition of territory via force.  

Sample voice mail to Senators Sinema and Kelly, and Rep. O’Halleran:  Dear XXXX,  I live and vote in XXXX, AZ.  I want to thank you for full-throated backing of Pres. Biden’s strategies in punishing Russia for violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine.  All nations, including our own, must recognize the basic precepts of international law that hold that no country may invade another country except absolutely in self-defense.  Thanks.  

Sen. Mark Kelley: Call (202) 224-2235 (DC),  Email via his website at http://www.kelly.senate.gov Tag the Senator at @senmarkkelly. Senator Kelly sits on the Environment and Public Works Committee and the Committee on Aging.

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 .

Rep. Tom O’Halleran: Call (202) 225-3361 (DC) or email via website at https://ohalleran.house.gov/contact  Tag the Congressman @RepOHalleran 

B.  LET’S NOT FAIL AFGHANISTAN AGAIN OR UKRAINE NOW.  URGE FASTER APPROVAL OF PAROLE PROCESS INTO THE UNITED STATES FOR POLITICAL REFUGEES.  

     As reported in the New York Times, thousands of Afghan allies who narrowly missed being evacuated, and who have been living in hiding in Afghanistan or illegally in neighboring countries, have applied for humanitarian “parole” to reach the United States.  Of the 43,000 humanitarian parole applications the agency has received since July 2021, it has processed fewer than 2,000. About 1,500 had been denied and a mere 170 approved as of Feb. 11.  At $575 per application Homeland Security is collecting millions of dollars while denying 7 of every 8 applications.  Now we face possibly hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian political refugees seeking refuge in the United States. 

     After the Vietnam War we quickly paroled thousands of Vietnamese refugees, as well as thousands of Cubans, and Iraqi after conflicts in their countries.  Why not Afghans? How about Ukrainians?  See the letter sent on Tuesday to Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and signed by more than 200 hundred legal services providers, resettlement agencies and law urging creation of a robust parole program for Afghans.  Let’s add our voices.

Sample script to Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas:  My name is XXXX and I live in XXXXX, Arizona.  I am very concerned that we are failing Afghan refugees once again, and now will fail Ukrainian refugees.  I see that the parole program is overwhelmed and not functioning at a time with 43,000 desperate Afghan have applied.  We can expect similar applications from Ukrainians.  We cannot abandon these allies again as they face statelessness and worse in their home countries.  As we did after the war in Vietnam, please streamline this process and bring these vulnerable US allies into the US quickly.  

Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, 2707 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., SE

Washington, DC 20528.   Comment Line: 202-282-8495

C.  Support the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act (introduced by Sen. Ossof) 

      There’s nothing stopping Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) from voting to block an environmental bill that would affect his own investment in coal or other members from making stock trades immediately after receiving confidential government briefings on market-moving information.  A recent Fox poll showed 70% of Americans support a ban on members of Congress and their families from owning individual stocks.  

      Our own Senator Mark Kelly is the principal co-sponsor of the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act that would require members of Congress and their spouses to divest several types of assets or put them in blind trusts, substantially ending insider trading in Congress.  Other bills are developing towards the same end and hopefully they can be combined.  For now let’s thank Sen. Kelly and be sure that Senator Sinema (who has taken lots of money from Big-Pharma) signs on.  

Sample script for Senator Kelly:  “My name is XXXXX and I live and vote in XXXXX, AZ.  Thank you for co-sponsoring the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act!  I am very concerned about the corrupting influence of money in politics and your Act is an important way to make sure that our elected representatives are held to the highest of ethical standards.”

Sen. Mark Kelley: Call (202) 224-2235 (DC),  Email via his website at http://www.kelly.senate.gov Tag the Senator at @senmarkkelly. Senator Kelly sits on the Environment and Public Works Committee and the Committee on Aging.

Sample script for Senator Sinema: “My name is XXXXX and I live and vote in XXXXX, AZ.  I’m urging you to support Sen. Kelly’s proposed Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act.  I am very concerned about the corrupting influence of money in politics, including the Senators or their families owning major stock holdings or receiving large contributions from companies in fields being regulated by Congress.  This Act is an important way to make sure that our elected representatives are held to the highest of ethical standards, and I would like you to push for it.”

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 .

D. THANK REP. O’HALLERAN FOR SUPPORTING RENEWABLE ENERGY (HR 6351, CLIMATE SOLUTIONS ACT)  This bill imposes a national renewable energy standard, rising to 100 percent of all retail electricity in 2035. Given the struggles around the Build Back Better proposals, it is important to pursue multiple avenues toward significant action on climate change – and this proposal, introduced at the end of December 2021, is one specific policy action deserving attention. Our congressman is a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, to which this bill has been assigned.  Please thank him for his support.  

Sample script for Rep. O’Halleran: “My name is xxxx, and I’m a voter and constituent in yyyy, Arizona. We are both aware of how serious climate change impacts already are in our region – fires, floods, drought. And I’m frustrated that so many good climate-related actions are being held up in the delays around the Build Back Better Act.   That’s why I really want to thank you for your support of HR 6351, the Climate Solutions Act, recently referred to the House Energy & Commerce Committee. Please keep fight up the good fight for our future generations. 

Rep. Tom O’Halleran: Call (202) 225-3361 (DC) or email via website at https://ohalleran.house.gov/contact  Tag the Congressman @RepOHalleran 

Posted in Action Alerts, Latest News.