Produced by Democrats of the Red Rocks and Coconino County Democratic Party
THIS WEEK’S ALERTS: The focus is on Senator Sinema, who has become central to progress on the Build Back Better/reconciliation bill and other popular proposals currently held in checkmate by the threat of Senate filibuster. Choose one of the following messages for a call, email, or social media post. (Or consider calling on more than one!) And increase the pressure by asking 1-3 friends and contacts to make a similar ask.
SUPPORT AMBITIOUS ACTION ON SOCIAL PROGRAMS WITH FULL FUNDING IN THE BUDGET RECONCILIATION PROPOSAL: Dems must deliver major provisions of President Biden’s infrastructure plan, far beyond the minimal “hard infrastructure” included in the bipartisan package. The broader view of infrastructure includes expansion of the “care economy” (support for child care and home care, paid family leave); expansion of Medicare coverage; investments in fair and affordable housing; creation of clear pathways to citizenship for immigrants; and substantial progress toward a clean energy future. A large majority of Americans support funding these programs through a rollback of Trump’s tax breaks for the super-wealthy. Senator Sinema should not be using the “too expensive” label to block the reconciliation proposal!
Sample text or message for Senator Sinema: “My name is XXXX, and I’m a Democrat living and voting in XXXXX. I’m imploring you to support and fully fund ambitious social programs in the Build Back Better proposal at the same time the bipartisan infrastructure bill is passed. We can pay for a true and fair recovery for all Americans entirely funded by a repeal of the Trump tax cuts that unfairly enriched the super-rich and corporations, and by funding the IRS to collect taxes legally owed by the wealthy. Please don’t protect the rich at the expense of American workers and families who will benefit from these social investments! And don’t use the price tag as an argument against these investments – we know they can easily be paid for with a very modest increase in taxes on the highest earners. Please move President Biden’s agenda forward now!”
PUSH SENATOR SINEMA TO HELP ARIZONA’S SENIORS AND OTHERS BY ALLOWING MEDICARE TO NEGOTIATE WITH PHARMA COMPANIES TO LOWER DRUG PRICES: One key proposal in the reconciliation package is a proposal to allow Medicare to negotiate prices on prescription drugs. We pay far more for medications than those in other developed nations, and this has greatly impacted the overall cost and effectiveness of health care. Having Medicare be able to negotiate drug prices would make medications more affordable for our seniors and would ultimately lead to lower prices overall. (Meanwhile, the many millions of dollars saved for Medicare could represent funding to be used in paying for other provisions such as expansion of Medicare services and eligibility – a win-win.) Senator Sinema has received thousands of dollars of campaign contributions from big pharma companies, but we shouldn’t allow her to act against the interests and well-being of Arizona residents.
Sample text or message for Senator Sinema: “My name is XXXX, and I am a voter and constituent in YYYY. I am deeply concerned about the current crisis in the price of prescription drugs, especially for seniors dependent on Medicare. [Say something about why this matters to you personally – family members? Personal story? Belief that people shouldn’t have to forego their medications because of price?] I am in strong support of the proposal to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical manufacturers – and I know the majority of Arizonans feel this way too. In fact, 80% of Americans want this and even President Trump wanted it. I don’t think Americans should continue to pay so much more than the citizens of other developed nations for their essential medications. I read that you have received many contributions from big pharma companies – but I beg you to act on OUR behalf – Arizona’s seniors and others – by supporting the proposal for Medicare to negotiate drug prices.”
SUPPORT AGGRESSIVE ACTION ON CLIMATE WITH FULL FUNDING IN THE BUDGET RECONCILIATION PROPOSAL: President Biden’s Build Back Better plan offers the first opportunity in many years to act decisively on climate – with proposals to create a Civilian Climate Corps, to set ambitious Clean Energy standards, to speed up the transition from fossil fuels to true renewables, to support the transition of workers and communities in these moves, and to ensure that historically disadvantaged and marginalized communities receive many of these investments (moving to address past inequities). And given the obvious impacts of climate change already upon us, and the short time frame for action that scientists have documented, we cannot and should not back off or delay these investments.
Sample text or message for Senator Sinema (or Senator Kelly, or Representative O’Halleran): “My name is XXXX, and I’m a voter and constituent from YYYY. Climate change is an issue I feel passionately about – we are letting down our children and our future society by failing to act aggressively enough. In Arizona and throughout the western US we are already seeing catastrophic fires, drought and Colorado River water shortages, and horrible heat waves. I’ve been excited to see ambitious proposals to move on climate change in the President’s Build Back Better plan – the Civilian Climate Corps, the Clean Energy Standards, funding for disadvantaged communities and for workers to transition to clean energy. And I’ve appreciated your earlier statements about the importance of acting to mitigate climate change. We know that the economic and human costs of climate change are enormous relative to the size of these investments, so please don’t let price tags discourage you from supporting this agenda. I urge you to help keep aggressive climate action in the reconciliation package, and I beg you to make sure the reconciliation package moves ahead in parallel with the bipartisan infrastructure plan.”
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 . Senator Sinema sits on the Commerce Science and Transportation Committee (drug prices, Medicare), and on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs (housing proposals).
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.
Rep. O’Halleran: Call (202) 225-3361 or send an email via his website at http://www.ohalleran.house.gov