This Week In Review – Saturday, 3/11/2017
This was a big week in national and Washington politics – but we’ll help you stay up to date on what’s going on, and what you can do to help out and advance the cause of progressive policies and politics.
1. Big Win For Education
Students, parents, and teachers across Washington state can rest a little easier – this Wednesday, the Senate finally voted on the “levy cliff” legislation that prevents hundreds of millions of dollars in school funding cuts next year!
While Democrats in the House had passed the levy cliff bill weeks ago, Republicans in the Senate refused to allow a vote. But we didn’t give up – Senate Democrats kept pushing for a vote, and thousands of people across the state made phone calls and sent emails to their legislature, and on Wednesday, the Republicans cracked.
This is a huge win for schools and students, who can budget for next year confident that they won’t have their funding cut. It also shows the power of grassroots advocacy – when people like us stand up and act, it can and will make a difference.
Thank you so much to everyone who took action with us on this critical issue!
2. Republicans On Health Care
The Republicans released their proposal for repealing the Affordable Care Act this week, and it’s not going well for them.
Nonpartisan health groups are coming out of the woodwork to oppose the bill and point out that it would take away health care coverage, raise costs, cut essential benefits, and leave nearly all Americans worse off:
American Medical Association: “critically flawed… an adverse impact on patients and the health of the nation.”
American Psychiatric Association: “deeply concerned that the proposed ACA replacement released last night will negatively impact care for people with mental illness and substance use disorders.”
America’s Essential Hospitals: “deep funding cuts for essential hospitals… Our hospitals could not sustain such reductions without scaling back services or eliminating jobs”
American College Of Physicians: “a tremendously negative impact on access, quality, and cost of care compared to current law”
American Cancer Society: “House Health Bill Would Lead to Less Coverage, Higher Patient Costs”
AARP: “increasing insurance premiums for older Americans and not doing anything to lower drug costs…this harmful legislation would make health care less secure and less affordable”
You’ll note we said the bill would make nearly everyone worse off – so who does the bill help? At its heart, this bill is massive tax cut for the wealthy and a huge windfall for insurance companies, at the expense of seniors and the sick. The bill even includes a special new tax break for insurance company executives making more than $500,000 a year along with $600 billion in other tax cuts for the wealthy!
We can’t think of anything that makes the Republicans’ priorities more clear than this. They want to take health care away from the sick and raise costs for seniors so that they can give insurance CEOs a tax break. That’s offensive and wrong.
3. Trump’s Attacks On U.S. Attorneys
It’s just been announced that Trump and his Attorney General Jeff Sessions are demanding the resignation of dozens of U.S. Attorneys. U.S. Attorneys are our nation’s independent federal prosecutors, and they play an important role holding the rest of our government accountable to our laws.
The last time we saw political meddling with U.S. Attorney was when Karl Rove ordered the firing of 9 attorneys under the Bush administration for political reasons, including John McKay of Washington.
Now, when many are calling on U.S. Attorneys to investigate whether Trump is illegally receiving payments or benefits from foreign governments, Sessions and Trump are demanding their resignations. Trump and Sessions must be so desperate to protect themselves from justice that they’re interfering with America’s independent federal prosecutors.
And in more evidence that Trump parrots whatever he sees on cable news, the New York Times reported that the calls “came less than 24 hours after Sean Hannity, the Fox News commentator who often speaks with Mr. Trump, called for a “purge” of Obama appointees at the Justice Department on his show.”
What you can do:
1. Call Reichert On ACA
U.S. Congressman Dave Reichert had previously vowed that “no one will lose coverage” under the Republican health care proposal. But as we know, that’s false. Reichert is lying about Trumpcare and the millions of people who would lose health care or see their premiums rise sky high. And while he’s already voted once to pass Trumpcare out of the House Ways & Means Committee, we need to hold him accountable in advance of a vote of the full House of Representatives.
Reichert’s office phone numbers are:
Washington D.C. 202-225-7761
Call Reichert’s office and let him know that Washingtonians expect Congress to expand health care coverage, not cut it! The ACA is the most popular it has been in years, it’s provided health care to 750,000 people in our state, and Republicans are going in the wrong direction.
2. Add Your Name To Our Health Care Petition
We’re collecting a petition of names people across our state who want to see health care preserved. If you’ve already contacted the office of Congressman Reichert or taken another action, the next step is to add your name to our petition telling Republicans in Congress: Hands off our healthcare! Or forward this email to a friend, and encourage them to add their name as well. Not only can we report to Congress how many thousands of people are signing these petitions, but we can rally our grassroots base around this important issue.
3. Help Fund Our Grassroots Organizing – Join The DEM club!
We’re looking to expand our communications program and hire organizers to help the grassroots activate against Donald Trump and the Republicans. Joining our Democrats Every Month club (the DEM club!) is a great way to make a small monthly commitment to support Democratic organizing and progressive politics.
If you’ve already signed up for the DEM club, send this link or forward this email to a friend and encourage them to join us! This is the most important thing we can do to build our Party and the progressive movement.
Thank you for your support!