Call To Action: End the Shutdown, what you can do, now
UPDATED 9/17: McConnell has not refused for the THIRD TIME to allow a vote on this:
Sen.Tim Kaine (D-V.) tried to get consent to take up a House-passed bill that would reopen all agencies except the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is at the center of the shutdown fight. But McConnell objected. (see article here)
WE MUST CONTACT MCCONNELL AND TELL HIM TO LET OUR SENATORS VOTE:
We won’t often encourage you to contact legislators who are not your own elected representatives, but there is one man who is preventing an end to this shutdown.
No, it’s not Trump, it’s Mitch McConnell.
People are not being paid, they are HURTING. In some departments like TSA, workers are making an average of $30,000 a year. For many, one paycheck can mean bills won’t be paid, and they struggle to buy food or medicine. And, increasingly, this will impact all of us as more services are disabled.
All of this because Trump wants to use our tax money to pay for his wall, the wall Mexico was supposed to pay for.
The new-Pelosi-led House passed a bill, identical to the bill the senate passed in December that would have prevented a shutdown. Back then, the then GOP (Ryan-controlled) House refused to pass it after Trump changed his mind, when Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh gave their orders from his TV and radio he told them he wouldn’t sign it. Now that the House has passed the same bill the Senate passed in December, Mitch McConnell is using his power to keep it from even going to a vote in the Senate.
Contact Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Tell him that as the Senate Majority Leader, to bring the bill to the floor and let YOUR senator vote on this bill:
Send a note or postcard:
317 Russell Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
or send an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Further action you can take comes from Indivisible:
It’s a new Congress. Democrats have taken over in the House, and one of their first votes was on a funding bill that would end the government shutdown. They passed one “minibus” bill that funds most of the government through the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30), as well as a clean short-term continuing resolution (CR) for the Department of Homeland Security through Feb. 8, which would allow Congress time to work toward a solution on Trump’s wall demands. They are continuing to pass bills in the House to fund specific agencies, like Treasury and the IRS.
Mitch McConnell is refusing to put legislation opening the government to a vote—that means he’s complicit in Trump’s shutdown. The Senate already unanimously passed a clean short-term CR (just like the one House Democrats just passed) in December. But instead of addressing the most urgent issue, Mitch McConnell is planning to bring unrelated bills to the floor for a vote. He’d like to pretend that it’s business as usual in the Senate—not that hundreds of thousands of federal workers are going without pay, or that he is now acting to prolong the shutdown by refusing to put the House-passed bills to a vote.
This is not business as usual. It’s Congress’s responsibility to fund the government, a responsibility that McConnell is now abdicating. Luckily, McConnell can only proceed with his plan if he has the support of at least 60 Senators, which means Democrats have the power to stop him in his tracks.
What you can do now:
More details about this shutdown, what certain terms mean etc below the call scripts.
It’s time to play hardball. It’s simple: the only thing that the Senate should be working on right now is ending this shutdown. The House has done its job. Now it’s time for the Senate to do the same.
Democratic Senators should refuse to proceed to any legislation until the government is reopened, and Republican Senators should demand a vote on the House funding bills to reopen the government. If it’s not a funding bill, then it should wait. McConnell can only proceed with other legislation if he has 60 votes to end debate. That means that if enough Senators stick together, they hold up legislation until the government reopens.
Call your Senators now and tell them: no votes on other legislation until the government reopens.
What you can do
Tell your Democratic Senators to oppose all legislation in the Senate until the government is reopened, and tell your Republican Senators to pass the House funding bills and reopen the government. The new Democratic House passed funding bills on January 3 that would keep the Department of Homeland Security open through February, and the rest of the government open through September. Now, the Senate must act to pass these funding bills and end the Trump Shutdown—before they pretend it’s business as usual and move on to other things in the Senate. Use this number (202) 224-3121 or find your Senator’s contact info here.
Call Script for Democratic Senators
Hello! My name is ___ and I’m calling from (part of state). I’m calling to ask [Senator] to oppose any legislation in the Senate until the government is reopened.
The Senate—including [Senator]—unanimously passed a clean budget that would keep the government open until February. There are 800,000 federal workers going without pay. National parks are filling up with trash. This is unacceptable; [Senator] needs to force Mitch McConnell to put legislation reopening the government on the floor by opposing all other legislation.
Will [Senator] commit to voting “no” on all legislation until the government has reopened?
Call Script for Republican Senators
Hello! My name is ___ and I’m calling from (part of state). I’m calling to ask [Senator] reopen the government by passing the clean funding bills that passed in the House on January 3, which don’t contain new money for Trump’s wall.
I don’t want any of my tax dollars going to support an unnecessary border wall. I know who’s to blame here. This shutdown was caused by Donald Trump. The Senate unanimously passed a clean budget that would keep the government open until February, but now Mitch McConnell refuses to vote on that same legislation because Democrats have retaken control of the House.
Will [Senator] commit to passing the House funding bills that would reopen our government instead holding our government hostage over Trump’s racist wall?
More about this shutdown how it happened:
Why is this happening?
Funding for a large part of the government expired on December 21, and Trump shut down the government because he didn’t get money for his wall. Trump is throwing a temper tantrum, demanding $5 billion in funding from Congress for his unnecessary, xenophobic border wall—and to try to get his way, he is threatening to veto legislation from Congress that would keep the government running. This is a crisis entirely of Trump’s own making. Democrats, and most Republicans, don’t want to shut down the government over Trump’s wall, especially after voters resoundingly rejected Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda in the 2018 midterms.
So far, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are standing strong against him, which is exactly what they should be doing. In a meeting with Trump on Dec. 11, they told him that they would not agree to any new money for Trump’s wall, detention beds, or border agents.
Trump shut down part of the government. Large parts of the government have already been funded through September 30, 2019. That’s because earlier this year, Congress passed a handful of bills that funded the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Education, Veterans Affairs, Energy, and a few other parts of the government. But a large slice of the government—including the Department of Homeland Security, where funding for the wall would live—has not yet been funded.
This fight all comes down to the wall. Both House and Senate Democrats rightfully do not want to give Trump any more money for the wall. Last year’s funding bill had $1.3 billion for border “fencing,” and DHS hasn’t even spent that yet. (It’s also important to note that while Members of Congress will distinguish between fencing and wall construction, the distinction is meaningless to border communities who will have to live with it.) Nevertheless, Trump has dug in his heels for more, saying that he won’t sign any bill on his desk unless it has an extra $5 billion for the wall.
The House passed a “clean,” year-long continuing resolution (“CR”). The Democratic position is that they will only accept a “clean,” year-long CR, which means no new money for wall construction of any kind, and no new money for border agents or detention beds. This is the right stance for them to take—and it is consistent with the position of most national immigration groups.
Earlier this year, Democrats in the Senate had agreed to $1.6 billion in new money for wall construction. This was never a good deal, but since that time, circumstances have changed. The Blue Wave swept the country, and it represented a strong rebuke of Trump’s hateful immigration policies. Democrats must hold strong to their demand for a clean, year-long CR, which would strip out this proposed new money.
What the “CR” means and what happens next
Does a CR mean no money for the wall or immigration enforcement? Unfortunately, no. A continuing resolution extends existing funding levels, which means that all the awful things that are currently funded get funded again for another year. DHS will get the same amount of money it got last year, and it will use it to terrorize immigrants at the border and in our communities. And because last year’s funding bill contained $1.3 billion for wall construction, DHS will get another $1.3 billion this year for wall construction. What we’re fighting for now is to stop Republicans from adding even more money for wall or immigration enforcement.
Then why support a clean, year-long CR? Until Democrats get control of the House, the alternative is worse. Republicans still control both chambers of Congress until January, and Trump is demanding $5 billion in new funding for his wall. Maintaining the current funding levels would keep the situation from getting any worse and would represent a major loss for Trump, whether he admits it or not.
In order to stop all wall construction, Republicans and Trump would have to agree to cuts, an unrealistic demand in this Congress while they control the entire government. But remember: Democrats take control of the House in January, which means cuts are possible next year—and that’s exactly what we’ll be fighting for in the next Congress. But until then, we need to stop Republicans from making things worse.
(If you see errors or omissions please contact CapeCodWomenforChange@gmail.com)
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