This week, the news was full of headlines about Members of Congress waking up and taking notice of just how many Americans are demanding that they stand up to the Trump agenda. Senator Lisa Murkowski announced her decision to vote against Betsy DeVos’ nomination for Secretary of Education, citing the “thousands, truly, thousands of Alaskans who have shared their concerns.” Representative Dave Brat complained that “the women are in my grill no matter where I go” opposing Republicans’ efforts to kill Obamacare.
It’s official: when constituents speak up loud enough, Congress can’t ignore it. And with MoCs returning to their home districts in just a couple weeks for “congressional recess,” you’re about to have a big opportunity to tell them to their faces what they need to be doing to represent you. So it’s time to get planning. And to help out, this week we’re introducing a new tool...
Stand indivisible near you: Indivisible Action
Across the country, we’ve heard from local group leaders that they want to get more people to their group meetings and actions, and we’ve heard from people who aren’t in a group yet that they want more ways to get involved. And that’s smart: we all know we’re stronger when we stand indivisible.
That’s why we’re excited to launch a new feature on our site: Indivisible Action, an event tool that will make it to make it easier for local groups to share information about their upcoming events and for everyone to take part.
Group leaders, you can use this tool to register your group’s next meeting, your next visit to a MoC’s district office, or their town halls and ribbon cuttings. And if you’re interested in taking action but don’t know where to start, this will be an easy way to get connected to upcoming events that your local Indivisible groups are hosting. This movement is all about people using their voices together: check out Indivisible Action today to get started.
Get Ready for Congressional Recess
The week of February 20–24 is the first district work period of the new Congress—meaning your MoCs will be back home holding public events and meeting with constituents. Or, at least they’re supposed to be. If your representatives don’t have a town hall or other public event scheduled yet, call and tell them that you expect them to. This is a great opportunity for your group to remind your MoCs that they need to stand up for you—and that means standing up against the Trump agenda.
Some MoCs will try to avoid having public meetings. But the purpose of these breaks is for MoCs to hear directly from the people they represent. If they aren’t willing to meet constituents, they’re not doing their jobs. If your MoC is refusing to hold a public event, stay tuned: we’ll be rolling out additional tips on how to shame these missing members into interacting with their constituents.
Weekly Action Items
- Don’t Let the Senate Rubber Stamp Trump’s Unfit Cabinet Picks: The Senate will try to confirm several of Trump’s Cabinet picks THIS WEEK. A confirmation vote is scheduled for Betsy DeVos (Education), with additional votes possible for Jeff Sessions (Justice), Tom Price (Health and Human Services), and Steve Mnuchin (Treasury). For reasons ranging from incompetence to well-documented racism, each is unfit to lead any of these agencies. It’s not too late to stop them. Keep visiting your two Senators’ offices to tell them to oppose these nominees!
Monday, Feb. 6, 2017:Procedural votes on nominees are expected on Monday. Continue to ask your Senators to withhold consent on everything until the Muslim ban is lifted.
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017:
The confirmation vote for Betsy DeVos will likely happen Tuesday. Two Republicans have announced their opposition—which means we only need to sway one more Republican Senator to stop DeVos from becoming the least qualified Secretary of Education in history. You can stop this confirmation from happening. YOUR Senator could be the one to sink DeVos.
Call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on Betsy Devos for Secretary of Education.
Remainder of the Week: Possible Action on Several NomineesAfter the Senate considers Betsy DeVos, it will quickly try to confirm the remaining nominees. It is unclear when these votes will happen, but more confirmation votes could begin as early as Wednesday.
Jeff Sessions: Sen. Jeff Sessions has a decades-long history of opposing civil rights legislation. He was rejected for a judgeship by the Senate in 1986 for being too racist, and between his attacks on civil rights and his strong anti-immigration stance, he’s just as unfit to be Attorney General today.
Call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on Jeff Sessions for Attorney General.
Tom Price: Rep. Tom Price is a zealous opponent of Obamacare, and his financial conflicts of interest continue to raise doubts about his ethics and judgment.
Call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Scott Pruitt: Putting Scott Pruitt—who places private profits ahead of the public good—in charge of the EPA is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse. Unfortunately, in this case the hens are America’s health and the environment.
Call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on Scott Pruitt for EPA Director.
Steve Mnuchin: Predatory lender Steve Mnuchin is also under fire for failing to disclose millions of dollars in assets and his role as director of an investment fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands.
Call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on Steve Mnuchin for Secretary of the Treasury.
- Keep standing against the Muslim and refugee ban. Last week, a federal judge—appointed by Republican President G.W. Bush—issued a temporary nationwide injunction on Trump’s illegal and unconstitutional Muslim ban. While this is great news, it is only a temporary halt to the Muslim ban, which Trump continues to fight in court. This isn’t the time for Congress to sit on the sidelines; Congress needs to use its power to defund and rescind the ban.
Ask your Senators to continue to withhold consent on all Senate business, and filibuster any legislation until this discriminatory, unconstitutional ban is revoked and justice is restored.
Ask your Representative to cosponsor H.R.724, the Statue of Liberty Values (SOLVE) Act, legislation that would rescind and defund Trump’s Muslim ban. We’ve got scripts for these conversations (along with a recording of last week’s emergency planning call) available here.
- Tell your Senator “Stop Gorsuch, Don’t Nuke the Senate”: Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. But this isn’t Donald Trump’s vacancy to fill. Early last year, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, a distinguished jurist, to fill this vacancy. Senate Republicans refused to hold hearings, let alone a vote, on Garland’s nomination.
Now, they want Gorsuch to receive the consideration Merrick Garland didn’t. What’s more, if Gorsuch can’t get 60 votes, Donald Trump wants Republican leaders to deploy the “nuclear option” and do away with the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations. Going nuclear would destroy a critical check and balance in our democracy—we can’t let that happen.
Call your Senators, tell them you oppose Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, and demand they oppose the “nuclear option.”
- Tell Congress to put national security over party politics: No Bannon on the National Security Council. President Trump’s decision to remove the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff (actual national security experts) from the National Security Council and instead give a permanent seat to Steve Bannon was an unprecedented politicization of what is supposed to be a nonpartisan body.
Call your Senators and ask them to cosponsor S.291 to modify the requirements for membership in the NSC.
Call your Representative and ask them to cosponsor H.R.804 to prevent political appointees from serving on the NSC.
The Indivisible Guide Team
P.S. Please keep sharing your stories, pictures, and videos with us at email@example.com, using #indivisible and tagging @IndivisibleTeam on Twitter, and posting to Facebook.com/IndivisibleGuide—
where, as of this week, we have over 100,000 people following the Indivisible Guide page. We’re thrilled to be part of this growing movement!
P.P.S. Here’s the part where we ask you for money. We hope our new Indivisible Action tool and the weekly intel on Congress are useful, accessible, and actionable. Our top priority is helping you have as much impact as possible on your home turf. That said, if you’d like to help the 100+ volunteers who are working early mornings, nights, and weekends (and during the Super Bowl!) to develop all this for the Indivisible movement, we wouldn’t turn down a few bucks to help us do even more. Thank you thank you thank you!