Information

Writing to Congress

Many of us are angry and despairing at the political landscape, especially with the recent unprecedented threats to democracy itself in the United States.

Let's pool our brains and amplify our influence! Letters and phone calls to our elected officials make an impact, even if they don't always do what we ask, since they're ultimately concerned about "reelection, reelection, reelection".

Especially with help from our friends, it's not difficult to write letters calling for specific actions and telling powerful stories. We can share talking points, drafts, and letters we've sent, as well as problems we encounter and replies we get.

(The title refers to the U.S. system, but you're welcome to share how you're communicating with your elected officials in any country.)

If you read this group and haven't joined it, please consider joining! It'll encourage other AN members to be more politically active.

Members: 11
Latest Activity: 1 hour ago

Discussion Forum

Robert Mercer's psyops behind the extremist takeover

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Aug 17. 6 Replies

Two hundred years ago the founding fathers created three branches of government, assuming that one party wouldn't dominate all three at once, and assuming that the legislative and executive branch actually wanted to govern the country as a…Continue

Tags: changing beliefs, white supremacist takeover, data analytics, psychological warfare, bio-psycho-social profiling

Action alerts and talking points

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jun 13. 4 Replies

Where do you find useful information on issues to communicate with your legislators about, or talking points you might not have thought about for calling or writing them?Continue

Tags: representatives, legislators, congresscritters, senators, political actions

How are we doing ? As of February 17, 2017

Started by Joan Denoo Feb 17. 0 Replies

block H.R.958 elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency - Wasteful EPA Programs Elimination Act of 2017, 115th Congress (2017-2018) | (Became law)block Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court (Hearing is set for March 20)cosponsor and support S200,…Continue

Tags: support, confirmation, oppose, campaign, writing

How To Write Letter to Congressional Representative.

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by kathy: ky Feb 16. 3 Replies

This is a little different, but not much, from how to write letter to Senator.  Again, this info is from wikihow.  There is overlap with the Senator letter writing concept.…Continue

Guide to how to write letter to your senator

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by Daniel W Feb 16. 7 Replies

If we write letters, but don't do it correctly, we might undermine our well-meaning efforts. Here is a simple guideline from wikihow.  Briefly from…Continue

Finding addresses/phones for your Senators and Representative

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Feb 8. 3 Replies

A few places where you can easily find where to write or call your members of Congress:Official starting points:www.senate.gov - "Find Your Senators" in the upper right (choose your state)…Continue

Tags: phone numbers, legislation, tracking legislation, phones, addresses

Comment Wall

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Comment by Grinning Cat 1 hour ago

Thanks for the steady supply of well-researched information on issues, Ruth! I called my (our) Republican senator about some of these: net neutrality, opposing the Sinclair merger, and opposing the tax bill.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner 1 hour ago

Senate letter, p 2:

I urge you to begin working to find a bipartisan legislative replacement for the FCC's Title II common-carrier oversight of internet service providers. If the FCC votes to reverse these Title II requirements, a legislative fix will be essential to ensure access to a free and open internet.

I’m also writing in opposition to the merger of Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media. The merger will expand Sinclair's reach beyond its legal audience cap of 39% to a massive 72% of US households. The FCC should not bend rules or roll back regulations in order to grow Sinclair’s partisan, pro-Trump, right-wing messaging. Congress must stop this administration’s moves to create a Big Brother state where no free voices exist. If Congress allows the news media to become a conglomerate trumpeting the administration’s lies, the United States will become a death-dealing dystopia worse than depicted in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner 1 hour ago

Senate letter, p 1:

I urge you to oppose the Senate tax bill because it will trigger PAYGO and force devastating cuts to services like Medicare so billionaires can have more money. Trump repeatedly bragged as a candidate that he would reduce the federal debt as president, yet this bill would add $1.5 trillion to the deficit, triggering the PAYGO (“statutory pay-as-you-go”) balanced budget law. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Medicare, agricultural subsidies, student loan programs, social service block grants, mandatory ACA spending, and many other programs could be automatically slashed by a whopping $103 billion just next year. Medicare alone would face cuts of $28 billion dollars in 2018.

These cuts could theoretically be waived by 60 senators and a majority of the House, but given demonstrated Republican hostility to Medicare, the ACA, and other programs, the chance of such a vote happening is near zero. The Senate tax bill must not pass.

I also urge you to oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act [HR 1] because of its effect on students and higher education. The elimination of the student loan deduction and the taxation of tuition waivers would put devastating financial burdens on students. By increasing graduate student tax liability to include tuition waivers and remissions, students will see their tax burden increase by 100-1000%. It would eliminate tax deductions for interest paid on student loans and remove the Lifetime Learning Credit. In 19 states, government agencies can seize state-issued professional licenses from residents who default on their educational debts. Another state, South Dakota, suspends driver’s licenses, making it nearly impossible for people to get to work. With student debt levels soaring, these loans are now the largest source of household debt outside of mortgages. How cruel and self-defeating is it for the government to place excessive tax burdens on students preparing for professional service, and then take away their licenses to work so they have no hope of repayment – all so billionaires get lower taxes. This is INSANE!

Further, eliminating the deductibility of state and local taxes isn’t just incredibly divisive, transferring blue state capital to red states. Many Wall Street executives predict that the Republican tax bill will cause a recession. A National Association of Realtors commissioned study predicted that the elimination of these deductions could result in a decrease in home valuations of 10-17%. When home values go down, then whatever equity has been built up in those homes goes down, and the ability to unlock that equity—through home-equity loans or reverse mortgages—also decreases. 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner 1 hour ago

House letter:

I urge you to oppose the Farm Regulatory Certainty Act (H.R. 848), which would specifically exempt manure, other agricultural animal and crop waste, and fertilizer from the Solid Waste Disposal Act, also known as RCRA, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. RCRA is the only real defense for people whose drinking water is polluted by dairy and feedlot operations.

I urge you to begin working to find a bipartisan legislative replacement for the FCC's Title II common-carrier oversight of internet service providers. If the FCC votes to reverse these Title II requirements, a legislative fix will be essential to ensure access to a free and open internet.

I’m also writing in opposition to the merger of Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media. The merger will expand Sinclair's reach beyond its legal audience cap of 39% to a massive 72% of US households. The FCC should not bend rules or roll back regulations in order to grow Sinclair’s partisan, pro-Trump, right-wing messaging. Congress must stop this administration’s moves to create a Big Brother state where no free voices exist. If Congress allows the news media to become a conglomerate trumpeting the administration’s lies, the United States will become a death-dealing dystopia worse than depicted in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

I also want to express my outrage that the House passed a tax bill that will trigger PAYGO and force devastating cuts to services like Medicare so billionaires can have more money. It would add $1.5 trillion to the deficit, which would trigger the PAYGO (“statutory pay-as-you-go”) balanced budget law. According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Medicare, agricultural subsidies, student loan programs, social service block grants, mandatory ACA spending, and many other programs could be automatically slashed by a whopping $103 billion just next year. Medicare alone would face cuts of $28 billion dollars in 2018.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on November 15, 2017 at 4:11pm

House letter page 2:

I urge you to join Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr.  and Elijah E. Cummings in a bipartisan push for investigation into whether FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has taken improper actions to benefit Sinclair Broadcast Group. Urge the Inspector General find investigate whether actions taken by the FCC under Chairman Pai’s leadership show a pattern and practice of preferential treatment for Sinclair, and whether a series of interactions between Chairman Pai’s office, the Trump Campaign and Trump Administration, and Sinclair demonstrate inappropriate coordination, including whether use of nongovernmental email and/or social media messaging tools complied with the Federal Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act.

I urge you to support HR 2670, the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act, and HR 3207, the Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act. Although keeping guns out of abusers' hands reduces gun violence, major loopholes in federal gun safety laws allow users to readily access firearms. For example, federal law does not consider an assault “domestic violence” if the abuser and victim were “merely” in a dating relationship without living together or having a child together. This so-called "boyfriend loophole" leaves thousands of abusers able to legally purchase guns to use against their victims.

I urge you to cosponsor and support H.R. 4014, the DRAIN the Swamp Act of 2017, which would require federal agencies to disclose whether any proposed change to a major regulation would substantially enrich the President or senior members of his administration. I would also support more general legislation on these lines.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on November 15, 2017 at 4:10pm

House letter page 1:

I urge you to demand that President Trump implement the Russian sanctions signed into law in August 2017. Trump’s recent comments sympathetic to Russia and Putin amid the ongoing investigations into the Trump administration's relationship with Russia make it imperative that Congress keep up pressure to implement sanctions.

I urge you to cosponsor and support the 5 articles of impeachment introduced by Representative Steve Cohen, Luis Gutiérrez, Adriano Espaillat and Al Green. Trump obstructed justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the federal investigation into Moscow’s 2016 election meddling — a probe that has included questions of potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign team. 60 wire transfers from Russia to its embassies around the world with the memo "To finance election campaign of 2016” are reason alone to pursue investigation. The fact that Trump tweeted about John Podesta's hacked emails 15 minutes after WikiLeaks told Trump Jr. "we just released Podesta Emails Part 4" shows that he was in the loop.

The tax bill would lower the corporate tax rate from the current 35% to 20% — the largest corporate tax reduction in U.S. history — starting in 2019. It would switch the U.S. to a “territorial tax system” that taxes corporations based on domestic income only rather than worldwide income. (That would make it far easier for corporations to have their patents and trademarks, etc., owned by a foreign unit, and pay themselves handsomely for their use, removing that money from taxable income.) It would eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, which prevents companies that are making more than $7.5 million every three years from reducing their tax rate below a certain level. The bill would also eliminate the domestic manufacturing deduction and some other business credits. Both the House and the Senate tax bills amount to a more or less systematic attempt to lavish benefits on the children of the ultra-wealthy, while making it harder other young people to achieve upward social mobility. I urge you to oppose this tax not-reform. This tax plan is an all-out assault on working Americans designed to entrench a hereditary plutocracy.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on November 15, 2017 at 4:09pm

Senate letter:

I urge you to demand that President Trump implement the Russian sanctions signed into law in August 2017. Trump’s recent comments sympathetic to Russia and Putin amid the ongoing investigations into the Trump administration's relationship with Russia make it imperative that Congress keep up pressure to implement sanctions.

I’m outraged that Senate Republicans now plan to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate as part of a tax overhaul bill. Adding a provision to their tax plan that would gut the ACA and kick 13 million people off insurance will push premiums up 10%. The tax bill would also lower the corporate tax rate from the current 35% to 20% — the largest corporate tax reduction in U.S. history — starting in 2019. It would switch the U.S. to a “territorial tax system” that taxes corporations based on domestic income only rather than worldwide income. (That would make it far easier for corporations to have their patents and trademarks, etc., owned by a foreign unit, and pay themselves handsomely for their use, removing that money from taxable income.) It would eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, which prevents companies that are making more than $7.5 million every three years from reducing their tax rate below a certain level. The bill would also eliminate the domestic manufacturing deduction and some other business credits. Both the House and the Senate tax bills amount to a more or less systematic attempt to lavish benefits on the children of the ultra-wealthy, while making it harder other young people to achieve upward social mobility. Also, in the newest Senate version the tax cuts for individuals would expire in 2025. I urge you to oppose this tax not-reform. This tax plan is an all-out assault on working Americans designed to entrench a hereditary plutocracy.

I urge you to support S 1539, the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act. Congress must act now to close dangerous loopholes in gun laws that allow perpetrators of domestic abuse access to deadly firearms. Although keeping guns out of abusers' hands reduces gun violence, major loopholes in federal gun safety laws allow users to readily access firearms. For example, federal law does not consider an assault domestic violence if the abuser and victim were in a dating relationship without living together or having a child together. This so-called "boyfriend loophole" leaves thousands of abusers able to legally purchase guns to use against their victims.

I urge you to support H.R. 4014, the Drain the Swamp Act of 2017, which would require federal agencies to disclose whether any proposed change to a major regulation would substantially enrich President Trump or senior members of his administration. Please also cosponsor Senate legislation on these lines.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on November 14, 2017 at 2:19pm

Both senators:

I urge you to oppose nominating former pharmaceutical executive and industry lobbyist Alex Azar to serve as U.S. Health and Human Services secretary. He’s yet another anti-qualified “fox guarding the hen house.” Eli Lilly raised drug prices by double digits while Azar was an executive at the company. It’s crazy to put someone against restraining drug company profiteering and improper marketing, who favors weaker safety approval standards, to oversee the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

I urge you to oppose the tax bill which proposes to reduce individual income taxes paid by pass-through owners by about $450 billion over 10 years. That's almost one third of the total cuts envisioned in the legislation. Pass-throughs accounted for 95 percent of all business tax returns in 2012. It’s all to cheat normal folks and pay the rich, as 69 percent of partnership income and 66.9 of S corporation income in 2011 went to those in the top 1 percent of the income distribution. The tax plan also gives American corporations a $2 trillion tax break, at a time when they’re enjoying record profits and stashing unprecedented amounts of cash in offshore tax shelters. “Supply-side” trickle-down economics is nonsense. The real reason is payback to the GOP’s mega-donors. This is plutocracy! This is evil!

I urge you to sponsor a federal law similar to that in California by State Sen. Connie Leyva which would ban all secret nondisclosure agreements in financial settlements that arise from sexual harassment, sexual assault and sex-based discrimination cases. Florida’s Sunshine in Litigation Act prohibits courts from entering an order that conceals information related to a public hazard, but that fails to protect the public in cases settlement of out of court. Sexual harassment settlements should not only be barred from non-disclosure clauses, secret payments to settle sexual abuse claims should never be tax-deductible for perpetrators. I’m outraged that taxpayers are forced to subsidize hush money for sexual harassment and assault.

I urge you to oppose the Trump administration’s use of the powers of the White House and Justice Department to attack a political opponent! Attorney General Jeff Sessions is entertaining the idea of appointing a second special counsel to investigate a host of Republican concerns — including alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation and the controversial sale of a uranium company to Russia, and has directed senior federal prosecutors to explore these bogus claims. The allegations claiming that the Uranium One deal proved Clinton guilty of the “real collusion” have been debunked repeatedly. It wounds our country when a feedback loop between Fox News, Trump, and congressional Republicans justifies abuse of power, to target Clinton and distract from actual threats of Russian collusion. I urge you to oppose this dark authoritarian push to end criminal investigations into the activities of Trump and his associates and instead pursue made-up charges against the president’s foes.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on November 13, 2017 at 3:54pm

Letter to senators:

I strongly urge you to oppose the Republican tax bill currently in the House (H.R. 1), both generally as a massive corporate giveaway, and for two specific disturbing provisions:

The 429-page bill hides a provision giving “personhood” rights to a fetus from the moment of conception. Sec. 1202(e) allows an “unborn child” to be considered an “individual” or a “designated beneficiary” for education savings accounts. It is clearly intended to lay the groundwork to ban all abortion, and possibly even criminalize miscarriage. This legal precedent is a deceptive move in the war on women. Such radical “personhood” proposals are deeply unpopular, even being defeated on the ballot in states as red as Mississippi. I urge you to oppose the bill unless this is removed.

The bill would also allow pastors to endorse candidates in church, effectively repealing the Johnson Amendment. Sec. 5201 would allow partisan political statements by churches (or other tax-exempt nonprofits with a “religious purpose”). This blatantly violates the Establishment Clause. The provision’s safeguards are meaningless: wealthy congregants could threaten to withhold money unless the pastor endorses or opposes a specific candidate. With no trans­parency and no disclosure, unlike other 501(c)3 groups, and even a tax break for donors, every church in America could become a political weapon, a conduit for massive amounts of unaccountable dark money. I call on you to oppose this provision.

I urge you to support vigorous investigation and prosecution of all parties connected to election tampering. At this point in the proceedings, there can be no innocent explanation for Donald Trump’s rejection of the truth about Russian meddling in last year’s elections. Trump’s complicity in the attack after the fact, and his willingness to smash the intelligence and counter-intelligence agencies in order to protect Putin, Russia, and his associates, has reached the level of proof for counter-intelligence determinations, which do not require the criminal justice standard of “Beyond a reasonable doubt”. A year after the 2016 election, the Trump administration has done nothing to harden U.S. election systems against future interference. It refuses to implement the sanctions voted by Congress to punish Russia for election meddling. The president fired the director of the FBI, admittedly to halt an investigation into Russia’s actions—and his allies in Congress and the media malign the special counsel appointed to continue the investigation. These are not the actions of an innocent man. The country’s survival is in question and only truth will do.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a Trump judicial nominee who has never tried a case
for a lifetime appointment to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.
Brett Talley was unanimously rated as “not qualified” by the American Bar Association.
Talley is 36 and has only practiced law for three years, and as a blogger he denounced “Hillary Rotten Clinton”. Anyone appearing before him would have reason to doubt a fair trial.
I strongly urge you to oppose Brett Talley’s nomination.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on November 6, 2017 at 2:26pm

My senate letter is the same as the house, excepting the first paragraph says:

For years, lobbying shops large and small have openly flouted Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) disclosure rules amid lax Justice Department enforcement. Out-of-control foreign influence demands new regulations and tougher enforcement. FARA has suffered from an “unacceptable” lack of compliance, according to a federal Inspector General report released last year that in part blamed the Justice Department’s inadequate resources and lack of subpoena power. I urge you to support legislation introduced by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley that would close that loophole and give the Justice Department subpoena power when investigating FARA violations, as well as separate bills to buttress FARA enforcement introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Tammy Duckworth.

 

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