FIVE ACTIONS TO TAKE THIS WEEK!
This week’s first three CTAs focus on three days of Senate hearings for several of Trump’s most controversial cabinet appointments scheduled for this week. Republicans want to fast-track these hearings and the confirmation of said candidates. To that end, they have scheduled at least seven of the hearings for the week of January 8, 2017.
We will end the week with two days of thanks – contacting MOCs who have stood up for their constituents and for all Americans.
WHY OPPOSE CABINET CONFIRMATIONS?
Democrats and Independents have many reasons for opposing these cabinet appointments. We could write a full week of CTAs that dig deeper on how ill-suited each candidate is for his or her appointment. For now, we will focus on how the confirmation schedule violates tradition, recent procedures, and common sense.
First, as part of the fast-track process, Republicans have not required the candidates to disclose financial data (such as tax returns) or to complete thorough background checks with organizations such as the FBI. Republicans have also scheduled the hearings on a timeline that has not allowed time for proper vetting by ethics officials. Ironically, Senator Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader (R) who is leading the rush to approve these nominees, opposed the rushing of votes on nominees without thorough vetting, penning this letter to all Senators in 2009 requiring just such proper vetting. Apparently, common sense, tradition, and procedures only apply when the Democrats want nominees approved.
HOW TO OPPOSE CABINET APPOINTMENTS
So how can you help fight against the confirmation of these dangerous cabinet appointments? Check out this daily list below for CTA warriors!
On each day, we’ve listed the high-priority contacts that must be made before the following day’s hearings. For each hearing, contact the appropriate Senate Committee (as listed below) to voice your opposition to each confirmation.
Your individual call is important! Callers across the nation stopped the gutting of the Office of Congressional Ethics last week. Calls are more effective than signing petitions or writing email. In fact, the only thing more effective (short of voting!) is a face-to-face meeting.
NOT SURE WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU CALL?
No worries – we’ve got you covered on this as well. Thanks to Jennifer Hoffman for offering to share the scripts from her weekly to-do list. Although her scripts do not address each of the individual nominations we’ve listed below, she does include several of them. These scripts will give you a solid foundation for any calls you make. You will probably be asked for your zip code, and may be asked for your name and address. You won’t be asked to defend your position when you call.
The hearings begin tomorrow, Jan. 10, so we MUST act today! There are two hearings tomorrow that we can influence:
Tuesday, Jan. 10
Position: Attorney General
Nominee: Sen. Jeff Sessions
Background: Alabama Republican Congressman
Contact: Senate Judiciary Committee
Position: Homeland Security secretary
Nominee: John Kelly
Background: Retired Marine general, former U.S. Southern Command chief
Contact: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Wednesday, Jan. 11 Hearings
Position: Transportation Secretary
Nominee: Elaine Chao
Background: Former Labor Secretary under the George W. Bush administration, deputy secretary of transportation under President George H.W. Bush, member of Trump’s Asian Pacific American Advisory Council for the campaign, married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
Contact: Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation
Position: Secretary of State
Nominee: Rex Tillerson
Background: CEO of Exxon Mobil
Contact: Senate Foreign Relations
Update (11pm, Jan 9 2017): Due to a flood of calls from constituents like YOU, and subsequent concerns by Democratic senators and Ethics officials, the hearing for Betsy DeVos has been postponed until Tue, Jan 17. Keep up the great work everyone!!!
Position: Education Secretary
Nominee: Betsy DeVos
Background: Billionaire, philanthropist, Republican megadonor; no public school experience ever
Contact: Senate HELP Committee
Thursday, Jan. 12
Position: Housing and Urban Development secretary
Nominee: Ben Carson
Background: Retired neurosurgeon, former GOP primary rival
Contact: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Position: Commerce secretary
Nominee: Wilbur Ross
Background: Billionaire private-equity investor, founder of the private equity firm WL Ross & Co.
Committee: Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Today, we’ll take a break from opposing cabinet appointments. Instead, we get to acknowledge the courageous and hard work of the Democrats who stood up and challenged the validity of electoral votes during the Congressional Certification of the Election on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017.
First, for today’s action, please call the following MOCs and thank them for stepping forward in the name of what is just and fair.
The Democrats who raised objections included Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Massachusetts, Barbara Lee, D-California, Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas and freshmen Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington and Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland.
You can’t help but see Speaker Paul Ryan laughing when Joe Biden had to stop the vote challengers because they did not have support from a single senator. Paul Ryan is a perfect example of how important mid-term elections are. We have our work cut out for us, but we MUST gain seats in the House and the Senate in 2018. Stay tuned for CTAs that help you make a difference!
Finally, we will wrap up this week with another action that focuses on thanking MOCs who are taking a stance against tyranny and for our civil and human rights. In a January 6, 2017 press release, Senator Jeff Merkeley (D-OR) announced that he had joined Cory Booker and seven other Senate colleagues to introduce legislation that would “block the establishment of a registry of people based on their religion, race, age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, or nationality.”
In addition to Merkley and Booker, the legislation was cosponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).
Please celebrate TGIF by reaching out to one or more of these bill sponsors and thank them for their efforts. Contact info for each Senator is available here.
Next week, we will be back with details about how to oppose the next round of hearings for Trump cabinet appointments!
STILL HAVE ENERGY?
If one call to action per day isn’t enough, don’t worry! SuitUp Nation has lots more where those come from! Our site boasts three Human Rights CTA’s per day as well as a list of over fifty other actions just waiting for more attention!
Visit SuitUp Nation’s Facebook Group to join in the conversation and become part of the #SUN movement. Make sure to let us know when you’ve taken action! Leave us a comment on our Facebook Page! Tell everyone you’re a bad a** activist who’s standing up for Human Rights all over North America!