Letters to My Representatives 7-26-2017

Here are today’s letters. I also called my Senators directly to thank them for standing with the ACA and fighting against any efforts to repeal it.

Dear Senator Stabenow,

As I said in my call earlier, thank you for standing with the ACA and pushing for fixing it’s problems not repeal as the Republicans are demanding. Please continue to fight and convince Republican colleagues that this is a dangerous bill (BCRA) that will damage the lives of millions,

I would also like to express my extreme concern at the Senate Republican’s attempts to thwart the normal rules of order in an effort to get this and other bills passed. I understand the parlimentarian ruled against a lot of the points of the bill, yet the Republicans do not seem concerned. They have broken the “rules” numerous times already and continue to breach standard procedure and long held norms. While this in itself is not always bad, it is apparent that they are damaging the very structure of our legislative democracy. Couple that with Trump’s repeated attempts to circumvent the Constitution and checks and balances put in place, leaves me wildly alarmed at the GOP behavior, motives and possible outcomes.

I would like to voice my support for Senator Durbin and Graham’s Dream Act of 2017. I believe that we should help all under 18 young adults who were brought to the US and have fulfilled all the legal requirements instituted by the government, be put on the pathway to legal citizenship. Many of these young adults were brought to the US at a young age and have contributed academically and professionally to our country. I believe helping them achieve permanent and legal status as a citizen can only benefit our country. Please support this bill.

I ask you to speak out against the ongoing changes at the State Department, including the closure of the War Crimes office and the folding of the cyber office into another department. I ask that you go on record in addressing how these changes will impact our diplomatic capabilities globally. Your constituents need to hear you speak out against these measures.

I ask you to take a continued stand against the rollback of Net Neutrality. A change in rules would take away our freedom on the internet and negatively impact individuals and small businesses alike. Please stand against the FCC’s efforts to change Net Neutrality.

I would also like to ask for the continued investigations into Trump, his son Don, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and well quite frankly the whole crooked lot of them. Don Jr. admitted to collusion, Kushner has omitted important financial ties to Russian influence on his security clearance forms, and others have had meetings and ties to Russia, many of which originally lied about it. Please support the continued investigations, protest Trump’s every move to thwart them, and demand answers to the questions of Trump’s, his surrogates’, and his campaign’s ties to Russia and any collusion in the election.

Please speak out against Trump’s second secretive meeting with Putin at the G20 summit. We need total transparency from this suspect administration and this meeting is highly suspicious as there are no other American witnesses to confirm Trump’s statement on the meeting. It is also highly unusual and concerning considering the suspicion of collusion in the election.

I am livid over the White House’s continued blocking of reporters from recording or broadcasting the daily White House press briefings. Denying the American public the right to hear what is being discussed by our government is anti-transparency and not what a democratic government is supposed to do. Please speak out against and challenge the White House on this practice.

I am appalled at what happened at the Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. Please speak out against Trump’s inappropriate use of his platform and the sinister attempted indoctrination of children. This is reminiscent of Hitler Youth and we should all be concerned about the direction in which this man is leading our country.

Please speak out strongly against Trump’s intended ban of transgender people in the military. This is nothing more than an attempt to bolster support from his far right base in an effort to look strong and as if he is doing something to further their agenda. I am strongly against any attempt to discriminate against transgender people, or anyone for any reason. Please do not let this heinous attack go unanswered, nor those coming from a number of GOP Senators and Congresspeople.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

 

Dear Representative Moolenaar,

Here is your weekly reminder that I will work hard to inform all your constituents come 2018 what your vote for the AHCA will mean for their healthcare. While I’m sure you are confident that this measure will be good for America, all the evidence leads to the contrary opinion and I will take no pleasure in telling people why they have no insurance, substandard insurance, or insurance too expensive to purchase because of their pre-existing conditions, but I will do it. I will do everything I can to make sure voters know who to blame and help get them to the polls when you are up for re-election.

I do not support the House Budget Committee’s bill released July 17th. The proposal’s plan to cut Medicare and Social Security is unacceptable. Any proposal that has $200 billion cuts to entitlement programs would unduly damage the safety nets that many of our oldest and most vulnerable populations depend upon. Please do not vote in favor of this budget.

I support HR 3364.

I ask you to speak out against the ongoing changes at the State Department, including the closure of the War Crimes office and the folding of the cyber office into another department. I ask that you go on record in addressing how these changes will impact our diplomatic capabilities globally. Your constituents need to hear you speak out against these measures.

I ask you to take a continued stand against the rollback of Net Neutrality. A change in rules would take away our freedom on the internet and negatively impact individuals and small businesses alike. Please stand against the FCC’s efforts to change Net Neutrality.

I would also like to ask for the continued investigations into Trump, his son Don, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and well quite frankly the whole crooked lot of them. Don Jr. admitted to collusion, Kushner has omitted important financial ties to Russian influence on his security clearance forms, and others have had meetings and ties to Russia, many of whom originally lied about it. Please support the continued investigations, protest Trump’s every move to thwart them, and demand answers to the questions of Trump’s, his surrogates’, and his campaign’s ties to Russia and any collusion in the election.

Please speak out against Trump’s second secretive meeting with Putin at the G20 summit. We need total transparency from this suspect administration and this meeting is highly suspicious as there are no other American witnesses to confirm Trump’s statement on the meeting. It is also highly unusual and concerning considering the suspicion of collusion in the election.

I am livid over the White House’s continued blocking of reporters from recording or broadcasting the daily White House press briefings. Denying the American public the right to hear what is being discussed by our government is anti-transparency and not what a democratic government is supposed to do. Please speak out against and challenge the White House on this practice.

I am appalled at what happened at the Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. Please speak out against Trump’s inappropriate use of his platform and the sinister attempted indoctrination of children. This is reminiscent of Hitler Youth and we should all be concerned about the direction in which this man is leading our country.

Please speak out strongly against Trump’s intended ban of transgender people in the military. This is nothing more than an attempt to bolster support from his far right base in an effort to look strong and as if he is doing something to further their agenda. I am strongly against any attempt to discriminate against transgender people, or anyone for any reason. Please do not let this heinous attack go unanswered, nor those coming from a number of GOP Senators and Congresspeople.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

For more information and scripts, visit It’s Time to Fight. Keep calling your Senators. Though the GOP won the vote to proceed with debate and hearings on the BCRA, the fight isn’t over. Call your Senators every day. Especially if they are Republicans!

Letters to My Representatives 7-19-2017

Here are today’s letters! Still trying to unpack all the moving boxes (and looking for ideas—writing-related ideas—for new blog posts) but I managed to find some time to write my reps.

Dear Representative Moolenaar,

I am writing today to let you know that I do not support the House Budget Committee Bill released Tuesday, July 17th. While I do recognize the need to balance the budget and reduce the Federal Deficit, I do not thinking raising military spending at the expense of needed programs for the disadvantaged is a viable solution. The proposal’s plan to cut Medicaid and Social Security is unacceptable. Any proposal that has $200 billion cuts to entitlement programs would unduly damage the safety nets that many of our oldest and most vulnerable populations depend on. I understand that the budget is being marked up today. If the budget reaches the House floor, please vote no.

Despite your letter to me regarding the Net Neutrality laws, I would still like to tell you that I am not in favor of rolling back Net Neutrality protections. Obviously you have already made up your mind, but it is just another item that should it go through (as it appears to be happening) and should there be consequences as many Democrats have warned against for individual people, small businesses, etc., I will be sure to remind your constituents come election time that you supported rolling back Net Neutrality protections and inhibiting and damaging their experience and accessibility to the internet.

I also ask that you use whatever resources are available to you to investigate Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Trump’s denials of the meeting and then lies about the purpose of the meeting – countered by the emails from Rod Goldstein – indicate collusion. This is something that must be taken seriously and investigated. Please push for the truth. It is time for Republicans to stop putting party before constituents and recognize and accept that the Trump Presidency is damaging to this country in so many ways. If you do not actively fight to preserve our Democracy, you will be remembered as one of the people who tried to destroy it.

I ask that you speak out against Trump’s decision to hold a second meeting with Vladimir Putin, without any members of the American delegation present. This is highly unusual and considering all that has been happening, alarmingly concerning as well as bad for the image of the presidency. Even though Trump is claiming that the meeting was innocent and standard, there is no way of confirming the veracity of this statement because no other Americans were present. Moreover, the lack of transparency involving this meeting continues a trend by the Trump administration to not publicly disclose meetings involving the Russians. I am alarmed by this repeatedly happening and I ask that you condemn this practice of secrecy by the administration.

I would also like to express my concern over the White House’s decision to continuously block reporters from recording or broadcasting the daily White House briefing. Denying the American public the right to hear what is being discussed by our government is anti-transparency and not what a democratic government is supposed to do. Please speak out against this practice and challenge the White House on this practice.

I would also like to express concern over Interior Secretary Zinke’s recommendation for the Bear’s Ear monument in Utah to be scaled back, and for Congress to step in management for some sections. The monument is considered sacred by many Nations and is home to 100,000 cultural and archaeological sites. Co-management or sepaating the sites – as proposed by Zinke – will not work. Please speak out against any attempts to scale back Bear’s Ear or any of the other 26 monuments.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

 

Dear Senator Stabenow,

Thank you for your continued support of the ACA, opposition to the BCRA & AHCA, and opposition to any attempts to repeal the ACA without replacement.

I would also like to ask that you continue to take a stand against the rollback of Net Neutrality. A change in rules would take away our freedom on the internet and negatively impact individuals and small businesses alike. Please stand up against the FCC’s efforts to change Net Neutrality.

I also ask that you use whatever resources are available to you to investigate Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Trump’s denials of the meeting and then lies about the purpose of the meeting – countered by the emails from Rod Goldstein – indicate collusion. This is something that must be taken seriously and investigated. Please push for the truth.

I ask that you speak out against Trump’s decision to hold a second meeting with Vladimir Putin, without any members of the American delegation present. This is highly unusual and considering all that has been happening, alarmingly concerning as well as bad for the image of the presidency. Even though Trump is claiming that the meeting was innocent and standard, there is no way of confirming the veracity of this statement because no other Americans were present. Moreover, the lack of transparency involving this meeting continues a trend by the Trump administration to not publicly disclose meetings involving the Russians. I am alarmed by this repeatedly happening and I ask that you condemn this practice of secrecy by the administration.

I would also like to express my concern over the White House’s decision to continuously block reporters from recording or broadcasting the daily White House briefing. Denying the American public the right to hear what is being discussed by our government is anti-transparency and not what a democratic government is supposed to do. Please speak out against this practice and challenge the White House on this practice.

I would also like to express concern over Interior Secretary Zinke’s recommendation for the Bear’s Ear monument in Utah to be scaled back, and for Congress to step in management for some sections. The monument is considered sacred by many Nations and is home to 100,000 cultural and archaeological sites. Co-management or separating the sites – as proposed by Zinke – will not work. Please speak out against any attempts to scale back Bear’s Ear or any of the other 26 monuments.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

Visit It’s Time to Fight for scripts and more info!

Letters to My Representatives 6-16-2017

I almost didn’t get my letter in this week. Between our upcoming move and a graduation party in 7 days, I’ve been scrambling for time. So I called my Senators on Tuesday (and I’ll call again in a few minutes) to ask them to vote NO on the AHCA, to demand public disclosure and hearings on the bill, and to fight against it with all they have. Here are some scripts from ItsTimetoFight.com to help you in your own calls:

I know it seems pointless to call, but really, it’s a few minutes out of your day. And here are some good reasons to call:

  • Democratic Senators use the call/email volumes to better argue against the bill; if we call, they can report those numbers to their GOP colleagues to help convince them to vote NO
  • Republican Senators who will vote YES still need to hear that we are displeased. They need to know they may be facing election loss if they do this.
  • Republican Senators who are undecided or on the fence NEED to know how their constituents feel about this issue. The more calls, the more likely we can sway them to vote NO.

Here is the letter I wrote to Representative Mitchell today. It doesn’t highlight any particular issues, but rather my crumbling view of the GOP. Will it do any good? Maybe not, but it is cathartic for me, so I guess there’s the good.

Dear Representative Mitchell,

I was prepared today to send you my usual weekly letter listing all the issues that concern me and how I want you to vote, respond or proceed on them, which you would then ignore and continue with your own party-line agenda. But I decided to go another route today and explain a few things to you.

First, I’d like to say that I have voted for Republicans before. I tend to lean left, but have generally remained centered, giving due consideration to both a conservative and liberal view point. I have even, on occasion, taken the conservative side of an issue. I do believe that both conservatives and liberals have something to add to the discussion and compromises can be reached on many issues to better serve all Americans.

I used to believe that the Republican Party stood for family values and tradition. I believed they upheld Christian ideals and that even though I didn’t agree with 90% of what they stood for, there was still something of value there.

I no longer believe this.

This isn’t a conclusion I have come to simply because of one election. It has been progressing over years and years, though I stubbornly hung onto the hope that there was something good and benevolent left in the GOP. That hope has since been dashed. The GOP, and this includes Trump, though he is by no means the sole perpetrator, have become the villains in American politics. I know you of course don’t see it that way, but I believe you have a very narrow view of what will help America. You are focused solely on what white middle class Christian America “needs” not seeing that by raising the lesser among us, we bring all of us up.

Between cuts to healthcare funding, repealing the ACA, imposing the heinous AHCA on us, proposed cuts to everything from Medicare to NEA to PBS. Pulling out of the Paris Accord, destroying climate change data, and proceeding with the DAPL, the GOP, and especially Trump, have created lasting damage to the fabric of our society that will take generations to correct, if we are able to. They have also demonstrated ignorance concerning matters of science and hypocrisy to Christian teachings. In fact, the blatant hypocrisy displayed has caused me to question my own beliefs, because how can I possibly belong to a religion that doesn’t understand nor follow the teachings of Jesus on such a large scale? It makes me sick.

And the fact that you have stood by and not said one word while Trump spoke dangerously on the campaign trail, inciting violence that continues to plague us, or done anything about the EO Travel Ban discriminating against Muslims, or condemned his inappropriate talk about multitudes of people from the Kahns to Comey to Mueller, or spoke out against his inappropriate remarks about women just goes to show that you wish to go down with his sinking ship. You neither have the moral fortitude nor the courage to denounce this dangerous man who is damaging our country. You didn’t speak out against him during the campaign, you have done nothing about him now, and history will remember those that fought against this degradation of America’s democratic system. They will not remember those who stood quietly by and allowed the erosion of our democracy. History will not remember you, sir.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Austin

Letters to My Representatives 6-7-2017

Here is today’s letter to my representatives. Senators Stabenow and Peters received this letter as is, but Representative Mitchell received his weekly reminder that I will be sure to remind his constituents that he voted for the AHCA. Let’s hope it bites him in the ass in 2018.

Remember to check out ItsTimetoFight.com for more information and scripts. It’s where I get much of what I use. Just click on the current issues tab and then select Call List.

Dear Senator Stabenow,

First I’d like to thank you for your continued support of the ACA. It is heinous that Trump and the Republicans want to kill this bill, and cause so many Americans to suffer. Thank you for standing with what is not only morally right, but was is best for this country. Please do not support any attempts to repeal the ACA, especially through AHCA. Please work to convince some of your GOP counterparts not to support this bill. I understand that the Senate is still writing the bill, but I want to voice my opposition to any bill that will repeal the ACA, especially without replacement. And the CBO score estimating that 23 million Americans will lose their healthcare coverage is unacceptable, and the potential for state waivers will negatively affect those with pre-existing conditions.

I am extremely angry and disgusted at Trump’s shortsighted and disastrous decision to pull out of the Paris Accord. I am hopeful that so many individual citizens, corporations and local and state governments have pledged to abide by the accord regardless of Trump’s decision. Please do whatever you can to support those that chose to put the planet’s welfare ahead of Trump’s ignorance.

I ask that you do not vote for the Financial Choice Act of 2017. Many of these safeguards were put into place after the recession of 2008 and helped our economy recover.

I would like to express my supreme concern and anger over the proposed Trump budget. The cuts to entitlement programs are destructive to society, and cuts to Medicaid in particular are catastrophic to many people. I ask that you condemn the budget and oppose it any form.

I ask that you speak out against the Trump Administration’s planned attempts to rollback contraception mandate for healthcare coverage. Women’s healthcare should be considered a private matter, and contraception use is used for many areas outside of birth control. Please defend a women’s right to make their own healthcare choices.

I ask for an independent commission to be formed to investigate Trump, Kushner, Manafort, Flynn, Sessions and the rest of the Trump campaign and administration and their ties to Russia during the campaign. A special prosecutor is a good first step, but the American people deserve a full independent investigation.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Austin

Letters to My Representatives 5-24-2017

Here is today’s letter. I relied heavily on ItsTimeToFight.com today. They had some wonderful scripts that made covering all the information much easier and as I’m short on time it’s a life saver. Feel free to copy and paste my words into your letters, or visit It’s Time to Fight for more information!

This is the letter I wrote to Senator Stabenow. All three letters were essentially the same, except the letter to Rep. Mitchell contained the following paragraph to replace the one on the AHCA:

Here is my weekly reminder that I intend to make sure all of your constituents remember in 2018 that you voted for the ACHA and what it will mean for them and their health care. I assume you are aware that Edith DesMarais just won a NH state seat over a GOP opponent in a district that has never seen a Democratic rep., and voted for Trump with 60% of the vote. It can happen. And your attack on Americans’ healthcare and not standing up to Trump’s abuse of power, possible ties to Russia, and obstruction of investigations will be noted in the coming election.

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I ask you not to support any attempts to pass legislation that may help revoke monument status on any of our nation’s already-designated monuments. While the Trump Administration has claimed that the purpose of this review is to stop federal government overreach and return power to the states, we can’t overlook the fact that a lot of the monuments under review are natural monuments that could potentially be negatively impacted, without their national monument status. Please consider the long-term impact of removing national monument status from an invaluable resource to our country.

I would like to express my concern and anger over the Trump budget proposal. The cuts to entitlement programs are not only destructive to society, but they are also counter to previous administration promises to protect Medicaid. I am asking that you condemn the budget and vote against it in any form.

I would also like to express deep concern that Trump asked DNI Coats and Admiral Rogers to push back against Director Comey’s statements about the existing Russian probe. His actions were inappropriately trying to influence an ongoing investigation, and also should be considered an attempt to tarnish the reputation of the FBI. I ask that you condemn these actions, and support any efforts to investigate Trump/Russian ties more thoroughly. I also ask for an independent commission to investigate Trump/Russian ties as well as his apparent efforts to obstruct said investigation. A special prosecutor is a great first step, but we still need an independent commission.

I ask that you take a stand against changes to net neutrality rules. A change in rules would take away our freedom on the internet, and negatively impact individual constituents and small businesses alike, and I think it is important that you speak out against this and fight any attempts to change these rules.

I would like to profess profound concern that Trump revealed classified intelligence to Ambassador Kiyslak and Foreign Minister Lavrov in their Oval Office meeting. I understand that it is in his purview to do so, but this information was obviously revealed without coordination with our intelligence agencies. I ask you to push for a release of the transcripts and take any other relevant action. It is also concerning that he then talked about the incident in front of cameras with Netanyahu in order to”clear up” that he never mentioned Israel, except he then did. In front of cameras.

I am very concerned that Trump asked Comey to end the investigation into Michael Flynn in February. This is an obvious case of Trump interfering in an ongoing federal investigation. Once again, I ask for an independent commission to investigate this entire scenario.

I continue to ask that you do not support any efforts to repeal the ACA. The AHCA bill that passed the House is reprehensible and destructive to so many lives. In fact, the very lives that need ACA in the first place.

I would like to express my horrified concern at the appointment of Sheriff David Clarke to the Department of Homeland Security. Clarke has many questionable obstacles on his record and his appointment is not in the best interest of the DHS. I understand his appointment does not require Congressional confirmation, but I ask that you voice strong opposition nonetheless.

I ask that you fight for funding for the census and that you push Trump to appoint a non-partisan person to head the department.

I am very concerned about the recent rule changes to mandatory minimums by AG Sessions. He is reverting back to a time of excessive incarceration, funded by our tax dollars, and with a long term impact on families and communities. I would like you to speak out against a return to this policy that has long-standing ramifications and has been proven to have little effect on the crime rate.

I would like to express my deep concern and outrage at the “Religious Freedoms” EO. While not as horrible as we thought it might be, it still allows the Justice department and the IRS to play with their interpretation of the Johnson Amendment. It is not a “Religious Freedom” EO, but rather a “Freedom to Discriminate” EO.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

 

Letters to My Representatives 5-3-2017

Short on time so here is my letter to Rep. Mitchell today. Peters and Stabenow will get a different one thanking them for their continued support of the ACA.

Dear Representative Mitchell,

​I am asking you to please vote NO on AHCA, or the attempt to repeal ACA. There is discussion of the proposed MacArthur Amendment, which would give the option of limited waivers. While the argument is that limited waivers would allow for wider coverage, it would actually allow insurers to go back to individual ratings to set premiums.

The byproduct of reverting back to the individual rating system would likely impact those with pre-existing conditions, forcing the costs of individual plans higher. Please do not allow ill constituents to be negatively impacted in this way. Please continue working on fixing ACA, rather than repealing it.

On a personal note, I have a pre-existing condition through no fault of my own. I was born with a mild heart condition. I also have many, many friends with pre-existing conditions, or their children have pre-existing conditions, none of whom acquired these conditions through poor living choices. Without the ACA and without pre-existing condition protections, many people will not be able to afford the insurance that provides the healthcare they need to survive. We need to stop this partisan squabble about trying to repeal Obama’s legacy legislation. It is petty and demeaning. The Republican party looks like the villain in this issue. There are problems with the ACA. It is not perfect. But let’s focus on the issues concerning it that really matter and stop trying to have a PR victory that will hurt the American people in the long run.

Thank you for your consideration,

Jennifer Austin

Letters to My Representatives 4-26-2017

Here is today’s letter to my representatives. This is the one I sent to Senator Stabenow. Senator Peters received the same one, minus the first paragraph about jobs. Senator Stabenow works very hard to promote jobs not only in America, but Michigan specifically. Check out her American Jobs Agenda.

Representative Mitchell received the same letter minus the first paragraph on jobs, but also adding in this: I ask you to vote NO on HR620 and HR1493. I do not support any bill that takes away protections and assurances from disabled people.

Please feel free to use any or all of my letter to write/call your own representatives. We have a civic duty to inform our electeds what we expect of them. For more information go to It’s Time to Fight.

On a side note, my family will be moving in the next couple of months, and while that doesn’t affect who my Senators are, I will have a new Representative who will get the pleasure of my weekly letters.

Dear Senator Stabenow,

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to American jobs, and specifically Michigan jobs. I support your work to bring jobs back to the USA, support small businesses, and level the playing field for international business. I agree with your stance that if Trump is in earnest about helping American workers, you will work with him to improve our situation, but am so grateful that you stand by your commitment to civil rights, healthcare, and other progressive issues.

I would like to encourage you to continue working on a bipartisan spending bill that will allow the government to continue functioning after April 28th. However, I ask you not to support any measures proposed by Trump that would cut healthcare funding or support a wall on the Mexican/US border. While I do not want a government shutdown, I understand it may happen and I encourage you to stand firm on these issues. I understand that the GOP is receiving a lot of pressure from the White House to sign off on a spending bill that provides financing for the wall. I ask that you continue working with Democratic & Republican colleagues, to find mutually agreeable bipartisan solutions that will keep our government running.

I do not support any tax plan that includes elimination of payroll taxes. Those funds are needed for Social Security and Medicaid and the short term gain of a little more money in our pockets will result in a long term detriment to needed programs.

I do not support an Executive Order asking for a review of the Antiquities Act. I ask that you not support this and speak publicly about it.

​I am asking you to please vote NO, when you address any new version of the healthcare bill that is being brought forward. There is discussion of the proposed MacArthur Amendment, which would give the option of limited waivers. While the argument is that limited waivers would allow for wider coverage, it would actually allow insurers to go back to individual ratings to set premiums.

The byproduct of reverting back to the individual rating system would likely impact those with pre-existing conditions, forcing the costs of individual plans higher. Please do not allow ill constituents to be negatively impacted in this way.

I ask you to speak out about Mar-a-Lago being featured on State Department websites. It is not only an ethics violation, but implies that Mar-a-Lago is an official government site. It is not. We, the tax payers, are already shunting large sums of money to this resort through Secret Service fees and staff, it is reprehensible that Trump is making more and more money off his position. Not only do I ask you to speak out against Mar-a-Lago being featured on a government website, I also ask that you speak out against Trump’s continued visits there and the amount of money that we the American people are putting into Trump’s pocket through his constant visits.

I am concerned over Trump’s levying tariffs against Canadian lumber. They are our oldest and closest ally and friend and it seems like a bad idea to alienate them. It also demonstrates Trump’s rapid flip flopping on economic policies, not that I’m surprised, but it is one more indication of his volatile nature that reacts instead of thinks. The cost of this will be passed onto the consumer, so in all likelihood, the American people will suffer from this, not Canada. Does Trump even have a plan for renegotiating NAFTA? Because this move seems haphazard and not well thought out. Please question the Trump administration on the purpose of this move, the strategy, and what are the future plans for renegotiating NAFTA.

I am concerned over Trump signing the H-1B (skilled workers visa). We are setting ourselves up to limit talent we will need to bring into this country, as well as limit competition. We as a country will not improve and grow if we don’t have impetus. Competition with foreign markets and foreign workers does that.

I will continue to ask for a full bipartisan independent commission to investigate Trump/Russia ties. I will probably write you further on this later this week, but my research time is limited today.

Lastly, I look forward to what you have to say after the Senate meeting with Trump at the White House on DPRK. I am hopeful that you and the Senate will be a moderating factor with the Trump WH, as I fear their volatile nature and rash decisions. Please keep us informed and speak for the American people in the face of a president that doesn’t actually seem to care about the American people.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin