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

 

Letters to My Representatives 3-7-2017

Today’s letters are about the new GOP health plan and how it will harm Americans:

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I am writing today to list my concerns with the GOP proposed healthcare plan:

Prohibiting funds through Medicaid to be paid to any organization that performs abortions. Of course, we all know this means Planned Parenthood, and we are also aware that NO Federal funds are used for abortions to begin with, but now we are punishing legitimate organizations that perform needed women’s healthcare such as providing birth control, cancer screenings and routine health checks just because they use other funds not connected with the government for abortions. This is wrong and detrimental to the health of millions of women across the country.

Prohibition of spending federal tax subsidies on health plans that cover abortions, thus shrinking the available plans for consumers in a transparent GOP bid to stop abortions. Legal and safe abortions are an important part of women’s healthcare and reducing available plans or forcing other plans not to cover abortions is detrimental to the health care of all Americans.

Removing individual and employer mandates will collapse the insurance markets. We need all people, young and old, sick and healthy, in the system to make it work for everyone.

Removal of federal mandates on essential health benefits like maternity care, hospitalization, and mental healthcare and leaving it to the states in 2019 could make these essential cares unavailable to many Americans and/or cost prohibitive.

Age-based premium subsidies will hurting working class families. The income based subsidies help those who need it most, and this will change that.

Killing Medicaid Expansion will make the neediest and most vulnerable suffer, ending the care they need to survive.

Repealing ACA taxes that help to support the system will only benefit the wealthy. I’m tired of this erroneous thought that tax cuts for the wealthy will boost the economy. It has never proven true and only makes the wealthy wealthier while removing needed funds for the ACA.

I am appalled at the callous disregard for American needs that the GOP has displayed. They are the party for the wealthy and the privileged, as they have demonstrated time and time again. This plan is unacceptable and I encourage you to fight it and find a better solution.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Austin