Letters to My Representatives 9-27-2017

Here are today’s letters. Mostly the same as last week, but added in a request for aid to be sent to Puerto Rico and for suspending the Jones Act.

Dear Senator Stabenow,

Thank you for your hard work to keep the Graham-Cassidy bill from becoming a reality. Please continue to fight for Michigan families and their healthcare.

Thank you for publicly speaking out against Trump rescinding the DACA. It is morally reprehensible that he is punishing people who came here through no fault of their own and have made America their home. Please support Senator Graham’s and Senator Durbin’s Dream Act. Though I understand the rhetoric of pointing out how much Dreamers have contributed to this society, I do not feel that one’s humanity rests on the shoulders of their contributions or economic value. They are human. They are Americans despite what papers might say. They deserve the acknowledgement of their humanity and their deservedness to stay in this country based on the fact that it is morally the right thing to do.

I ask that you support the Office of the Inspector General (OIG)’s investigation of Secretary Tom Price’s use of chartered planes when conducting official government business. Not only do Secretary Price’s actions violate federal law when it comes to travel by executive branch officials, it is also a questionable use of tax dollars particularly due to the cuts he wants to implement. Please publicly state that you support the investigation.

I ask that you push for a new bill authorizing a second round of federal disaster relief funding to help Puerto Rico. We cannot wait until October for a new round of funding. I am also ask that you push for the Trump Administration to temporarily suspend the Jones Act, while also authorizing the Navy to send further assistance to Puerto Rico for recovery efforts. I am happy to see that the USNS Comfort has been deployed. The Trump WH should also appoint a specific point and/or czar to handle Puerto Rico coordination as well.

I want to voice my objections over the latest incarnation of the Trump travel ban. Even with the latest addition of North Korea and Venezuela, this bill is clearly targeted at Muslims nations and should be construed as a Muslim ban. There is no documentation or justification for this ban; there is no research to prove that our country is safer. Speak out against this absurd ban.

Thank you for speaking out against Trump’s ban of transgender people in the military. There is no justification to revert back to the pre-2016 policy. There is academic research to counter the claims listed in Trump’s memo, including conclusive reporting that transgender officers do not impact unit cohesion. I understand the memo does not go into effect until March 23, 2018, but please take a strong stance against this now, especially in light of upcoming budget talks. Also, I understand Senators are debating the act this week; please support SA 869.

Please reject the nomination of Sam Clovis to be the top scientist at the USDA. He is unqualified for the position, without any form of science background. We need someone who understands the needs of the farming industry, but will also help develop sound food-related policy for our nation. Mr. Clovis has a track record of divisive and racist rhetoric, which is not appropriate for a position at the highest levels. I expect you to do the right thing and vote against his nomination.

I ask that you reject the nomination of Jim Bridenstein to NASA. While Bridenstein obviously has an interest in space, he doesn’t have the scientific background previous administrators have. Additionally, Bridenstein has a proven track record as a climate change denier, which is counter to aspects of NASA’s mission. Please push for the administration to nominate someone who is qualified for the position.

I ask that you issue a statement condemning the pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and to call for an investigation into the Arpaio pardoning. Standard practice for anyone seeking pardons is to wait five years after conviction and to demonstrate remorse/regret for their actions. The lack of either a sentence or demonstration of remorse was a contributing factor to the House 2001 investigation of the Marc Rich pardon: the same standard should be applied to the Joe Arpaio pardon. Please demonstrate that you will not go along with this blatantly political pardon. Do the right thing: challenge this decision.

Thank you for taking a stand against any attempts to unwind Title IX that would harm the current protections that are in place for sexual assault victims. I understand that there is significant discussion over the Dear Colleague letter; I want to be sure that no victims will be impacted as that discussion/public comment commences.

I ask that you continue to pressure the Trump administration to seek diplomatic solutions with North Korea. What we need right now are strategic talks to help influence what steps North Korea might choose to take next. Inflamed rhetoric will only escalate the situation. I ask that you push the Trump administration to not undertake moves that will upset key allies in the region. The Trump administration has indicated that they will withdraw from the South Korean trade deal; to do so is shortsighted and will cause tensions with a key ally needed to address Kim Jung Un’s regime. Please consider long term strategy as opposed to short term moves.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

 

Dear Representative Moolenaar,

I ask that you push for a new bill authorizing a second round of federal disaster relief funding to help Puerto Rico. We cannot wait until October for a new round of funding. I am also ask that you push for the Trump Administration to temporarily suspend the Jones Act, while also authorizing the Navy to send further assistance to Puerto Rico for recovery efforts. I am happy to see that the USNS Comfort has been deployed. The Trump WH should also appoint a specific point and/or czar to handle Puerto Rico coordination as well.

I ask that you publicly speak out against Trump rescinding the DACA. It is morally reprehensible that he is punishing people who came here through no fault of their own and have made America their home. Please support Congressman Mike Coffman’s BRIDGE Act. Though I understand the rhetoric of pointing out how much Dreamers have contributed to this society, I do not feel that one’s humanity rests on the shoulders of their contributions or economic value. They are human. They are Americans despite what papers might say. They deserve the acknowledgement of their humanity and their deservedness to stay in this country based on the fact that it is morally the right thing to do.

I ask that you speak out against Trump’s ban of transgender people in the military. There is no justification to revert back to the pre-2016 policy. There is academic research to counter the claims listed in Trump’s memo, including conclusive reporting that transgender officers do not impact unit cohesion. I understand the memo does not go into effect until March 23, 2018, but please take a strong stance against this now, especially in light of upcoming budget talks.

I ask that you issue a statement condemning the pardon of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and to call for an investigation into the Arpaio pardoning. Standard practice for anyone seeking pardons is to wait five years after conviction and to demonstrate remorse/regret for their actions. The lack of either a sentence or demonstration of remorse was a contributing factor to the House 2001 investigation of the Marc Rich pardon: the same standard should be applied to the Joe Arpaio pardon. Please demonstrate that you will not go along with this blatantly political pardon. Do the right thing: challenge this decision.

I ask that you continue to pressure the Trump administration to seek diplomatic solutions with North Korea. What we need right now are strategic talks to help influence what steps North Korea might choose to take next. Inflamed rhetoric will only escalate the situation. I ask that you push the Trump administration to not undertake moves that will upset key allies in the region. The Trump administration has indicated that they will withdraw from the South Korean trade deal; to do so is shortsighted and will cause tensions with a key ally needed to address Kim Jung Un’s regime. Please consider long term strategy as opposed to short term moves.

I ask that you publicly condemn Trump’s comments on August 15th concerning the Charlottesville protests. The remarks were divisive, disgusting and full of hate rhetoric and tacit acknowledgment of the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville. What Trump said are not the words of an elected official who claims to serve all Americans. I would like for you to go on record acknowledging that fact and call for a censure. I demand that you question the capacity of Trump to effectively serve.

I expect you to take a stand against any attempts to unwind Title IX that would harm the current protections that are in place for sexual assault victims. I understand that there is significant discussion over the Dear Colleague letter; I want to be sure that no victims will be impacted as that discussion/public comment commences.

Thank you for your time, your consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

Don’t forget to visit It’s Time to Fight for scripts and info. Most of the words above came from scripts found on the site! Keep Resisting!

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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,

‚ÄčI 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 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