Letters to My Representatives: 10-25-2017

Here are today’s letters. Most of the scripts have been taken from It’s Time to Fight so visit the site for more info and scripts, or use my letters if you like. It’s a lot of the same information from last  week, but adding parts about Trump’s refusal to certify the Iran deal, cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, Niger investigation, and the treatment of Jane Doe in Texas.

These letters have gotten pretty long so next week I’m going to trim some things I have been talking about for a while and focus on new issues, or at least alternate the issues form week to week. I don’t know that it makes much difference, but on the one hand it might be nice to give these poor interns a break from reading my long letters, and I don’t know if focusing on one or two per week would be more effective than a laundry list every week.

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I ask that you do everything in your power to protest the GOP’s attempts to cut funding to Medicare and Medicaid in the GOP budget resolution. Cutting Medicare by $473 billion and Medicaid by approximately $1 trillion over 10 years is unacceptable.

I ask that you do everything in your power to support the investigations that are currently being undertaken regarding the 10/4 ambush in Niger. I believe the American people deserve answers about what happened to the Americans who died in Niger, particularly what happened to Sgt. La David Johnson. But more importantly, the families of the soldiers also deserve answers.

I would like to protest the steps the federal government has taken in the case of Jane Doe’s abortion in Texas, and demand that you do everything in your power to help this young woman. The young woman in question should be allowed to get an abortion, with legal justification as outlined in the dissent by Judge Patricia Millet. These continued delays are putting an undue burden on her health, and can be construed as being part of a personal agenda by E. Scott Lloyd, who is known for his anti-abortion views. I demand that you push for E. Scott Lloyd to putting the welfare and health of the young woman at risk, and allow her to do what is in her best interest and best for her health.

I would like for you to support the Murray-Alexander Deal to stabilize the ACA. This is a needed step in protecting healthcare for millions, particularly given that the agreement adds two years of much-needed subsidy funding, along with potential further steps to help 2018 enrollees. Please support this agreement and do everything in your power to encourage your colleagues to put their support behind the agreement as well. We need to act quickly, particularly with open enrollment coming up and the newly allocated $106 million.

I demand that you publicly condemn Trump’s reported statements to the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson in that “he knew what he was getting into”. Please demand an apology from Trump. He claims that is not what he said and he has proof. Please demand that he produce proof or apologize to the widow as well as to the military and the American public.

I would like for you to publicly denounce the Trump administration’s decision to end cost-sharing reductions for the Affordable Care Act. The CBO and independent studies all show this will increase health premiums by 20 percent or more, and the deficit will be up by $194 billion. (Per the CBO). I am also demanding you work with your colleagues to appropriate funding for CSR payments. You have to focus on the goal of market stability and reducing premiums, for the good of the constituents you represent. I will be monitoring how you choose to respond, and whether you chooses to respond in a way that shows a commitment toward improving healthcare for all.

I would like to voice my support for Senator Wyden and Hatch’s bipartisan bill extending the funding of the CHIP program, and am urging you to call for it to be brought to the floor for a vote. Approximately 9 million children rely on the CHIP program for health insurance, and a number of states will lose funding by the end of the year, if the extension is not passed. Please do not gamble with the health and well-being of our youth.

I am calling to demand you vote NO on the Hearing Protection Act and the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, if/when it comes to a vote on the floor. Both bills would potentially put law enforcement and the general public at risk, and make it easier to commit violence. We just experienced the largest mass shooting in US history in Las Vegas; any support of either bill would strongly indicate that you do not support public safety. Additionally, I demand you commit to legislation that will result in sensible gun control, including universal background checks. I also ask that you filibuster these bills if they come to the floor.

I ask that you support S.1916, Senator Feinstein’s bump stock bill. Bump stocks were a key addition for several of the weapons found in the Las Vegas shooting. There appears to be no conclusive reason why bump stocks are needed, and/or should be legal. They simply cause more damage. Senator Feinstein’s bill to ban them has tentative bipartisan support, and I would like you to commit to signing on.

I am calling to protest the Trump Administration’s narrowing of the contraception coverage mandate. Many women use contraception for health, and not just to prevent pregnancy. I ask that you denounce this denial of access to contraception for women who need it for health reasons, simply based on the religious objections of certain groups. Women should have the option to decide their own reproductive rights. I demand you speak out for women’s health and protest this narrowing, but also support women’s health through legislation.

I ask that you push for a full disaster declaration for Puerto Rico – there is only a partial disaster declaration at the moment. Additionally, I would also like you to request a waiver regarding matching funds requirements for relief. Puerto Rico’s economy is currently unable to handle said requirements. I would also like you to request expanded military personnel, to help with infrastructure and recovery efforts. You should also add additional supplemental relief funds to the FAA authorization bill. We cannot wait until October for another round of funding. Finally, I am asking that you push for additional military personnel to be brought onto the island, beyond current numbers cited by the Pentagon. The island is in need of support to rebuild their infrastructure.

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 want to express my objections to the latest incarnation of Trump’s travel ban. Even with the addition of North Korea and Venezuela, this ban is clearly targeted at Muslim 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. Keep speak out against this absurd ban.

I would like to voice my support for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and opposition to the Senate Republicans’ attempts to overturn the CFPB’s arbitration rule. I believe that consumers deserve the right to their day in court, particularly in light of the unfolding situation with Equifax. Please protect the individual, and not the corporation.

I ask that you issue a public statement opposing the Trump administration’s efforts to end DACA, and to support Senator Graham and Durbin’s DREAM act.

I demand that you publicly condemn Richard Spencer’s return to Charlottesville last Saturday. Even just a few people demonstrating hate like Spencer cannot be tolerated and should be rejected in the strongest possible terms.

I am 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 am also asking you to push the Trump Administration to not undertake moves that will upset key allies in the region. The Trump administration has indicated they will withdraw from the South Korea trade deal; to do so is shortsighted, and will cause tensions with a key ally needed to address Kim Jong Un’s regime. Please consider long-term strategy, verses short-term moves.

I ask that you NOT snapback sanctions for the Iran nuclear deal, unless international inspectors actually see resumption of activity that is in violation of the agreement. I also ask that you carefully evaluate any decision to renegotiate the deal. At minimum, all of the previous parties involved in the previous round of negotiations must be brought back to the table, along with a realistic consideration of positive incentives. Any attempts to renegotiate the deal must be taken seriously, and in good faith.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

 

Dear Representative Moolenaar,

I ask that you NOT snapback sanctions for the Iran nuclear deal, unless international inspectors actually see resumption of activity that is in violation of the agreement. I also ask that you carefully evaluate any decision to renegotiate the deal. At minimum, all of the previous parties involved in the previous round of negotiations must be brought back to the table, along with a realistic consideration of positive incentives. Any attempts to renegotiate the deal must be taken seriously, and in good faith.

I ask that you do everything in your power to support the investigations that are currently being undertaken regarding the 10/4 ambush in Niger. I believe the American people deserve answers about what happened to the Americans who died in Niger, particularly what happened to Sgt. La David Johnson. But more importantly, the families of the soldiers also deserve answers.

I would like to protest the steps the federal government has taken in the case of Jane Doe’s abortion in Texas, and demand that you do everything in your power to help this young woman. The young woman in question should be allowed to get an abortion, with legal justification as outlined in the dissent by Judge Patricia Millet. These continued delays are putting an undue burden on her health, and can be construed as being part of a personal agenda by E. Scott Lloyd, who is known for his anti-abortion views. I demand that you push for E. Scott Lloyd to putting the welfare and health of the young woman at risk, and allow her to do what is in her best interest and best for her health.

I would like for you to support the Murray-Alexander Deal to stabilize the ACA. This is a needed step in protecting healthcare for millions, particularly given that the agreement adds two years of much-needed subsidy funding, along with potential further steps to help 2018 enrollees. Please support this agreement and do everything in your power to encourage your colleagues to put their support behind the agreement as well. We need to act quickly, particularly with open enrollment coming up and the newly allocated $106 million.

I demand that you publicly condemn Trump’s reported statements to the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson in that “he knew what he was getting into”. Please demand an apology from Trump. He claims that is not what he said and he has proof. Please demand that he produce proof or apologize to the widow as well as to the military and the American public.

I would like for you to publicly denounce the Trump administration’s decision to end cost-sharing reductions for the Affordable Care Act. The CBO and independent studies all show this will increase health premiums by 20 percent or more, and the deficit will be up by $194 billion. (Per the CBO). I am also demanding you work with your colleagues to appropriate funding for CSR payments. You have to focus on the goal of market stability and reducing premiums, for the good of the constituents you represent. I will be monitoring how you choose to respond, and whether you chooses to respond in a way that shows a commitment toward improving healthcare for all.

I demand you commit to legislation that will result in sensible gun control, including universal background checks.

I am calling to protest the Trump Administration’s narrowing of the contraception coverage mandate. Many women use contraception for health, and not just to prevent pregnancy. I ask that you denounce this denial of access to contraception for women who need it for health reasons, simply based on the religious objections of certain groups. Women should have the option to decide their own reproductive rights. I demand you speak out for women’s health and protest this narrowing, but also support women’s health through legislation.

I ask that you push for a full disaster declaration for Puerto Rico – there is only a partial disaster declaration at the moment. Additionally, I would also like you to request a waiver regarding matching funds requirements for relief. Puerto Rico’s economy is currently unable to handle said requirements. I would also like you to request expanded military personnel, to help with infrastructure and recovery efforts. You should also add additional supplemental relief funds to the FAA authorization bill. We cannot wait until October for another round of funding. Finally, I am asking that you push for additional military personnel to be brought onto the island, beyond current numbers cited by the Pentagon. The island is in need of support to rebuild their infrastructure.

I want to express my objections to the latest incarnation of Trump’s travel ban. Even with the addition of North Korea and Venezuela, this ban is clearly targeted at Muslim 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. Keep speaking out against this absurd ban.

I ask that you issue a public statement opposing the Trump administration’s efforts to end DACA, and to support the Bridge Act.

I demand that you publicly condemn Richard Spencer’s return to Charlottesville last Saturday. Even just a few people demonstrating hate like Spencer cannot be tolerated and should be rejected in the strongest possible terms.

I am 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 am also asking you to push the Trump Administration to not undertake moves that will upset key allies in the region. The Trump administration has indicated they will withdraw from the South Korea trade deal; to do so is shortsighted, and will cause tensions with a key ally needed to address Kim Jong Un’s regime. Please consider long-term strategy, verses short-term moves.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

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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!

Letters to My Representatives 3-8-2017

Here is today’s letter. All three received the same basic letter with a few small tweaks.

Dear Senator Stabenow,

My daily letter is a little late today because I delivered flowers to all the female staff at my sons’ school this morning in honor of International Women’s Day and in acknowledgment of a Day Without a Woman. I am a writer and a stay-at-home mom, so striking was not really a statement I could make, though I am refraining from using social media and making any purchases today. I am wearing red and doing what I can to promote awareness that all people need equality.

I would like to thank you for your continued stance to support and promote women. You are doing necessary work.

I would like for you to ask for or use influence to ask others for a CBO score for the AHCA. It is inappropriate that the GOP is trying to ram this bill through before Congress, health experts, and the American people are given a chance to analyze what this bill means. We need comprehensive analysis of something before we are forced to accept a GOP agenda that will damage Americans and their healthcare. I encourage you not to support this bill.

I am opposed to Trump’s newest Muslim ban, and yes I will call it that, because no matter what kind of mental gymnastics he and the GOP try to use to sell this, it is a Muslim ban. He insults the men and women who have worked tirelessly to protect our country and vet incoming immigrants and refugees by claiming the process is not stringent enough. And he violates human rights and basic ethics of our country. I encourage you to oppose this legally-questionable act.

Once again, I want to see a full investigation done into Trump’s ties including financial and any other to Russia, especially during the election. This includes a full investigation into Trump’s associates during the campaign such as Flynn, Kushner, Manafort, Sessions and others. The American people deserve to know the truth. Trump should not be making decisions that affect the American people while these questions are still unanswered.

I will not be writing letters tomorrow, as I will be using that time to thank woman on social media and in person for all that they do. I think it is important that we continue to make a statement about important issues affecting this country and I want you to know that I am doing my part to contribute to the narrative.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Austin