How the Stakes Have Been Raised in the Fight Against the Cruel Health Care Bill
Activists fighting the passage of the Senate's health care bill are not taking any chances on a bill forged in secrecy and cynicism that stands to, among other things, make the largest cuts to Medicaid in the program's 52-year history. Indivisible and MoveOn are continuing last week's approach, pressuring 10 vulnerable Republicans up for reelection in 2018 to vote no and encouraging Democrats to withhold consent and filibuster by amendment. As the bill gets down to the voting wire, it's an all-out war, with new actions and pressure tactics almost every day. Below is a sampling, just since last Thursday.
If all of these actions seem excessive, consider the impact of the bill. As Vox reported Monday, "The House bill would cut taxes by $756 billion over a decade, and most of those gains would go to the richest Americans, independent analyses suggest." An analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities "estimates that the 400 top income households alone would receive $33 billion in tax cuts between 2019 and 2028."
Philadelphia Becomes First Major City to Pass a Resolution Encouraging Democratic Senators to Oppose the Senate Bill
Members of the Philadelphia City Council voted to encourage the senators to use filibuster-by-amendment, a tactic recommended by multiple activist groups, including the Indivisible Project.
The term refers to a procedural tactic in which senators can offer multiple amendments, related or not, as a bill is being debated in order to slow down its progress toward a vote and passage.
Indivisible NW Philly was, according to a statement, "instrumental in drafting the resolution and successfully lobbied City Council for a suspension of the rules to allow its passage before the Summer recess." The legislation will now be passed on to the office of Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) with a request that he read its contents into the congressional record so it can be shared with the entire Senate and the general public.
This is also the first instance of a legislative body in a major city formally endorsing a call to action from an anti-Trump activist group.
Philadelphia activists have been very busy recently, hosting a 24-hour vigil outside Senator Casey's office, and collecting amendments for filibuster by amendment, with a goal of 40,000 to be delivered to the senator and his staff.
Read the resolution.
Planned Parenthood Red State Phone Bank
While it's not a good idea to call senators other than your own, it is useful to encourage friends and allies in other states to call their senators. To amplify that message, Planned Parenthood has set a up a phone bank on the evenings of June 26-28 for people around the country to call PP supporters in red states and encourage them to call their senators.
Participants can use this form to sign up for a shift. (Shifts are listed as two hours, but that's a suggestion. Even a few minutes are welcome.) Organizers will call with a brief training and script, after which you can start calling. Organizers stress that these calls are to people who have already supported Planned Parenthood in the past. As the form puts it, "everyone you’re calling is with us on the issue, so you won’t need to convince any haters or naysayers why this is so important."
Human Chain Around the Capitol
On Wednesday, June 28, at 5pm, concerned Americans from around the country are staging a direct action in Washington, D.C., putting their bodies on the line to form a human chain around the Capitol Building, a visual demand to senators that they protect American's health care. Those interested can RSVP on Planned Parenthood Action's event page, and follow along for further details on organization and set up.