1. Indivisible is Having Impact!
Indivisible and other resistance groups are having a profound impact on the Trump agenda. Congratulations to all of you who are taking action! Read more in the following articles about the Indivisible movement and its successes:
LA Times on March 26, 2017: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-indivisible-protests-20170325-story.html
Washington Post on March 24, 2017: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/03/24/left-out-of-ahca-fight-democrats-let-their-grass-roots-lead-and-win/?utm_term=.6c24df65ca29
2. Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch
The next step is for the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote to send the nomination to the full Senate. This has been postponed to April 3 at Democratic member request. Then the full Senate will vote on “cloture” which closes the debate, ends a filibuster, and allows a vote on the nominee to occur. The Senate needs 60 votes for “cloture." If they do not have 60 votes (8 Democrats are needed), the Republican leadership are considering a rule change that allows a simple majority for “cloture” and for confirmation, which could pass with only Republican votes. This is considered the “nuclear option” because it is a rule change that would impact all future filibusters.
Newsweek repost of a Robert Reich editorial comment on why Gorsuch should not be confirmed until Trump is cleared of suspicion of collaboration with the Russians:
Article and calling script from Indivisible Guide: https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resources-2/2017/2/7/combat-donald-trumps-arch-conservative-scotus-pick?link_id=2&can_id=c7d7a7b9b170eab94d4f4d40204f8c74&source=email-weekly-indivisible-actions-you-saved-the-aca-whats-next-2&email_referrer=weekly-indivisible-actions-you-saved-the-aca-whats-next-2&email_subject=weekly-indivisible-actions-you-saved-the-aca-whats-next
CNN article on which Senators will vote against “cloture” or against the nominee:
Neither Senators Cardin nor Van Hollen have committed to their vote. Call them and encourage them to vote “no”.
3. Trump’s Tax Returns
Article from the Indivisible Guide: Support House Resolution 186 to direct the House to order the Secretary of Treasury to disclose Trump’s tax returns.
4. Trump’s Russia ties
Indivisible Guide article: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) thinks he can get away with moving hearings behind closed doors. It’s clear that he can’t be trusted to lead an unbiased investigation. Tell your MoCs that it’s time to take Nunes off the case and put the investigation in the hands of a nonpartisan, independent commission, in full view of the American people.
a. Tell your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 356, the Protecting our Democracy Act, which would create a special commission to investigate Russian interference into our elections.
b. Tell your Senator to cosponsor S. 27, which would similarly create an independent commission to investigate Russian interference in our democratic institutions.
5. Federal Budget Matters
Article from Indivisible Guide: Our latest explainer on the legislative process covers appropriations: the process by which Congress decides how the government spends money. If you’ve been wondering about Trump’s appalling budget proposal and whether he can really get away with cutting things like PBS, here’s a great place to start: Legislative Process 101—Appropriations (or “Keeping the Lights On”).
In the past 5 years, the Congress has not passed a “regular order” budget, and has instead relied on a “Continuing Resolution” which authorizes federal agencies to spend at the same rate as last year. The current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on April 28. Democrats have warned that if Republican attach objectionable policy items to the next CR, they will vote “no” on the CR, risking a shut-down.
House Appropriation Committee members include Maryland’s Andy Harris (R-1st District) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-2nd District). Full committee membership is listed here.
Senate Appropriation Committee members include Maryland’s Chris Van Hollen. Full Committee membership is listed here.