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Issue 53.0: Alabama!, Taxes, Net Neutrality
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re:act is a weekly list of a few concrete things you can do to take action during the Trump presidency.

YES!

1. Once a Long Shot, Democrat Doug Jones Wins Alabama Senate Race

What’s happening: (New York Times)
“The upset delivered an unimagined victory for Democrats and shaved Republicans’ unstable Senate majority to a single seat. Mr. Jones’s victory could have significant consequences on the national level, snarling Republicans’ legislative agenda in Washington and opening, for the first time, a realistic but still difficult path for Democrats to capture the Senate next year. It amounted to a stinging snub of President Trump, who broke with much of his party and fully embraced Mr. Moore’s candidacy, seeking to rally support for him in the closing days of the campaign.” It also was a rebuke to the RNC, who funneled donor money to Moore in the final days. A straightforward but essential takeaway from Vann R. Newkirk II in The Atlantic: “African American Voters Made Doug Jones a U.S. Senator in Alabama.”

What you can do:
✓ Push the advantage by sending support to some candidates and orgs who will make the next victories possible.
A (very incomplete) list of five suggestions:


✓ Call both your senators to demand no final vote on a tax bill until the duly elected senator from Alabama is sworn in. Quick idea for a script below. Find contact info for both of your senators here. Here’s a script:

“Hello, my name is [NAME] from [TOWN]. Now that the Alabama special election is over, I’m calling to request [SENATOR X] demand no further votes on the tax bill until Senator-elect Jones is sworn in. This was the standard in the Massachusetts special election of 2010, and should be the standard now. Will [SENATOR X] agree to publicly make this demand?”

Possible follow-up (if GOP): “If [SENATOR X] believes that Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court seat should have been held for a year so that voters could weigh in, doesn’t that logic apply to Senator-Elect Jones if it’s just a matter of weeks?”

If no answer: “Could you get back to me on that? When?”

Speaking of the tax plan...

2. GOP lawmakers struggle to close gaps in tax plan

What’s happening: (POLITICO)
“Top congressional Republicans, racing to hammer out a final tax agreement by the end of the week, have yet to make any breakthroughs on a range of key issues … House and Senate negotiators bounced proposals back and forth over the weekend, but said Monday that they still had to find compromises on where to set the corporate tax rate, how to treat millions of businesses that aren’t set up as corporations and how much of a deduction to allow for state and local taxes.” The Washington Post reported a tick-tock on the tax negotiations, including this kicker: “In effect, Republicans handed $200 billion from families to corporations.”

What you can do:
Use this 5calls.org script to ask your House rep to oppose the final tax bill. You can also go to TrumpTaxToolkit.org to see if your rep is a likely deciding vote (but call no matter what — pressure is cumulative). As 5calls writes: “The opening meeting of the conference committee is scheduled for Wednesday, December 13th. Republicans currently plan to have a bill reconciled, passed in both chambers, and ready for Trump to sign before Christmas.”

See if there’s an event near you. There are events happening nationwide this week to stop this bill. If you’re near D.C., you can join the People’s Rally against the #TaxScam on Capitol Hill Wednesday. 

✓ Share this op-ed from two Maine papers:
“Our View: Collins should drop support for tax bill”

3. Net neutrality fans speak up as FCC set to strike down rules

What’s happening: (Washington Post)
“Net neutrality is a simple concept but a dense and often technical issue normally discussed in tech and telecom circles. Now it’s hit the mainstream. The Federal Communications Commission plans to vote on gutting Obama-era rules meant to stop broadband companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet … Celebrity complaints and street protests aren’t likely to stop the agency’s vote on Thursday, but activists hope the growing outcry will push Congress to intervene and will show support for stricter regulation down the road.” The vote is expected this Thursday, December 14

What you can do:
Email the FCC commission and your electeds and let them know we need a fix on Net Neutrality. Follow Celeste on Twitter, who has been on top of this beat, and is a great and educational follow in any case.

4. The fight for the Dream Act is reaching its peak — but time is running out

What’s happening: (The Guardian)
“Democrats and some Republican lawmakers believe the next two weeks offer the best and perhaps only chance to enact legislation that would grant these young immigrants legal status. In return, congressional Republican leaders and the Trump administration want increased border security, tighter controls on immigration or both … Activists are furiously lobbying Congress to pass a “clean” Dream Act, a bill first introduced in 2001 that would offer a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants brought to the US illegally as children. They are pressuring Democrats to reject any legislative proposals that would boost border enforcement, a demand that has become a sticking point in the fragile negotiations over the fate of the Dreamers.”

What you can do:
Demand your member of Congress take the DREAMer pledge using this Indivisible Action.

Use this 5calls.org script to demand your reps pass a Clean DREAM Act now.

5. Parents Worry Congress Won’t Fund The Children’s Health Insurance Program

What’s happening: (NPR)
A story about a Pittsburgh family that identifies as low-middle-class: “In contrast, her young children — 2-year-old Nonnie and his big sister Rose — are covered right now through the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, a federal-state program that was created two decades ago to ensure that kids whose parents don’t have a lot of money, yet make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, can still get health care. Right now, that coverage for the children doesn’t cost the family anything. But Pennsylvania’s CHIP program is forecast to run out of money in February. Though nine million kids across the U.S. get their health insurance through CHIP, Congress let the program expire on September 30.”

What you can do:
Call your rep to demand the renewal of CHIP funding.

6. Fifty-six female Democratic lawmakers ask House to investigate Trump sexual misconduct claims

What’s happening: (NBC)
“More than 50 female Democratic lawmakers on Monday asked the House oversight committee to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump … In a letter to committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the Democratic Women’s Working Group wrote that the country deserves “a full inquiry into the truth of these allegations … Earlier Monday, three women appeared on “Megyn Kelly Today” recalling encounters with Trump during which they said he acted inappropriately.”

What you can do:
Use this page to see if you are represented by a member of the House Oversight Committee, who would oversee such an investigation. If so, go to ContactingCongress.org and find their contact information. Then call on them to ask to open up an investigation. Here’s a starting point. 

“My name is [NAME] from [PLACE]. I’m calling to urge [REPRESENTATIVE X], in [HIS/HER] capacity on the House Oversight Committee, to open an investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump. As you know, over 50 female Democratic lawmakers have called for this, as well as the ranking member of your committee, Elijah Cummings. Will [REPRESENTATIVE X] commit to this?”

Open Enrollment (Deadline FRIDAY)

Spread the word about open enrollment using these GetAmericaCovered.org organizing tools.

Additional reading

  • Official Toll in Puerto Rico: 64. Actual Deaths May Be 1,052 (New York Times)
  • Supreme Court Lets Trump Travel Ban Take Full Effect for Now (Bloomberg)
  • Donald Trump makes history — with massive cuts to Utah’s national monuments (The Verge)
  • Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI on contacts with Russian ambassador (Washington Post)
  • Mueller Subpoenas Trump Deutsche Bank Records, Source Says (Bloomberg)
  • House will vote on concealed carry reciprocity bill (CNN)
  • Manafort Associate Has Russian Intelligence Ties, Court Document Says (New York Times)
  • McFarland’s Testimony About Russia Contacts Is Questioned (New York Times)
  • Conyers resigns effective immediately, endorses son as successor (Medium)
  • Trump White House Weighing Plans for Private Spies to Counter “Deep State” Enemies (The Intercept)
  • Risking Backlash, Trump Plans To Recognize Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital (NPR)
  • The Trump Administration Has Done Virtually Nothing to Advertise Obamacare (The Daily Beast)

Thank you,
Derek

Editor's note: This list is not meant to be authoritative, exhaustive, or even expert. I'm just a guy letting you know some things I am doing every week.  I'd love for those with more legislative experience to recommend better levers to pull. I'd love for you to point out what I missed, because I will definitely miss things. 

Please send ideas or stories of your involvement ​my way at derek@reactletter.com
Follow @derekcnel for updates
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