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Issue 59.0: Cohen Fallout, Syria, Pruitt
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re:act is a list of a few concrete things you can do to take action during the Trump presidency.

1. Trump sours on talking with Mueller after FBI raid of lawyer’s office

What’s happening: (Washington Post)
“The FBI seizure of records from President Trump’s personal attorney last week deeply rattled the president — souring him on his long-stated preference to sit down for an interview with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and prompting him to renew efforts to hire more legal firepower, people familiar with the discussions said … Trump was so upset, in fact, that he had trouble concentrating on plans that were laid out for him that day by his national security team about potential options for targeted missile strikes on Syria.” 

Much else has happened: an open flap with U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley over Trump opposing more sanctions on Russia, Sean Hannity being named the third mystery client of Cohen, and then there’s the whole James Comey book thing. Most importantly, a handful of House Republicans have mobilized to protect Mueller, and Senator Chuck Grassley has determined to press forward on his bill to do so despite McConnell cementing his place in history once again by saying he will “not be having a vote.” 

What you can do:
Commit to a “Mueller Firing Rapid Response” event near you. Over 300,000 people have committed to over 800 events across the country. (This action also applies to Rod Rosenstein being fired.)

Call on your rep to support the the Special Counsel Independence Protection Act. (Click to tweet). This is a merged, bipartisan compromise bill that is currently in the Judiciary Committee. Committee vote is THURSDAY. Members list of that committee here.

2. U.S., Britain and France Strike Syria Over Suspected Chemical Weapons Attack

What’s happening: (New York Times)
“Britain and France joined the United States in the strikes in a coordinated operation that was intended to show Western resolve in the face of what the leaders of the three nations called persistent violations of international law. Mr. Trump characterized it as the beginning of a sustained effort ... The strikes risked pulling the United States deeper into the complex, multisided war in Syria and raised the possibility of confrontation with Russia and Iran, both of which were supporting Mr. Assad with military forces. Within 90 minutes, the Russian ambassador to the United States warned of “consequences” for the allied attacks."

What you can do:
Read and share Indivisible’s backgrounder and sample call script to call your members of Congress to oppose escalation in Syria.

Support Rescue.org (the International Rescue Committee), an organization dedicated to helping those whose lives and livelihoods have been shattered by conflict and disaster.

3. Head budget official says office will open probe into Scott Pruitt’s spending

What’s happening: (ABC)
“Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said the office is opening a probe into Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s spending since he took over the helm of the agency … Pruitt and the EPA have been under intense scrutiny for the cost of Pruitt’s security detail and his travel, which included first-class flights recommended by his security detail.” Put succinctly by Rep. Don Beyer, “Scott Pruitt Is now being investigated by the House of Representatives, Senate, White House, Office of Management and Budget, Government Accountability Office, and EPA Inspector General.”

What you can do:
Use this NRDC tool to ask your senators to publicly call on Pruitt to be fired. You can also read and share their “Case for Firing Scott Pruitt” (Click to tweet)

✓ Read and share: “Scott Pruitt Has Become Ridiculous” (Click to tweet)

4. Islandwide blackout hits Puerto Rico nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria

What’s happening: (NBC)
“An islandwide blackout hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday, knocking out power throughout the island seven months after Hurricane Maria destroyed its electrical grid. Geraldo Quiñones López, a spokesman for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, told NBC News early Wednesday afternoon that there was “zero percent” power generation on the island … . About 40,000 power customers are still without even normal electricity service as a result of the hurricane.”

What you can do:
Create a community fundraising page on HispanicFederation.org to help raise money for relief efforts. (Click to tweet)

Apply to volunteer in Barranquitas and Yabucoa through the All Hands response page. (Click to tweet)

Support the UNIDOS Disaster Relief and Recovery Program.

5. Four big confirmations coming up: Pompeo (State), Haspel (CIA), Bridenstine (NASA), Jackson (VA)

What’s happening:
Four big nomination votes are forthcoming.

1. Pompeo for State
Mounting opposition to Pompeo makes positive Senate committee vote unlikely (Washington Post)
Call to oppose Pompeo’s nomination.

2. Haspel for CIA
Haspel confirmation hearing for CIA chief put off until May (POLITICO)
Call to oppose Haspel’s nomination.

3. Bridenstine for NASA
Senate advances Bridenstine to lead NASA (POLITICO)
Call to oppose Bridenstine’s nomination.

4. Jackson for Veterans Affairs
Trump’s pick to lead Veterans Affairs courts a skeptical Senate (CNN)
Call to oppose Jackson’s nomination.

Four quick things to do for upcoming elections

  1. Sign up to make some calls for Hiral Tipirneni for Congress (special election in AZ-08 on April 24)
  2. Flip states: Find ways to get involved in flipping seats on the state level with Flippable.
  3. Swing the house: Find the nearest SwingLeft house district near you to flip the House.
  4. Get registered: Go to vote.org to get registered, get absentee ballots, sign up for reminders, and find your polling place.


Additional reading:

  • Barbara Bush, Republican matriarch and former first lady, dies at 92 (CNN)
  • Federal Judge Holds Kansas Elections Official In Contempt Of Court (NPR)
  • SCOTUS nixes part of law requiring deportation of immigrants convicted of some crimes (CNN)
  • GOP tax cuts have gotten less popular with voters, new NBC/WSJ poll says (CNBC). Share your tax story here. 
  • Secret Pompeo Mission to North Korea Shows Trump’s Trust in Spies Over Diplomats (New York Times)
  • House of Delegates adopts its version of the budget, backing Medicaid expansion (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
  • Top Missouri GOP lawmakers tell Greitens to resign (St Louis Post-Dispatch)
  • First black woman nominated for Marine brigadier general (Marine Corps Times)
  • Rep. Schiff Introduces Legislation to Prevent Abuse of Presidential Pardons (Adam Schiff Press Releases)

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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