Yesterday, I was super busy so I didn’t get a chance to do any Congressional needling. Today, I picked up my plan to contact my Senators about the cabinet nominees. I faxed and/or emailed both of the Senators again asking them to oppose DeVos, Pruitt, and Tillerson. I sent them both a new email asking them to oppose Tom Price as Health Secretary. And I followed up with Sen. Toomey in particular asking him to oppose Sessions for Attorney General.
Our Democratic senator Bob Casey issued a press release stating that he would vote no on Sessions, DeVos, and Pruitt, so that was good news!
Senator Toomey sent me back an email about Rex Tillerson that contained no useful information:
Looking ahead, the Senate’s constitutional role in providing advice and consent for presidential appointments is important, and I take this responsibility seriously. I value your input about Mr. Tillerson and look forward to continuing to learn more about his qualifications during the confirmation process.
He also sent me an email about my ask for an investigation into Russian election interference. In this one, he states that 1) he is in favor of an investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee (which I said in my email wasn’t good enough) and 2) that because voting machines weren’t compromised, “[i]t was a free and fair election, the results of which were never in question.”
I’m afraid I have to disagree. I can’t consider any election where a foreign government hacking and releasing information in a way designed to favor one candidate to be either “free” or “fair.”
Yesterday, I replayed my greatest hits:
- Sent emails to all 3 MOCs asking for an independent investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia. The Senate Intelligence Committee said on Friday that it would investigate this, but that the investigation would take place “behind closed doors.” I don’t think that’s good enough.
- Faxed Sen. Toomey asking him to not to repeal the ACA.
- Faxed both Senators asking them to support the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act, which was a bit of a gaffe since Sen. Casey is one of the co-sponsors of the bill. The first time I did this, I just sent the request to Sen. Toomey, and sent a thanks to Sen. Casey for co-sponsoring, so hopefully he will overlook it.
Today, I’m planning to replay some additional greatest hits, this time from the category of “opposition to the cabinet nominees.”
Today, I sent an email to all 3 of my MOC (that’s Members of Congress, for those who are not yet semi-professional gadflies) reiterating the request for an independent commission to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia.
I called Rep. Thompson’s office and again spoke to a human. I’m starting to think not enough people are calling from the PA 5th District. Anyway, this time I had my notes ready and asked the nice lady to urge to the Congressman to not support the budget resolution vote and to oppose repealing the Affordable Care Act. The first part did not have the desired effect, because in the afternoon vote, Thompson voted for the budget. Disappointing, but not unexpected.
I also faxed over the same letter (with an updated date) to both Senators urging them not to repeal the ACA.
I submitted a Letter to the Editor! I’ve seen lots of people suggesting this, but I’m a little skeptical myself. Do people even read letters to the editor? I guess I will find out.
On the response side, I got an email back from Sen. Casey saying he has “concerns about whether, based upon his record, Mr. Tillerson would advance our Nation’s security and diplomatic interests abroad,” so yay. I also got two back from Sen. Toomey, one that sidestepped my specific request to not defund Planned Parenthood by saying listing some things about reproductive freedom that he thought we all should be able to agree on (for the record, we do not). The other one on the ACA stated:
For these reasons, I have voted for and continue to support the full repeal of the president’s health care law.
So this one will be an uphill climb.
For safe keeping: the ACLU has put out a guide to protesting the inauguration.
Today, I called my House Representative Glenn Thompson (R)’s office and spoke to an actual human. I was so surprised, I didn’t have my talking points ready so I only managed to say that I opposed repealing the ACA and I was concerned about coverage for preexisting conditions. I followed that up with an email where I made the more important point: asking him to not support the budget resolution during the Friday vote. I do really prefer voicemail.
I followed that up with faxes and emails to all three representatives asking them to support the ACA and to continue to urge them to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia. I invested in a prepaid account with Got Free Fax to support my burgeoning fax habit. I expect I will be blocked as a spammer any day now.
I also emailed Sen. Casey to thank him for co-sponsoring the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act requiring Trump and future presidents to sell off their conflicts of interest and put the assets in a true blind trust, and then emailed Sen. Toomey asking him to support it.
I haven’t done it yet, but I think Rogan’s List’s plan to mail postcards to Trump with the message: “I CARE ABOUT YOUR TAXES” is great.
I don’t even know what I can say about the current political situation. Mike and I watched the CNN and Buzzfeed revelations emerge in real time on Twitter. I also Twitter-watched the “press conference” this afternoon. It’s probably not going to happen, but I hope the conversation stays focused on his possibly treasonous activities, and not the sex details. Especially since this afternoon Trump again refused to release his tax returns and set up a blind trust.
After the election, I felt like I had lost faith in democracy. Contacting my representatives helps, but it still feels like this country is dissolving right in front of my eyes, and I can’t understand how we are letting this happen.
On my lunch break, I called my Senators to ask them to appoint a Special Prosecutor and an independent commission to investigate the connection between Trump and Russia before the inauguration. I followed that up with letters faxed to all 3 of my representatives, and a voicemail to my House Rep. Glenn Thompson (R). I had forgotten to include him at lunch. I think I might continue this one daily until something happens.
I also sent emails to the Senators asking them to oppose the nomination of Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
I forgot to mention that Mike and I will be attending the Women’s March on Washington the day after the inauguration. This will be my first protest since college!