4 Things I’m Telling My Representatives in Congress This Week

Photo by  Estée Janssens  on  Unsplash

This week I learned about a little something called Resistbot. Just text RESIST to 50409 and Resistbot with send your representatives a fax of whatever you want to say. Remember that list of mobile apps that'll keep you politically engaged I posted a while ago? Between Resistbot and Countable, in just a few hours I had four messages for my reps I could just copy and paste and send, just like that. I hope you'll send messages of your own, too.

Sexual Misconduct Loses My Vote + Also Pass the Me Too Act

This whole situation with Alabama Senator Roy Moore is blowing my mind. This video clip from Samantha Bee covers most of my thoughts on that mess. And I’m sorry, but did you know that taxpayer funds go toward lawmakers’ settlement payments??

This crap has been going on in the dark for far too long. Now that it’s coming into the light, let’s do something concrete about it, like get the Me Too Act signed into law.

Dear Rep. A. McEachin, Senator Mark Warner + Senator Timothy Kaine,

As the floodgates of sexual misconduct disclosures continue to open — and Americans, including your fellow congressmen, react in a variety of ways — from shock, to anger, to denial, to evasion — I would like to remind you that I, a registered voter in your state, find sexual misconduct to be absolutely repulsive. I will not vote for someone who has committed sexual assault to represent me in the Senate — and, moreover, I will not vote for someone who knowingly defends an assaulter for political reasons. In fact, I hope that you would have no reservations condemning the actions of any colleague who has shown this kind of behavior, even if it cost you politically.

If you agree that sexual misconduct has no place in the Congress, I ask you to support the ME TOO Congress Act. Prevent future harassment and provide better support for victims.


Please Destroy This Tax Bill

So I was absolutely appalled when I heard that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in both the House and the Senate — BUT — what I didn’t remember from school was that before a bill can make it to the President for a signature the Senate and House versions have to MATCH, AND then both the House and the Senate have to vote on the matching version AGAIN!

Let me be entirely clear. I didn't like the sound of this bill when I first heard about it, but after I actually learned more (link, link, link, link) now, I completely despise it.

(1) It is deeply cutting taxes for high-earning businesses and individuals, on the basis of the “trickle-down” theory, which has yet to actually do what it says it does, trickle down economic prosperity beyond the wealthy

(2) It says it’s cutting taxes for middle-income households too, but by much less and potentially not for long or at all

(3) It might have a variety of negative side effects, like fewer people having health insurance and ending needed tax deductions for teachers and students

In the words of Arnold Hiatt, "This tax bill is a grand deception... It hurts the most vulnerable, and hurts health care and education, which are essential for a healthy economy."

Dear Rep. A. McEachin, Senator Mark Warner + Senator Timothy Kaine,

Thank you for voting No to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that unfortunately passed in both the House and the Senate this month. Your vote shows me that you understand how terribly this bill would impact the lives of so many people, in Virginia and throughout the country.

Please continue to do all that is within your power to prevent this bill becoming law. And more than that, please continue to do all that is within your power to protect the rights and wellness of all Americans, especially the most vulnerable.


Object to New Limits on Food Stamps

The food stamps program, called SNAP, is a federal nutrition program that helps folks stretch their food budget and buy healthy food. It can be used to purchase food at grocery stores,

convenience stores, and some farmers' markets and co-op food programs.

Apparently some people in Congress are trying to get greater flexibility for states in how they administer food stamps, including requiring drug testing or increased work requirements for recipients. 44 million Americans receive food stamps today, with the average benefit at $125 a month (which is way less than I spend on groceries in a month, idk about you).

Dear Rep. A. McEachin, Senator Mark Warner + Senator Timothy Kaine,

I’m writing to you today because I’ve learned that the USDA signaled plans to give states greater flexibility over how they administer food stamps, potentially opening the door to stricter work requirements or drug testing on recipients.

I would like to ask you to do all that is within your power to prevent these kinds of changes, which may result in those who need the financial assistance of food stamps from receiving them.

Someone who tests positive on a drug test needs medical help, not less healthy food — or no food at all. Someone who’s struggling with unemployment or not enough employment — does not need less or no food.

And finally, someone who's been on food stamps for many years, doesn't need them taken away "so they can become self-reliant," but needs the kinds of opportunities that enable them to afford food without them.

If you can urge this kind of perspective in Congress, and reflect it in your choices with various bills that arise during your time in Congress, I will notice and greatly appreciate it.


Do Everything You Can To Protect the CHIP

The Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) currently provides health insurance for 9 million low to moderate income children and 370,000 pregnant women. Right now congressmen disagree about whether and/or how to extend funding for this program. If someone could explain to me how it could be bad to increase national debt for this but toooootaally fiiine to increase national debt by $1 TRILLION for corporate and high-income tax cuts, yeah… I’d greatly appreciate that. Oh and also… you should know that Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah said this about funding the CHIP,

“I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves, won’t lift a finger, and expect the federal government to do everything… Unfortunately, the liberal philosophy has created millions of people that way, who believe everything they are or ever hope to be depend on the federal government rather than the opportunities that this great country grants them.”


Dear Rep. A. McEachin, Senator Mark Warner + Senator Timothy Kaine,

I’m writing you today to ask that you protect the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in any way that you can. Talk about it. Write about it. Sing about it. Dance about it. Whatever you can do to turn the attitudes of your colleagues, like Senator Hatch for example, who seems to believe that people who utilize CHIP are people who won’t help themselves and expect the government to do everything for them.

I know — and I hope that you also know — that this is far from the truth. The truth is that America is a land of opportunity AND millions of individual stories full of obstacles, challenges and circumstances that mean that we can’t all provide for ourselves in the ways we would like to be able to. Whether for a short time or a long time, we all need help sometimes.

Protect our ability to access the help we need for our pregnant people and children’s health. Please protect the CHIP.


What do you want Resistbot to send to your representatives? Tell me in the comments below!