Indivisibles, a while back (maybe years) we came to the conclusion that constantly asking for appeals to our state Senators and Representative was draining our energy and not particularly effective. So we switched approach, becoming very selective about when we contacted congresspeople. This is one of those times.
Next Monday, July 20, Congress comes back into session. They have a bare three weeks, until August 7, before Congress is scheduled to go on summer break. During that time they must attempt to deal with a series of related problems connected to the coronavirus crisis and the economic crisis. For example, at the end of July millions of unemployed will no longer receive their additional $600 unemployment benefit, many millions of people will no longer be able to afford August rent or pay the mortgage, states and local governments will begin having serious budget shortfalls leading to major cutbacks in services and employment. There’s more, ongoing efforts to control the coronavirus, for example, but the point is obvious: the condition of the country is perilous, complicated, and plagued with an almost total lack of leadership from the White House and the GOP-controlled Senate. Yet there will be the scant three weeks to pass a major bill. Fortunately, such a bill already exists.
The Democrats in the House put together and passed the “Heroes Act,” a massive and comprehensive bill designed to deal with COVID-19 and keep the economy afloat for at least a few more months. It’s already sitting in the Senate.With an estimated cost of $3 trillion over 10 years, the Heroes Act targets many problems, including:
- expanded food and unemployment assistance;
- assistance for struggling state and local governments;
- another $1,200 relief payments to individuals;
- hazard pay for essential front-line workers;
- housing assistance fund to help pay rents and mortgages; and
- health insurance premium payments for laid off workers.
The Senate Republicans will, of course, object, whine, and prevaricate; but Mitch McConnell has already signaled that he knows something needs to be passed. The question is whether it will be some kind of anemic and corrupt GOP offering, which the Democrats will reject, or the full Heroes Act bill with its $3 trillion price tag, which Republicans will certainly wish to reduce and manipulate.
We do not have time for this bill to fail or become a worthless simulacrum. If we go into the Fall without major relief and stimulation, then not only will our efforts against COVID-19 be hamstrung, but we will also be in the dreaded “economic crisis” that will look a lot like the Great Depression. This, unfortunately, is not hyperbole.
No doubt you see where this is going – we need everybody to get on the phone and put pressure on Sen. Daines. (Sen. Tester is already on board.) We need to tell Daines that there isn’t time to whip up a new bill; that the Senate GOP should accept the Heroes Act for a vote. We need to do this now, before Daines goes back to Washington. We want him to take the message to his colleagues that people understand the gravity of the situation and feel it is absolutely imperative that Congress act. Please, call him and whether you get a person or an answering machine, say something like…
“Tell Mitch McConnell to bring the Heroes Act up for a vote – and Daines needs to vote for it.”
Senator Steve Daines 406-587-3446 (Bozeman) 202-224-2651 (DC)
Daines needs to tell Mitch McConnell to bring the Heroes Act up for a vote – and Daines needs to vote for it.
The House has already passed it. There is no time for anything else.
If you’re motivated to do more, here are some other questions you can lob at Sen. Daines.
What does he have to say about Russia paying bounties on US soldiers. Why hasn’t he moved to call for an investigation? Sanctions?
It is a credible accusation. The info was included in a global top security brief and the report has been substantiated by intelligence sources.
Does he support Dr. Fauci? What does he think about the smear campaign?
Reports are coming out that Trump signed off on it.
What does he plan to do about the White House side-stepping the CDC?
This further degrades public trust in the federal response and gives the administration a wide open opportunity to manipulate the data. It’s a purely self-serving political response to a deadly public health crisis.
Did he think the press conference in the Rose Garden, now being called “the Rose Garden Rally” was appropriate?
Another unprecedented misuse of a presidential platform. A rambling, lie ridden diatribe. Is this the latest “rally” substitute after his big fail using the COVID-19 updates?
Would he be willing to appear with Trump at a rally where the Confederate flag was being flown?
Trump says he has no problem with displaying Confederate flags. Says it’s a free speech issue that he supports.
Make your calls as soon as you can this week. Don’t be bashful. For once in all truthfulness we can say this is a matter of life-and-death. As ever, we don’t expect an intelligent response from Daines, but his office does collect the messages and importantly count them. That’s how your “pressure” is transmitted and it’s been proven to work particularly in cases like this with such short notice.
So many thanks for your time and voice,
Nelson and Dixie