April 26, 2017: Zombie TrumpCare, Budget, National Monuments, AB-674, SB-562

Overview:

  • Yesterday, Politico reported that the GOP has finalized a new amendment to the American Health Care Act (AHCA, "TrumpCare"), the bill which would repeal and replace the ACA.
  • Negotiations continue over a continuing resolution to fund the government past the April 28 deadline.
  • A new Executive Order signed today could threaten the existence of dozens of National Monuments.
  • AB-674, a California state bill to designate Election Day as a state holiday, is up for a vote in the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee tomorrow.
  • SB-562, the Healthy California Act, is up for a vote in the state Senate Health Committee today.

Jump to call scripts


Details/Context:

Zombie TrumpCare:

Yesterday, Politico broke news that the GOP had finalized an amendment to the American HealthCare Act (AHCA, "TrumpCare") in order to revive the bill after its failure last month. (Pundits are now widely referring to this movie as "Zombie TrumpCare.") The amendment, authored by Tom MacArthur (R-NJ-3), would notably allow states to apply for waivers to requirements that essential health benefits (e.g. emergency services, mental health, maternity care, family planning, etc.) be covered and limitations on charging higher premiums to older patients, or patients with pre-existing conditions. These waivers would also be granted "default approval"—applications for waivers would be automatically granted, and the Department of Health and Human Services would then have 60 days decide whether or not to reject the application.

Also notable, an obscure reference in the amendment (amending section 136(b)(5)(A)(ii) of the AHCA) would prohibit such waivers on plans offered to Members of Congress (under section 1312(d)(3)(D) of the Affordable Care Act).

Relevant Links:

Budget Negotiations:

The White House appears to be backing off of its demands that funds for a border wall be included in the newest spending bill, as reported by the New York Times. Democrats including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had repeatedly referred to such a provision as a "poison-pill proposal" and a "non-starter," stating that members of both parties didn't support it. Indeed, earlier in the week, the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus (including San Diego Rep. Scott Peters) had issued a call for a "clean" spending bill—one without any partisan policy riders that would lead to it being blocked, and therefore causing a government shutdown.

Still at issue are the fate of ACA cost-sharing subsidies (used to lower deductibles and out-of-pocket costs to low-income patients), health benefits for retired miners, and assistance for Puerto Rico's Medicaid program.

Relevant Links:

National Monuments:

This morning, the President signed a new Executive Order directing the Secretary of the Interior to review all designations of national monuments since January 1, 1996, with the potential to rescind or scale back some of those designations.

Under the American Antiquities Act of 1906, Presidents are authorized to designate "historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest" on public lands as national monuments. (The process is different from national parks, which are designated by Congress, and national marine sanctuaries, which are designated by Congress or the Commerce Secretary under the 1972 Marine Protection Act.)

The rescinding or scaling down of national monument designations could open the affected lands up to resource extraction such as logging and mining. National marine monuments could also be affected, leading to increased commercial fisihing or oil drilling in those areas. Environmental groups including the Sierra Club and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance have warned about the potential consequences.

Relevant Links:

AB-674:

The California Assembly's Governmental Organization Committee is scheduled to vote on AB-674 tomorrow (April 27), a bill which would establish Election Day as a state holiday. Under the bill, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November of any even-numbered year would be designated as a statewide holiday. Community colleges and public schools would close, and state employees would be given time off with pay. This would make it easier for Californians to vote, increasing turnout and voter enfranchisement.

Relevant Links:

SB-562 - The Healthy California Act:

SB-562, the Healthy California Act, is scheduled for a vote today at 1:30 PM in the California Senate Health Committee.

Relevant Links:


Conclusion/Call Script Overview

Today I will be calling my US Senators and asking them to oppose Trump's disastrous new Executive Order targeting national monuments. I'll also call my House Representative and thank him for his opposition to the border wall, and his continued opposition to TrumpCare. I'll also call my State Senator and thank her for supporting (and co-authoring) SB-562.

My State Assemblymember does not sit on the Governmental Organization Committee, but if yours does, I recommend calling in support of AB-674.

If you are not from California, you can find contact information for all U.S. Senators here: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

If you don't know who your Representative in the House, you can look it up here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

If you are from California and don't know who your state representatives are, you can look up that information here: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/


Script for Calling Dianne Feinstein

"Hi, my name is _____ and I'm calling from _____ (zip code). I'm calling because I am appalled by the President's latest Executive Order threatening our national monuments. Climate change and environmental destruction are some of the biggest issues facing us today and we cannot afford to be removing protections from these lands. Please do what you can to oppose this Order and protect our national monuments. Thank you."

SD: (619) 231-9712
SF: (415) 393-0707
LA: (310) 914-7300
Fresno: (559) 485-7430
DC: (202) 224-3841

Email Contact Form


Script for Calling Kamala Harris

"Hi, my name is _____ and I'm calling from _____ (zip code). I'm calling because I am appalled by the President's latest Executive Order threatening our national monuments. Climate change and environmental destruction are some of the biggest issues facing us today and we cannot afford to be removing protections from these lands. Please do what you can to oppose this Order and protect our national monuments. Thank you."

SD: (619) 239-3884
SF: (415) 355-9041
LA: (213) 894-5000
Fresno: (559) 497-5109
Sacramento: (916) 448-2787
DC: (202) 224-3553

Email Contact Form


Script for Calling Scott Peters

"Hi, my name is _____ and I'm calling from _____ (zip code). I'm calling to thank Congressman Peters for joining the Problem Solvers Caucus in calling for a clean spending bill. I appreciate that the Congressman has been so proactive in speaking out against the border wall, which would hurt cities like San Diego. I'd also like to thank the Congressman for continuing to oppose TrumpCare, and as the Republicans bring that bill back with the MacArthur Amendment I'd like to encourage him to continue doing so. Thank you."

SD: (858) 455-5550
DC: (202) 225-0508

Email Contact Form


Script for Calling Members of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee:

"Hi, my name is _____ and I'm one of Assemblymember _____'s constituents in _____ (city/town). My zip code is _____. I'm calling to ask Assemblymember _____ to please vote yes on AB-674 in the Governmental Organization Committee. I think it's very important that we make sure everyone can vote who is eligible and wants to, and this bill is a step in the right direction. Thank you."

Assembly Governmental Organization Committee Members:


Script for Calling Members of the California Senate Health Committee:

"Hi, my name is _____ and I'm one of Senator _____'s constituents in _____ (city/town). My zip code is _____. I'm calling to ask Senator _____ to please support SB-562 in the Health Committee. Single-payer healthcare represents the only moral and economically responsible option for California, and I think it's very important that we pass this bill, especially considering the ongoing federal efforts to pass TrumpCare. Thank you."

California Senate Health Committee Members: