Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings begin on March 20, 2017 at 11 am in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The selection of a Supreme Court Justice is an important event for our democracy and a judge’s record on key issues gives an indication as to the type of justice they will be.
Prior to contacting the committee or its members, here are some resources to learn about the judge’s record so that you are able to articulate your concerns or provide questions you’d like the committee to ask the judge during his confirmation hearing. Below are a few items about Judge Gorsuch’s record:
- NPR – Here’s what we know about Neil Gorsuch
- SCOTUS Blog – Judge Gorsuch on civil rights
- New York Times – Democrats’ Line of Attack on Gorsuch: No Friend of the Little Guy
- The Denver Post – What you need to know about Colorado judge Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court
If you’d like to contact members of the Judiciary Committee, Dinner at the Grange has created PDF contact lists for each committee. Download the Senate Judiciary Committee contact list (PDF).
The first opportunity the average American has to lobby for or against a piece of legislation is when that bill or resolution is taken up by a committee. Any citizen can contact the committee or committee members to lobby for or against that bill. When contacting the committee, it’s important to reference the bill or resolution number and state how this bill will affect you. Consider it your opportunity to give brief, concise testimony to the committee member.
Dinner at the Grange would like to thank our newest site contributor on the east coast who has worked put together these congressional committee spreadsheets. There are over 35 congressional committees, so we’ve prioritized the committees that are most pertinent for current, active legislation. As additional PDFs are added, I’ll add to this post (which can be found on the Archives page for future reference) and will be adding these links to the Executive Orders and Legislation page.
These PDFs will help us to quickly contact the committee members via Twitter and calls or faxes to their DC and local offices. The below links are downloadable PDFs.
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Select Committee on Intelligence
Committee on the Environment and Public Works
Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs
Information in this post will be permanently stored on the Helpful Tools and Apps page.
ACLU’s mobile app: iPhone and Android (check respective app stores – it’s free!).
Head over to the ACLU’s Know Your Rights page to get information. This page has helpful material to inform citizens of their rights in various situations including when protesting and demonstrating, if they’re questioned about immigrant status, if stopped by the police, want to record the police, etc.
The ACLU has created an action network for citizens to resist the current administration and GOP-lead congress called People Power. The training below focuses on explaining your rights when demonstrating and protesting and what you can do to protect yourself and your fellow Americans if questioned by the police or are the subject of an ICE raid. ACLU is asking for people to help develop Freedom Cities. ACLU’s “Freedom Cities” plan brings local grassroots activists together and provides a blueprint for local-level campaigns to defend our communities and block the worst abuses of the Trump administration. Go to PeoplePower.org for more information.
This training is a motivational companion to the ACLU Know Your Rights information posted on on ACLU Nationwide’s site.
ACLU’s People Power Resistance Training (recorded on 3/11/2017).
Materials from the training:
On 03/02/2017, HR 1313 – Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
Bill Summary: H.R. 1313 would allow employers to offer substantial health insurance premium rebates to workers who take part in company wellness programs that may include submitting to health risk assessments. Once enrolled an employee is enrolled in a wellness program, businesses are allowed to collect “information about the manifested disease or disorder of a family member” of participating employees. The bill, which was sponsored by Committee Chair Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), does not require employees to enroll in such programs. But the bill notes that according to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, employers could reduce annual health insurance premiums by up to 50 percent for employees who did take part and not does not allow employers to require all their workers to submit to genetic testing.
Nancy J. Cox, PhD, ASHG president, in a letter to the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, provides a frightening overview: “If enacted, this legislation would undermine fundamentally the privacy provisions of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It would allow employers to ask employees invasive questions about their and their families’ health, as well as genetic tests they and their families have undergone. It would further allow employers to impose stiff financial penalties on employees who choose to keep such information private, thus empowering employers to coerce their employees into providing their health and genetic information.” from DNA Science Blog .
To Take Action:
- Read the bill & sign up for alerts on this bill here or use GovTrack.us to get up-to-date information.
- Contact the House Ways and Means Committee. This is your opportunity to give citizen testimony and lobby for/against a bill. Adding personal stories as to why or how a bill will affect average Americans is powerful and may sway committee members.
- Follow the bill’s progress in the committee: Ways and Means Committee Hearing Schedule
- Once the bill is out of committee and before the House vote, contact your Representative and tell them why you would like them to vote a certain way (for or against).
This new resource has been added to both the Tips on Action Plans page & and the growing list of tools & materials on the Helpful Tools & Apps page.
From the Albert Einstein Institution site: Practitioners of nonviolent struggle have an entire arsenal of “nonviolent weapons” at their disposal. Listed below are 198 of them, classified into three broad categories: nonviolent protest and persuasion, noncooperation (social, economic, and political), and nonviolent intervention. A description and historical examples of each can be found in volume two of The Politics of Nonviolent Action, by Gene Sharp.
Call to Action: HR 111. Call, Tweet, Fax before 9 am (ET) on Tuesday 2/28/17 & Request a Special Prosecutor Be Appointed
Background: Congress needs to appoint a special prosecutor or commission to investigate POTUS. AG Sessions was a top adviser to POTUS during the 2016 presidential campaign.
This is an update to a previous post on HR 111 from 2.24.17. HR 111 is scheduled to be debated in the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday 2/28 at 10 am (ET). H.R. 111 is an inquiry resolution introduced on 2/9/17 by Representative Nadler (D-NY) with 61 co-sponsors directing the Attorney General to transmit certain documents to the House of Representatives relating to the financial practices of the President. The Committee Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA) submitted an Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to HR 111. Read marked up/amended version here. Note these edits would replace all text from original after the word “Resolved.”
Contact Information: Use the House of Representative’s Republican Judiciary Committee Members‘ contact information. DC offices are 202 area code, additional district/home offices are listed but not identified by city.
Strategy: Focus on Republican members for two reasons: 1) this call for an investigation needs to come from the Republicans for it to be successful and/or not cause backlash from Republican base and 2) sixty-one Democratic members of the House were co-sponsors on H.R. 111; while we should reach out to them as well, priority on contacting Republican members first. Full list of committee members can be found here. Their twitter username is below their name. To locate their phone/fax numbers, click on their official website link. Their twitter username is below their name.
Any citizen can contact congressional committee members – even if they are not your elected official. It’s only when a resolution or a bill heads to the floor for a full vote should you only contact your congressional member.
- Call DC office, if no answer, call one of the District office. If you have time, call at least one of their district/local offices. If you call, suggested script for all Republicans is below (except Issa – see #2 for Issa)
“Hello, I’m calling to ask what member X’s position is on HR 111? I understand it was amended by Chairman Goodlatte and the resolution will be taken up by the Committee on Tuesday morning. [listen to their answer, if they don’t know or you get voicemail then continue with a request]
I am calling to request Representative X make a motion to support Representative Issa’s media statement and request a special prosecutor be appointed and for the resolution to be so amended. The American people deserve to know the truth. Two weeks isn’t sufficient time for the newly confirmed Attorney General Sessions to investigate the matter & and given his appointment by the President, unsure of his ability to be impartial [you can chose to include or leave that last bit out of your script].”
2.When you call Issa offices or tweet at him: “Thank you, Rep. Issa for speaking up this weekend and I’m calling to lend my support. Please to put forth a motion to appoint a special prosecutor or commission to investigate Trump.”
3.Fax them: If you have ability & if the Representative has a fax number listed.
4.LIGHT UP THEIR TWITTER feeds by tweeting at them. If folks don’t have time to call – how about lighting up the Republicans Twitter feeds? I’m learning they’re paying closer attention to Twitter feeds these days than Facebook social media pages.
Suggested Tweet: Support Rep Issa, call for special prosecutor to investigate POTUS. The American people deserve the truth. #HR111
Given the sheer amount of noise coming out of 45’s administration, it’s easy to forget that there are remaining confirmation hearings to be held for his cabinet and other administration positions.
I found several helpful Washington Post and New York Times pages tonight on the confirmations and thought I’d assemble all the information in one place for future reference.
1. WP’s database tracking page: completed and upcoming confirmations. This database is searchable and provides details on the nominees.
2. The WP’s complete guide to Trump’s Cabinet confirmations including schedules. Provides a an argument for and against each nominee’s confirmation (may help with scripts when calling Senators regarding a specific nominee’s confirmation).
3. Washington Post’s article (with great visuals) comparing 45’s cabinet confirmation schedules with those of president Obama, G.W. Bush, Clinton, and George H.W. Bush. This gives us perspective to offset the rants we may hear from 45 et.al regarding the slow pace of confirmation hearings.
4. Appointee tracker with additional information including the administration’s advisers that do not require Senate confirmation (Bannon, Miller, Conway, Kushner, etc.). Provides photos of every member – helpful to put faces with names, etc.
Tracking Which Senators Voted for Which Nominee
The New York Times is tracking how each senator has voted on 45’s cabinet and administration nominees. Click here for the tracker. I’m guessing we’ll all want to remember who voted for whom come the 2018 midterms.
Call to Action: Two Resolutions to Investigate Trump Being Suppressed by House GOP Leaders – What You Can Do by TUESDAY 9 am (ET) on 2.28.17
There are two resolutions introduced into the House calling for investigations into 45; both have been referred to House committees. According to recent news reports, the committees’ GOP leadership intend to kill both resolutions this coming Tuesday.
So what can you do? Use the links below to contact the committee members BY TUESDAY 2.28.17. Remember that any citizen can call committee members even if those members are not your elected official. However, if they are your representative, all the better!
H.R. 111 is an inquiry resolution introduced on 2/9/17 by Representative Nadler (D-NY) with 61 co-sponsors directing the Attorney General to transmit certain documents to the House of Representatives relating to the financial practices of the President. This resolution is in the House Judiciary Committee. The committee members can be viewed here.
House Judiciary Committee main line: (202) 225.3951
H.R.1172 is a resolution introduced on 2/16/17 by Representative Neal (D-MA) to require the President to disclose income, assets, and liabilities associated with countries with which the United States is negotiating a trade or investment agreement, countries subject to presidential determinations in trade enforcement actions, and countries eligible for trade preference programs, and for other purposes. It has been referred to the House Rules and Ways and Means Committee.
The Committee on Rules Ways and Means Committee
U.S. House of Representatives U.S. House of Representatives
Main phone line: (202) 225-9191 Main phone line: (202) 225-3625
Fax: (202) 225-6763 Fax: (202) 225-2610
Below are two news stories on H.R. 111.
2.22.17: Politico’s GOP to Bury House Resolution on Trump Conflicts
2.23.17: NY Mag’s This Obscure News Story, Which Should Be Huge, Shows How Trump Gets Away With Corruption
2/1/17: US House Representative Stephanie Murphy (D-Fl) introduced bill H.R. 804. It’s been sent to three subcommittees for consideration. Click here to read the bill. No action has been taken by the committees and that’s NOT okay.
ANY citizen can call committee members and lobby for or against a bill. It’s only when a bill goes to the floor for a vote that constituents should call only their elected officials.
It’s worth following up on a previous Call to Action post concerning Bannon. These are separate issues. The above is to lobby for a specific piece of legislation. Below, this is your opportunity to contact the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee to voice your concerns about Steve Bannon on the NSC.
2.5.17 – Call to Action: Updated Info to Get Bannon off the NSC
New information: Where do your congressional members stand on Bannon’s appointment to the National Security Council? Check this site (organized by houses, House of Representatives and Senate). Links to contact your congressional members in the table. Call their District/mobile offices first, then their DC office.
Call to Action # 1: Keep placing calls to the Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee’s main number (202-224-4751). If the mailbox is full, try again in a few hours. They empty the mailbox every day at noon EST (9:00 am PST) and every night. You can call repeatedly; no limit.
You can also email the Committee – use this the form from the Committee to contact them.
The folks over at the Daily Kos put together a list with contact information to the Committee Members. See below for the 15 members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and how to contact them directly. Just one call makes a difference and it takes just a few minutes.
Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) – Chairman
- Direct: 414-276-7282
- DC: 202-224-5323
Claire McCaskil (D-Mo.) – Ranking Member
- Direct: 816-421-1639
- DC: 202-224-6154
John McCain (R-Az.)
- Direct: 602-952-2410
- DC: 202-224-2235
Rob Portman (R-Oh.)
- Direct: 513-684-3265
- DC: 202-224-3353
Thomas R. Carper (D-De.)
- Direct: 302-573-6291
- DC: 202-224-2441
Jon Tester (D-Mt.)
- Direct: 406-252-0550
- DC: 202-224-2644
Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
- Direct: 270-782-8303
- DC: 202-224-4343
James Lankford (R-Ok.)
- Direct: 405-231-4941
- DC: 202-224-5754
Heidi Heitkamp (D-Nd.)
- Direct: 701-258-4648
- DC: 202-224-2043
Gary C. Peters (D-Mi.)
- Direct: 313-226-6020
- DC: 202-224-6221
Michael B. Enzi (R-Wy.)
- Direct: 307-739-9507
- DC: 202-224-3424
John Hoeven (R-Nd.)
- Direct: 701-250-4618
- DC: 202-224-2551
Margaret Hassan (D-Nh.)
- Direct: 603-622-2204
- DC: 202-224-3324
Kamala Harris (D-Ca.)
- Direct: 916-448 – 2787
- DC: 202-224-3553
Steve Daines (R-Mt.)
- Direct: 406-245-6822
- DC: 202-224-2651
A Dinner at the Grange user forward this graphic to me today. I know, tiny, tiny print, so here’s the link to the Google Doc. The flowchart is sound advice right down to contacting committee members. Update: author and graphic artist found! Author: Eva Hagberg Fisher, Graphic Artist: Jason Snell. 2017. It’s great resource to share with others!