Daily Call To Action: October 5th, 2017

The Call – #ElectionSecurity #CyberSecurity

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Senate intelligence Committee, held a press conference on Wednesday in which they said they have concluded Russia interfered in our 2016 election, including with our election systems, and that their interference is continuing.

The Department of Homeland Security first notified 21 states in September, a year late, that their systems had been targeted by Russian government hackers during the 2016 elections. Burr and Warner expressed concern that it took so long and warned that Russian interference is on-going and could impact the integrity of the 2018 elections. Their concerns were echoed by Christopher Wray, Trump’s newly appointed FBI head. Former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has also warned that the US is not prepared for Russian interference in 2018 and 2020.

Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have introduced bipartisan legislation to establish an independent commission to determine how Russia interfered with our election systems and to make recommendations to prevent future interference.

The integrity of our elections is critical to our democracy. We must have a thorough bipartisan examination of the Russia’s cyber interference and recommendations on how to ensure it is stopped in future elections.
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Daily Call To Action: October 4th, 2017

The Call – #PuertoRicoReliefNOW #PuertoRico

Following a direct hit by Hurricane Maria, the devastation in Puerto Rico is apocalyptic, with almost no power, unpassable roads, decimated agriculture and much of its infrastructure destroyed. Millions remain without food, water, fuel and medicine creating a humanitarian crisis.

The Miami Herald described the Trump administration’s response to Puerto Rico as “slow, unenthusiastic and mean.” Trump’s tone-deaf remarks on his Tuesday visit to Puerto Rico were even worse than his insulting tweets.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is calling for an additional aid package to address the devastation in Puerto Rico be taken up as early as this week.

While Trump issued a 10-day waiver of the Jones Act, which requires all supplies from the mainland to be on US made and manned ships, he has refused to issue the one-year waiver many in Congress have requested. Without the waiver, building and reconstruction supplies will cost twice as much in Puerto Rico as on the mainland.

The slow and inadequate action by the Trump administration, compounded by Trump’s demeaning rhetoric, is shocking. Puerto Ricans are our fellow U.S. citizens and we must respond to their terrible circumstances as we did with people in Texas and Florida.
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Daily Call To Action: October 3rd, 2017

The Call – #CHIP

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which was enacted in 1997 with bipartisan support and funds health care for children from working families that don’t qualify for Medicaid, was allowed to expire on October 1st.

CHIP covers nearly 9 million children, providing coverage for routine pediatric and dental care, as well as coverage for seriously ill children. The program has brought the uninsured child rate down from 15% to 5%.

States still have some funding left, but most will run out by the end of the year or shortly thereafter. In many states, parents will soon get notices that their children can no longer see their doctors.

CHIP was expected to be renewed before the latest Trumpcare bill preempted Congressional time for its consideration. While there is bipartisan agreement that CHIP should be renewed, its fate is uncertain because of small disputes on details and limited time to act.

CHIP has povided major benefits for children’s health and the failure of Congress to renew it would be a tremendous blow. Congress must make time to quickly reauthorize funding for CHIP to protect the health of America’s most vulnerable children.
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Daily Call To Action: October 2nd, 2017

The Call – #PuertoRicoNeedsHelpNow #PuertoRicoRelief

Following the direct hit by Hurricane Maria, the situation is Puerto Rico is apocalyptic, with no power, unpassable roads, decimated agriculture and much of its infrastructure destroyed. Acute shortages of food, water, fuel and medicine have created a humanitarian crisis.

Despite the clear warnings that Puerto Rico would take a direct hit from a devastating hurricane, the US had only a fraction of the emergency personnel and supplies on the ground before Maria hit. General Honoré, who took over and fixed the botched Hurricane Katrina response, slammed Trump’s response to Maria as “slow and small.”

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is calling for an additional aid package to address the devastation in Puerto Rico be taken up as early as this week.

While Trump issued a 10 day waiver of the Jones Act, which requires all supplies from the mainland to be on US made and manned ships, he has refused to issue the one-year waiver many in Congress have requested. Without the waiver, building and reconstruction supplies will cost twice as much in Puerto Rico as on the mainland.

The slow and inadequate action by the Trump administration, compounded by Trump’s demeaning rhetoric, is shocking. Puerto Ricans are our fellow U.S. citizens and we must respond to their terrible circumstances as we did with people in Texas and Florida.
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Daily Call To Action: September 29th, 2017

The Call – #ACA #ProtectOurCare #CHIP

Following the spectacular failure of Graham-Cassidy, the Trump administration is actively working to sabotage the ACA exchanges by withholding needed “CSR” subsidies and thwarting enrollment efforts, causing skyrocketing premiums, faltering exchanges and counties with no insurer.

A bipartisan effort, led by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), which would provide funding to stabilize the exchanges and would require outreach efforts to increase enrollment, is close to agreement.

In order support the bill, Republicans are demanding “flexibility” for states. Some flexibility options will be necessary to get the bill passed, but Democrats must hold firm to ensure that the key “guardrails” that protect affordability for those with pre-existing conditions and prevent annual or lifetime caps on coverage remain.

The GOP attempt to pass Graham-Cassidy also pre-empted renewal of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a program that ensures almost all children get insurance and has wide bipartisan support. Funding expires on Oct 1 and many states will use up their existing funds by the end of the year if the program is not reauthorized.
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