- Victoria Miller
So Many Bills, So Little Time
Happy Tuesday, Activists!
So many bills, so little time. Two see the change we worked so hard to achieve, we have such a short window to pass legislation to make a real difference. People are hurting and need this help now. Below is the status on several of the bills making their way to Capitol Hill and what you can do to help get them passed.
We’ll be talking about the timing of all of this during next Wednesday’s meeting (sign up here). See you there!
CALL TO ACTION
Sen. Toomey – Phila offices: 215-241-1090; D.C. 202-224-4254; email link
Sen. Casey – Phila office 215-405-9660; D.C. 202-224-6324 email link
Rep. Evans – D.C. office 202-225-4001; Phila office 215-276-0340; email link
Rep. Boyle – D.C. office 202-225-6111; Phila offices 215-335-3355; 215-426-4616, 215-744-7901, 215-982-1156, 267-335-5643; email link
For outside Philadelphia/PA:
Find your House Representative’s phone number and email at this link.
Find your Senators’ phone numbers and emails at this link.
COVID-19 relief package:
A vote in the House is expected very late this week (maybe Friday or Saturday). From there, the bill moves to the Senate, where the Senate parliamentarian needs to weigh in to confirm the bill conforms to the rules of budget reconciliation. Under Senate rules, legislation impacting the budget can be included in a special kind of bill requiring only a majority vote to become law. You can read more here. Here’s the issue:
* Depending on the parliamentarian's advice, some House Democrats may get cold feet and look to water down the bill (think: removing the provision to increase the minimum wage), even though they are not required to use the same rules as the Senate.
* We need to call on the House to keep as many progressive priorities as possible in the bill (like raising the minimum wage and survival checks that are not further restricted) instead of stripping them preemptively before it heads to the Senate.
Call your Representative and tell them not to water down the COVID-19 relief package before it gets to the Senate.
The $15 minimum wage increase, which is included in this bill, will be the point of contention within the Senate Democratic ranks. It has huge support among Americans (Pew Research finds two thirds of Americans favor it) and you can read the benefits of raising it here and an article on the pro and cons here.
In good news, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, announced the other day that he believes the parliamentarian will rule that the $15 minimum wage is considered part of reconciliation and will be allowed to stay in the bill.
Moving to a vote soon– Next up are the reform bills that start to ensure that our democracy works for all and that we have a functioning government to pass all our other priorities.
H.R. 1, the For the People Act – The House will vote the week of March 1.Then it goes to the Senate.
H.R. 51, D.C. Statehood bill– A hearing is scheduled for March 11.
Call your representative and ask them to move swiftly to pass H.R. 1 and H.R. 51.
Then, call our senators and tell them not to let the filibuster get in the way of vital democracy reform.
For more info on H.R.1, see our recent newsletter here, read about it in this report from the Brennan Center, and check out Indivisible’s quick explainer video here.
The U.S. Citizenship Act– President Biden took a major step last week to slow deportations, and his allies in Congress unveiled a bill that would represent the country’s most sweeping immigration overhaul in generations. This bill might need some improvements, but it’s a step in the right direction. It provides a path to citizenship for most, but not all, undocumented immigrants living in the United States as of this year.
Let your representative know they should immediately advance this bill – and work to make positive changes – so immigrants can know by spring that they are welcomed to citizenship.
The timing is good to get this passed. Polling data show that the country largely objected to Trump’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants, and in fact grew considerably more favorable to immigration over the course of his administration.
Call your Representative and tell them to work to improve this bill and get it passed as soon as possible.
OUR UPCOMING MEETINGS
1. Announcing Our Exciting Plans for 2021 and 2022!
Join us next Wednesday, March 3, at 7:00 pm, where you'll hear all about our exciting plans for 2021 and 2022. We’ll recap what we accomplished last year and roll out our strategy for important elections this year and next year, and how you can help us get ready now. We’ll review the results of our big postcard project, the data on the election results, and then the plan to go bigger and bolder to Get. More. Done.
2. Meet the District Attorney Candidates
On Thursday, March 25, at 7:00 pm, we are holding a forum with the two current Democratic candidates for Philadelphia DA – incumbent Larry Krasner and challenger Carlos Vega. We’ll hear from each candidate separately and pose questions to each. This forum is sure to help you decide how to vote in the important May 18 primary election!
3. Meeting with Senator Casey
Last week we met with Senator Casey’s staff to set up a meeting with him, which will be sometime during the March Senate Recess period (March 27-April 11).
We’ll be sending out a poll to our members to find out the issues you want to see addressed during the meeting. So be on the lookout for that and a date and time once we set the details with the Senator’s office!
How you can help communities in Texas
Check out this directory for how to help communities in Texas. This guide from Indivisible provides a long list of organizations all over the state that are working tirelessly to get people the help they need. If you are able, consider making a donation today.
PA School Funding Basics Seminar
Tonight at 7:00 join Education Voters Executive Director Susan Spicka for “PA School Funding Basics” to learn how school funding works (and doesn't) in Pennsylvania. You will also learn about education advocacy, get an update on the school funding lawsuit and more. Sign up here.
And before you go, don't forget --
Sign up for your mail-in ballot.
Did you sign up to vote by mail last year? You will need to renew your application again for this year’s elections, even if you signed up to be on the “permanent” list. It's an annual sign-up and it’s time to do it again for this year’s elections.
You can sign up on the state website here. You also should have received a paper application in the mail from your local election board.
You can see all of our beautiful items on our website! Here’s how it works:
1. View the selections and pick out what you would like to order.
2. Make a donation for the amount (or more!) listed for each item.
3. Use the email link in the item description and tell us you made your donation.
4. We’ll ship you the item.
5. You’ll enjoy it, and know you donated to a worthy cause!
And as always:
Wear a mask. Keep a distance. Get a vaccine when you can. Stay safe.