Actions for the Week of 1/11/2019

Email Senator Cantwell: Phone: (202) 224-3441 Fax: (202) 228-0514 Press releases
Email Senator Murray: Phone: (202) 224-2621 Fax: (202) 224-0238 Press releases
Email Rep. Kilmer: Phone: (202) 225-5916 News

Daily actions 1/11/2019

Contact our members of Congress and ask them to make sure the Trump administration follows through with its promise to pay veterans who were short-changed when the VA did not implement new G.I. bill legislation in a timely manner. First, the VA said they would not pay back benefits owed to vets; then the VA reversed itself. Let’s make sure they keep their promise. Read about it here.

Contact our members of Congress and ask them to look into the Trump administration’s efforts to ignore and then amend the terms of a 2008 agreement with Vietnam that protects Vietnamese immigrants who arrived in the United States before July 12, 1995 from deportation. In 2018, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) imprisoned hundreds of Vietnamese immigrants in detention prisons across the country, despite not being able to deport many of them. A California court order resulted in the release of some of them. About 8,000 people are at risk of deportation. Read about it here and here.

Contact our members of Congress and voice your support for one or more of several bills that have been introduced to lower the cost of prescription drugs

  • Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act, re-introduced in the Senate by Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Chuck Grassley, would allow the importation of certain drugs from Canada. Read about it here.
  • Prescription Drug Price Relief Act of 2019, introduced in the Senate by Senator Bernie Sanders and in the House by Rep. Ro Khanna. It would end government-granted monopolies for manufacturers who charge drug prices that are higher than the median prices at which the drugs are available in other countries. Read about it here.
  • Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act, introduced in the Senate by Senator Bernie Sanders and in the House by Rep. Elija Cummings. It would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Senate Finance Chair, Chuck Grassley has already indicated his opposition to drug price negotiation. Read about the Act here.
  • Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act introduced in the Senate by Sen. Bernie Sanders and in the House by Rep. Elija Commings would allow for the importation of affordable and safe drugs by wholesale distributors, pharmacies and individuals. Read about it here.
  • Affordable Drug Manufacturing Act (S.3775/H.R.7348), introduced in the Senate by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and in the House by Rep. Jan Schakowsky on 12/19/2018 would create a manufacturing unit within the federal Department of Health and Human Services to mass produce generic drugs in order to bring down prices and introduce competition into the pharmaceutical industry oligopoly.
  • CURE High Drug Prices Act introduced by Senators Richard Blumenthal, Jeff Merkley, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar would allow the federal government to restrict price increases on certain lifesaving drugs. Read about it here.
  • Low Prices Drug Act, introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley which would prevent drug manufacturers access to federal health programs such as Medicare for any drug that exceeds the median price charged in 11 reference countries. Read about it here.

Contact our members of Congress and demand they investigate the Trump administration’s attempt to shirk the federal government’s responsibility to clean up nuclear contamination at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The Dept. of Energy has proposed the reclassification of millions of gallons of radioactive waste as “less dangerous,” which would allow treatment and disposal options that would not guarantee long-term protections. Thank our Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, and Governor Jay Inslee for opposing reclassification here and here, respectively. Read about it here. The Dept. of Energy can make the change without the approval of Congress.

Contact our members of Congress and ask them to take action to overrule Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin’s removal of sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s companies. Congress can overrule Mnuchin’s actions for a limited amount of time without having to write and pass new legislation. Read about it here.

Contact our members of Congress and ask that they not renew the Coast Guard’s early retirement plan. Zachary Fuentes, deputy of former White House chief of staff John Kelly, has cooked up a sweet scheme whereby he will stay on the White House payroll for six months doing nothing, at which time he will be eligible for a Coast Guard early retirement but only if the Coast Guard’s early retirement program has been renewed. Let’s not renew it! Evidently John Kelly also attracts “only the best people.”

Contact our members of Congress and ask them to support Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s efforts to re-introduce Savannah’s Act. The bill that was introduced by Sen. Heidi Heitcamp before she lost her re-election in November. Savannah’s Act increases communication between federal, state, local and tribal officials and strengthens crime data collection. It would create locally developed guidelines for responding to cases of missing and murdered Native Americans. Savannah’s Act would have become law last year if not for Rep. Bob Goodlatte (who also lost his re-election) who objected to provision that would encourage the Justice Department to give law enforcement grants to agencies willing to focus on abuse directed at Native women. Sen. Cantwell has indicated her support for Murkowski’s efforts. Read about it here.

Questions / daily action suggestions? kathy@mainlandview.com