Daily Actions for the Week of Nov. 18, 2022

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

  1. Contact our members of Congress and thank them for working to pass H.R. 8404, the Respect for Marriage Act during the lame duck session. The House passed the bill in July. In the Senate last week, twelve Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in voting for cloture, clearing the way for passage before the end of the session. The bill repeals and replaces provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor in 2013. It also replaces provisions that do not require states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states with provisions that prohibit the denial of full faith and credit or any right or claim relating to out-of-state marriages on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, or national origin. In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court held that state laws barring same-sex marriages were unconstitutional. When passed, the Respect for Marriage Act will be in place if the Supreme Court reverses the United States v. Windsor, Obergefell v. Hodges or Loving v. Virginia (in which the Supreme Court held that state laws barring interracial marriage were unconstitutional.

  2. Contact our senators and urge them to pass H.R.8873, the Presidential Election Reform Act, which the House passed on Sept. 21. The bill’s original co-sponsors are Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Rep. Liz Cheney, both members of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, and reflects their conclusions after a year of investigation. The bill specifies that the choice of electors must occur in accordance with the laws of the state enacted prior to election day. The bill also specifies that the voting time for a state’s presidential election may only be extended due to a catastrophic event, defined as a major natural disaster, act of terrorism, or widespread power outage if it (1) prevents a substantial portion of a state’s electorate from casting a ballot on election day, or (2) causes a substantial number of ballots already cast in a state to be destroyed or rendered unreadable. Additionally, the bill requires each state’s governor to certify the appointment of electors for the state. Further, the bill provides for expedited judicial review for an action brought by an aggrieved presidential or vice-presidential candidate with respect to the issuance or transmission of a certificate of appointment. Lastly, the bill specifies that the role of the presiding officer (the Vice President or, in the absence of the Vice President, the President pro tempore) during the joint session shall be ministerial in nature, and raises the objection threshold in Congress to at least one-third of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
  3. Contact our members of Congress and urge them to raise the debt ceiling now, or better yet, eliminate the debt ceiling entirely. It is estimated that the debt ceiling will need to be raised in the summer of 2023. As reported by Axios, GOP leaders (particularly Jason Smith (R-MO)) are already preparing to hold raising the 2023 debt limit hostage in order to extract cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Such a scenario is expected to be worse than the 2011 debt-ceiling shutdown because then Speaker John Boehner was strong enough to get his Tea Party caucus cranks to back down. The now-hypothetical Speaker Kevin McCarthy seems unlikely to fill Boehner’s shoes. Learn more here. This editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch recommends eliminating the debt ceiling entirely in that it serves no useful purpose other than being taken as hostage.

  4. Contact our members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor and pass S.3181, Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Enforcement Act. The bill would establish statutory prohibitions, investigatory mechanisms and enforcement provisions regarding the receipt from a foreign or domestic government of profits, gains, advantages, or payments (i.e., emoluments) by U.S. officeholders. We just learned that officials from China, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates spent more than $750,000 at former president Donald Trump’s hotel in Washington as they were trying to influence his administration, according to documents turned over to congressional investigators. Learn why passing this bill into law is so important here.
  5. Contact Rep. Kilmer and urge him to end ACO Reach. This program, begun under Trump and continued with modifications under Pres. Biden, is one more step on the path toward the complete privatization of Medicare. The first step toward privatizing Medicare was Medi-gap insurance plans. The next step was Medicare Advantage plans, which have been found to have cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars since 2018 while delaying treatment or never providing treatment at all. Under ACO REACH, the federal government simply gives insurance companies Medicare money and lets them keep any money not spent on patient care. Learn more about ACO Reach here. Rep. Kilmer says ACO REACH is not the privatization of Medicare, even though it clearly is. Read this letter written by Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action to Rep. Kilmer, signed by 83 organizations and 565 individuals (including Sen. Christine Rolfes) urging Rep. Kilmer to stop supporting ACO REACH. Read this ad placed by Clallam and Jefferson County constituents in the Peninsula Daily News calling for Rep. Kilmer to call for an end to the ACO REACH program.

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