Pennsylvania Member of Congress Tracking Report – 09.27.20

49 mins read
Graphic by Kelly Pollock.

This is a 100% volunteer effort brought to you by a handful of progressive Democrats and Independents who share a vision of an informed electorate.  We want to offer a big thank you to the DemcastTogether and Pennsylvania Indivisible organizations who host our report and help us share it out to the residents of our Commonwealth!

A note on MoCTrack reports from now through the election:
Our MoCTrack volunteers want to give as much of their time as they can to phone banking, text banking and other activities to drive support for our preferred candidates.  So you will notice that our reports are going to be leaner from now through Election Day. We hope you’ll understand, and will join us in volunteering for your favorite candidates in these last two months that will decide our future!

Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump

The lower the number, the more the legislator votes in opposition to the Trump agenda.

Member of CongressThis week’s scoreChange from last report
Senator Bob Casey (D)29.3%0.0%
Senator Pat Toomey (R)88.1%0.0%
PA-01 Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R)62.9%-0.4%
PA-02 Rep. Brendan Boyle (D)12.9%-0.1%
PA-03 Rep. Dwight Evans (D)11.4%0.0%
PA-04 Rep. Madeleine Dean (D)3.6%0.0%
PA-05 Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D)5.7%-0.1%
PA-06 Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D)4.8%0.0%
PA-07 Rep. Susan Wild (D)8.0%-0.1%
PA-08 Rep. Matt Cartwright (D)19.0%-0.1%
PA-09 Rep. Dan Meuser (R)97.5%0.0%
PA-10 Rep. Scott Perry (R)90.4%+0.1%
PA-11 Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R)95.4%0.0%
PA-12 Rep. Fred Keller (R)94.4%+0.1%
PA-13 Rep. John Joyce (R)97.6%  0.0%
PA-14 Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R)95.1%  0.0%
PA-15 Rep. Glenn W. Thompson (R)97.8%+0.1%
PA-16 Rep. Mike Kelly (R)96.6%0.0%
PA-17 Rep. Conor Lamb (D)22.0%-0.2%
PA-18 Rep. Mike Doyle (D)14.7%-0.1%

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website assesses the voting records of our MoCs to provide this index, by comparing any bills where President Trump has stated a position, and comparing the vote of the legislator to that opinion. One House vote was scored this week. And don’t forget – if you click on the name of any legislator, you will be brought to their 538 webpage where all of the positions that went into the index are listed in an easy-to-read format.

Words From Our Nation’s Sages

“The common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.”

— George Washington, from his Farewell Address

Votes of Interest 

A note on the links below – we normally use the website Govtrack to provide the voting information (linked to where it says “House vote” or “Senate vote”) and bill text (linked in the bill number) because MoCTrack prefers their interface above all other options available.  This week, however, their website is taking a pause as a symbolic objection to the President’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power.  We respect their stances, even as we  are not so excited to forgo their services.  So links below will instead direct you to the website – the official website of our legislative branch with its less than adequate user interface.

The House votes to fund the government until after the election 

House Vote on H.R.8337 – Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act

Congress faces the annual issue of passing appropriations bills to fund the government before the fiscal year ends on September 30th.  If they cannot come to an agreement, they kick the can down the road. This delaying action is called a continuing resolution (CR), which leaves government funding at existing levels until an agreed upon date.  The date set by this CR is December 11, 2020.

Vote date: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 Vote Tally: 359-57-1

Party Breakdown: All Democrats but one Democrat votes YES, along with 129 Republicans.  The NO votes were placed by Libertarian Justin Amash and 56 Republicans.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the sole PRESENT vote.

Additional Reading:

On Tuesday, September, 22, 2020 President Trump was at a Pennsylvania campaign event, which likely explains the number of Republicans who did not vote.

Most House GOP vote against Clean, Sustainable Energy  

House Vote on H.R.4447 – Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy Act

This is the Congressional Research Service summary of the bill:
“This bill requires the Department of Energy to award grants to assist rural electric cooperatives with identifying, evaluating, designing, and demonstrating energy storage and microgrid projects that utilize energy from renewable energy sources. (A microgrid is a group of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources that acts as a single controllable entity and that can connect and disconnect from the grid to operate in grid-connected or island mode.)”

Vote date: Thursday, September 24, 2020 Vote Tally: 220-185

Party Breakdown:  Most Democrats voted YES and most Republicans voted NO.  The Democrats spilt was 213 voting YES and 7 voting NO.  Libertarian Justin Amash voted NO.  And the Republicans split was 7 voting YES and 166 voting NO. 

Additional Reading:

The House Repeals an FCC requirement to sell off bandwidth

House Vote on H.R.451 – Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act

This is the Congressional Research Service summary of the bill:

“This bill repeals the requirement for the Federal Communications Commission to reallocate and auction the 470-512 MHz band (referred to as the “T-Band spectrum”). The T-Band spectrum is a frequency range currently utilized by public-safety entities in certain urban areas.”

Vote date: Wednesday, September 23, 3030 Vote Tally: 410-5

Party Breakdown: Of the five lawmakers who voted NO, four were Republicans and the final vote was Libertarian Justin Amash.

Additional Reading:

The House puts Trade Restrictions on China over Human Right Violations against Uyghers

House Vote on H.R.6210 – Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

This is the Congressional Research Service summary of the bill:

“This bill imposes various restrictions related to China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region, including by prohibiting certain imports from Xinjiang and imposing sanctions on those responsible for human rights violations there.

Goods manufactured or produced in Xinjiang shall not be entitled to entry into the United States unless Customs and Border Protection (1) determines that the goods were not manufactured by convict labor, forced labor, or indentured labor under penal sanctions; and (2) reports such a determination to Congress and to the public.

The President shall periodically report to Congress a list of foreign entities and individuals knowingly facilitating (1) the forced labor of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and members of other Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang; and (2) efforts to contravene U.S. laws regarding the importation of forced labor goods from Xinjiang. The President shall impose property-blocking sanctions on the listed individuals and entities and impose visa-blocking sanctions on the listed individuals.

Securities issuers required to file annual or quarterly reports with the Securities Exchange Commission shall disclose in such reports certain information related to Xinjiang, including instances where the issuer knowingly (1) engaged in activities with an entity helping to create mass surveillance systems in Xinjiang, (2) engaged in activities with an entity running or building detention facilities for Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang, or (3) acquired a significant amount of textiles produced in Xinjiang. After being notified of such a disclosure, the President shall determine whether to investigate if sanctions or criminal charges are warranted.”

Vote date: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 Vote Tally: 406-3

Party Breakdown: Of the three lawmakers who voted NO, two were Republicans and the final vote was Libertarian Justin Amash.

Additional Reading:

On Tuesday, September, 22, 2020 President Trump was at a Pennsylvania campaign event, which likely explains the number of Republicans who did not vote.

Senate Confirmations 

Judicial Confirmation #1

Senate Confirmation Vote on Edward Hulvey Meyers to be a Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims for a term of fifteen years

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims (CFC) is a body that hears monetary claims against the federal government. Edward Meyers has spent the majority of his legal career in the private sector, handling contract and securities claims.  But before that he clerked for a judge on the Court of Federal Claims.  He legal experience makes him well suited for this position and the particular type of cases the CFC judges oversee. 

Vote date: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 Vote Tally: 66-27

Party Breakdown: All Republicans present voted YES, and they were joined by Independent Angus King and sixteen Democrats.  All twenty-seven NO votes were from Democrats.

Additional Reading:

Bob Casey voted YES and Pat Toomey voted YES.

Judicial Confirmation #2

Senate Confirmation Vote on John Charles Hinderaker to be United States District Judge for the District of Arizona

John Hinderaker worked for most of his twenty-year legal career in the Tucson office of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP. in 2018 he was appointed to a county Superior Court in Arizona by the state’s Republican governor.

Hinderaker was selected for this nomination by Democratic senator Kyrsten Sinema.  The Vetting Room  made this interesting observation, “Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has generally supported President Trump’s judicial nominees, backing Arizona nominee Michael Liburdi even as many liberals actively opposed him.  Her relationship with the Administration has resulted in the nomination of her recommendation: Judge John Hinderaker.”

Vote date: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 Vote Tally: 70-27

Party Breakdown: This was an unexpected mix. Of the seventy YES votes, 27 were from Republicans, two from Independents, and 41 were from Democrats.  The twenty-seven NO votes broke down to three Democrats and twenty-four Republicans.

Additional Reading:

Bob Casey voted YES and Pat Toomey voted YES.

Judicial Confirmation #3

Senate Confirmation Vote on Roderick C. Young to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia

Roderick Young has spent the majority of his legal career in public service. He worked as a Assistant Public Defender before his hiring as the Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Richmond. He then moved into the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia before being appointed to the judicial bench as a United States Magistrate Judge in 2014. 

Vote date: Thursday, September 24, 2020 Vote Tally: 93-2

Party Breakdown: Nearly all Senators present votes YES, except Democrats Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

Additional Reading:

Bob Casey voted YES and Pat Toomey voted YES.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Confirmation #1

Senate Confirmation Vote on Andrea R. Lucas to be a Member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for a term expiring July 1, 2025

We are describing this trio of new EEOC Commissioners en masse. The EEOC is the government’s workplace civil rights agency, and for a big part of President Trump’s tenure in office the agency did not have a quorum because of Trump and Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s decision to not put forth nominees or schedule votes on their confirmations. 

It is expected that the body slants in the ideological direction of the president. And that is also pointed to when one sees that the lone liberl appointed is getting the shortest tenure (through 2021) while the two conservatives are seated through 2024 and 2025.  This line from HR Dive says a lot about the expected behavior of the EEOC with its new Trump appointees: “The federal agency said it intended to focus on ‘robust’ compliance assistance…  A focus on compliance assistance over enforcement is standard for federal agencies under Republican administrations.”

Vote date: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 Vote Tally: 49-44

Party Breakdown: This was a party line vote, with Republicans voting YES and Democrats/Independents voting NO. Forty-two Republicans voted NO.

Bob Casey voted NO and Pat Toomey voted YES.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Confirmation #2

Senate Confirmation Vote on Jocelyn Samuels to be a Member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for a term expiring July 1, 2021

Vote date: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 Vote Tally: 54-42

Party Breakdown: All Democrats and Independents present voted YES and they were joined by ten Republicans.

Bob Casey voted YES and Pat Toomey voted NO.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Confirmation #3

Senate Confirmation Vote on Keith E. Sonderling to be a Member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for a term expiring July 1, 2024

Vote date: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 Vote Tally: 52-41

Party Breakdown: All Republicans present voted YES, along with three Democrats (DOug Jones of Alabama, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia). All other Democrats and Independents voted NO.
Bob Casey voted NO and Pat Toomey voted YES.

Additional Reading on the EEOC confirmations:

Unanimously passed legislation

The following bills were passed through unanimous consent or voice vote (which presumes unanimity, as any member can object to the voice vote and ask for a roll call). This list excludes bills related to post offices, stamps, memorials, awareness weeks and other ceremonial activities.

You’ll notice it is an extensive list this week.  Congress is pushing through bills that they want to make it through the legislative branch before this 116th Congress heads home for the October recess.

  • H.R.139 – Springfield Race Riot Study Act
  • H.R.895 – Tribal School Federal Insurance Parity Act
  • H.R.1418 – Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act
  • H.R.1646 – HERO (“Helping Emergency Responders Overcome”) Act
  • H.R.1702 – Free Veterans from Fees Act
  • H.R.2271 – Scarlett’s Sunshine on Sudden Unexpected Death Act
  • H.R.3160 – Blackwater Trading Post Land Transfer Act
  • H.R.3935 – Protecting Patients Transportation to Care Act
  • H.R.4564 – Suicide Prevention Lifeline Improvement Act
  • H.R.4585 – Campaign to Prevent Suicide Act
  • H.R.4866 – National Centers of Excellence in Continuous Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Act 
  • H.R.4957 – Native American Child Protection Act
  • H.R.4995 – Maternal Health Quality Improvement Act
  • H.R.5053 – Justice for Juveniles Act
  • H.R.5309 – CROWN (“Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair”) Act
  • H.R.5322 – Ensuring Diversity in Community Banking Act
  • H.R.5546 – Effective Assistance of Counsel in the Digital Era Act
  • H.R.5567 – MEDIA (“Measuring the Economics Driving Investments and Access for”)Diversity Act
  • H.R.5602 – Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act
  • H.R.5619 – Suicide Prevention Act
  • H.R.5663 – Safeguarding Therapeutics Act
  • H.R.5698 – Promoting Secure 5G Act
  • H.R.5918 – To direct the Federal Communications Commission to issue reports after activation of the Disaster Information Reporting System and to make improvements to network outage reporting.
  • H.R.6100 – STOP FGM Act 
  • H.R.6294 – Improving Emergency Disease Response via Housing Act
  • H.R.6735 – COVID-19 Fraud Prevention Act
  • H.R.6934 – Uniform Treatment of NRSROs (nationally recognized statistical rating organization) 
  • H.R.7574 – Strengthening America’s Strategic National Stockpile Act
  • H.R.7592 – STIFLE (“Stopping Trafficking, Illicit Flows, Laundering, and Exploitation”) Act
  • S.209 – PROGRESS (“Practical Reforms and Other Goals To Reinforce the Effectiveness of Self-Governance and Self-Determination”) for Indian Tribes Act
  • S.227 – Savanna’s Act
  • S.294 – Native American Business Incubators Program Act
  • S.832 – A bill to nullify the Supplemental Treaty Between the United States of America and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of Indians of Middle Oregon, concluded on November 15, 1865.
  • S.982 – Not Invisible Act
  • S.1321 – Defending the Integrity of Voting Systems Act
  • S.1380 – Due Process Protections Act
  • S.2661 – National Suicide Hotline Designation Act
  • H.R.991 – Extension of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act
  • H.R.2166 – Global Health Security Act
  • H.R.3228 – VA Mission Telehealth Clarification Act
  • H.R.4864 – Global Child Thrive Act
  • H.R.4908 – Native American PACT (“Parity in Access to Care Today“) Act
  • H.R.5664 – LIFT (“Leveraging Information on Foreign Traffickers”) Act
  • H.R.6092 – Veteran’s Prostate Cancer Treatment and Research Act
  • H.R.6589 – Department of Veterans Affairs Chief Financial Officer Authority and Collaboration Act
  • H.R.7795 – Veterans Benefits Fairness and Transparency Act
  • H.R.3798 – Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act
  • H.R.5245 – SHIELD (“Stopping Harm and Implementing Enhanced Lead-time for Debts”) for Veterans Act
  • H.R.7105 – DELIVER (“Dependable Employment and Living Improvements for Veterans Economic Recovery”) Act
  • H.R.8247 – Veterans COMPACT (“Comprehensive Prevention, Access to Care, and Treatment”) Act
  • S.785 – Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act
  • H.R.1812 – Vet Center Eligibility Expansion Act
  • H.R.2372 – Veterans’ Care Quality Transparency Act
  • H.R.4779 – To extend the Undertaking Spam, Spyware, And Fraud Enforcement With Enforcers beyond Borders Act of 2006
  • H.R.6168 – Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act
  • S.2693 – READI (“Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement”) Act
  • H.Res.1135 – Electing certain Members to certain standing committees of the House of Representatives
  • S.Res.718 – A resolution reaffirming the Senate’s commitment to the orderly and peaceful transfer of power called for in the Constitution of the United States

Our senators’ statements on the Supreme Court Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, from his official website, 09/26/20:

‘It’s been only a week since we lost Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, yet President Trump and Senator McConnell are rushing to confirm a Supreme Court Justice who will back their lawsuit to destroy the Affordable Care Act, kicking 23 million people off their health insurance, ending protections for 135 million people with pre-existing conditions and raising costs for millions more, in the middle of a pandemic. Voters across the country are already casting their ballots in this presidential election, and the right thing to do for our country is to allow the winner to nominate a successor to Justice Ginsburg.

Since President Trump has pledged to only nominate candidates from a list approved by two far-right organizations, the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, it’s unsurprising that he has nominated an individual with an extreme judicial philosophy. If confirmed, Judge Amy Coney Barrett will almost certainly vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will adversely impact working families, children and seniors. I cannot support a Supreme Court nominee who would rip health care away from tens of millions, undermine the rights of workers and do the bidding of large corporations.

Instead of focusing on tackling the virus and helping millions get back to work, Donald Trump is trying to rush an appointment onto the Supreme Court to ensure that the nominee is the deciding vote to take away protections for 5.5 million Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions. President Trump is more concerned with his own election than protecting Americans from the deadly virus or creating millions of good paying jobs for the almost 750,000 out of work in our Commonwealth.”

🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, from his official website, 09/26/20:

“I am pleased that President Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Given Judge Barrett’s intellect, strong legal credentials, and impeccable character, I was proud to support her confirmation to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. These same attributes will serve her well on the nation’s highest court. As a working mother with young children, Judge Barrett would also bring to the Supreme Court a background that will add to its diversity.

Importantly, Judge Barrett has shown an unfailing commitment to the proper role of a judge – which is to apply the law, including the U.S. Constitution, as written, and not to decide cases based on a preferred policy or outcome. I look forward to reviewing Judge Barrett’s record further in the coming weeks and speaking with her soon as I consider her nomination.”

Our Senators respond to President Trump’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, from his official website, 09/24/20:

“The President’s refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power is deeply offensive to our Nation’s constitutional values. These comments should offend people in both parties, whether they support the President or not, because they are totally contrary to our founding document. And let me be clear: this is just as much about what the President did not say as what he did say. He should have forthrightly said, ‘of course I will ensure there is a peaceful transfer of power.’ Because every public official in the country, whether a city council member or the President, has a sworn duty to support this peaceful, democratic process.

This is what the authoritarianism looks like. To my Republican colleagues: the warning lights are blinking red. Now is the time to speak out and choose country over party. In the meantime, I hope that the President will come back and clean up his act because these comments create nothing but doubt and fear for the American people.”

🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, from his official website, 09/25/20:

“Candidates need to live with the outcome of elections. When an incumbent loses an election or is subject to statutory term limits, it’s important that they support the orderly transfer of power.

A problem we are facing in Pennsylvania though is that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rendered a decision that completely ignored a law that was enacted less than a year ago and unilaterally imposed rules that increase the likelihood that we will not know the results of the presidential election for an extended period of time. For example, this decision forces county election offices to count mail-in ballots that arrive after election day with illegible or absent postmarks. This is a very bad idea and the uncertainty it could create is not helpful.”  

From the September 22, 2020 Philadelphia Inquirer, by Signe Wilkinson

Member of Congress Tweets of the Week

🔵 Senator Bob Casey, @SenBobCasey, 09/25/20:

“The right to vote is only as good as the right to have access to voting. That’s why I intro’d the Accessible Voting Act with @SenAmyKlobuchar so every person with a disability can get an accessible ballot they can use independently, privately & securely.” tweeted with a link to a New York Times article titled “‘A Failed System’: What It’s Like to Vote With a Disability During a Pandemic

🔴 Senator Pat Toomey, @SenToomey, 09/22/20:

“When power is divided during an election year, the Senate’s general practice has been to leave open a SCOTUS vacancy so voters may resolve the disagreement…The circumstances surrounding the current vacancy are different. My full statement here:”

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, @RepBrianFitz, 09/24/20:

“The peaceful transition of power is fundamental to our democracy. The winner of this November’s election will be inaugurated on January 20th, 2021. Period.”

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle, @RepBrendanBoyle, 09/20/20:

“Rather than curse the darkness, I decided to do something to stop McConnell and win back the Senate. So I’m raising money for our great Democratic Senate candidates in these 8 states: ME, IA, NC, AZ, CO, MT, GA & SC” tweeted with an ActBlue link

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans, @DwightEvansPA, 09/23/20:

“The Scientific American hasn’t endorsed a president in its 175-year history. Until now. Another reminder of what’s at stake this November. #BidenHarris2020“ LINK

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean, @RepDean, 09/21/20:

“Justice Ginsburg was a role model for me — a role model for service and integrity, and using your intellect for the good of all. As we are crushed by the loss, we must push forward to fight for women across this nation.” tweeted with embedded video of an MSNBC interview

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, @RepMGS, 09/25/20:

“Reminded today of the enormous impact Justice Ginsburg had on women of all ages, including this young constituent who visited me back in February in her RBG shirt. 

May we hold her memory dear and continue to carry the torch, for this generation and those that follow.”

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, @RepHoulahan, 09/25/20:

“Yesterday, I walked over to the Supreme Court w/ my good friend & colleague, @RepSherrill, to reflect on Justice Ginsburg’s remarkable life. This photo I’m sharing, which captured that moment, was taken by a PA-06 constituent (thank you Pauline), who was also paying her respects. Over 100 miles from our home, our community stands together in mourning our nation and our world’s loss.

Moments ago, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s casket arrived at the United States Capitol, making her the first woman in history to lie in state. As so many have expressed, I agree it is only fitting for a woman who broke so many barriers to make history once more. “

🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild, @RepSusanWild, 09/25/20:

“It was an honor to stand alongside my friends & colleagues as we honored the life of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. My career— and my mother’s —would not have been possible without her vision, leadership, & fight. May her memory be a blessing.”

🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright, @RepCartwright, 09/25/20:

“It was a privilege to join my colleagues in honoring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, this morning. She is the first woman to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol. She was a towering force for justice and equality in America. Her legacy will live on for generations. #RBG

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser, @RepMeuser, 09/21/20:

“House Democrats’ government funding bill excludes the replenishment of the Commodity Credit Corporation, an important federal lending facility that our nation’s farmers rely on. Agriculture is among the largest industries in Pennsylvania’s 9th District. In the midst of a crisis, Democrats are punishing farmers and rural America in pursuit of a political win. They are more interested in the problem than finding a solution. Republicans will always stand with our farmers and will fight for the support they have earned.”

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry, @RepScottPerry, 09/23/20:

“Democrat calls to “pack the court” and increase the number of Justices are nothing more than a political game to undermine our democratic institutions. 

This week, I co-sponsored a bill to amend the U.S. Constitution and limit the number of Supreme Court Justices to nine.”

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker, @RepSmucker, 09/26/20:

“Air Force 1 headed to Pennsylvania with @realDonaldTrump  tonight 👍🏽”

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller, @RepFredKeller, 09/24/20:

“Today, seven of my @HouseGOP colleagues and I sent a letter to @SenBobCasey urging him to support a vote on @realDonaldTrump’s Supreme Court nominee. 

This would be consistent with Senator Casey’s public remarks in 2016.Read our full letter below.” tweeted with an image of the letter

🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce, @RepJohnJoyce, 09/21/20:

“Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a qualified jurist and principled originalist who has a proven record of upholding the U.S. Constitution. I urge the Senate to follow historical precedent and ensure that this #SCOTUS nominee receives just consideration.”

🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, @GReschenthaler, 09/24/20:

“Let’s ignore the petty passive aggression and get straight to the point: the American people chose a GOP Senate and @realDonaldTrump as our duly elected president. It is their duty to fill SCOTUS vacancies.The precedent is there. 

The end.” tweeted with an image of the same letter mentioned in Rep. Keller’s tweet

🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson, @CongressmanGT, 09/26/20:

“President Trump has officially nominated Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court.

Judge Coney Barrett is a uniquely qualified & has dedicated her life to upholding our Constitution – exactly the kind of jurist we need.

The Senate should confirm her without delay. #FillTheSeat”

🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly, @MikeKellyPA, 09/22/20:

“I just co-sponsored a bill to amend the Constitution to limit the size of SCOTUS to nine justices. Such an amendment would prevent partisans from following through on threats to “pack the court,” i.e. move the goal posts, because they’re upset about the timing of vacancies.”

🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb, @RepConorLamb, 09/23/20:

“Today the House passed a comprehensive, bipartisan bill to give the VA new tools & resources to address the veteran suicide crisis & ensure that our veterans have access to the best health care. #PA17 with embedded C-SPAN video of the MoC’s floor speech

🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle, @USRepMikeDoyle, 09/24/20:

“The constitution created three coequal branches of gov’t. @realdonaldtrump abused his power by putting his personal interests over those of the nation. The #ProtectingOurDemocracy Act will ensure our laws are strong enough to withstand a lawless @POTUS


A Tale of Three Letters

The Supreme Court vacancy that opened with the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sparked a flurry of letter writing between various members of our Pennsylvania Congressional delegation.  What follows is a timeline along with the content of correspondence.

Letter One – House Democrats to Senator Toomey

On 09/23/20, several House Democrats from Pennsylvania sent the following letter to Senator Toomey:

The seven Members of Congress who signed onto this letter were:

🔵 PA-02’s Rep. Brendan Boyle 🔵 PA-07’s Rep. Susan Wild

🔵 PA-03’s Rep. Dwight Evans 🔵 PA-08’s Rep. Matt Cartwright

🔵 PA-04’s Rep. Madeleine Dean 🔵 PA-18’s Rep. Mike Doyle

🔵 PA-05’s Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon

Letter Two – House Republicans to Senator Casey

Not to be outdone, the next day several PA House Republicans sent their own letter to Senator Casey:

The GOP letter sent to Senator Casey was signed by eight Republicans:

🔴 PA-09’s Rep. Dan Meuser 🔴 PA-13’s Rep. John Joyce

🔴 PA-10’s Rep. Scott Perry 🔴 PA-14’s Rep. Guy Reschenthaler 

🔴 PA-11’s Rep. Lloyd Smucker 🔴 PA-15’s Rep. Glenn W. Thompson

🔴 PA-12’s Rep. Fred Keller 🔴 PA-16’s Rep. Mike Kelly

Letter Three – Senator Casey to House Republicans

The final letter of this trio was sent out by Senator Bob Casey, directed to the eight Republican House members who sent him their letter. The letter was sent along with this tweet:

And this is the body of Senator Casey’s letter:

I could not find any evidence of Senator Toomey responding directly to that first letter from the House Democrats that started this whole drama of letters.

And for those keeping track, there were only three Pennsylvania Members of Congress who did not participate in this barbed exchange of correspondence over the Supreme Court vacancy:

🔴 PA-01’s Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick

🔵 PA-06’s Rep. Chrissy Houlahan

🔵 PA-17’s Rep. Conor Lamb

Call to Action – TELL Toomey

The Steering Committee for the Indivisibles of Pennsylvania have put together a schedule that we hope you will follow to keep the pressure on Senator Toomey about his blatant hypocrisy in calling for a SCOTUS seat to be held upon in February of a presidential election year when Barack Obama was in office, but getting right in line behind filling a seat in October when Donald Trump is in office. What a different four years makes.

Day one was September 24th, and we made calls.
Day two was September 25th, and we visited Toomey offices.
Day three was September 26th, and we used Resistbot, texting RESIST to 50409.

Here the rest of the schedule for this week:

  • Sunday: 9/27 Email

Use the link below to email a pre-drafted message about the SCOTUS confirmation to Senator Toomey’s website contact form.

  • Monday 9/28 & Tuesday 9/29: Swarm Toomey’s Facebook feed with the hashtag #TellToomey

Make sure to leave comments on Toomey’s Facebook posts.

  • Wednesday 9/30 & Thursday 10/1: Your choice: Phone, email, Resistbot

Allentown – (855)-552-1831

Erie – (814) 453-3010

Harrisburg – (717) 782-3951

Johnstown – (814) 266-5970

Philadelphia – (215) 241-1090

Pittsburgh – (412) 803-3501

Washington, DC – (202) 224-4254

Wilkes-Barre – (570) 820-4088

  • Friday 10/2: Digital Rally #TellToomey

Write “Tell Toomey” on a piece of paper. The darker and more clearly you can write it, the better. 

Take a picture of yourself holding the sign.  

Between 8PM and 9PM ET on Friday, 10/2: Tweet your picture of yourself using the hashtag #TellToomey (and tell him what you want in the body of your tweet/FB post) and/or post the picture as a comment on your group’s individual Facebook page.  

You can also look at the Indivisible #SaveScotus Website and send the tweet right from the website

If you want more info about the concept of a digital rally, visit

A message to nay-sayers, who we see on social media saying “why bother?”  It is true that there is only a slim path for us to stop President Trump from filling this third Supreme Court seat.  That path is entirely dependent on peeling off one of a handful of vulnerable senators. There is only one certainty here – if we don’t put forth any effort, it is certain the Trump, MCConnell and the GOP will get the judge they want.  Our only chance of avoiding that future is if we exert ourselves.

And Pennsylvania, we have one ace up our sleeve…  Senator Toomey really wants to be our state’s next governor.  He’s vulnerable, because he doesn’t want to look awful to voters in 2022.  WE CAN USE THAT TO OUR ADVANTAGE!!  And we have about one month to get him to crack.  

No one is saying it is going to be easy, or that it is a sure thing.  But isn’t it worth trying?  

Indivisible thinks so.  

We hope you do too.

Folks, we have had calls to action before this, but there have been non that have been nearly as important as this one.  When we say that Senator Toomey needs to hear from us DAILY, it is no joke.  GET ON IT, TEAM!

This report is brought to you by the Pennsylvania  MoCTrack team… 

CC Linda Houk

Elayne Baker Susan Vogel

Gary Garb Kierstyn Piotrowski Zolfo

We can always use extra help at MoCTrack. But our candidates need your help more than we do right now. If you would like to be connected to call-banking or post-carding efforts in swing districts where your help would go the farthest, please email and put “volunteer campaign connect” in the subject. I’ll let you know what campaign volunteering I’m up to this week in case you want to join me! Thanks!

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