As the 117th Congress convenes on January 3, 2021, we are holding our breath for the outcomes of the coming week. All eyes are on the Georgia Senate races on Tuesday. The agenda for change will be very different if the Senate is controlled, albeit by the slimmest of margins, by Democrats. While the final outcome of the Electoral College vote is not in doubt on Wednesday, January 6th, the opposition of certifying a fair election by dozens of House Republicans and a smattering of Senators is indicative of the roadblocks the new Administration and Congress will face. It is also, as many commentators have noted, jarring evidence of how fragile our society’s connection is to democratic ideals, which many thought were unassailable. The threat of violent demonstrations enabled by the current administration further heightens our anxiety, but by the end of the week we will be facing a new reality.
There is now no pending legislation, but we can voice our opinion about the rules which will constrain the new Congress. If the filibuster ever made any sense, it was to ensure that Supreme Court nominees were not flagrantly partisan. That has been eliminated and the filibuster should end. We’re continuing to tell our Senators that the filibuster must go.
The House of Representatives operates under a set of rules that they vote on at the beginning of each Congress. Some of those rules make it harder to pass progressive legislation. Most provisions of the package of rules that the House will pass are relatively non-controversial and set the requirements for things like the congressional schedule, how Congress will keep records, and how Members of Congress can use their office funds. However, there are two provisions that present a barrier to progressive legislation: the “Motion to Recommit” (or “MTR”) and the “Pay as You Go rule” (or “PAYGO”). Help change the rules in the House, so Democrats don’t limit their own power through bad rules that constrain spending (PAYGO) and hand Republicans opportunities to sabotage popular bills (MTR).
Our top action for 1/04/21: Tell our Representative to eliminate PAYGO and the MTR.
We’re also continuing to demand that the Senate repeal the Filibuster, PAYGO, and Budget Control Act.
Example call scripts and contact information for our members of Congress are below.
And check out our event calendar at https://indivisibleyolo.org/calendar/ for virtual events and actions, including Action Coffee and the final Georgia actions before the Jan. 5th election!
Our meetings resume in the New Year: the next General Meeting will be Jan. 25th at 7pm -we hope to see you there!
Tell our Representative: Change the House rules to allow progressive legislation!
- Rep. Garamendi (530) 753-5301 (Davis) (202)-225-1880 (D.C.) (email)
- (if Rep. Matsui is your representative, the same script applies)
Sample Call Script:
Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME]. I’m a constituent from [CITY, zip code] I’m calling to ask you to vote against the “Pay as You Go rule” (or PAYGO) and the “Motion to Recommit” (or MTR) when the new rules are voted on this week. Thank you.
Tell our Senators: Repeal the Filibuster, PAYGO, and Budget Control Act
- Sen. Feinstein: 415-393-0707 (SF) 202-224-3841 (D.C) (email)
- Sen. Harris: 916-448-2787 (Sacramento) 202-224-3553 (D.C.) (email)
Sample Call Script:
Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME]. I’m a constituent from [CITY, zip code] and I am a member of Indivisible Yolo. America faces enormous inter-related health, climate, and economic crises, all of which require bold and effective legislative action. New emergency programs must be swiftly enacted and the necessary funds appropriated. This requires changing Senate rules that have been used in the past to block essential measures essential for our health, safety, and the future welfare of our children. As my senator, I urge you to:
- Eliminate the Senate filibuster rule.
- Eliminate the Senate PayGo rule.
- And as soon as feasible, I urge you to repeal the Budget Control Act.
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