Sickened by a corrupt, racist presidency, 81 million voters rushed to the polls last November to elect a seasoned former senator and vice president who promised to address the pandemic with scientific expertise to save our economy and restore the rule of law. The American Rescue Plan tackled the former. But we’re still waiting for better results on the latter. Eight months after the white supremacist insurrection of January 6, those who instigated it and abetted it are still free to run for office again.
After four years of criminality, corruption, and denied justice, we need to rebuild public trust in our system of justice by proving that no one is above the law, prosecuting the documented crimes of the former president, and holding the organizers, inciters, and funders of the insurrection responsible to deter the next batch of white supremacist terrorists. We are disappointed that as Attorney General, Merrick Garland seems to be avoiding the appearance of partisanship at the expense of prosecuting criminals who have put our democracy in peril. We’re also frustrated to see MAGA foot soldiers receiving light sentences for participating in an insurrection while those who instigated, abetted, and funded it remain free to brag about their violence, incite more, and – worst of all – run for elected office.
We want the January 6 Select Committee to assert its powers more forcefully. After months of successfully summoning witnesses by subpoena, the Committee issued its first Contempt of Congress referral to the DOJ on October 21 for Steve Bannon. Attorney General Garland still has not indicted him, even though the subpoena was lawfully issued and he just refused to appear. And while the DOJ delays taking action, Bannon continues to thumb his nose at the rule of law and spread the poison of white supremacy through his broadcasts. His indictment would put the next group of coup-plotters on notice that contempt of Congressional subpoenas will not be tolerated. We also want the Committee to hold more public hearings to uncover how Republican officials may be tied to the attack on the Capitol. And if the Committee discovers that any legislators colluded with, aided, or abetted the rioters, we expect votes to expel them from Congress, as well as to make criminal referrals to the DOJ.
Contact President Biden and our Senators, and remind them that we voted in November 2020 to fight corruption and restore the rule of law.
We’ve also been communicating as an organization with Speaker Pelosi, asking her to wield her power to uphold the rule of law. On July 23, we sent Speaker Pelosi’s staff an open letter demanding that she fill the remaining open seats of the select committee on the Jan. 6 insurrection with Democrats committed to holding those responsible to account. The Speaker’s staff contacted us to remind us that House rules governing the Jan. 6th Committee—rules agreed upon in concert with a fraction of Republicans in order to secure bipartisan support for the committee to be formed—stipulate that the currently unfilled seats are reserved for potential Republican appointees only. Therefore, we have retracted that request. The Speaker’s staff also invited us to bring our revised expectations for the January 6th committee to them, which we have done in a new open letter. You can read it on our blog.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework has passed! Now it’s time to pass the Build Back Better Act.
Following a late-night agreement on Nov. 5 between the Congressional Progressive Caucus (led by Chair Pramila Jayapal) and five House conservatives (represented by Rep. Josh Gottheimer), mediated by the Congressional Black Caucus, Congress has now passed the bipartisan infrastructure deal. Thirteen of the 213 Republicans in Congress signed on, which is better than the 0 votes they gave President Biden for the American Rescue Plan.
We’re grateful for the leadership of Rep. Jayapal and the Congressional Progressive Caucus for securing a written commitment to pass the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) to complement the bipartisan infrastructure package so we can make transformative progress towards a real, equitable, and inclusive recovery.
What’s next: Five conservative House Democrats have delayed the vote on the BBBA by insisting that they first want to see the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of how the bill will affect the national debt, even though they already know it’s fully paid for. However, the CBO should deliver its numbers this week. That means the House could approve the BBBA as early as next week – which would leave the Senate time to pass it before Thanksgiving. And then we’d all have one more thing to be thankful for.
Contact your Representative and tell them: It’s time to deliver! Pass the Build Back Better Act now.
If you’re interested in participating in activities like drafting letters to our Members of Congress and developing our strategy for influencing them, the ISF Federal Working Group is where it happens! Join us at our next meeting this Thursday, November 11. Details on how to register below!
ISF Federal Working Group meeting: Thursday, November 11, 7:30–9 PM. Register here to join our regular Zoom meeting, where we work cooperatively to develop strategies to influence our Members of Congress and the Biden administration to support a progressive agenda. All are welcome to participate and contribute, even if you’ve never attended an ISF meeting before!
Fight Back Fridays: Friday, November 12, 5–6 PM, at 1 Post Street. Join a coalition of local Indivisibles every Friday for FIGHT BACK FRIDAYS. We gather at 1 Post in SF (in front of Senator Feinstein’s office building, at one of the Montgomery Street BART exits) every Friday until the Freedom to Vote Act is passed! Learn more and register here.
About this week’s photo
If you’ve seen our newsletter posts on Twitter and Facebook, you might have noticed that we include a photo or graphic with each issue. This week’s graphic is an editorial photo of 8 members of the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6th attack on the Capitol. The photo was taken by Tom Williams for CQ Roll Call.
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