U.S. Poverty Weekly Update August 1, 2017
U.S. Poverty Campaigns
Weekly Update | August 1, 2017
“7 RESULTS volunteers from Kitsap County are going to D.C. this week to talk personally with our Senators Cantwell and Murray to make sure Medicaid is neither capped nor turned into a block grant.”
– RESULTS Bremerton (WA) volunteer Diana Tyree-Eddy in a July 19 letter to the editor in the Kitsap Sun
- Got Two Minutes? Keep Medicaid Cuts Off the Table with New Media
- Got Ten Minutes? Use August Recess to Tell Lawmakers to Protect SNAP and Medicaid (August Action)
- Got Twenty Minutes? Follow Up from Another Great Conference
- Quick News
- Upcoming Events
Quick Action: Tell Congress to Protect SNAP
Last Tuesday, hundreds of advocates from around the country went up to Capitol Hill and demanded Congress protect Medicaid. That afternoon, the Senate was voting on its Motion to Proceed on its proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act and end Medicaid as we know it. Advocates were checking their phones and TVs in the Capitol to see the outcome. When the Motion passed 51-50, many felt dejected and depressed. But then something wonderful happened. As debate proceeded on the various bills, Senate leaders were not able to pass any of them. It ended with a dramatic vote in the early morning hours of July 28, when the final version of the Senate bill (the so-called “skinny repeal”) failed.
Such a rollercoaster ride made for an interesting and emotional week. But the final outcome was worth it. It is a tribute to all the hard work you have done to protect health care for low-income Americans. While Sens. Collins (R-ME), Murkowski (R-AK), and McCain (R-AZ) have gotten the credit (the three Republicans who voted no), it is your advocacy that made their votes possible. They listened to their constituents and voted to protect Medicaid. Let’s make sure it stays that way.
TAKE ACTION: Take two minutes to submit a letter to the editor to your local paper thanking the Senate for rejecting the health care repeal votes. Remind them that any attempt to resurrect these efforts will be met with the same stiff resistance. We have updated our online media alert that you can send in just a few click. Be sure to personalize your letter to reflect the vote of your senators on the final bill.
Got Ten Minutes? Use August Recess to Tell Lawmakers to Protect SNAP and Medicaid (August Action)
August is an important month for advocates every year. This is the month when members of Congress return home to meet with constituents about their concerns. House members are already home with senators likely to follow next week. Both chambers will not return to Washington until after Labor Day.
Last week’s health care victory was a tremendous success for grassroots advocates across the country, but we must stay vigilant. There are still some who want to bring repeal back up in September. Also, Congress and the Trump Administration are turning their eyes to tax reform and the budget. The House’s proposed 2018 budget resolution passed out of the House budget Committee in late July with floor action expected in September. Sadly, their proposal includes tens of billions in cuts to anti-poverty programs, with $200 billion in “fast-track” reconciliation cuts to entitlement programs ($10 billion (over ten years) from nutrition programs (SNAP); $20 billion from Medicaid; as well as potential cuts to Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC)). In addition, the Trump Administration is making a hard push to get tax reform done by Thanksgiving based on his tax plan, which would give more huge tax cuts to the wealthy and big corporations, while using cuts to core services to pay for them.
Like with the health care fight, we need to push back at efforts to undermine critical anti-poverty services. Meeting face-to-face with your members of Congress this month is your best opportunity to do that.
TAKE ACTION: Take ten minutes to request face-to-face meetings with your representatives and senators in August. The August Action has tips for requesting meetings and laser talks on the issues you want to highlight in your meetings. When requesting meetings, be sure to also ask about town halls your members of Congress may be holding this month (also check www.townhallproject.com). As you get meetings or town halls scheduled, please include them in our Lobby Meeting Schedule Form. When you get a meeting or town hall on your calendar, please contact Jos Linn ([email protected]) to help you get ready (Meredith Dodson is on vacation until August 14).
Last week, over 500 people from around the world gathered in Washington for the 2017 RESULTS International Conference. It was a great Conference, with lots of inspiring, informative, and fun experiences. Advocacy Day was especially meaningful as advocates lobbied senators right before their big vote on health care. As always, the Conference was a jolt of adrenaline for people, giving them the energy and passion needed to meet the challenges ahead.
Like every year, there are many things to do after the Conference is over. Here is a list of the items to focus on this week.
Follow Up on Your Lobby Meetings. RESULTS volunteers had over 300 meetings with congressional offices last Tuesday. Congratulations on another successful Advocacy Day! As you know, your DC meetings are not complete until you follow up on your requests. Please take time this week to contact the aides you met with to thank them and check on the status of your requests. If you need assistance, please contact Jos Linn at [email protected].
Submit Your Lobby Reports. Please let us know what happened in your lobby meetings. The information you received is vital to us and our allies in charting the road ahead. Go to www.tinyurl.com/RESLRF to complete the form. Note that if you did meetings where both global and U.S. poverty issues were discussed, they are treated as two different meetings so please fill the form out for each one. If you have questions, contact Jos.
Complete the Conference Survey. Please tell us what you thought of the Conference and how we can make it better at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GEN3QWZ.
See the Conference in Pictures. Check out photos from the Conference on Flickr.
View the Conference Resources. Our 2017 RESULTS Conference Resources page has exploded with materials to help you in your advocacy, including the U.S. Poverty Background Packet, Conference session presentations, laser talks, and more.
Coming Soon! Recorded live streams from the Conference will be available in the coming weeks. In the meantime, watch our brand new Voices that Change the World video that was debuted at the Conference!
Vote for Your Grassroots Board Members. This is the last week to vote for your new Grassroots Board members. Grassroots Board Members represent you, the volunteers, on the Board of Directors and on the Executive Committee of the Board. This year’s candidates are Simona Combi (RESULTS DC), Willie Dickerson (RESULTS Snohomish), Gerry Fairbrother (RESULTS Santa Fe), and Steven McGee (RESULTS Louisiana). You can vote online for up to two candidates; you must vote before midnight ET on Wednesday, August 9. Please feel free to contact Jesse Mardsen at [email protected] or (202) 783-4800 for any assistance.
What is Reconciliation? In meetings last week, some advocates got blank stares from congressional aides when mentioning “fast-track” cuts to Medicaid and SNAP in the proposed 2018 House budget. The term “fast-track” refers to cuts through budget reconciliation. We’ve heard a lot about reconciliation this year because it’s being used to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the 2017 budget and is likely to be used for tax cuts and budget cuts in the 2018 budget. Budget reconciliation is quite technical in how it works (for a great summary of the process, see this paper by CBPP), but the important point to remember for your advocacy work is that a reconciliation bill cannot be filibustered in the Senate, making it easier to pass. That’s what we mean when we say “fast-track”. In meetings with members of Congress or aides this month (and in your follow-up from Conference meetings), you can clarify say “using budget reconciliation to fast track cuts to SNAP and Medicaid.”.
August Webinar is on August 15. Due to staff vacations, the August U.S. Poverty National Webinar will be on August 15 at 8:00 pm ET, a week later than normal.
Upcoming U.S. Poverty staff vacations: Meredith Dodson: July 27 – August 13. Kristy Martino: July 27 – August 10. Jos Linn: August 3 – 7, August 24 – September 4.
Upcoming Congressional Recesses: House: July 31-September 4; Senate: August 14 – September 4 (note that the Senate may go on recess at the end of this week).
RESULTS Introductory Call, Wednesday, August 9 at 9:00 pm ET. If you want to learn more about RESULTS, register for an Intro Call on the RESULTS website.
RESULTS U.S. Poverty National Webinar, August 15 at 8:00 pm ET – NOTE DIFFERENT WEEK. Participate at http://fuze.me/32255914 or (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32255914#.
RESULTS U.S. Poverty Free Agents Calls, Tuesday, August 22 at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm ET. To participate, login at http://fuze.me/32256018 or dial by phone at (201) 479-4595, Meeting ID: 32256018#.
If you have a question, comment or suggestion for the RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund Board, please e-mail them to RESULTS Grassroots Board Member Vanessa Garcia at [email protected]. You can view the most recently published minutes from Board meetings on the RESULTS website, as well as download RESULTS’ most recent Annual Report.