Hey, while Betsy’s minions have to read through over 104-THOUSAND comments (updated 2/1 – great job, everybody!) and our legislators are arguing over how to say “wall”, let’s put out encouragement for some positive legislative actions.
Action #1 – Remind Congress to reintroduce and support pro-Title IX legislation.
There were some great laws proposed last session to protect students from harassment and arbitrary rule changes by ideologues like Secretary of Education Betsy Devos. Let’s get them reintroduced and through the system this time.
Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to sponsor, cosponsor and support these proposed laws:
- H.R.4030, the Title IX Protection: (check here – Carbajal signed, Brownley didn’t)
- H.R.6464, the HALT Sexual Violence Act (check here – neither signed)
- H.R.1949, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act. (check here – neither signed)
Contact info at bottom…
Action #2 – Remind Congress that the people who clean your offices haven’t been paid yet.
(Source: The True Size of Government: Tracking Washington’s Blended Workforce, 1984-2015, Paul C. Light, October 2017, p. 3.)
While the partial government shutdown has at least temporarily ended, contractors with the federal government are still suffering, as they will not receive back pay for the thirty-five day shutdown, unless legislators do something about it. To that end, legislators in both the House and Senate have introduced similar bills. Call on both.
HR 339 – “Low Wage Federal Contractor Employee Back Pay Act” states: “If a Federal contractor that provides retail, food, custodial, or security services to the Federal Government places the employees of such contractor on unpaid leave as a result of any lapse in appropriations which begins in fiscal year 2019, the Government shall provide compensation to such employees at their standard rate of compensation for the period of such lapse.”
H.R. 678/S.162 – Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act: (details not yet published on congress.gov, but here’s a summary from Sen Mazie K. Hirono (D – HI)
- “Ensure federal contractors get reimbursed for providing back pay, up to 200% of the federal poverty level for a family of four. (Up to $600 per paycheck)
- Cover employees employed under the Davis-Bacon Act (which governs federally-funded construction projects) and the Service Contract Act (which governs federal service contracts).
- Provide accountability in the equitable adjustment process by including ways to protect taxpayer funds.
- Contractors would submit evidence of costs for review and approval by the agency’s contracting officer.
- Contractors are already required to keep records of employee pay practices, so this doesn’t create a new obligation for those contractors.
Minimal script for reps: I’m calling from [zip code), and I want Rep. [____] to vote “YES” on HR 339 and on H.R. 678. (check here and here – neither Carbajal or Brownley have signed either bill yet)
Minimal script for senators: I’m calling from [zip code), and I want Senator [____] to vote “YES” on S.162 – Fair Compensation for Low-Wage Contractor Employees Act. (Check here – looks like we need to say “THANKS” to Sens. Feinstein and Harris instead!)
Contact info at bottom…
Action #3 – Support legislation to stop our country from being taken hostage again.
This doesn’t count the human costs of people losing their housing and health insurance. Nor does it quantify the damage done to our national parks and wilderness areas.
We’re NOT recommending the S.104 – End Government Shutdown Act, as it contains a poison-pill condition locking in and then diminishing budgets on an arbitrary schedule: “After the first 120-day period during which this subsection is in effect for that fiscal year, the applicable rate of operations shall be reduced by 1 percentage point. For each subsequent 90-day period during which this subsection is in effect for that fiscal year, the applicable rate of operations shall be reduced by 1 percentage point. The 90-day period reductions shall extend beyond the last day of that fiscal year.” Better we stick with Democratic-led efforts, such as Sen. Mark Warner’s (D-VA) “Stop Stupidity Act”, and Rep. Ted Lieu’s H.R. 819 – To protect the public from the harmful consequences of the Federal Government shutdown by prohibiting certain actions, to provide enforcement for such prohibition by the Federal Trade Commission, and for other purposes.
Minimal script for all: I’m calling from [zip code), and I want Rep./Sen. [____] to cosponsor HR. 819 and other legislation that prevents shutdowns that risk our nation’s assets, our people’s livelihoods and our nation’s security.
Rep. Julia Brownley: email, (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: email. (CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com
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