Tell your legislators – stay on the job until essential infrastructure and voting bills are passed!

  • Action #1: Call your legislators and tell them summer is cancelled.
  • Action #2: Pelosi, Schumer – Make the call.

Update: 7/28/21 “Senators say they have deal on ‘major issues’ in infrastructure talks.” Haha, no. You go home when it’s passed both houses and signed by Biden, along with a serious voting rights bill, and all the funding legislation that’s pending under deadline.

While it might be amusing to track the various COVID and Critical Race Theory lies that GOP legislators will tell their packed and contagious hometown audiences during August recess, we simply can’t afford the time. We’ve already had a whole administration of opportunity wasted with Donald Trump’s “Groundhog Day-style” promises of “Infrastructure Week!” (aborted attempts listed here and here). Now he’s reaching out and touching those who fear him, threatening to turn them into losers like himself unless they stall the current infrastructure talks with Trump-dsyfunction until after the 2022 elections, more than a year away.

After all, what’s another year of the GOP’s legislative sabotage? Who minds another year of roads buckling under extreme heat, “sun-kinked” railroad tracks, flooded, melting, or inadequate runways and 47,000 bridges in need of urgent repair, with predictions that 1 in 4 U.S. steel bridges will collapse from extreme heat by 2040? (No problem except for those involved in their 171.5 million daily crossings.) And who doesn’t remeber last winter, when 15 million people in Texas were without safe drinking water in the wake of the massive storm, cold snap, and power outages, along with more in OklahomaLouisiana, and other hard-hit Southern states.

Action #1: Call your legislators and tell them summer is cancelled.

Minimum script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. [___] to know that I expect [him/her] and [his/her] colleagues to forgo their August break in order to pass our critical infrastructure packages, both the “bi-partisan” physical infrastructure plans and the separate $3.5 trillion package to address climate change, child care and health care, which should include improvements to Medicare, including hearing, dental, and vision benefits, out-of-pocket expenses cap, lowered eligibility age, and negotiated drug prices. Smash them together and pass them without the GOP if necessary, as McConnell has already threatened that “the era of bipartisanship on this stuff is over…”

Set up ZOOM meetings for constituents, which in this time of the dangerous Delta variant, [he/she] should be doing anyway. It doesn’t matter to us if we’re talking to [him/her] through a screen with [him/her] here or in DC.

In the meantime, we expect Rep./Sen. [___] to utilize [his/her] time NOT spent on infrastructure getting voting rights and funding bills passed.

Contact:

  • Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email, DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
  • or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24): email. 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 Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
  • Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com

Action #2: Pelosi, Schumer – Make the call.

(blogforarizona.net) “If we are still in the midst of an existential crisis of democracy from continuing domestic terrorism threats of sedition and insurrection from the MAGA/QAnon personality cult of Donald Trump, and an organized effort of Jim Crow 2.0 GQP voter suppression in the states, with extreme gerrymandering of congressional districts just about to begin, there is no time to waste on vacations for senators. (read whole article here.)

Minimum script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I’m asking [Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi/Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer] to cancel August break. Instead, we want them to put the country first. Pass voting rights legislation. Pass both critical infrastructure packages. Smash them together and pass them without the GOP if necessary. Push through nominations for government posts and judicial seats. Meet Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s deadline on raising the debt ceiling. No one should be going on vacation while basic democracy is under attack.

Contact:

  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: email, (202) 225-4965 (If you are a San Francisco constituent of the 12th Congressional District of California, please use https://pelosi.house.gov/contact-me instead.)
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer: 202-224-6542

The origin of the August recess.

This is how the U.S. Senate explains why Congress still has an August Recess (keep in mind that Arizona school children return to classes in late July and August, during excessive heat warnings):

Each year, Congress recesses for the month of August. During the Senate’s early years, senators typically convened a session in December and adjourned in the spring, before the summer heat overwhelmed them and their small staff. When the Senate moved to its current chamber in 1859, senators were optimistic about its “modern” ventilation system, but they found the new system ineffective. The 1920s brought “manufactured weather” to the Senate chamber, but even modern climate control could not cope with the hottest days, forcing 20th-century senators to find ways to escape the summer heat. By the mid-20th century, a more modern air conditioning system brought relief, but year-long sessions presented new problems. By the 1950s the job of a U.S. senator was a full-time, year-round job and there were very few breaks built into the legislative calendar. In 1963, for example, the Senate met from January to December without a break longer than a three-day weekend. Consequently, members of Congress sought a way to establish a summertime recess. In 1970, finally facing the reality of year-long sessions, Congress mandated a summer break as part of the Legislative Reorganization Act. Today, the August recess continues to be a regular feature of the Senate schedule, a chance for senators to spend time with family, meet with constituents in their home states, and catch up on summer reading.

Seriously, they have air-conditioning now, and they can’t meet with constituents in-person safely now anyway.

(Image by 2023852 from Pixabay

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