Two men in this impeachment debacle demonstrated the integrity that is so lost in today’s politics: Doug Jones and Mitt Romney.  Doug Jones, an Alabama Democratic Senator, won his seat by a hairsbreadth in a very red state.  Mitt Romney, an unquestioned conservative, braved his party’s wrath. Romney and Jones both knew what they were risking but they stood up and said no to this president.

Romney is the first politician in U.S. history to cross party lines to vote to remove a president of his own party. As you weep at the failure of the Senate, rejoice at the strength of character of these two men. Bask in these acts of courage which have always been at a premium in politics.

Our own act of courage is to stay focused on the distant prize. We must understand that the ultimate prize is not even winning an election. It is instead touching the democratic ideals that we have yet to capture since our founding as a nation.

Our ideals are certainly the shining city on a hill, but our history belies any claim to exceptionalism. It is this era that should waken us to that understanding. Each time we refer to history, we see the cruel distance we were from the ideal. Such  historical disabuse in itself can be a comfort. We survived before, we can survive now.

Our hope must be that we will come out of this era better than  we fell into it. We understand now that voting is not enough to advance our Democracy. Each of us must look into ourselves and determine how much we can stretch ourselves to save not only our Democracy but a very sick planet. Finding our courage is an exciting though scary journey.

FEDERAL DAILY ACTION — Friday, July 21, 2017 THE CALL — Russia Sanctions


woman makes a phone call despite her fears

Find your representative:…/Repr…/myrepresentative.aspx
Representative Rutherford: (202) 225-2501 or (904) 831-5205
Representative DeSantis: (202) 225-2706 or (386) 302-0471
Representative Yoho: (202) 225-5744 or (904) 276-9626

The Senate approved a measure in June by a 98-2 vote that would further sanction Russia for their interference in our election and constrain Trump from unilaterally lifting any Russia sanctions. The legislation is currently being considered by the House and the administration is lobbying Republicans to water it down. The House has been stalling on the bill, claiming various procedural issues, but Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, dismissed those claims saying “there is no issue, except do they want to pass a bill.”

The latest bombshell on the Donald Trump Jr. emails setting up a meeting with a Russian government lawyer to get dirt on Clinton is closely connected to sanctions and suggests a possible quid pro quo. The Trump administration has been been trying to lift sanctions on Russia since shortly after taking office. Currently, they are looking to return Russian compounds that President Obama closed as retaliation for Russian election interference.

Trump continues to minimize Russian interference in our election, and while he claims he raised the issue with Putin at the G20 meeting, he appears to accept Putin’s denial and wants to “move forward” with Russia. The revelation this week that Trump had a previously undisclosed meeting with Putin with no American officials present gives further credence to a Trump quid pro quo deal with Russia.

It is likely Trump will veto strong Russia sanctions legislation and while the Senate has the votes to override a veto, it will be critical that the House pass the legislation with the 2/3 majority necessary to override a presidential veto.

Sample Script:
This is [NAME] and I’m a constituent in [ZIP].
I want [Rep____] to support legislation immediately to increase sanctions on Russia for meddling in our election.
It’s critical to make sure the president cannot lift any Russia sanctions without Congress’s consent.
I don’t trust this administration to do the right thing on Russia sanctions.
Where does the Rep currently stand on this issue?
[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

While Rex W. Tillerson, now the secretary of state, led the energy giant, “Exxon Mobil demonstrated reckless disregard for U.S. sanctions requirements,” the Treasury Department said.



The public has a right to know if Trump has asked our top intelligence officers to help him squash an ongoing investigation. These are not classified conversations and should be made public.

CALL Dan Coates, Director of National Intelligence
(Why you’re calling this office:
This organization is driving legislation related to the issue.)

Your script:
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a concerned citizen from ____, Fl.

I’m calling to leave a message for [Admiral Rogers / Director Coats]

I’m deeply disappointed [Admiral Rogers / Director Coats] would not answer basic questions during the Senate Intelligence Hearing about conversations they had with Trump concerning Comey or the Russia investigation. The American public has a right to know if the president behaved inapproriately, and we need transparency from our intelligence leaders in order to maintain any faith in our national institutions.

Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

More Info:

On June 7th, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats, National Security Agency (NSA) Director Adm. Michael S. Rogers, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, where they were questioned about their interactions with Trump. Several news outlets previously reported that Trump personally asked both Coats and Rogers to intervene with Comey and the Russian probe and encourage Comey to back off of the investigation. It was also reported that both men did not feel comfortable with Trump’s request and did not act on his wishes.

During the hearing, however, both Coats and Rogers refused to answer basic questions about Trump’s requests. “I’m not prepared to answer your question today,” Coats responded to Marco Rubio when asked if he had ever “been asked by the president or the White House to influence an ongoing investigation.” Rogers also refused to answer questions, stating “I’m not going to discuss the specifics of discussions with the president of the United States.” As multiple Senators from both sides of the aisle pointed out, these questions were not classified matters and answering them in an publicized session was not dangerous or illegal in any sense. Despite the fact that there was no legal basis for the men to refuse to answer the Senators’ questions, the intelligence officers continued to stonewall. Their motive or reasoning is still unclear.…/e74f7fbe-4b88-11e7-a186-60…

They said they had never felt “pressured” to do anything inappropriate but would not address directly if they had been “asked.”



During his campaign, Trump made repeated promises to preserve Social Security benefits. Despite these promises, his 2018 budget proposal recommends cutting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments to disabled workers by $72 billion over the next 10 years.

Trump’s administration argues that SSDI budget cuts will address wasteful and fraudulent access to these benefits. However, SSDI applicants must meet a host of eligibilty criteria to qualify for benefits. They must have worked a set number of years, have accumulated Social Security credits, and be under the age of 65. SSDI benefits are not overly generous (the US places 30th out of 34 peer countries for this type of benefit), nor are they easy to access – 60% of applications are denied. Despite these hurdles, there are nearly 9 million disabled workers currently receiving benefits; for 80% of beneficiaries, SSDI is their sole source of income.

These proposed SSDI cuts, particularly if combined with a repeal of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare and budget cuts to Medicaid, would devastate millions of Americans who are already struggling to stay afloat in the face of health issues and economic insecurity.

The House and Senate Budget Committees will use Trump’s budget proposal as guidance when finalizing their own budget recommendations.

CALL Senator Rubio and Senator Nelson and make it clear to them that SSDI and other social safety net programs represent our core values of supporting those most in need, and must not be eliminated in order to provide tax breaks to corporations and the most wealthy Americans.

MARCO RUBIO DC : 202 224 3041
Jacksonville: (904) 354-4300

BILL NELSON: DC: 202-224-5274
Jacksonville: 904-346-4500

Your script:
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from _____, Florida.

I’m calling today because I’m strongly opposed to the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) cuts proposed by Trump – millions of Americans benefit from this important program. I ask that Senator _____strongly oppose cutting the SSDI budget and continue to support this and other critical social safety net programs.

OPTIONAL: Share story of how you or someone you know benefited from SSDI

Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]…/trump-budget-…

Call Representative Rutherford before breakfast!

Tell Rutherford No!

This new bill offers $8 billion to states supposedly to cover funding for pre-existing conditions.

  • States would need $330 billion to cover all folks with pre-existing        conditions.
  •  States are not required to use this money for high risk pools.
  •  Money would be available to states that waive pre-existing conditions forcing more states to leave millions of people vulnerable.
  • Funding ends in 2026
  • 84% of people aged 50-64 have pre-existing conditions
  • Better than 50% of Americans have pre-existing conditions
  • $8 billion is less that 1% of the total cuts that this bill would make to the current ACA funding.

This bill also threatens Medicaid home and community based services for people with disabilities. It ends Medicaid expansion which now includes people with mental health disorders and drug abuse disorders.

It also allows for the return of annual and lifetime limits which affect not only people with ACA but folks with employer provided plans.