Talking Points: February 26th

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Topic: Trump’s Tax Returns

Any one of these could be used as a talking point.

  1. Donald Trump has financial interests here in the US and in a lot of other countries. We’ve also seen undeniable evidence that the Trump campaign has maintained close ties to the Russian government and may be vulnerable to blackmail. But he has not taken the necessary steps to eliminate potential conflicts of interest. All of this scares me. One way he could reassure Americans is by releasing his tax returns, and yet he refuses.

    Congress can act unilaterally without Trump’s permission to release his returns, and Rep. Bill Pascrell is circulating letter to build support for that action. This isn’t a partisan issue; it’s a matter of public trust—and I want to be able to trust my President. Will you show me that you agree by signing on to the Pascrell letter?

  2. As you know, every single president since Jimmy Carter, including Republicans, has released his tax returns. Doing so has become an important practice of transparency, showing the American public that a president does not have conflicts of interest. Donald Trump refuses to release his tax forms. Do you believe, as I do, that Trump should release his tax returns to prove that he isn’t using the office of the President for financial gain?

    Congress can act unilaterally without Trump’s permission to release his returns, and Rep. Bill Pascrell is circulating letter to build support for that action. This isn’t a partisan issue; it’s a matter of public trust—and I want to be able to trust my President. Will you show me that you agree by signing on to the Pascrell letter?

  3. Even after making several promises to release his tax returns, Donald Trump refuses to release them. He claims that he’s unable to because he’s being audited. However, even after making several promises to release his tax returns, Donald Trump refuses to release them. He claims that he’s unable to because he’s being audited. However, even Richard Nixon—another Republican president—released his tax returns while undergoing an audit. I’m worried he’s hiding something that would prevent him from prioritizing his duties as the President. Do you believe, as I do, that Trump should release his tax returns to ensure he acts in the best interest of the American people, and not his own self interest?

    Congress can act unilaterally without Trump’s permission to release his returns, and Rep. Bill Pascrell is circulating letter to build support for that action. This isn’t a partisan issue; it’s a matter of public trust—and I want to be able to trust my President. Will you show me that you agree by signing on to the Pascrell letter?

  4. I’m deeply troubled by Russian interference in our previous election, and about allegations that the Trump campaign cooperated with Russian government officials. My concerns have been magnified by the recent revelation that National Security Advisor Michael Flynn colluded with the Russian government before the election, and then lied about it. I think it’s important for Trump to release his tax returns to show, once and for all, whether he has debts in Russia that might be used as leverage against him. Do you believe, as do I, that Trump should release his tax returns to prove he isn’t beholden to Russian interests?

    Congress can act unilaterally without Trump’s permission to release his returns, and Rep. Bill Pascrell is circulating letter to build support for that action. This isn’t a partisan issue; it’s a matter of public trust—and I want to be able to trust my President. Will you show me that you agree by signing on to the Pascrell letter?

Topic: Gorsuch Appointment

Judge Gorsuch

  1. Has argued it should be harder for consumers to hold Wall Street and huge corporations legally accountable for fraud and other wrongdoing.
  2. Supports legal theories that could threaten important protections for clean air, clean water, American workers, and safe food and medicine that we all depend on each day.
  3. Joined the appeals court Hobby Lobby decision, narrowly upheld by the Supreme Court, which allowed employers to deny insurance coverage for birth control in the name of religious freedom.

Americans want a Supreme Court justice who will make sure that the Constitution protects all Americans, not just the wealthy and powerful. Americans want a justice who will protect voting rights, civil rights, marriage equality, and Roe v. Wade. We cannot afford another conservative justice to take a seat on the Supreme Court for a generation and threaten these core American rights and freedoms.

Sample call on the Gorsuch nomination

You: Where does the Senator stand on the nomination of Judge Gorsuch?

Staffer: The Senator supports the nomination of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

You: Thank you for letting me know that. Will the Senator publicly pledge that the Judge Gorsuch will only be confirmed to the Supreme Court if he receives a filibuster-proof majority (60 votes) in the full Senate?

Staffer: We haven’t reached that point yet in the process [Or other word salad]

You: Are you telling me that Senator Bob is open to using the “Nuclear Option” to end the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees? If that’s true, this is a shocking departure from centuries-old norms. This should be a simple question: Can you give me a yes or no answer on whether the Senator opposes the Nuclear Option?

Staffer: The Senator hasn’t taken a position on that issue. You: Please let the Senator know that I expect him to uphold the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. In the history of our country, every single justice to sit on the Supreme Court has received the approval of a filibuster proof majority. This is a vital check-and balance in our democracy, and an important function of the United States Senate. I will be watching closely what the Senator does on this issue and will cast my vote accordingly.

Staffer: I’ll pass that message on to the Senator.

Topic: Affordable Care Act

Any replacement for the Affordable Care Act must:

  • Cover at least as many people as the ACA has (32 million), and further decrease the rate of people without health insurance in the United States (8.9 percent).
  • Ensure Medicaid remains a fully-funded state-federal partnership, which guarantees access to all eligible low-income families and people with disabilities.
  • Maintain the consumer protections in the ACA, including prohibitions that prevent insurers from discriminating against the 133 million people with pre-existing conditions.

Sample call to Congressional office re: ACA

Caller: Good morning/afternoon! Can you let me know the Congressman’s (Congresswoman’s) position on the Affordable Care Act?

Staffer: Thank you for calling! Congressperson Bob believes that the ACA needs to be repealed in order to provide better coverage for all Americans. The Congressperson is committed to repealing the ACA as soon as possible and replacing it with another plan that is better for Americans.

Caller: That’s terrible. None of the replacement plans that I have seen are nearly as good as what we have now, and I am deeply concerned about his commitment to repeal. I’m calling to say that if Congressman Bob truly believes, as I do, that it can be challenging to access affordable healthcare in this country, he should work to build on the historic gains the Affordable Care Act has made in providing coverage and benefits for all Americans rather than dismantling our progress. 486,000 Kentuckians stand to lose their healthcare. Under the ACA Kentucky saw a 55% decline in the rate of uninsured people. I hope Congressman Bob reconsiders his commitment to repeal.

Staffer: But the ACA has been a disaster and healthcare costs in this country are out of control. I bet your premiums went up this year!

Caller: Congress promised a meaningful replacement that will leave no one worse off and the President promised “insurance for everyone.” I know you told me the Congressman is working on a replacement package. A replacement needs to be judged against what the ACA had accomplished when the new Congress came into power and is only acceptable if it preserves the coverage gains and quality of care under the ACA. Can you guarantee that any replacement plan will cover AT LEAST as many people that would be covered under the ACA?

All talking points are provided by Indivisible Guide.

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