Congratulations to the New England Patriots for showing us that even the most unlikely victories are possible for those who don’t get flustered, don’t give up, and just keep pushing down the field.
The national Indivisible movement is calling on members of affiliate groups to carry out a number of actions during the week ahead.
One potential win would be blocking the confirmation of Betsy DeVos to the position of Secretary of Education.
IGA as a group holds no opinion on specific education policies, although we take note that DeVos is strongly opposed by educators and school administrators, who we consider to be our most trusted experts in such matters.
Our primary opposition comes from DeVos’ lack of experience in public education, school funding, higher education financial aid programs, and the enforcement of civil rights, among other necessary areas of policy. Her inarticulate confirmation hearing statements did nothing to persuade us that her nomination is due to merit and qualifications, rather than the hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign donations she and her family have made.
We oppose DeVos because her confirmation would weaken an agency that’s vitally important to our children’s futures, and confirm that the levers of power within a Trump administration are for sale to the highest bidder.
Two brave Republicans so far have stepped forward to oppose DeVos’s confirmation, with only one more needed for the block. If you have friends or relatives who share a state with a potentially-wavering Republican senator, this would be the time to urge them to make a call to that senator’s office.
Your weekly dispatch:
- Don’t Let the Senate Rubber Stamp Trump’s Unfit Cabinet Picks: The Senate will try to confirm several of Trump’s Cabinet picks THIS WEEK. A confirmation vote is scheduled for Betsy DeVos (Education), with additional votes possible for Jeff Sessions (Justice), Tom Price (Health and Human Services), and Steve Mnuchin (Treasury). For reasons ranging from incompetence to well-documented racism, each is unfit to lead any of these agencies. It’s not too late to stop them. Keep visiting your two Senators’ offices to tell them to oppose these nominees!
Monday, Feb. 6, 2017:
Procedural votes on nominees are expected on Monday. Continue to ask your Senators to withhold consent on everything until the Muslim ban is lifted.Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017:
The confirmation vote for Betsy DeVos will likely happen Tuesday. Two Republicans have announced their opposition—which means we only need to sway one more Republican Senator to stop DeVos from becoming the least qualified Secretary of Education in history. You can stop this confirmation from happening. YOUR Senator could be the one to sink DeVos.Call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on Betsy Devos for Secretary of Education.Remainder of the Week: Possible Action on Several Nominees
After the Senate considers Betsy DeVos, it will quickly try to confirm the remaining nominees. It is unclear when these votes will happen, but more confirmation votes could begin as early as Wednesday.Jeff Sessions: Sen. Jeff Sessions has a decades-long history of opposing civil rights legislation. He was rejected for a judgeship by the Senate in 1986 for being too racist, and between his attacks on civil rights and his strong anti-immigration stance, he’s just as unfit to be Attorney General today.Call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on Jeff Sessions for Attorney General.
Tom Price: Rep. Tom Price is a zealous opponent of Obamacare, and his financial conflicts of interest continue to raise doubts about his ethics and judgment.Call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Scott Pruitt: Putting Scott Pruitt—who places private profits ahead of the public good—in charge of the EPA is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse. Unfortunately, in this case the hens are America’s health and the environment.
Call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on Scott Pruitt for EPA Director.
Steve Mnuchin: Predatory lender Steve Mnuchin is also under fire for failing to disclose millions of dollars in assets and his role as director of an investment fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands.
Call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on Steve Mnuchin for Secretary of the Treasury.
- Keep standing against the Muslim and refugee ban. Last week, a federal judge—appointed by Republican President G.W. Bush—issued a temporary nationwide injunction on Trump’s illegal and unconstitutional Muslim ban. While this is great news, it is only a temporary halt to the Muslim ban, which Trump continues to fight in court. This isn’t the time for Congress to sit on the sidelines; Congress needs to use its power to defund and rescind the ban.Ask your Senators to continue to withhold consent on all Senate business, and filibuster any legislation until this discriminatory, unconstitutional ban is revoked and justice is restored.Ask your Representative to cosponsor H.R.724, the Statue of Liberty Values (SOLVE) Act, legislation that would rescind and defund Trump’s Muslim ban. We’ve got scripts for these conversations (along with a recording of last week’s emergency planning call) available here.
- Tell your Senator “Stop Gorsuch, Don’t Nuke the Senate”: Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. But this isn’t Donald Trump’s vacancy to fill. Early last year, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, a distinguished jurist, to fill this vacancy. Senate Republicans refused to hold hearings, let alone a vote, on Garland’s nomination.Now, they want Gorsuch to receive the consideration Merrick Garland didn’t. What’s more, if Gorsuch can’t get 60 votes, Donald Trump wants Republican leaders to deploy the “nuclear option” and do away with the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations. Going nuclear would destroy a critical check and balance in our democracy—we can’t let that happen.
Call your Senators, tell them you oppose Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, and demand they oppose the “nuclear option.”
- Tell Congress to put national security over party politics: No Bannon on the National Security Council. President Trump’s decision to remove the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff (actual national security experts) from the National Security Council and instead give a permanent seat to Steve Bannon was an unprecedented politicization of what is supposed to be a nonpartisan body.Call your Senators and ask them to cosponsor S.291 to modify the requirements for membership in the NSC.
Call your Representative and ask them to cosponsor H.R.804 to prevent political appointees from serving on the NSC.