This past weekend I attended Indivisible's National Campaigns Network Gathering in Washington D.C..
The great news? Rep. Heck's and Senator Cantwell's staff gave rave reviews to OI for our engagement with our Mocs and the work we do. They said they are very familiar with our effective and necessary actions. They appreciate the calls they get and the messages they receive from us! We are succeeding every time you pick up the phone or send a message - WELL DONE OI MEMBERS!
On Monday, I visited Rep. Heck and Senator Cantwell's offices. I was the only one present from CD10Wa so I got a personal one-on-one meeting with Denny’s Chief-of-Staff and a legislative staff member in Maria's office.
We covered the upcoming appropriations bills that must pass by Sept 30 or a CR will be needed to avoid another shutdown. We spoke specifically to the info on the #DefundHate campaign (https://indivisible.org/resource/tell-your-representative-defund-hate).
The ask was NO to anymore CBP/ICE funding, and especially no to a slush fund of $350M without any direction or declaration on how it will be spent. We can’t allow money that should be spent to alleviate the humanitarian crisis the GOP created, to be used to build his wall or increase private prisons spaces, increase raids or enable more deportations. I covered the same in Cantwell’s office.
When Denny’s Chief of Staff asked what Denny could do, I requested Denny make a floor speech on this issue and stand against any more funding that is either undesignated or could be raided for the wall. He said there was a meeting planned for the next day and he would pass my request on.
We should also be demanding that the trump immigration policy that criminalizes and imprisons asylum seekers be reversed to return to the policy previously in place - release to the community until hearings could be held. We must demand more immigration judges be impaneled to hear the backlog of cases exacerbated by trump's policy. Until the President stops creating a greater humanitarian crisis, he should receive no more funding. He has raided other departments and has plenty of money to move in a positive direction. Let's stop rewarding him with more money when he's committing crimes against humanity.
In Cantwell’s office, the staffer said the current thought is that some of the 12 appropriations bills will be passed on time (by Sept 30) with Continuing Resolutions for the remainder, and the CR to expire at the end of the year.
Patty Murray’s office was locked up and she’s the only one on appropriations. Budgets are a statement of values. She needs to hear our concerns and she's in the best position among our MOCs to influence budget decisions.