This article was submitted by Angela Marx. Articles written by contributors do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Clark County Democrats
As you are well aware by this time, the incoming Trump Administration and the Republicans in control of both the U.S. House & Senate have an agenda, and it will do untold harm to tens of millions of Americans. They fully intend to repeal the PPACA/Obamacare, they've held over 60 separate votes in Congress already to repeal this law which has made affordable access to healthcare possible for over 20 million Americans - but we've had President Obama to VETO every one of them.
They have also announced that they plan to privatize both Medicare and Social Security. When President George W Bush attempted to push a plan to privatize Medicare through Congress in 2005, the response from the voters was to turn the Senate and House over to the Democrats and we saw the first woman Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.
Now, during the entire eight years of the two Obama terms, the Republicans have obstructed and prevented much good legislation from become enacted into Law. Even when they were at a severe disadvantage numbers wise in the U.S. Senate. How did that happen? Here's how, and how we as citizens and voters can help make sure that our Democratic U.S. Senators now use the same tactic to PREVENT HARM to tens of millions!
From 2009 to 2011, the first two years of the first Obama term, the Democratic Party held 59 of the U.S. Senate seats until Senator Al Franken of Minnesota was finally seated in early August, which brought our number up to 60. Unfortunately, Senator Ted Kennedy passed away just a few short weeks later that August and we were back to 59 U.S. Senators.
59 out of 100 seems like a pretty good majority, and the standing rules of the U.S. Senator only require a Simple Majority of 50+1 votes to pass legislation in that body.
So how did the Republicans prevent anything good or progressive from becoming enacted into Law?
They used Senate Rule #22, a rule created in 1917 at the behest of President Woodrow Wilson to (ironically) end the then current obstruction in the Senate caused by too many Filibusters (the ability of any Senator to be recognized and hold the Senate Floor by speaking endlessly on any subject they want to). This rule created the Cloture Rule, which allowed at least 16 Senators to submit a motion to end that Endless Speech -- but it required a vote by at least 67 Senators to end that talking. In 1975 the rule was amended and as of today, it requires 60 votes to end a Filibuster.
All of which is to say:
For eight long and weary years, the Republicans have wielded the Filibuster and Senate Rule #22 like a club, blocking all attempts by the Democratic Senators to achieve any progress on the issues which Americans have wanted to see action. From passing real Budget Bills to a more substantial recovery bill back in 2009 to help regular people from the damage done during the Great Recession, the Republicans have used this procedure like a giant hammer to prevent GOOD.
If Republicans can use Senate Rule #22 to prevent Good?
Why can't Democrats use it to prevent HARM?
If you would like to see our Democratic U.S. Senators put this Tool to good use to prevent the Harm of privatizing Medicare or Social Security or from repealing the PPACA/Obamacare?
Please contact your Democratic Senators in Washington State at their local offices. Tell the staffer that you are a Constituent and (if you know it) your Precinct or your Zip code. Tell them you would like your message to be sent directly to the Senator. Tell them:
The Republicans used Senate Rule #22 to prevent GOOD for eight years.
I want YOU and the rest of the Senate Democrats to use that same rule to prevent HARM - to protect Obamacare, Medicare and Social Security!
You can reach Senator Patty Murray at her local Vancouver office here: Phone: (360) 696-7797
You can reach Senator Maria Cantwell at her local Vancouver office here: Phone: (360) 696-7838
Thank you for reading and I assure you, if enough people make these calls before the holidays? Those Senators WILL sit up and pay attention. Former staffers for Congress are well aware and have made public statements about the power calls from Constituents to Local Offices have with our Congress. So don't delay, CALL TODAY!
For further reading, you can see a story I wrote about this at this URL, it contains contacts to local Offices of EVERY Democratic sitting U.S. Senator, links to our incoming Senators in the 115th Congress and to Chuck Schumer of New York, the incoming Minority Leader (whom those who live in a state without a Democratic Senator can contact on this issue).
Please send this URL link to Democratic friends and family across the state and in other states. The more people who contact their Senators in as many states as possible, the better the chances that our Democratic Caucus in the Senate will become the Bulwark against the ravages of the Republicans.
It is also linked to via the pinned Tweet on my Twitter Page.