Fight for Life and Liberty during the Senate Recess!
Earlier this week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed the vote on the Senate’s awful Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) until after the July 4 recess. While this is good news, it is not a victory; this fight is far from over. Remember, we saw the same thing happen in the House, and behind-the-scenes deals pushed the bill through. The same thing can happen here.
The efforts of the disability community have been incredible. Our advocacy around the country is responsible for the delay of the vote. We must keep it up! And while it’s important to work with our allies fighting against this bill, the importance of disability-led efforts cannot be overstated. We are the ones who will be harmed first, and most, by this bill. We are responsible for getting our message through. Nothing about us without us!
Senators will be back in their home states from Friday, June 30 through Sunday, July 9. We MUST keep the pressure on them during the recess. At this point, several Senators have publicly stated that they will not support the bill in its current form. This is not enough. They can change the bill’s current form. They can make it even worse. We need Senators to commit that they won’t vote on ANY bill that would cap and cut Medicaid.
Action during the recess is essential. Republican Senators are unlikely to hold Town Halls this time around. We have to find other ways to get our message to them and everyone else:
- Use this leaflet! Spread it far and wide! Bring copies to your July 4th parades, picnics, and parties. Give it to friends and foes alike so they know why cutting Medicaid is deadly for the disability community. If your Senators happen to be at these events, give them a leaflet, too!
- If your Senator is at any of these public events, make sure to get on Twitter and/or Facebook to let others know where you are and who you saw! Use the hashtags #ADAPTandRESIST and #SpotYourSenator so other disability activists can come join you. Then, hand your Senator a copy of the leaflet and tell them what Medicaid and community based services mean to you.
- Continue protesting at your Senator’s office! CILs and local ADAPT chapters around the country have been organizing protests in states all week. These efforts have been tremendous, with more attention from the media and the public being given to our concerns than ever. Now that our Senators will be back home, it’s time to redouble those efforts! Check out ADAPT’s toolkit and The ADAPT Activist Handbook for help in planning your protest. If you are planning to protest, let us know so we can support and signal boost! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org the following: a) Target Senator b) Where the protest will be (city, address if possible) c) What TV & radio stations and newspapers people in that location use for their news (if possible).
- Set up meetings with your Senators: Explain to them how harmful the cuts to Medicaid and other changes in this bill will be to their constituents with disabilities. Give them a copy of the leaflet. Demand that they commit to vote no on ANY bill that will cap and cut Medicaid. Bring other people with disabilities so you can all share your stories and express your anger that the Senate is pushing a bill that will kill some of us! Tell them how Medicaid keeps you alive and independent in the community. This may be our last chance to protect the Medicaid program so many of us rely on. Get loud! Be angry!
- Keep Tweeting! Follow and join in the conversations using the hashtags #ADAPTandRESIST, #SaveMedicaid, #SummerOfADAPT and #NoCutsNoCaps. Tweet directly at your Senators! You can find their Twitter handles at Contacting Congress.
- Call your Senators DAILY and demand they vote no on this terrible bill! You can use this directory to find your Senator’s contact information or reach your Senators’ staff in DC by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. You can find a sample script in our recent alert, but the main points you want to get across are that this bill will be harmful to their disabled constituents and they should vote NO on the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Call often, because they need to hear from us regularly!
- Contact your Senator using another method! You can also fax your Senator (use com to find your Senator’s fax number) or use Resistbot to have your texts turned into faxes, mail, or hand-delivered letters. You can also find your Senator’s email address, Twitter handle, and other information through Contacting Congress.
- Reach out to your friends and family in key states! If you have contacts in states with Republican Senators, please make sure to reach out to them and encourage them to take action!
Because of our collective efforts, we got the vote delayed. Now let’s work to stop it for good!