As Congress is in recess from now until April 21st, this is a good time to catch up on what’s happening and make your voice heard. Here’s a summary of what’s been happening and what we can expect to happen next from Community Catalyst:
What’s Happened So Far?
- In early January, Congress passed a budget resolution with instructions to develop the language for a budget reconciliation package.
- The House Ways & Means and Energy & Commerce committees were tasked with drafting the actual language in the budget reconciliation package.
- In early March, both committees voted to pass their pieces of the reconciliation language and sent them to the Budget Committee. The Budget Committee also passed the legislation and sent it to the House Rules Committee.
- On the morning of March 24th, the House Rules committee voted to pass the bill.
- That afternoon, the Speaker of the House pulled the legislation from the floor of the House and announced that there would not be a vote on the bill.The legislation was returned to the House Rules Committee.
- Congress is currently on recess until April 21st.
- When members of Congress return to Washington the last week in April, they will turn their attention to the continuing resolution (often called a “CR”) which expires April 28th.
- A continuing resolution is a type of appropriations legislation that permits the federal government to continue operating under current spending levels. It is used when Congress and the President have not agreed on a budget for the entire fiscal year.
- We anticipate that Congress will pass another continuing resolution by the April 28th deadline.
- Starting the first week in May we expect that Congress will again turn its attention to repealing the Affordable Care Act.
- Create and/or turn out to town halls or other events: You’ll be able to find events that focus on members of Congress – including town halls with members as well as empty chair events or protests at an office – at ResistanceRecess.com. We need to make sure that health care breaks through and that people share their health care stories.
- Keep up the calls: Republicans need to keep hearing from folks over the next couple of weeks. These toll-free call-in numbers are active now with calls going to the House Republicans (unless otherwise specified): English: 866-426-2631; Spanish: 877-736-7831
- Reach out to your own member of Congress and ask them to commit to opposing the AHCA.
- If you are in Congressman Dave Reichert’sdistrict, call his Issaquah office at (425) 677-7414or his Wenatchee office at (509) 885-6615 and make sure he knows he’s accountable for the consequences of voting to repeal and cut our health care.
- If you are in Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler’s district, call her Vancouver office at (360) 695-6292and ask her, as an opponent of the AHCA, to oppose further ACA repeal.
- Get members on the record: We need Republicans to re-commit that they will not repeal the health care law and will not cut coverage, increase costs or eliminate basic services – like cancer screenings and prescriptions drugs.
- Hold members accountable: Nearly one hundred Republican members voted or came out publicly in support of ripping apart people’s health care. They need to hear directly from their constituents about what that means at public events and through LTEs, calls, and social media.