Congress doesn't come back to work (such as they do) until Monday, which gives us a moment to catch up on some of the issues we've been following.
35,000 good folks demonstrated against the Keystone XL pipeline (and the impact of climate change generally) in Washington, D.C. over the weekend, and -- what's that, you say? You didn't see that on the news? Well, anyway, this is the year Mr. Obama decides whether to allow a Canadian corporation with a bad pipe safety record to import the dirtiest possible crude oil through a pipeline running over some of America's most important heartland water tables so it can be refined in Texas. The People's Email Network helps you tell Mr. Obama to reject the pipeline.
H.R. 12/S. 123, the Voter Empowerment Act -- a wish list of voting reforms that Mr. Obama touted during his recent State of the Union address -- currently sits in the House Subcommittee on Health, of all places, and in the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, which I guess is a little better. CREDO helps you tell your Senators to pass the bill. You can find out who's on the House Subcommittee on Health here, and then look up their phone numbers on the house.gov directory. You can contact Senators on the Rules and Administration Committee from here.
As you know, the U.S. Postal Service will cease Saturday deliveries in August, which will put a lot of postal workers out of work, all because of, no, not the internet, but Congress's 2006 mandate that the USPS pre-pay billions of dollars each year into future pensions, which the law has never required of any other public or private entity. Color of Change helps you tell Congress to end the prepayment boondoggle. Neither of the bills the Truth-out.org link above mentions -- the 2011 Rep. Lynch (D-MA) bill, which would have fixed the problem with minimal damage, and the 2012 Rep. Issa (R-CA) bill, the so-called Postal Reform Act, which would have made everything a lot worse -- show up on thomas.loc.gov at this moment, so I presume neither has been reintroduced in this Congress; if/when I get alerts about them, I'll pass them along. (You'd think Rep. Lynch, in particular, would want to be vocal about this issue, since he's trying to win John Kerry's Senate seat and isn't exactly the favorite.)
Some moderately good news: the FDA has extended the comment period for another 60 days on genetically-modified salmon, after receiving so many comments against the Frankensalmon. I presume they've extended the comment period so that corporate GMO advocates can get their act together and drown us out, but the next time that works will be the first. The FDA choosing to ignore the vast majority of their comments would be, sadly, rather less unprecedented. So let's not give them wiggle room! Both Food and Water Watch and the Organic Consumers Association help you tell the FDA to stop the Frankenfish from wreaking havoc on our health and our waters.
Finally (cue cheers from convention crowd!), I heard rumors of an imminent CISPA vote as early as last week, but as of this moment CISPA (which would allow corporations to pass your private information along to our government without a warrant) sits in the House Committee on Intelligence. They'll probably fast-track it, and the full House will probably pass it -- and then the fun begins. The Senate would like to pass it, but they also wanted to pass SOPA and PIPA, before a popular uproar made that impossible. Mr. Obama said he'd veto it last year, but he's been re-elected since then, and could go either way now. We could, of course, make it harder for him to go either way: Free Press helps you tell Congress to reject CISPA. (I love that graphic of the zombie CISPA bill.)