H.R. 5278, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act -- yes, it spells PROMESA -- would essentially replace their democratically-elected government with a "control board" making the island's fiscal decisions. That's right, an unelected, antidemocratic "board" would decide matters of taxing and spending on the island, and this board would put the "needs" of creditors ahead of the needs of good Puerto Ricans by hiking taxes on working people, slashing government spending, and privatizing the island's public assets. We know these things will happen because the bill clearly states that the nation's crushing debt should be restructured only "in the best interests of creditors." H.R. 5278 would also let Puerto Rico's Governor unilaterally slash the island's minimum wage, and exempt the island from the Department of Labor's new overtime rules. It's as if Congress saw what Our Glorious Elites have been doing to Greece for years and got jealous, and demanded that they have someone to oppress so they, too, could insulate banksters from the consequences of all the bad loans they've made over the years. We'd better stop this insanity, or it'll become the norm all over the planet in the coming years, so Just Foreign Policy joins with MoveOn to help you tell Congress to reject the PROMESA Act.
Meanwhile, Rep. Conyers (D-MI) has introduced H.R. 5313, the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity, and Reliability Act, or WATER Act. The WATER Act would establish a trust fund, spending up to $34.8 billion annually, on clean water and safe drinking water projects, most of them related to rebuilding pipes and plants. We saw what happened in Flint -- when an unelected "emergency manager" forced Flint to draw its drinking water from the polluted Flint River, and put chemicals in the river to clean the water that wound up corroding Flint's lead pipes -- and, brain damage from lead exposure being irreversible, we don't want that to happen again. And if we spend actual tax dollars upgrading our pipes, we can ensure it doesn't happen again. I suppose the right wing's response to all of that is to let the market decide! -- which would, I suppose, tacitly admit that Michigan's government caused this mess through their greed and incompetence. But the "market" should not decide whether kids suffer brain damage through lead exposure in their drinking water -- that is not a matter for markets, but for morals, and morality demands that we protect citizens of any age from the kinds of harm that curtail their freedoms. So Food and Water Watch helps you tell your Congressfolk to support the WATER Act.
Finally, in a spasm of technocratic autoerotica, the National Parks Service has proposed drastically expanding corporate sponsorship of national parks. Because, you know, the money just isn't there like it used to be! And why isn't it there like it used to be? Because used to be we taxed millionaire income at 91%, not 39.6%, and we didn't let corporations write all kinds of bogus "research and development" tax breaks into our laws. In some ways, you know, the old days really were better. But this is what happens when we fail in our duty to make sure the rich don't run roughshod over the rest of us -- not just corporate logos on tour buses, not just public employees finding their advancement tied to their corporate fundraising, not just (God forbid!) corporations getting to attach their name to the Grand Canyon like the parasites they are, but ultimately the complete subversion of public interests (preserving unique natural spaces) to private ones (making money), until corporations one day successfully expand the definition of "conservation" to include all kinds of things that plainly aren't conservation, like gas drilling. But you can throw a wrench into all these horrible works by telling the National Parks Service to keep our national parks unspoiled by corporate greed, as Sum of Us helps you do.