"One major reason" Congress never passes a budget on time anymore, according to Public Citizen's latest email missive, is "poison pill policy riders" slipped into must-pass appropriations bills; you can name a lot of poison pills that have found their way into budgets over the years, like our President's months-long partial government shutdown over his vanity border wall. A Republican Congress wouldn't fund that wall, you remember, so he induced a shutdown until he got his way (or, more precisely, could con his votaries into thinking he got his way). But this year (as in recent years!), "poison pills" include riders preventing our government from finishing various campaign finance disclosure regulations. Hence Public Citizen helps you tell your Congressfolk to pass clean budgets, without noxious "poison pill" policy riders. How popular is anonymous big money campaign spending, after all? So popular Congress has to take the budgeting process hostage to enable it!
Meanwhile, H.R. 2569/S. 1365, the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (or CARE) Act, would allot $100 billion over the next 10 years to address opioid addiction -- and not in a punitive way, because that clearly ain't working. The CARE Act would spend money on treatment, support services, and early intervention, among other things, and it would give states and localities considerable power over how they spend that money, not that right-wingers will notice actual conservatism happening under their noses. If you still think we "have" to put drug addicts in jail, just ask yourself? Have you ever gotten high on anything (not necessarily something illegal!) that could have hurt you in some way? And did the threat of incarceration ever stop you from getting high on that thing? The Drug Policy Alliance helps you tell your Congressfolk to get folks affected by the opioid crisis real help by passing the CARE Act.
In other news, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Senators to pass H.R. 1/S. 949, the For the People Act, then People for the American Way still helps you do that. And since Senate Majority Leader "Mob Boss Mitch" McConnell (E-KY) says he won't hold a vote on the For the People Act, because, and I quote, "I get to decide what we vote on," you can go to his Senate website, scroll all the way down, and find a phone number so you can call his office and tell him to hold a vote on the bill already. Use whatever number gets you through; hell, I've had to do that with my Senators for a while. Nine phone numbers I have in my cellphone for each of my two Senators! And sometimes I have to call all nine! But if we had the ethics, voting rights, and campaign finance reforms contained in the For the People Act, maybe, just maybe, our Senators would be a bit more accessible to us. We are their damn bosses, after all! And if we get in their grills enough that they pass the For the People Act, maybe they'll start acting like it.
Finally, American Family Voices helps you tell our Federal Trade Commission (or FTC) to block the proposed Bristol-Myers Squibb/Celgene merger. I'm old enough to remember when Bristol-Myers and Squibb were two separate corporations! And now they want to get bigger? Big pharma corporations are already too big, and have too much power -- witness how often their price-gouging schemes actually get a lot of coverage in newspapers and TV news programs, and how little they suffer for it! When you're big enough and powerful enough, after all, you can buy Congressional legislation that protects and expands your power -- generally they're not stupid enough to take a quid pro quo bribe, but they all know the game, and this proposed merger would be the largest one ever. If we want to hear less about 800% price hikes for life-saving drugs, we should prevent big pharma corporations from getting so big in the first place.