It's Monday again, so let's call our Senators and tell them to pass H.R. 1, the For the People Act; H.R. 5, the Equality Act; H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act, H.R. 582, the Raise the Wage Act, and H.R. 1644, the Save the Internet Act. And this week we add to that list H.R. 2722, the Securing America's Federal Elections (or SAFE) Act, which would (among other good works) mandate paper ballots for federal elections. The House has passed all these bills, but Senate Majority Leader "Mob Boss Mitch" McConnell still refuses to hold a vote on any of them. Still, we have a voice, and we believe that secure elections, voting rights, civil rights for gay and transgender folk, paycheck fairness for women, higher wages for working families, and internet freedom for all Americans are all good things that our Senators should support, particularly if they want to remain Senators. You can find tools for finding your Senators' phone numbers in the upper right-hand corner of this page (or the bottom of this page, if you're on a cellphone).
Meanwhile, both House and Senate have passed anti-robocall bills, but they didn't pass the same bill, so now House and Senate must conference out a bill that can go to our President, and you know how that can go -- for example, a lot of the worst parts in that 2017 tax "reform" bill somehow found their way into that bill during the House/Senate conference! -- so Consumer Reports helps you tell your Reps and Senators to agree upon the most vigorous anti-robocall bill possible. A conference bill should, for example, ensure that big telecom corporations give you free tools to end all those "spoofed" calls that pretend to be from your bank or our IRS or even your own damn number, and it should also crack down on international scam call rings. Remember: our Reps and Senators would be nothing without us, so they had better do our will here, not some big donor's will. I mean, nobody likes robocalls except scam artists and other people nobody wants to talk to on the phone. Surely Congress can hit a bank-shot layup?
In other news, H.R. 2426/S. 1273, the CASE Act, purports to streamline the process by which folks can redress copyright violations, but that ain't as good as it sounds -- by taking copyright-related claims out of our courts and creating a separate office within the U.S. Copyright Office to evaluate them, the CASE Act will open the floodgates for copyright trolls to slap copyrights on everything they can find so they can harvest settlements from the unsuspecting. If you think you won't be affected because you don't violate copyrights, ask yourself: have you ever shared a meme on Facebook or Twitter? If the answer is "yes," then it will affect you, once folks slap copyrights on everything in sight, knowing they'll get a quick hearing from the U.S. Copyright Office rather than letting the wheels of justice in our courts grind slow. Hence the Electronic Frontier Foundation helps you tell your Congressfolk to protect us from copyright trolls by rejecting the SAFE Act.
Finally, we've been trying to get Greyhound to stop letting Border Patrol agents on their buses willy-nilly, but they don't care what you think, so the ACLU helps you tell Greyhound's owner, FirstGroup plc, to stop Greyhound from letting Border Patrol agents on their buses unless they have a warrant or are at an actual CBP checkpoint. Of course if CBP or ICE agents have a warrant, or the bus is passing through a CBP checkpoint, agents can get on board and search, but the CBP has been searching buses without warrants and declaring that pretty much anywhere is now a "checkpoint," and they've also taken plenty of folks of color off buses without having any real suspicion that they're undocumented immigrants. Again, Greyhound has demonstrated that it doesn't care about any of that, so we have to alert their owners to what they're doing. In a sane, decent, and moral society I wouldn't ever have to say this, but in this sick, immoral, and decadent society I often have to, so I will: law and order don't exist just to give us whatever results we want.