Happy Monday, good peoples! Now go ahead and call your Senators and tell them to pass the following bills: H.R. 1, the For the People Act; H.R. 5, the Equality Act; H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act; H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act; H.R. 582, the Raise the Wage Act; H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act; H.R. 1146, the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act, H.R. 1373, the Grand Canyon Centennial Act; H.R. 1644, the Save the Internet Act; H.R. 2513, the Corporate Transparency Act; and H.R. 2722, the SAFE Act. Don't worry that it's a long list; your Senators could always have prevented our phone calls by passing the bills! Especially since they're good bills strengthening voting rights, fighting discrimination, raising the minimum wage, protecting good Americans from predatory health insurance corporations, protecting public lands, and insuring internet freedom -- among other good works. And don't worry that our President would veto these bills, because we ought to make him veto them.
Meanwhile, you may have heard that Democrats are almost ready to come to agreement with our President on his USMCA trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, which would replace the nefarious NAFTA, and while the USMCA does represent an improvement as it stands -- it would roll back the notorious investor-state dispute (or ISDS) settlement system with Canada and drastically curtail its use with Mexico -- it could be better, in that it could have better labor and clean air/clean water standards, and in that it doesn't need to sacrifice good Americans' health care before the altar of corporate intellectual property by letting big pharma corporations hold onto their exclusive rights for even longer than they do now. Hence Public Citizen helps you call your Congressfolk and tell them not to pass the USMCA until we can fix its problems. Please add, in your phone call, that you will not give up our gains regarding the ISDS system in exchange for better labor/health care/clean air and clean water standards, because the ISDS system nullifies our laws and outsources our jobs.
In other news, remember when Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) -- in a move which suggests she doesn't think she's in any danger of losing her 2020 re-election bid -- told Iowa residents that what we need to let Congress meet "behind closed doors" to "fix" Social Security? Well, S. 2733, the so-called TRUST Act, would let "rescue committees" meet behind closed doors on any federal program the Treasury Secretary deems necessary, and consider any legislation that comes out of these committees in an "expedited" manner, meaning very little debate and very little opportunity to amend. That should sound to you like a way of doing something very bad very quickly, which is how folks who want to do bad things have to do them these days. Hence Social Security Works helps you tell your Congressfolk to reject "secret" legislation considered "behind closed doors" by rejecting the TRUST Act. If a bill can't stand sunlight, it doesn't deserve to become law, period. And I'm old enough to remember when the Social Security trust fund was supposed to run out in 2016, so let's not let hysteria rule our world, OK?
Finally, you remember that when Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment back in the '70s, they put a deadline on its ratification by the states? Well, H.J.Res. 79 would essentially remove that deadline (by stating that the ERA "shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution whenever ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States"). 35 (of the necessary 38) states ratified the ERA before the original 1979 deadline; two more states have passed the ERA since 2017, with Virginia perhaps mulling the issue once Democrats formally take control of both legislative houses early next year. However, five states also rescinded their ratifications before the 1979 deadline, and our courts haven't concluded whether those states could do that under our Constitution or not -- mainly because the deadline had already passed. How this Supreme Court would resolve these questions we don't yet know, but in the meantime, CREDO helps you tell your Congressfolk to fight for women's rights by removing the deadline on the original passage of the ERA.