Public Citizen helps you tell your Congressfolk to remove corporate welfare for big pharma from the recently-negotiated USMCA trade agreement. Folks call the USMCA "NAFTA 2.0," but it deserves better than that, since it vastly curtails the use of the "investor-state dispute settlement" (or ISDS) system that nullifies our laws and outsources our jobs. Unfortunately, the USMCA also extends monopoly patent protections for big pharma corporations (for drugs they couldn't have made without government funding, no less!), which keeps generic drugs off the market and thus keeps drug prices high. In an era where EpiPens cost as much as $600 a dose, where hedge fund managers drive up the price of drugs by 700% or more, where drugs sell for $1,700 a dose when they sell for $8 a dose in Australia, and where insulin costs so much that diabetics risk death by rationing it, our trade deals shouldn't make all that worse. So let's get Congress to fix it.
Meanwhile, CREDO helps you tell your Congressfolk to protect good Americans from financial predators by passing the Loan Shark Prevention Act. The bill would, as you may know, set a maximum interest rate of 15% on "any extension of credit" -- unless the state in which the borrower lives sets a lower maximum rate -- and would explicitly prevent concocting fees to evade the 15% cap. Now, a 15% cap would just so happen to kill the payday lending industry, but let its defenders on both sides of the aisle make fools of themselves justifying the 300% interest rates on short-term loans that wreck soldiers' lives. As I've said, I'd set much lower limits on car loans (2%), mortgages (3%), and personal loans (6%), but the 15% cap would make credit card debt more manageable. And caps such as these don't destroy industries, though they may prevent such industries from buying more corporate welfare through campaign donations. What a shame that would be!
In other news, the Sierra Club helps you tell your Congressfolk to ban PFAS chemicals from our products. I'm sure PFAS chemicals seemed like a wonder material once upon a time, but now they're everywhere, from Teflon pans to fast-food wrappers to fire-fighting foam to rain gear to popcorn bags to dental floss, and chances are you've got it in your bloodstream as we speak, because PFAS never breaks down. And scientists have linked PFAS chemicals to cancer, kidney damage, thyroid problems, and child developmental issues. This isn't a situation where you can just avoid bad stuff, because PFAS is, basically, everywhere and in everything. Some 20 bills currently under consideration in the House and Senate would address PFAS chemicals; now we just have to impress upon our Congressfolk the urgency of the problem. Don't be one of those who'd say "well, what are we going to make our dental floss out of now?" America is a can-do country, after all.
Finally, 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 if you want to call Sen. "Mob Boss Mitch" McConnell and tell him directly to allow a vote on the bill, then his Senate website provides phone numbers if you scroll all the way down. Don't imagine that the House flipping back to Democrats this past November means "the people have overcome" all the voting rights issues. Democratic candidates got more votes than Republicans in Wisconsin state legislature races in 2018, yet Republican legislators still hold almost two-thirds of that state's seats, and that's because Republicans have aggressively gerrymandered the state. The For the People Act would fix that, by making states use independent commissions, and not self-interested legislators, to redraw Congressional districts. The For the People Act would enact reforms in voting rights and campaign finance, too. So let's keep on 'em.