We learned last week that (per the House Minority Leader's own national security advisor) our National Security Agency (or NSA) hasn't used the PATRIOT Act's Section 215 bulk phone data-collection program in six months. And the result of this serious inaction was a cascade of nesting 9.11-size terrorist attacks, right? Well, not exactly -- particularly since the Section 215 program has actually never thwarted a terrorist attack, which you wouldn't find surprising if you thought about the whole needle-in-a-million-haystacks nature of combing through all those phone records. Rep. McCarthy's spokeshack quickly said that his co-worker doesn't speak for Congress or the President, but that wasn't exactly a denial, and the program has, frankly, always been an invasion of privacy as well as an offense to law and order. Hence Demand Progress helps you tell your Congressfolk to promote freedom by letting the Section 215 bulk data-collection program expire.
Meanwhile, you've been hearing about all those fake net neutrality bills various Congressfolk have been flogging, the ones that would pretend to restore net neutrality while still letting big telecom corporations censor and throttle your data, but the Save the Internet Act (for which Congress.gov has no bill number at this writing) would repeal the FCC's net neutrality repeal of 2017, prevent them from just issuing another one just like it, and restore the 2015 Open Internet order that codified strong network neutrality principles into law. Don't believe the haters who say well, the internet ain't that much different than it was before, is it? Nobody expected the big telecoms to start censoring your favorite websites the day after the net neutrality repeal became law; freedom dies in degrees, because otherwise folks would notice its absence. Hence both Free Press and the Electronic Frontier Foundation help you tell your Congressfolk to pass the Save the Internet Act.
In other news, the House may vote on H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act, early this week; the Paycheck Fairness Act would toughen penalties for employers that pay their female workers less than their male workers without having a bona fide good reason (like differing skill levels, education, or experience). I thought for a moment I should just type that whole sentence again, in case someone wants to leap in with EVERYONEZ IZ TEH DIFFERENTZ!!!!!, but really, there's no need -- trolls are gonna troll no matter what you do. The Paycheck Fairness Act would also add some more teeth to the Fair Labor Standards Act by preventing employers from using wage history as a criterion for considering employment, and I trust you can see why: because employers can keep women underpaid by refusing to hire them based on their long history of being underpaid! So Moms Rising helps you tell your House Reps to help close the wage gap between women and men by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your House Reps to help working families by passing H.R. 582/S. 150, the Raise the Wage Act, then Social Security Works still helps you do that. The Raise the Wage Act would, as its title suggests, raise the minimum wage to $15/hour from its current $7.25/hour over the next five years, and would raise the minimum wage for tipped and disabled workers to the same level as all other workers after six years. After all, you wouldn't want employers to suddenly convert all their workers to "tipped" workers (or even figure out how to call them "disabled"!) merely to avoid the minimum wage. Hey, if I thought of it, I'm sure they have. Don't consider that a reason not to pass the Raise the Wage Act, because then you would hold yourself hostage to whatever imagined emergency opponents could come up with next. And anyone who thinks these wages would be "onerous" for small businesses clearly can't imagine workers spending their extra wages at small businesses.