Sentinel Call Notes August 6th, 2018
The August recess is in full swing and it’s a great time to make your voice heard. Members are back home in their districts, meeting with constituents and campaigning for this November’s midterm election. Some of our Sentinels are contacting their Representative’s District Director to arrange an in-district meeting and discuss the key issues below. Let me know if you would like to join one of these groups or you can arrange one on your own! Here is a Heritage Action one-pager with facts on immigration, the Supreme Court nomination, and the benefits from last year’s tax cuts… All priorities to bring before your elected officials this month.
We need to keep up the drumbeat and build momentum on the following policies:
- Supreme Court: Sentinels should continue to build consensus for Senators, especially red-state Democrats, to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
- Tax Reform: The tax cuts included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act benefit average taxpayers in every single state and district in the country. Sentinels can thank the members who supported tax reform, citing Heritage’s new website, and share their state and district information locally. It is up to us to share with our friends, family, neighbors, and communities how the Republican tax cuts in 2017 benefit them and all Americans. Please SHARE this district-specific data with congressional candidates, your local GOP groups or tea party groups, and on social media. You can go to www.TaxesandJobs.com to share, download and print your congressional district. Please let me know if you would like a supply of copies to hand out at events or share with your groups and friends! I will be happy to mail them to you!
- Immigration and Appropriations: Sentinels should ask their Members of Congress to advance President Trump’s agenda through the appropriations process, especially by passing a DHS appropriations bill that secures the southern border and strengthens internal enforcement. Sentinels should also ask their Members of Congress to champion conservative policy priorities in their spending bills and not send another Omnibus to the President’s desk this September.
We talked about those bad immigration measures in the spending bill and our strategy to fight them on the Sentinel Strategy Call on Monday night. Heritage Action Vice President Jessica Anderson has a great piece on how Republicans can use the appropriations process to advance President Trump’s agenda on immigration. Check it out here. You can also find more information in our activist toolkit on immigration here.
Ask Representative Meadows to oppose provisions adopted in committee to the Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill on amnesty, asylum expansion and exasperating the family separation issue. Congress should instead pass a DHS appropriations bill that secures the southern border and enhances internal enforcement. We should also ask Members to lower spending during the process.
- Farm Bill:
should push Farm Bill conferees to 1) maintain House-passed SNAP work requirements 2) maintain Senate-passed Sen. Grassley “active engagement” requirement for crop insurance, and 3) maintain the House-passed provision to repeal Obama’s EPA WOTUS rule.
There are four weeks left in the August recess, providing ample time to meet with Members and gear them up for the upcoming policy fights before they return to D.C. Print out a copy of our August Recess Talking Points, get a few friends together, and set up a meeting with your Member or their staff to talk through these policies and show them why they should fight alongside us come September.
Enjoy your summer, visit your Representative’s district office and give me a call, text, or email with any questions or just to chat! The FULL Sentinel Call notes with all the background links are below.
Melody Himel Clarke
Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator
Follow us on Twitter: @Heritage_Action and me, @TheRightMelody.
State of Play: On July 9th, President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to succeed Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Confirmation will not come without a fight. Republicans have a tenuous grip on the Senate—a slim 51-49 majority—and Progressives and other advocates of the “living Constitution” are already engaged in the battle. Judge Kavanaugh will be confronted with ideological challenges regarding his views on legal issues ranging from the powers of the administrative state to abortion rights. More broadly, critics of Judge Kavanaugh will no doubt take aim at his evident commitment to textualism and upholding the original meaning of the Constitution. Heritage recently hosted a panel of legal scholars and Supreme Court experts to discuss strategy as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares for confirmation hearings.
Action item: Sentinels should ask their senators to support President Trump’s nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Sentinels can also sign Heritage Action’s petition to confirm Kavanaugh and share with their activist communities.
Heritage Action toolkit: Confirm Kavanaugh
Heritage Action petition: Confirm Kavanaugh
Heritage Foundation backgrounder: The Confirmation Process for Presidential Appointees
Heritage Foundation report: What Is The Proper Role of the Courts?
Heritage Foundation commentary: What We Need in Our Federal Judges
Heritage Foundation commentary: Trump Hits Another Home Run With Supreme Court Pick Brett Kavanaugh
Protect Our Paychecks
State of Play: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut taxes for average American households in every state and every congressional district. The reform will produce larger incomes, more jobs, more investment, and more economic opportunity. In 2018, taxpayers will save an average of $1,400 and married couples with two children will save $2,917. Over the next 10 years the average American household will benefit from more than $26,000 in take-home pay, or $44,697 for a family of four. These benefits could be even greater if the tax law is made permanent and could disappear if the tax cuts are repealed. Heritage launched a new website that lets users find out exactly how much their state and district is saving due to tax reform.
Action Items: Sentinels should check to see if their Members of Congress supported the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and, if so, to reiterate support and the benefits of tax reform based on Heritage’s new website.
Heritage Foundation website: Protect Our Paychecks
Heritage Foundation report: Tax Cuts in Every Congressional District in Every State
Heritage opinion : Tax cuts only help the wealthy, right? American paychecks show otherwise
Immigration and Appropriations
Policy over Process
State of Play: In an effort to avoid another omnibus, Republican leadership has worked hard to move appropriations bills as quickly as possible. Federal spending for 2018 expires on September 30th and 7 of 12 appropriations bills have already passed the Senate. Unfortunately conservative policy riders and fiscal restraint have been sacrificed in the effort to return to regular order. Republicans should not support appropriations bills simply for the sake of the process. Instead, they should use the DHS and other appropriation bills to advance conservative policies — reforms they campaigned and won on. A great place to start is securing the southern border, enforcing U.S. immigration laws, and standing up for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. These are issues supported by the majority of Americans and a significant reason why President Trump is in the White House and Republicans control Congress.
Action Items: Sentinels should ask their House members to oppose provisions adopted in committee to the Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations bill on amnesty, asylum expansion and exasperating the family separation issue. Congress should instead pass a DHS appropriations bill that secures the southern border and enhances internal enforcement. Sentinels should also ask their Members of Congress to lower spending during the process.
Heritage Action op-ed: Appropriations Offer Opportunity to Advance Trump’s Agenda
Daily Signal: 3 Poison Pills in the Homeland Security Funding Bill
Heritage Action blog: Time to Shut Down Chain Migration
Heritage Action press release: Congress Should Fix Family Separation at the Border Immediately and Separately from Amnesty
Religious Liberty and Pro-Life
Prioritizing Children over Politics in Adoption
State of Play: Rep. Mike Kelly and Sen. Enzi have introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act (H.R. 1881 and S. 811). Faith-based adoption agencies across the country are coming under attack. In Massachusetts, Illinois, California, and Washington, D.C., liberal groups have successfully pressured government authorities to require faith-based agencies to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs and place children in same-sex households. Congress should keep kids first by preventing religious discrimination against faith-based adoption agencies. Accordingly, this bill will protect faith-based adoption agencies from state governments and LGBT activists looking to eliminate pro-life alternatives to abortion. It protects and empowers Americans who have dedicated their lives to give the most vulnerable in our society—those without a family—the father and mother they deserve. The House appropriations committee recently voted to add H.R. 1881 to the fiscal year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) appropriations bill. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called the proposal “disgusting, deeply immoral and profoundly offensive”.
Action Items: Sentinels should ask their members of Congress to support the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act and secure a vote on the House committee passed LHHS appropriations bill this September.
Heritage Action coalition letter: Add CWPIA to LHHS Appropriations
Heritage Action blog: Rep. Mike Kelly and Sen. Mike Enzi’s Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act
Heritage Foundation event: Children in Crisis: Safeguarding Faith-Based Adoption and Foster Care
Heritage Foundation poll: Ensure All Adoption Agencies Can Continue to Serve Families and Children
State of Play: Last week, the House passed a series of conservative Health Savings Account (HSA) reform bills that will increase health insurance choices and help lower costs. H.R. 184 repeals Obamacare’s 2.3 percent excise tax on importers and manufacturers of medical devices. H.R. 6311 would increase maximum contribution limits for HSAs and allow Medicare Part A enrollees to contribute to an HSA. H.R. 6199 would modernize HSAs by allowing coverage flexibility for High-Deductible Health Plans and by repealing Direct Primary Care Service Arrangements that disqualify individuals from contributing to an HSA. As noted by Wesley Coopersmith, policy director of Heritage Action, final passage of the package “will benefit millions of Americans using these accounts. It also clearly demonstrates to the American people that Republicans want patient control over their own health care decisions while Democrats want government control. We look forward to working with Congress to continue expanding health care choice and lowering costs, and ultimately repealing and replacing Obamacare.” Last week, Health and Human Services (HHS) released a rule that will roll back the Obama administration’s limits on short-term, limited duration health insurance plans, making them more accessible and easier to use.
Action Items: Sentinels should ask their senators to support a “clean” House-passed HSA package. Republicans in Congress, particularly in the Senate, must take action as soon as possible to fulfill their commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Heritage Foundation commentary: Don’t Blame Donald Trump for Obamacare’s Failures
Heritage Action press release: Heritage Action Supports House Ways & Means Legislation Expanding HSAs
Heritage Foundation blog: Trump Aims to Increase Value and Decrease Costs of Health Care, HHS Secretary Says
Food Stamps and Farm Bill
Work Requirements, Out-of-Control Subsidy Programs
State of Play: The House and Senate have named conferees for the Farm Bill conference committee. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have long sought reforms to both the welfare and agricultural sides of the farm bill, including work requirements for food stamps and an overall decrease in government subsidies, price controls, and regulation. Unfortunately, both the House and Senate Agriculture committee bills failed these goals. The Senate version does nothing to strengthen work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs), a provision that was at least attempted by the House committee in its approved version of the farm bill. Heritage Action opposes the Senate bill and key voted against it.
Action Items: Sentinels should push Farm Bill conferees to 1) maintain House-passed SNAP work requirements 2) maintain Senate-passed Sen. Grassley “active engagement” requirement for crop insurance, and 3) maintain the House-passed provision to repeal Obama’s EPA WOTUS rule.
Heritage Action activist toolkit: Food Stamps
Heritage Action blog: Welfare Reform: Work Requirements for Food Stamps
Heritage Action coalition letter: Farm Bill Must Address Out-of-Control Subsidy Programs
Heritage Action key vote: “NO” on Senate Farm bill
Heritage Foundation report: Geographic-Area Waivers Undermine Food Stamp Work Requirements
Internet Sales Tax
No Taxation without Representation
State of Play: For years, conservatives have blocked legislative attempts to implement an internet sales tax regime that overturned the Supreme Court’s 1967 decision in National Bellas Hess v. Department of Revenue of Illinois and 1992 decision in Quill Corporation v. North Dakota. Unfortunately, in a 5-4 decision (
In case you missed it, the Heritage Foundation is making news for their latest report showing how the Trump tax cuts will benefit average households in every district across the nation!
See the Fox News Story here: Tax cuts only help the wealthy, right? American paychecks show otherwise
Follow this link to see how districts in your state benefit: https://www.taxesandjobs.com/
Please SHARE this information with your family, friends, groups and co-workers! Be sure to let your Representative and Senators know you value this extra money in your pocket. As you can see from the report, these annual savings will really add up and make a meaningful difference.for average American’s in every district.
Would you like to have copies showing the savings for your district to share with others or at summer events?
>> Here is the link for North Carolina: http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/2018/NC.pdf
Save it and then print only the page for your district. Would you like me to send you a pdf for only your district or even the printed copies for you to share? Just let me know by completing this request and I will be happy to do that for you!
Click here to Request help printing or copies to hand out.
Now is the time to share this important information, before Representatives are home for the August recess!
Let me know if you need help printing your district data or if you would prefer that I send you copies, please respond and let me know your address, district and how many copies you would like by using this form: Click here to Request help printing or copies to hand out.
Melody Himel Clarke
Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator
Follow us on Twitter: @Heritage_Action and me, @TheRightMelody.