Heritage Action for America Notes, Week of 2/11/2019
Border Security—The 21-day Continuing Resolution signed by President Trump to end last month’s partial shutdown expires this Friday. The President has given Congress this opportunity to fund border security and it is their responsibility to do so. Lawmakers have been scrambling to make a deal and there is news this morning that they may have found agreement. Full details of the deal are not yet clear, but we will be sure to keep you updated.
We should continue to call our members of Congress and tell them to secure the border.
Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act—In response to Virginia Governor’s Ralph Northam’s recent comments supporting infanticide, Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) called for unanimous consent to pass legislation to provide medical care to babies born alive after a botched abortion. Unfortunately, Democratic Senator Patty Murray (D-Wa.) blocked passage.
But this legislation could still be considered in the future–in the Senate and also, in the House. Opposing the killing of innocent babies that survive abortion should not be a partisan issue. Senators and Representatives on both sides of the aisle should support this common sense legislation.
H.R. 8, “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019”—Heritage Action is opposed to this bill, which is expected to receive a vote on the House floor later this week. This legislation would require universal background checks for firearm sales with a few specific exceptions; but studies repeatedly show that most people imprisoned for gun-related crimes access firearms through theft, the black market, family members, or friends. The background checks in the bill are unlikely to actually decrease violence and will instead make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to purchase, own, carry, and use a firearm.
We expect Democrats to politicize the Parkland shooting while pushing for H.R. 8 as the anniversary approaches. However, studies show that not even a single recent mass public shooter would have been prevented from obtaining a firearm if universal background checks were implemented. This excessive regulation of our Second Amendment rights is counterproductive to both public safety and the private defense of life, liberty, and property. Please call your members of Congress and tell them to oppose H.R. 8.
As always, thank you for your support in the fight for conservative values.
On Monday, 2/4/19, we were pleased to be joined by Hans Von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative at Heritage, as we discussed election fraud and the upcoming fight against Nancy Pelosi’s H.R. 1, the deceptively titled “For the People Act.”
At 600+ pages long, H.R. 1 is a laundry list of far-left policies and seeks to strip election oversight from the hands of state and local governments. Heritage Action is vehemently against this anti-democratic bill and we will work to make sure not a single conservative votes for it. Speaker Pelosi is using this bill to see which Republicans might ‘take the bait’ and fracture from the rest of the party, so it is very important that you express your concerns about this bill to your elected official. You can do your part by contacting your representative and express the need to stop H.R. 1.
Provisions of H.R. 1 include:
- Automatic Voter Registration—States will be required to automatically register every person to vote who partakes in federal programs such as receiving a driver’s license or signing up to collect welfare. This provides an easy route for fraudulent voters and illegal immigrants to vote in our elections.
- Same-Day Registration—States will be required to immediately register a person to vote upon request, even on the day of an election. With no buffer-period to verify personal information, this provision could easily lead to an abuse of voter fraud.
- Mandatory Registration for Felons—No matter their standing with the federal government, upon release from prison every person will be registered to vote.
- Requirements for Ballots to be Counted Outside of the County’s Precinct—This removes the integrity of the local government and gives the power to count votes entirely to the federal government.
- Removal of Redistricting Power—Under this bill, the power to draw congressional districts would be given to an unelected third-party. Hans von Spakovsky explained that while gerrymandering is a downfall to many states, the elected officials that draw up these maps could always be voted out of office. Allowing an unaccountable board to determine congressional districts is a direct threat to our democracy and our state’s sovereignty.
To learn more about why this bill is dangerous, we urge you to read Hans’s analysis here.
January 30th, 2019 Update to below. Please read through this and ACT!
This is a comprehensive spreadsheet with all the members we need to influence and hold accountable with our border security priorities.
January 28, 2019. Action Alert! Call Moderate Dems!
Thank you for joining our call last night as we discussed the current state of our fight for border security. If you couldn’t join us, here’s the link to the Facebook Live video.
Announcement: Next week, Hans von Spakovsky, manager of The Heritage Foundation’s Election Law Reform Initiative, will be joining our discussion at 5 p.m. ET on Monday, February 4.
Please note the time change! The call will be at 5 p.m. ET next Mondayinstead of the regular 5:30 p.m.
Border Security Conference Committee—During the shutdown, Democrats promised to negotiate border security as soon as the government reopened. With the government now reopened, the time to secure the border is now! On Wednesday, the House and Senate conference committee will convene to begin work on a DHS spending bill for the President to sign before funding expires on February 15.
Here are the four objectives that must be met by this committee:
- Secure our border by fully funding the President’s request for a border wall.
- Ensure we have the resources to enforce the laws already on the books by increasing the number of ICE officers, border patrol agents, prosecutors, and immigration court judges.
- Close loopholes that are being abused to skirt the law. We need to end sanctuary cities as well as the practice of catch-and-release.
- Make common-sense reforms to our immigration system, such as ending the unfair visa lottery and implementing a fair, merit-based system.
National Emergency Option—Should Congress fail to pass this bill, the President holds the power to declare a national emergency and fund the wall through untapped government funds. Two separate laws (10 USC 2808 and 33 USC 2293) authorize the President to utilize unobligated funds allocated to the Army Civil Works and the Department of Defense in the event of a national emergency.
While this is a viable option, we still believe that Congress has a responsibility to act on this matter and so we will be working closely with our allies on Capitol Hill for them to do their job first.
SENTINEL CALL TO ACTION: Our strategy to pressure moderate Democrats in red-leaning districts has been working. Thank you! Because of your activism, these targeted Democrats have been wavering on the issue and drifting away from Speaker Pelosi’s leadership. In our work with President Trump, Executive Director Tim Chapman and other conservative organizations met with White House officials on Monday to discuss our goals for immediate action on border security. Our presence and influence in Washington is made possible through your continued patriotism and outreach.
Heritage Action will be live-streaming the DHS conference committee on Wednesday and responding to the debate in real time on Twitter. We urge you to join the discussion and contact the committee members along with the moderate Democrats we have been reaching out to over the past few weeks. Click here for a list of those members and their DC office phone numbers.
H.R. 1—With Congress back in session, the Democrat-backed H.R. 1 stands to be a threat to our democracy if passed. This bill undermines our electoral system by eliminating voter integrity in the election process, read the bill text here. The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky testified to the Judiciary Committee today regarding this bill and he will speak to us next week about how we can fight back.
Thank you for your commitment to advancing conservative principles—every call to Congress, letter to the editor, and donation is crucial in holding our Congress accountable to their promises.
1/25/2019: Week Wrap Up
Yesterday, President Trump announced a 21-day continuing resolution to reopen the government.
Over the past 35 days, activists have gained strategic victories. By applying pressure on Democrats with your calls, emails, tweets, letters, and rallies, you have peeled moderate Democrats away from the fringe-left of their party and elicited public statements of support for increased border security and a border wall.
These next three weeks give us an opportunity to dial that pressure up to “11.” We need all Democrats to get serious about securing the border and follow with statements like these:
Over the next three weeks, Republicans and Democrats will negotiate, and a large, comprehensive immigration deal is a likely outcome. We need to fight tooth and nail to ensure conservative priorities are protected and advanced.
The price for any compromise should be very high and not be a bad deal for the American taxpayer. We need vital reforms to secure our border and provide for an orderly immigration process that rewards legal immigrants.
Thank you for remaining vigilant in the fight for border security—yesterday’s news hurt—but there is a path forward and it is through our continued work together.
Tim, Jessica, and the Heritage Action Team
Sentinel Call Tuesday, January 22, 2019
This Thursday, 1/24, there will be a crucial vote on End the Shutdown and Secure the Border Act (McConnell’s bill. It does what POTUS wants.)
Reopens closed portion of govt. Funds all 7 appropriations bills
supplemental relief for hurricanes, wildfires from last year
Fund border security: these are activities and resources id from Office on Management and Budget (OMB): physical barrier, law enforcement personnel, custody enhancement, humanitarian aid, necessary dollars to counter narcotics and weapons technology, canine units, 5/7 billion for the border wall.