A lot can happen in a week. In the last 7 days, the Senate released a draft of their secretive ACA repeal bill, rushed it to the floor for an uninformed vote, realized they didn’t have enough votes to pass it, and postponed the vote until after the July 4th recess. They tried to move fast, but you were faster – and it’s thanks to your advocacy that the vote got delayed.
Senators will be back in their home states next week, but they’ll still be busy negotiating to pass this bill. If they succeed, Medicaid waiver services that help us live in our communities will be cut, forcing many of us back into institutions. The Senate will spend Independence Day cutting deals in an attempt to take away the supports we need to live independently. Here’s how you can stop them:
- Talk to your Senators at town halls and other public appearances. Your Senators will list their public appearances on their websites, and you can also check TownHallProject.com.
- Arrange meetings with your Senators at their local offices. To find your Senators’ local offices, visit contactingcongress.org. Under the contact information for each Senator, there is a list of their local offices. You can contact these offices to set up a constituent meeting – this is one of the most effective ways to get your point across to an elected official. You can use this script to arrange a meeting:
- Attend a local rally. The Center for Public Representation and Families USA both have lists of upcoming demonstrations in many states. If you don’t see a rally near you, check if another organization is holding one. During the week of July 4th, lots of community organizations will be holding rallies to save health care, and they will need a disability presence.
- Call, call, call. This is still critical! You can find your Senators’ contact information by entering your ZIP code at contactingcongress.org. If you find it easier to leave an answering machine message than to talk to a staffer on the phone, you can call after work hours, and your message will still be counted. If you don’t speak, you can call using your AAC device, or get a friend to call in and read your message. Here’s a script you can use:
- For more ways to make your voice heard, check out this recess action guide from the Center for Public Representation.
While your Senators are home celebrating Independence Day, we must remind them that ALL Americans have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – not just the wealthiest and healthiest amongst us. We can’t let this 4th of July recess go by without showing our Senators that democracy means that they work for us. We won’t let them get away with this attack on our rights.